Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Review: Europe “Bag of Bones”

Don’t ask me why, but I’ve been buying every new Europe album even though the last great one was way back in the early 90s with “Prisoners In Paradise”. Each time Europe releases a new album they say it is the greatest since “Final Countdown”, but each has been deeply disappointing as the band seemed to be stumbling around in the dark searching for a new undated sound. The band is back with “Bag of Bones”, a new record that once again claims to be their best since “Final Countdown”. And this time there isn’t a bone in this body that regrets getting it.

Europe has finally found the sound I believe they were looking for – of perhaps they just finally perfected it. “Bag of Bones” is a heavy, guitar driven record that blasts off with four hugely engaging songs right at the top of the batting order. But this isn’t your father’s Europe. This Europe sounds like it belongs among any modern rock band, with the exception that they boast much better guitar solos.

I must admit I miss the keyboard-guitar synergy that made their late 80s records so memorable. But if they had stayed on this path, they would definitely sound dated. If you are a big fan of this era of Europe, you may want to sample “Bag of Bones” before purchasing. In addition to the smoldering title track, just check out the crushing sound of tracks like “Firebox”, “Riches To Rags”, or first single, “Not Supposed To Sing The Blues”. The middle of the record sags a bit, but the band closes strong with killer cuts like “Doghouse” and “Mercy You Mercy Me”. The record closes with an exceptional and soulful ballad, “Bring It All Home”.

“Bag of Bones” is not a melodic masterpiece, but it reaches much greater heights than their other recent work. It continues to be dark and moody, but it’s got something about it that makes it more energetic and memorable.

Europe – Official site.

Check out the video for “Not Supposed To Sing The Blues”:

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