Tuesday, June 19, 2012

REVIEW: Sonic Station - Sonic Station (2012)

The pet project of guitarist/producer Alexander Kronbrink and singer/songwriter Marika Willstedt, this modern day Westcoast/AOR offering certainly couldn't have come at a better time: stalwarts in the genre such as Toto aren't recording new material, and the international commercial landscape musically has gone through some major continental driftage -- the decade where sumptuous stuff like this ruled the charts is already ancient history.

Featuring three other vocalists besides Ms. Willstedt and a surprising amount of variety as far as the tracks themselves go, I found myself glued to my speakers, salivating all the while: opening number 'Love's Gonna Show The Way' is straight out of 1988 with those blazin' keyboards, an infectious rumbler that wouldn't have been out of place on The Seventh One or that debut by fellow Swedish luminaries Time Gallery. Wow!

Four of the tracks here are led by the previously mentioned Marika Willstedt, and all in all she's probably an AOR fan's top reason for tuning in at all: Carole King don't got nothin' on this talented lass, and her voice is heavenly on songs like 'I Wish I Could Lie', 'Last Refrain' and 'Running Through The Night'. Earworm choruses I tell ya, earworm choruses!

The record is shiny enough to eat off of, immaculately produced and coated with a modern sheen that enhances the mix immeasurably. It's at least on par with Ole Borud's Keep Movin' mixwise, and the majority of the songs prove just as catchy and mesmerizing as any of the Westcoast classics of the early 80's, or, hell, even Jay Graydon's flawless work with Airplay and related studio work.

From ballads to highway groovers to fist-pumping anthems that validate every goodhearted feeling you've ever felt towards the world, Sonic Station stands alone in 2012 as an AOR release that goes the extra mile, even when you least expect it.

Buy It Here!

No comments:

Post a Comment