Frédéric Slama is back with his AOR project where he has yet again gathered an impressive line-up of some of AOR/Westcoast heroes on Journey To L.A. The previous AOR albums had good moments but they have never been good through the whole albums. This new one is a lot better with great songs and Journey To L.A is more AORish than before but don’t worry you get a lot Westcoast as well.
Like before, you will recognize the first class singers that has joined Mr. Slama on this latest AOR album. Philip Bardwell (Places Of Power, Unruly Child) handles the vocals mostly. Other singers that are involved are Steve Overland (FM), Fergie Frederiksen (Toto), Dane Donohue and Bill Champlin (Chicago) so you know that you get first class vocal performances.
Waiting In The Darkness with Steve Overland is a fantastic AOR-song with a strong chorus in a Radioactive meets FM way. Did I say that Steve sings outstanding. Don’t Turn Back sounds like it could have come from a Denander album with Prisoner, Radioactive or Rainmaker. Just For Love is a great AOR/WC song with a great chorus where you get dut-dut keyboards and you will hear a lot Toto on this one.
There’s a new version of Desperate Dreams and this is a wet dream for AOR-lovers. The chorus is brilliant in the same vein as Pride Of Lions. Classy stuff where Fergie sings superb. Never Surrender is also strong with a nice chorus. The Toto-ish Heartless is great with strong melodies, keyboards and a catchy chorus. West Into The Sun is a pure slice of Westcoast that fans of this genre will love for sure.
There’s also a new version of Lost In Your Eyes but that’s the only one they could have left out even if Bill Champlin sings great - I think this is too poppy Westcoast. The last song, You’re My Obsession is a great instrumental song that could fit on a soundtrack, great song. Mr. Workaholic Tommy Denander is involved pretty much with everything on this album because he plays on it and he has co-produced and mixed the album with great result. Yes, the production and sound is really good on this new one and the songs holds much higher quality than before.
This was a pleasant surprise that both AOR and Westcoast fans will enjoy, strongest AOR album so far. Oh, almost forgot to mention that Steve Lukather plays on this as well.