Work Of Art - Framework
Frontiers Records
Melodic Rock / AOR
11 songs (46:53)
Release year: 2014
Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Ben
Archive review

Ye olde "supergroups. Very rarely do they turn out to be anything worth a shit, but in the rare cases that they are, they end up with new fans of each contributing band. W.E.T. was unleashed on the titties of the world in 2009 and had moderate success. Not like, Avengers billions, but more like a modest movie with big returns. The band moniker was made up of initials of each participant's "home base." "W" stands for Work Of Art who is being repped by keyboardist Robert Sall, "E" is for Eclipse's guitarists Erik and Magnus, and "T" is for singer Jeff Soto and bassist Marcel Jacob from Talisman. Out of the three groups, Work Of Art has had the "least" success. Jeff Soto has been in enough well received groups that he is obviously the most "known," but in the following years it seems that it has been Eclipse who have taken the ball and ran with it. However, my personal favorite discovery from W.E.T. has been Work Of Art and this, their third album Framework is so far their strongest album to date.

What separates Work Of Art from their peers are a combination of things. The first is the god level voice of Lars Safsund. His voice is so smooth and warm and soaring that it is at once infectious and energetic. And while he certainly brings a shit load to any music project he's involved with due to the strength of his voice, it is the aforementioned Robert Sall and his songwriting that catapult this band to levels of awesome only matched by home made salsa verde and freshly fried tortilla chips. Everyone compares these guys to Toto and the guys in Work Of Art all worship at the throne of Lukather and Co. so it's not like this is a complete stretch of the imagination. There's tons of emphasis on vocal harmonies, chorus melody, dramatic bridges, and flashy as hell guitar solos. But, like with Toto, this band can pick just the right notes to make even a short guitar solo sound very "emotional" and memorable.

Since this is AOR / Melodic Rock there are alot of lyrical trappings of the genre. Looking at the song titles, you don't need a graphing calculator to figure out what they are about. Framework opens up with the first of two "go" songs, this one being Time To Let Go. Despite being very energetic, this is not exactly uplifting sugary music to zone out to. Tons of melodic guitars, great backing vocals, this is a staple of the band's sound. The other "go" song is the opposite, both in terms of lyrics and positivity. Can't Let Go is a huge harmony filled number with unbridled optimism. This was an obvious choice for lead single. It's not all light rock though, there's two tracks which are almost metal in their feeling. Shout Til You Wake Up legitly sounds like an early Circus Maximus song from their first two albums. There's dramatic piano, and the lyrics are about world issues rather than chicks. Same thing with The Machine. Sounding like a lost Jake E. Lee penned tune in the intro, this is a melodic mid tempo metal song about the shittiness of society. "One step forward / ten steps back / is this what we need? / we gotta turn the power off / and stop The Machine."

Framework is still definitely a melodic rock / AOR album, but this tends to lean a bit towards the "heavier" (if that can even be said about this genre) side of things as opposed to a bunch of Journey ballads. The debut Artwork is their most experimental, sophomore album In Progress saw them streamline their sound and find themselves, and here with Framework everything coalesced into sweetness. If you buy one album from a member of the W.E.T. alumnus, make it Framework!

Killing Songs :
Time To Let Go, The Machine, How Do You Sleep At Night, My Waking Dream, Can't Let Go
Ben quoted 91 / 100
Other albums by Work Of Art that we have reviewed:
Work Of Art - Exhibits reviewed by Ben and quoted 84 / 100
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