Label: Escape Music
Review by Kimmo Toivonen
A little bit of history first: the first SEVEN recordings and tours took place in the late eighties, when the band had major label support. They released a couple of singles and toured with Richard Marx among others back then, but never got around to releasing an album. Until 2014 that is, when Escape Music talked them into putting together their debut, with a little help from Swedish producer Lars Criss.
Now, a couple of years later Seven is back with their second album. Vocalist Mick Devine is the only one remaining from the original line-up, with the other vacancies filled by Swedish musicians such as Fredrik Bergh and Andy Loos. Despite these changes, the sound of the band is still intact. This album sounds like a natural successor to the debut. Devine’s smooth vocals are very recognisable and the songs are blessed with a lot of melody and hooks. With a superb production on top of it all, what we have here is one of the finest AOR albums of 2016.
I pretty much like all of these songs, but of course there are a few standout tracks. ”A Better Life”, ”High Hopes”, ”Pieces Of You” and ”Taking Over” are simply fantastic AOR songs with massive hooks. And that’s just to name a few.
While ”Shattered” doesn’t offer anything revolutionary, it’s still a fresh-sounding AOR album with a contemporary sound. I especially like the fact that most of the songs are uptempo and that the songwriters haven’t tried to re-write the standard mid-paced Journey song once again.