Thursday, July 15, 2010

Review: Terra Nova "Come Alive"

Back from a long hiatus, veteran AOR rockers Terra Nova return with "Come Alive", their fifth album. If you miss the melodic rock of the 80s - guitar-driven with generous keyboards and soaring vocals (not to mention an album cover of geometric shapes and blue hues) - Terra Nova is a band for you. They are huge in Europe and Japan, countries where AOR still appeals to the masses, and their latest release is proclaimed to be a return to their much-beloved 1996 debut album "Livin' It Up".

Growing up on bands like Journey, Night Ranger, and Survivor, I have a soft spot in my heart for high quality AOR. Terra Nova carries on this lost genre into present day, bucking current trends and playing the type of music they love. Fred Hendrix is an enormously talented vocalist custom built for AOR. The opener and title track storms onto the scene with an engaging riff and propelling rhythm. The na-nas and staccato guitar of "Holy Grail" will make a lot of melodic rockers salivate, and "Here Comes The Night" hits all the right buttons for a midtempo ballad. With its "Livin' On A Prayer" baseline, "Who Can You Count On" has a groovy vibe and an even better chorus. "My Own Way" has a bit of an unusual verse, but it leads into one of the catchiest choruses on the record. Finally, if you are a sucker for gushy, over the top piano ballads, be sure to check out "Those Eyes" and "The Final Curtain" - they'd make even Jonathan Cain cry.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9

Terra Nova On MySpace. Official site.

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