Artist: Kevin Chalfant
First off, I’m a fan of Kevin Chalfant from the Storm days through to the Two Fires era and a HUGE fan of Journey (who isn’t you say!). Of course there is a connection between the two, Kevin has worked with various members of Journey and there’s that Perry-esque vocal, perfect for AOR melodies. So with this new album he has decided to pay tribute to the band and their songs that have influenced him.
Kevin has narrowed the song selection down to 13 tracks, including 6 from the Gregg Rolie era that featured on the double live 'Captured' album, and which just happen to be among my favourites.
An interesting little snippet is that the title of this album includes the word 'Freedom', which was going to be the title of the 'Raised on Radio' album and Kevin has chosen not to feature any of the songs from that album. But hell, he could have recorded every song from Escape and Frontiers and there’d still be a few people moaning he’d missed there fave track!!
Anyway, on to the album and the one thing that stands out is the production, far superior to the output over the last few years. The band, consisting of Mike Higgins - guitars/vocals, Michael Gardner - guitars/vocals, Timmy Higgins and Joel Chalfant - drums, Randy Haltzer - bass, Chuck Giacinto - keyboards deliver an absolutely outstanding performance. The songs stay very close to the original versions, and like a warm woolly jumper they wrap themselves around you and carry you back to those halcyon days.
The songs from the Gregg Rolie era standout particularly well, with Kevin sharing vocal duties on 'Feeling That Way', 'Anytime', 'Just The Same Way' and 'Where Were You' with guitarist Mike Higgins. 'Anyway You Want It' stays very close to the original and I remember it used to be a great track for getting in the mood to go out and party on a weekend, and the wondrous 'Lights'.
You also get 'Don’t Stop Believin’', 'Separate Ways', 'Who’s Crying Now' (possibly better than Perry sang it?!), 'Stone In Love', 'Faithfully', 'Open Arms' (Mariah Carey killed this song with her version but KC nails those high notes perfectly, feel the shivers people!) and 'Send Her My Love'.
So there we have it, the Kevin Chalfant fronted Journey for everyone who ever wondered! This is a fantastic tribute to a band that wrote some of the very best classic AOR tunes of the 80’s. The muscianship and production make the whole package worth going out and spending your pennies on it.
* Review by Brassy.
1. Don't Stop Believin'
2. Separate Ways
3. Who's Crying Now
4. Stone In Love
5. Anyway You Want It
7. Feeling That Way
9. Just The Same Way
11. Where Were You
12. Open Arms
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