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NEW ALBUM: Steve Perry - Traces

[Image: 220px-Steve_Perry_-_Traces.jpg]

Oh dear – Steve Perry has become a bit shrieky and now sports a distinct burr in The Voice. This album sounds strident to my ears, which becomes tiring; he’s doing what he always did back in Journey’s glory days, except it doesn’t really work so well anymore (not that I am a Journey fan, particularly). It worked way back when AOR was golden, and make no error, he still hits all the right notes despite sounding rough around the edges, but I would so much rather listen to “Wheel in the Sky” which to my mind is the perfect showcase for the effortless heights to which that once glorious instrument could soar. 

Traces is quieter than the anthemic arena stuff Journey did so successfully, but the songs and lyrics are fairly unambitious - not very deep and overly sentimental – lots of cryin’ in the rain, regret, lost love, etc, which I totally get, but for me, at any rate, the actual feeling of that only really carries through on the very last track, a ballad which is deeply heartfelt and soulful – written for his great love who was a cancer patient when they met, and who subsequently passed away. You can hear that he really means it, almost takes the form of a eulogy, and judging by the whole affair, I think he is an individual who is governed by emotion. While there is nothing wrong with that, we are not made of stone after all, IMHO this album is at best a pedestrian offering. I am not familiar with any of his other solo work – s’pose at least he’s honest in his delivery which doesn’t have any pretensions to being something it’s not, but I’m not inclined to want to listen again. (No less than 51 personnel here, and I’m counting The Steve Perry Philharmonic Orchestra as one of them!)

Footnote: guess I must have missed something, or been in a grumpy frame of mind when I listened. The album seems to be getting great reviews from various quarters. Still not to my taste. 

"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson

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