|Posted on August 22, 2014 at 12:10 AM|
Seven – 7
Written by Juliano Mallon
Seven’s origins takes all the way to South Africa in the late 80’s, when the band went by the name of Face To Face. They got together in 1989, recorded two singles (both produced by John Parr), opened concerts for the likes of The Monkees and Richard Marx, among others, and then disappeared just as fast as they came up without releasing a full album, though there are rumours they recorded one. In the 90’s, AOR almost vanished completely but, 24 years later, Seven is back with “7”, a killer collection of 80’s flavored, radio friendly AOR, crafted and executed to perfection.
The album is filed with catchy, memorable songs such as "Shoot To Kill" and "Inside Love" (the latter originally recorded in January, 1990), two powerful rockers with explosive choruses and bombastic melodies. From now on, you’re in for one hell of a ride...
There’s a lot more to the album than just those first two tracks. Take, for exemple, "Still" (with its Foreigner-esque aura, especially in the guitars and keyboards sections), "Headlines" and "Strangers" (originally released as the b-seide for "Man With A Vision", back in 1990) keep that radio friendly AOR atmosphere going strong, bringing more of those strong choruses AOR enthusiasts love so much.
Other songs that come up as highlights in the album are "America" (that reminds me of FM, circa 1986), "Thru The Night" (with its pulsating guitars), the frantic "Never Too Late", "Don't Break My Heart" (one of the very best songs on the album, be sure of that) and the thrilling "Say Goodbye" show that Seven got drunk from the 80’s AOR pond, not only bringing back the sound of that era, but also reliving the melodic structures that were so recurrent back then.
I still gotta say something about "Diana", a beautiful ballad built on an almost lonely piano base, where ocasional keyboards appear in the most intimate moment of the album. In this Japanese edition I’m reviewing there’s a bônus track called "Charlie", a poingnant power ballad with an impactating chorus that’ll give you goosebumps.
With that being said, if you’re into 80’s AOR, I can say without any doubt that “7” is one album you must have in your collection. Not only the tracklist is filled with awesome songs (so much so it’s hard to pick one or two as being the best tracks), the album features a stellar group of guest musicians that include legendary guitar master Mike Slamer (City Boy, Seventh Key, Tower City), axe-man Tommy Denander (Radioactive) and keyboard wizards Mark Mangold (Drive She Said) and Didge Digital (FM), among others.
I celebrate Seven’s return to the AOR scene, wishing this is just the beginning of a long-lasting career, but for now, “7” shines as one of the best albums of 2014.
Categories: Album Reviews