Work Of Art - Exhibits
Frontiers Records
Melodic Rock / AOR
11 songs (46:30)
Release year: 2019
Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Ben

Work Of Art came to prominence because of the supergroup W.E.T. with the "W" in the name belonging to Work Of Art. The success of the project led guys like Robert Sall and Lars Safsund to work on several other projects and the band seem to be a thing that the main three guys come to every few years to produce stunning examples of Melodic Rock. Since each release takes time to put together, all of their albums are held to an extremely high standard with this being no exception.

Since Work Of Art play an immensely melodic yet technically pleasing form of rock, they have to have strong songs, and a strong voice. Well, hooray for the band that Lars Safsund has one of the best natural voices since Daniel Heiman. By "natural" I mean he has complete control over his range, has a decidedly unique tone, and his vocal inflections are never a distraction. This dude elevates anything he's a part of. As for the music, Work Of Art have always been compared to Toto so that's probably the best place to start. The comparisons stem from their high level of professionalism, slick production, hooks and melodies galore, and the ability to sneak in complicated musical parts in the middle of supremely catchy songs. And up until this album, they also had chick's names as songs ala Camelia, Natalie, Emelie, and Maria. As you can probably guess from this descriptor, the band tends to delve into lots of love songs or relationship songs. However, they generally have a half and half mix of "things gone bad" and "things gone good" lyrics when it comes to their relationship songs. You won't hear countless dumb hopeful songs, nor will all you hear is "cry in mah beer and wait for her here" songs either.

Opening with Misguided Love we are immediately greeted by what makes this band so great. Guitar harmonies start things off before hopping into a syncopated measure with the vocals giving them this really cool bouncy feel in the song. There's a couple of tracks that are worth mentioning due to their connection with each other. Another Night starts off with a super heavy Survivor vibe, namely the track Burning Heart from the Rocky IV soundtrack. Both begin and maintain a feeling of foot stomping determination, both have that "montage" feel. And both explode in the chorus with pure rock energy. Funny thing is, the song This Isn't Love features the keyboardist who actually played on the Rocky soundtrack. And if the feeling of "montage moment" permeated the entirety of Another Night, here, the keyboard solo is a dead ringer for that eighties movie feel. It's just kind of odd that they had a guy from a movie that very obviously inspired a song on this album, yet they had him play a guest spot on a different song. By the way, despite the titles of these songs indicating otherwise, there is hardly a ballad to be found here. While ballads have been a strength of the band, it's nice to have a full platter of rocking splatter. If I Could Fly isn't a Helloween cover, and it isn't a relationship song either. Just have to mention this particular track because it's basically about a guy who's about to crack. The lyrics are a bit disguised by the chorus but it is a topic that is different from the rest of their catalog, much like One Hour from the debut album.

Why isn't this album scored higher if I have nothing but praise for it? This sounds very nitpicky, but it's because the band themselves have released three amazingly high quality albums and this isn't as strong as their own best work. That isn't to say this is shitty in any way, I enjoy this album quite a bit. But after being hit hard with songs like Time To Let Go, The Machine, Cover Me, How Do You Sleep At Night, and The Rain, these songs on Exhibits just aren't as impactful. If you're a fan of the band, this is a blind buy, a solid addition to their library. But if you're new to Work Of Art, check out Framework and In Progress and then come back to the debut album Artwork and then Exhibits.

Killing Songs :
Be The Believer, Another Night, If I Could Fly
Ben quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Work Of Art that we have reviewed:
Work Of Art - Framework reviewed by Ben and quoted 91 / 100
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