Review by Kimmo Toivonen
First there was the ”buzz”. People close to the source were saying that something special was on the way. Then there was ”Hurt”, the song that introduced One Desire to the public. I fell for the song instantly but it didn’t hurt at all… The second song ”Whenever I’m Dreaming” took a couple of spins but I fell for it too, and along with the new Brother Firetribe album, this became the most eagerly awaited release of this year for me.
Now that I’ve been able to listen to these songs for a while, I can honestly say that this album doesn’t disappoint. It isn’t flawless but it’s very good. Very, very good. But now the obligatory brief history lesson…
The band was founded by drummer Ossi Sivula a few years ago. Things started to move ahead when Ossi hooked up with producer Jimmy Westerlund. A three-track demo impressed Frontiers Records, and eventually Westerlund became a member of the band as guitarist, along with vocalist André Linman (formely of Sturm und Drang) and bassist Jonas Kuhlberg.
For what it’s worth, this is a rather varied album. The songs range from AOR to Melodic Metal and somewhere between the band explores more modern rock sounds. It may sound like they’re ”all over the place” but in fact somehow they never lose the plot, there’s a common thread keeping these songs together.
The first single ”Hurt” is the first song of the album too, and what a song it is. More melody than you could ever ask for, and an understated, yet highly infectious chorus. This has been my most listened track of the last few years, I kid you not.
Track 2, the third single ”Apologize” (or ”release”, I don’t know what you call them these days) comes from the prolific Eric Mårtensson (Eclipse, Nordic Union, W.E.T.) but it isn’t one of my favourites. Same goes for ”Love Injection”, it’s good but not one of the album’s highlights. The intense ”Turn Back Time” is brilliant though, as is the contemporary-sounding, balladic ”Falling Apart”. ”Straight Through The Heart” is one of the heavier tracks on the album but it doesn’t work for me. ”Whenever I’m Dreaming” and ”Do You Believe” represent the more AOR’ish side of the album, and they are melodic jewels indeed.
”Buried Alive” is an interesting track, a full-blown melodic metal song that sounds unmistakably like ”Future World”-era Pretty Maids. Andre Linman does a good Ronnie Atkins-impersonation, using a rougher tone for some parts and a cleaner style for others. Pretty good!
The album started with ”Hurt”, yet the last song of the album is called ”This Is Where The Heartbreak Begins” - maybe a sign to go back to the ”Hurt” again? I don’t know, but I do know that ”This Is Where The Heartbreak Begins” is one of the finest ballads I’ve heard lately and if there’s any justice, it’ll be a big hit for the band.
The only reason why I’m nitpicking once again and handing out the fifth ”R” as a small one is the production, or the vocal production to be precise. André Linman is a good singer but some of his vocals are way too heavily doctored. The Autotune or whatever raises its’ ugly head on several songs but ”Straight Through The Heart” is the worst one I guess, Linman sounding dangerously mechanic. I know, it’s 2017 and to a listener of contemporary pop this kind of sound is just fine, but I come from a different era…