Criss Oliva was one of the most underrated guitar players
Debra | Oregon by way of New Jersey | 04/02/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While Savatage remained a great band after Criss Olivia's death, they were at their most creative when Criss Olivia was alive and playing lead guitar and Streets is Savatage's and Criss Oliva's last great masterpiece. If you know about Savatage through TSO and love TSO for it's mix of hard rock and classical styles, then you're in for a treat with "Streets". It showcases Criss' brilliant, but under appreciated talent as a guitar player and the whole album is simply beautiful. If you came to know Savatage by way of their earlier stuff, you may be surprised with Streets. Agony and Ecstasy is probably the only song, in my opinion, that screams heavy metal, much like their earlier work. Streets is full of power ballads that are melodic and emotional, so if you're a hardcore metalhead, maybe "Streets" isn't for you. But, if you appreciate when artists mix it up a bit and incorporate new sounds and styles of music, then "Streets" is worth buying."
In the dark I hear your screams...
Mark H. | Hanson, MA USA | 06/24/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"`Streets' was the record that Savatage probably was most proud of during the first decade of the band's history as it seemed to be a culmination of sorts. It was a sequel of sorts to `Gutter Ballet' which is not entirely accurate as both epics were part of an original story by band mastermind and producer Paul O'Neil. The records do not follow the story chronologically and `Streets' may have had some parts added to it to avoid an exact repeat of `Gutter'. One place you can definitely hear the connection is in grand finale "Believe" which repeats the climatic part of "When the Crowds Are Gone" The story of the album featured a character named DT Jesus who was a drug dealer turned rock star turned fallen angel. "Crowds" references DT's plight at reminiscing about his fame. As far as the current album goes the title track is an apocalyptic sounding opener which leads to some street rap and then another album highlight in "Jesus Saves". `Streets' also continues the ambitious combination of rock musical with metal; somewhat inspired by Jon Oliva's viewing of the Broadway hit `Phantom of the Opera' (more of an influence on `Gutter Ballet' but that got the `rock opera' ball rolling so to speak). I prefer `Gutter Ballet' to `Streets' as the slower songs are more enjoyable on the former with the exception of "Believe" which is a true anthem and preferable to "Crowd" IMHO. `Streets' was also the last notable Savatage recording with Jon Oliva on the mike for well over a decade as his voice suffered tremendously. `Streets' like its illustrious predecessor ended on era of Savatage but also initiated another for better or for worse."