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Subject: "Escape" Album Review


Author:
Mike H.
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Date Posted: 22:34:24 12/30/02 Mon



Very few bands have an album like this. Very few bands can claim such a rich legacy during the era (1978-1988) that defined the MTV generation. The band, that during that time became one of the greatest rock bands in music, was Journey, and the album, that defined an era of countless relationships, break-ups, hopes and dreams, was Escape – an album which became the cornerstone of a band whose music became a staple in the lives of those in their late teens and early twenties – that MTV generation.

Track one, “Don’t Stop Believin’, written by Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain and Neal Schon, is my favorite Journey tune of all-time, as well as my favorite on this album. I love this tune because of the rhythm. I never tire of listening to it, whether it is on this album or periodically when I hear it on 100.7 WZLX, my Classic Rock radio station in Boston. I love the guitar solo, I love the piano intro and I love the lead vocal. It’s very soulful and rich. This tune features Steve Perry on lead vocal, Neal Schon on guitar and background vocals, Jonathan Cain on piano, Ross Valory on bass guitar and Steve Smith on drums. This tune evokes a positive vibe that keeps me going.

Track two, “Stone In Love,” written by Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain and Neal Schon, is OK. The only two things that are good about this tune is Steve Perry’s vocal. I love the vocal harmony. Mr. Perry truly is “The Voice.” Neal Schon’s guitar riff at the end if this tune sounds like a siren. I think that’s cool. But that’s it. On rhythm, we have Steve Perry on lead vocal, Neal Schon and Jon Cain on guitars, Ross Valory on bass guitar and Steve Smith on drums. Steve Perry’s vocal is great, but that’s it.

Track three, “Who’s Crying Now,” written by Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain, is one of the most melodic and beautifully written songs ever recorded. I love the vocal harmony, I love Neal Schon’s guitar riff, and I love the piano intro. It’s one of the most gorgeous melodies ever written, next to “Faithfully,” “When You Love A Woman” and “Open Arms.” On rhythm, we have Steve Perry on lead vocal, Neal Schon on guitar and background vocal, Jon Cain on piano and background vocal, Ross Valory on bass guitar and Steve Smith on drums. It’s great. I even played it on my alto saxophone.

Track four, “Keep On Runnin’,” written by Steve Perry, Jon Cain and Neal Schon, is good. Steve Perry’s vocal is too high, but the background vocal harmony is cool, and I love Neal Schon’s guitar riff at the beginning and the end. His solo is cool too. On rhythm, we have Steve Perry on lead vocal, Steve Smith on drums, Jon Cain and Neal Schon on guitars, and Ross Valory on bass guitar. It’s got a great fast paced rhythm.

Track five, “Still They Ride,” written by Steve Perry and Jon Cain, is a nice ballad for this album, but it lacks something that “Open Arms” has. I don’t know what it is though. This tune has a cool guitar solo, and I love the backbeat and piano playing behind Perry’s vocal. This is “Escape’s” power ballad. Perry’s vocal is good, and Jon Cain’s piano is very lilting and romantic. Neal’s guitar solo is cool too. We have Steve Perry on lead vocal, Steve Smith on drums, Jon Cain and Neal Schon on guitars, and Ross Valory on bass guitar. This tune lacks what “Open Arms” has.

Track six, “Escape,” the title track, by Steve Perry, Jon Cain and Neal Schon, is my least favorite on this album because it seems as though Neal is drowning everyone out. I like Jon Cain’s keyboard riffs though. Neal Schon’s guitar riffs seem boring and mundane. The vocal harmony is OK. I found myself looking at the running time on my CD player to find out when it would be over. We have Steve Perry on lead vocal, Steve Smith on drums, Jon Cain and Neal Schon on guitars, and Ross Valory on bass guitar. Perry has put everything onto it as usual, and he’s good. But, it begins with Perry and ends with Perry if anything.

Track seven, “Lay It Down,” written by Steve Perry, Neal Schon and Jon Cain, is a good mid-tempo rocker. I love the vocal harmony. But as far as the rhythm goes, it seems like Neal and Jon are drowning Steve out. Perry’s vocal is too high as well. The backbeat is cool though. We have Steve Perry on lead vocal, Steve Smith on drums, Jon Cain and Neal Schon on guitars, and Ross Valory on bass guitar.

Track eight, “Dead or Alive,” written by Steve Perry, Jon Cain and Neal Schon, is cool. I love the rhythm. Neal’s riff is cool. I love Steve Perry’s vocal. It’s cool. Jon Cain’s piano work is jammin’. I think it’s cool. We have Steve Perry, Neal Schon, Jon Cain, Ross Valory and Steve Smith all working hard on this tune.

Track nine, “Mother, Father,” written by Neal Schon, Steve Perry, Jon Cain and M. Schon (Neal Schon’s father), is a good rocker. I love the vocal harmony. Neal Schon’s guitar solo is “rockin’”, but the vocal is the best here. Steve Perry, Neal Schon, Jon Cain, Ross Valory and Steve Smith are great.

And last, but not least, track ten, “Open Arms,” written by Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain, is a supremely beautiful tune. The lead vocal from Steve Perry and the piano work from Jon Cain is gorgeous. But, despite that, I like “Faithfully,” from the “Frontiers” album better. You know why in a later review.

Overall, Escape is Journey’s greatest album to date, within the entire history of the group (1973-present) because the music has stood the test of time and made my listening “journey” all the more worth while.

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