OK, what can I say about Europe & their latest opus...firstly, Europe was the band that introduced me to the World of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal way back in the mid 80's, so I can gladly admit to being a TRUE & RESPECTABLE fan of Sweden's finest Rockin' export act. Secondly I'm proud of all my Europe albums, in which I own every one including solo material & side projects & will continue to do so as long as these lads deliver the goods in years to come. Now to the latest offering 'Bag Of Bones' & why I only give it a 3 star rating.
Whilst just about every Europe record delivers a blast to start the ball rolling, then continues to roll throughout (with the exception of a few tracks scattered within...then not everyone's going to enjoy every moment on an album), 'Bag Of Bones' to me personally was a minor letdown with the fact that I was waiting for the x-factor song/s that'd make me sit up & say "HEEEELLLLLLLL YEEESSSSS, NOW THIS IS EUROPEEEE!!!!!!". Unfortunately that just never happened. With continual spins on the cd player, I can start to appreciate certain tunes on the album, with songs like 'Firebox', 'Bag Of Bones', 'My Woman My Friend', 'Demon Head', & 'Mercy Me Mercy You' growing on me with every listen. But in saying that, WHY does it have to be repeated listens to capture my attention, for I personally believe if that's the only way to appreciate an album, it's soon going to sit on my shelf & gather dust without a thought it ever existed. Luckily I have the copy with the Japan bonus track 'Beautiful Disaster' which confusingly is better than half the songs that made the Worldwide release, so why Japan got that gem is surprising to me (no offense to the Rising Sun). I will go ahead & say though that one tune in which just screams perfection is the beautifully crafted ballad & album closer 'Bring It All Home' which just has me spellbound everytime I hear it.
I do know that not every review is agreeable with every fanatic, but as stated I AM a long long longtime Europe follower & I just expected something a little more special from my second favourite all-time band (second to Whitesnake). For anyone wanting to hear abit of Europe in their second coming, I'd highly recommend 'Start From The Dark' or 'Secret Society', otherwise this is certainly an addition every Europe maniac should own.
P.S. Try finding the Japan version for the bonus track 'Beautiful Disaster'. You won't be dissapointed.