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Journey – Escape

Mike, our One And Only Lebrain sent me this album, and it’s a stone cold classic. Interstingly, there’s been some talk about Journey over on Mike’s site yesterday, and I already had this one teed up and set to go, so… good timing!

Don’t Stop Believing Oh man. How many times have we heard this song? Still, it’s pretty great. It’s one of those songs we know all the words like we know our own names. One confusion: um, south Detroit? Did he grow up on Woodward Avenue? Or… maybe in Windsor, ON? Because I lived in Windsor in the 90s and it’s south of Detroit…

Stone In Love oughta be about a Rolling Stone. I don’t know if it is, or not. However, it’s another good rock song that totally fits its era. All the pieces are here – syncopated rhythms, big guitar solo, harmony vocals…

Who’s Crying Now is another huge hit we all know backwards. Good tune. Takes me back.

Keep On Runnin’ ramps things back up, a high energy rocker with a fun time signature. Wow, Perry really wails on this one.

Still They Ride is the exact opposite again, the ultimate rock power ballad. It… soars. Every high school dance in the sweat-smelling gym needed this song.

Escape brings back the rock again, bluesy and oh-so 80s (in a good way). It’d be a fun concert fist-pumper.

Lay It Down’s intro reminded me (momentarily, and only in passing reference) of the Black Crowes but it quickly becomes it’s own beast, a middle-of-the-road rock song that doesn’t quite achieve the lift-off of others. It’s saved by the bluesy guitars. Solos!

Dead Or Alive sets a fantastic fast rock pace. I liked the deceptively simple piano accents. Rapid-fire vocals, pure fun. What a workout!

Mother, Father’s pretty, acoustic intro becomes another lighter-waving power ballad. A lot of thought went into this one, though. It’s still got its heavy bits. Yes.

Open Arms is another one we know completely, except – I swear – I thought this was an Air Supply song. All deference to Journey, of course. It’s Lite FM glory, slow dance heaven, and Boomer candlelit dinner essential.

In sum: this is a really excellent record. Three huge hits, others that coulda/shoulda been. The vocals are friggin’ great. Hearing it now has given me a new, deeper appreciation of Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain’s guitars. The record has superb production and sound. It’s so clear. So much fun.

Thanks heaps, Mike!

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