Label: AOR Heaven
Review By: Alan Holloway
If there’s anything that makes a reviewer a little more interested in hearing a new AOR album, it’s when they find out the band in question are from Sweden. Of course, other countries produce many fine AOR albums, but the Swedes have the bonus of rarely producing a bad one, so any new Swedish act goes straight to the top of the playlist in anticipation.
C.O.P, are Christian Sundrell, Ola af Trampe and Peter Sundrell, none of whom are accredited law enforcement officers. Vocalist Peter and Drummer/keyboardist/songwriter Christian may be familiar to people who have enjoyed Grand Illusion, in my book one of the finest bands to draw breath when they are on form. What makes C.O.P stand apart from that band is that Christian is now writing the songs, and the resulting album is more straightforward AOR, but no less exciting to listen to.
Take ‘In My Dreams’ for example. Now this is a fast song, barrelling along at a pace that is as fast as AOR gets, similar to TNT’s classic ‘Tell No Tales’ and just as good. It will come as no surprise to learn that Peter Sundrell sounds superb, his high pitch perfectly controlled throughout, and if I’m honest he has slightly less of an accent than on the last Grand Illusion album. The truth is that the songwriting is remarkably consistent throughout, with the jaunty, well paced melodic rock songs balanced by two very good slower tracks – in my book just the right amount. Mention must go to Ola af Trampe as well, as his guitar is spot on all the way through, with solos that will lift anyone’s mood and riffs that are mixed in perfectly with Christian Sundrell’s keyboards.
It’s certainly been a good few weeks for real, honest well paced AOR music, with this and Ozone keeping a grin on my face. A combination of great vocals, good production, good playing and solid songwriting make ‘State Of Rock’ an essential purchase for anyone who likes their melodic rock to leap out of the speakers and dance on the ceiling. Guilty as charged…