I’ve probably played this album through six or so times so far trying to do this review, and in a way I’m glad it’s taken this long because this album is what we like to call in the business a ‘grower.’ Eclipse is Journey’s first album in three years and their second with vocalist Arnel Pineda, whose vocals are just ridiculous; they suit these songs and this band perfectly. So on my seventh listen, let’s discuss Eclipse…
The lead single City Of Hope is vintage Journey, it just has that feel and has you singing along without even realising you are, I do personally love the throw back to their biggest hit when they sing ‘Never stop believin…’ if that doesn’t put a smile on your face then you’re quite possibly a robot. Musically the band is impeccable, and what Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain have done with these songs is amazing.
Journey have always been a power force in the AOR genre and it’s easy to see how when you put on an album like Eclipse. Journey’s songs over their extensive career have always been about hope and been an inspiration to many and that can be heard on this album in songs like Anything is Possible which is pretty self explanatory, plus an amazing guitar solo outro from Schon is a winner on that track.
Eclipse continues to deliver some perfectly created AOR goodness. Human Feel and To Whom It May Concern are stand outs, but when you have a song like Tantra that sounds like it should be in a Disney film and have possibly a frog or some form of jungle animal singing it. Not a bad thing, I enjoy singing cartoon animals, but it left me a little confused when this song started. But the album rounds off with an instrumental piece called Venus it does showcase the talent of the band, I don’t really know if it was needed to be honest but it was easy to listen to. We already know how good they are, so it could’ve been left off really, I found it was an odd way to finish the album.
I don’t know if Journey will ever have another Don’t Stop Believin or Open Arms but with the way they are going and if they continue to make music of this calibre then here’s hoping they can pull one of those out their hat one day. Unfortunately it’s not on Eclipse. A great album, but for me lacking that anthemic work of art I always want, maybe I’m expecting too much, but one thing is for sure, Journey are a band that make great music and if you just want to chill out, listen to some great songs and playing and tap your foot for an hour or so then Eclipse is for you.
1. City of Hope
2. Edge of the Moment
3. Chain of Love
5. Anything Is Possible
7. She’s a Mystery
8. Human Feel
10. To Whom It May Concern
12. Venus (Instrumental)
Musical Style: Melodic Rock / AOR
Released: Out Now
Label: Frontiers Records / Riot! Entertainment
Check it out if you like: Journey and high quality Melodic Rock / AOR