Reviews & Spotlights
It took them eleven years but Rock and Roll Hall of Famers JOURNEY have returned with quite a remarkable album for our times in the form of Freedom. Our take on the project and the product revolves around the idea that the many individual tracks released in advance of the full-length record weren't enough to tell the big picture. The post-pandemic anthem "The Way We Used to Be" emerged in June of 2021 with four more tracks "You Got the Best of Me", "Let It Rain", "Don't Give Up on Us" and "United We Stand" coming much closer to the unveiling of the 15-song tour de force.
In some sectors the generous allotment of advance singles confused the fans who, of course, didn't really think the music sounded like Journey. Also, the rumblings of the self-professed audiophiles really kicked into high gear when "You Got the Best of Me" and "Let It Rain" hit the streaming services with many questioning the production and mix choices on these songs.
But, something magical happens when you drop the needle on the long-player and let it run through from start to finish. Somehow, it all makes sense and the individual singles that were released take on a new life and meaning within the context of the glorious Freedom. We have a Journey record for our times with all the elements that made this band legendary remaining intact - even if many of the parts and pieces have changed over the years. This is a fact of life that no one escapes even as the current sextet have found exciting new frontiers to travel a half century on since forming in 1973. Freedom provides nods to and nuggets from nearly every era of the group's past all packaged and presented with a pulsating vibrancy and vitality with many modern twists thrown in for good measure.
The proceedings get off to a fast start on "Together We Run" that recalls the energy of the first track on Revelation - "Never Walk Away" - with perhaps a little more pace and we're off and running. "Don't Give Up On Us" follows next and it delivers the thumping tempo of "Separate Ways" combined with a lot of the lyrical themes found on the first record with Arnel Pineda. "After Glow" reveals the versatility of the current Journey combo as drummer Deen Castronovo comes to the forefront with a blistering Perryesque performance. Take a listen to the remaining 12 tracks and you will find that there is no filler to be found on Freedom!
There are plenty of other reviews out there that will go into much more detail on this amazing release that is quickly climbing the charts since dropping on July 8, 2022 just a few days after the celebration of Independence Day in America. So, it's no surprise that Freedom is explosive, exhilarating and liberating. But, we recommend that you do you own due diligence so we will leave the rest of the accolades to your own self-determination. (But, oh yeah, it's great!)
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Review by Rockin' Rich Lynch |