Artist:  Stage Dolls
   Title: Always
   Label:
AOR Heaven  

There aren’t many bands who made a name for themselves in the eighties that are still going, never mind remaining together for over 25 years, but Norwegian Hard Rockers Stage Dolls are one such band.

Although the bands span a career of some twenty five years, the band have only released six albums in that time and now in 2010 album number seven ‘Always’ hits the streets.

From beginning to end there this is definitely Stage Dolls.  The bands mix of the rockier and mellower styles are again a dominant feature of the new album.

The album opens up with the edgy rock of the title track ‘Always’, from the off this three piece hit the mark, while Torstein Flakne shows he still has the vocal talent for this style of music.  This is none more present than on the superb ‘Raining On A Sunny Day’, a track that features the same backing singers the band had on their debut album ‘Soldiers Gun’ back in 1985.

The album picks up pace a touch with the groove filled ‘Rollin’, a touch of funk-o-rock that will get you moving and a-grooving from the off. Then the band slip a little touch of AOR gold in with the excellent ‘Highway’s Open’.  This one reminds me of the classic Tom Petty stuff with a touch of Bryan Adams thrown in, before the semi acoustic tones of ‘Eye Of My Heart’.

Then it's back to the more up-tempo feel with ‘Better Off Pretty’ and the excellent ‘Taillights’, before rocking it up big style with my track of the album ‘Saturday Night’.  This one has summer night open topped car written all over it.  Plenty to get you digging out your dancing shoes for on this one, it's pure good time rocking at its best.

The album keeps the groove going with 'Where The Blacktop Ends’, where the band bring in a little folk fiddle for this one, before the album closes with the gentile sounds of ‘My Strangest Friend’ again featuring a touch of folk on this one, kind of Simon And Garfunkel meets Fairport Convention.

This is the Stage Dolls at their best and this release is without a doubt the bands best album to date.  So let's hope it isn’t another six years between albums because bands like these don’t come along everyday.

 Tracklisting:

1. Always
2. Raining On A Sunny Day
3. Rollin'
4. Highway's Open
5. Eye of My Heart
6. Better Off Pretty
7. Taillights
8. Saturday Night
9. Where The Blacktop Ends
10. My Strangest Friend

                  

 

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