The new chapter in the legendary career of multi-Platinum US rockers Journey - Neal Schon (guitar), Jonathan Cain (keyboards), Ross Valory (bass), Deen Castronovo (drums) and Arnel Pineda (vocals) entitled Revelation. The brand new record will come in a beautifully packaged two CD set which will include eleven new songs and eleven re-recorded classics. It will also include the bonus track Let It Take You Back. Revelation is the first Journey album to feature the angelic voice of Philipino singer Arnel Pineda.
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Gerry Watts | Bristol, UK | 06/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After a wait of 3 years - and some vocalist musical chairs! - Journey are back again. And I have to say, after thinking that, not so long ago, the Journey might've come to an end, this album is truly a revelation! With the incredible find of new vocalist, Arnel P. (surely by divine providence), Journey are sounding just as good as ever.
Arnel has to be the nearest anyone could get to honouring the great Voice of Mr Perry - and yet have his own distinct style. He really does have what it takes to sing Journey's great repertoire. Arnel has the power and depth that S. Augeri inevitably lacked (without taking anything away from his time with Journey).
This album contains some classic Journey songs written primarily by Jon Cain and Neal Schon. There are echoes from almost every Journey album, and yet it has a new, fresh feel to it too.
The opener 'Never Walk Away' is very much a 'Be Good to Yourself' kind of song. The melody stays with you quite easily. 'Change For The Better' has the 'Higher Place' kinda feel to it, and it also reminds me a little of Kansas. 'Wildest Dream' stands out as quite a rocker, leaning in a slightly different direction in the vein of a few tracks from 'Generations.'
I'm not quite sure why they re-recorded 'Faith in the Heartland' from 'Generations,' anyhow, even with Arnel's strong vocals, I actually prefer the original. 'After All These Years' is a classic Journey ballad, written by Mr J. Cain in the way he does best. This song, and Mr Schon's wonderful guitar playing, sends shivers down my spine!
'The Journey (Revelation)' is a very interesting eastern-sounding Neal Schon instrumental that could easily have come from one of his solo albums.
I could give a track-by-track analysis, but I won't! To summarise, I would conclude that there isn't a weak track on this album, apart from maybe the bonus track on this European release - Let It Take You Back. It's good, but nothing special.
Now I have to say, when it came to listening to Disc 2, the 'greatest hits re-do's,' I didn't think I was going to like it much - but - to my surprise, I even found myself at times forgetting that I was listening to a new vocalist, and that this wasn't Steve Perry! Arnel does an incredible job - and apparently with ease! It's also interesting to hear a few new 'live version' endings to some of these classic songs, with a few longer solos by Neal.
It's also great to hear the drums of Deen C. on these classics, honouring the likes of Steve Smith and A. Dunbar. And Ross Valory finally gets to record his bass playing on 'Be Good To Yourself' (as he wasn't on the ROR album!).
Overall, this Revelation package is a must for all fans of Journey, and melodic rock in general. This album has to be one of the best Journey albums since the 80's for overall quality,(without diminishing 'Trial By Fire' or the Steve Augeri albums, I love them all) and its overall feel and message is very positive.
All in all, Journey have made a comeback as the kings of the genre that is Melodic Rock. As a long time Journey fan - I'm very glad about that!