Journey - Red 13
Frontiers Records
Hard Rock
4 songs (24:24)
Release year: 0
Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Mike

Journey has followed up their outstanding Arrival release with a four track EP for their fans. This is an interesting release indeed. Journey has moved from the ultra-polished AOR of the past few records into more of a guitar driven hard rock direction. The songs themselves are much heavier than I expected from Journey and the raw production gives the songs an extra edge.

Leading off the EP is State Of Grace, which has a surprisingly dark and ominous vibe. The song is fast paced, driven by a charging riff after a two minute intro the perfectly builds up to the wall of sound to come. If you've wanted to hear more shreds and riffs on the last few Journey releases, don't miss this song.

Next up is The Time which is a mid paced raw hard rocker. Again, this song carries a much darker mood than anything Journey has done in recent years. Neal Schon also jams during this song, kicking out a couple of attention grabbing solos. As with State of Grace, the backing vocals are not nearly as thick as we have come to expect from Journey nor are the hook as big or catchy as you may have expected. For what these first two songs are, they work very well as raw energetic hard rock songs, but please don't expect an instantly recognizable radio hit as you might be disappointed.

Third up is Walking Away From The Edge which is the ballad of the release and perhaps the track most reminiscent of the past. Like many Journey ballads of the past, this track is delivered with considerable emotion as Augeri turns in a fine effort and Neal Schon provides us with some extended guitar solos that almost manage to sing themselves. Some underlying keyboard textures somehow add a haunting feeling to this track.

Concluding the EP is I Can Breathe which is another mid temp hard rocker more in line with the band's past. The chorus lines are more catchy than the two aforementioned rockers of the album and the mood is considerably more upbeat than the other three tracks. Again, we are treated to more jamming courtesy of Neal Schon which for me is a highlight of this EP.

This is certainly an EP that will create differing opinions for fans of Journey. Those who expect highly polished AOR with huge hooks and thick backing vocals may not embrace this release, but for me, the kicked up tempo and increased focus on the guitar work keep me hungry for the next full length release from Journey. The first two songs could have been more catchy in my opinion, but they offer enough to the listener in terms of atmosphere, quality vocals, and tight musicianship to maintain interst.

Killing Songs :
Mike quoted no quote
Other albums by Journey that we have reviewed:
Journey - Revelation reviewed by Ben and quoted 87 / 100
Journey - Arrival reviewed by Danny and quoted 95 / 100
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