JOURNEY — Eclipse (review)

JOURNEY — Eclipse album cover Album · 2011 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Stephen
When the first two singles shot off months before the album's release, I wasn't impressed at all, or even disappointed to say. 'City of Hope' is totally average and 'Human Feel' is somehow poor, and when I first heard this album in entirety, I'm gonna say this isn't up the Journey standard that I expected and it's a let down compared to their previous work, 'Revelation'. But after more spins, I began to appreciate it, even though it's far from perfect and some extremely high ratings I've seen are definitely too biased and unrealistic.

The reason of it is because Journey was famous with their hooky and sing-along songs but not the technical side as seen in the first three albums, but 'Eclipse' tried to combine that early works with the heaviness of 'Frontier' and dropped the poppish and melodic part of Journey. The result is a mixed reception, some praised it, the rest condemned it as a failure. I was sort in the middle. The first half is a big grower and I eventually like 'Edge of The Moment', the ballad 'Tantra', and 'Anything Is Possible'.

The second half is a bumpy road. 'She's A Mystery' is dull and a mistake. 'Human Feel' may not sound as bad as my first spin, but not a great track at all. 'Ritual' actually has potential but something inside it can't make me love it lot. 'To Whom It May Concern' is a nice ballad but 'Tantra' is somewhat better, even though they should have shorten the duration. 'Venus' is a closing filler and of course unnecessary.

The good side of it is that you can hear Schon's extended exploration of his guitarworks which everyone already knows that he's a maestro of it, and Pineda's vocal is still in a very fine form. Not only he can emulate Perry perfectly, he even added the soulful touch that IMHO, Perry had lost.

This is a thinking AOR album, a grower, heavier, and can't be decided in under 3 or 4 spins, but if only the second half is better and they replace the weak with potential hits in the veins of 'Be Good To Yourself' or 'Separate Ways', I might throw a better rating, but in the end, it deserved a reasonable 70% mark, good record but I've heard much better.
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