Album Reviews
Band: State Of Salazar

Title: All The Way

Label: Frontiers Records

  

Don't get me wrong, what I've heard from some bands within the lighter side of Melodic Rock I've enjoyed, but as time goes by and new bands from that genre appear, it's starting to sound all too similar. The heavy use on keyboards, good vocalists and very competent musicianship is now starting to sound slightly unoriginal and mind-numbing when the newer bands step into the limelight, for me anyway. The ones that have stood out are the likes of Work Of Art and Toby Hitchcock, the rest....well, they seem to be grabbing onto their coattails and continuing in that vein instead of spreading their own wings and trying to be 'original' where they can. State Of Salazar's new album 'All The Way' falls into that first unfortunate category, in my own opinion, and no matter how much the album gets a hearing, my conclusion is the same each time.

'I Believe In You' sets the stall out neatly enough, it's aural keyboard intro is promising, the happy-go-lucky, bounce along tempo what you'd expect, but can you get excited by it? Johan Thuresson's slick riff that kicks off 'Field Of Dreams' does the trick, pushing the song along on toe-tapping speed, Marcus Nygren's vocals really good, not surprising as all members of this band met at the Malmo Academy Of Music, so no wonder this album is so competent in it's performances if anything! Sliding straight on is 'All The Way', an uplifting, clever wee song that changes it's drumbeats more times than some people change their socks, then you come to 'Love Of My Life'! If there was a ballad that should get any kind of airplay, then this is one, from the exquisite vocals to the bombastic music that marry brilliantly, this is just utter class, and don't I feel bad for starting this review the way I have!

Still, after swallowing my pride for a few minutes there, I WILL stick to my guns (so sorry lads), as 'Eat Your Heart Out', for all it's clever Steely Dan-alike tempoes flitting around the song, I just can't get excited. Get the Viagra out!! That little blue pill wouldn't have had time to take effect as 'Time To Say Goodbye' sails on into the sunset, punchy keys in tow, pulling the slightly American 80's power-pop male solo affaired 'Marie' with it! Hang on, isn't that Marillion getting a nod here? That guitar sound at the start is quite familiar to the trademark one used on so many songs by said band, and it stays around for most of 'Let Me Love', yet again, another song that sends me away in blushes of embarrassment! Now then, 'Catastrophe' is a funny little number when you actually hear what its about. No, not an ecological disaster, but apparently Nygren is asking for something bad to happen in his life because he's not in the mood for a happy song! It's a sort of weird love song in a way, but what do I know? Give it a listen then get in touch and let me know what you think!!

'Always' could and should have been used in 'Fame' way back in the day, it's happy-go-lucky vibe right up THAT street, and when 'Adrian' starts, you'll fall off your chair! My God, it's like 'Hi-Fidelity' - the kids from 'fame' all over again!! I can't even put their name in capitals, I'm so ashamed of remembering that track! The album comes to a close on one final flourish, as 'End Of Time' is a showcase for the vocal talents of one Marcus Nygren, surely one of the finds of 2014?

'All The Way' is not, I repeat, NOT a bad album by any means. As I mentioned at the start, things are starting to sound very similar, and someone needs to come along and shake the scene up just a touch. It's just unfortunate State Of Salazar weren't the ones to do it....this time!

Review by: Robb Baldwin

 

Tracklisting:

1. I Believe In You
2. Field Of Dreams
3. All The Way
4. Love Of My Life
5. Eat Your Heart Out
6. Time To Say Goodbye
7. Marie
8. Let Me Love
9. Catastrophe
10. Always
11. Adrian
12. End Of Time

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