Review: “Revelation,” Journey

The group Journey came together in 1975 with former members of Santana who wanted to achieve even greater success than they did in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  It happened, but it took a while. Journey didn’t take off until original lead singer Gregg Rolie was replaced by Steve Perry, who led the 1978 multi-platinum smash Infinity.  Although Journey managed to capture a moment of sorts by defining teen romance as the 70s turned into the 80s, the crass commercialism and play-by-the-numbers muscianship turned off lots of listeners too.  The group’s newest album, Revelation, is the first blast of a summer commercial blitz for Journey – it’s available exclusively at Wal Mart (following the Eagles’ business model) with one CD of new material, another CD of re-recorded hits and a live concert DVD.  All for 12 bucks! 

Revelation, featuring new lead singer Arnel Pineda (almost literally plucked from poverty in Manila), makes no apologies for its existence – it’s the catalyst to get you out to their concerts.  That said, however, the album of new material is pretty good.  It follows the basic Journey pattern, as set out by main songwriters Neal Schon (also the band’s guitarist) and Jonathan Cain (keyboards).  From the exhilarating kick of opener “Never Walk Away,” you know you are in Journey’s wheelhouse: “So young in love, they couldn’t wait,” begins the song and the payoff comes with the chorus, “Never walk away.”   No matter the obstacles or the odds, the protagonists of every song find they cannot give up on love or life or whatever.  Pineda is an able replacement for Steve Perry, and Schon’s guitar pyrotechnics are on full display. 

European versions of the album have an extra song, “Let It Take You Back,” about all the great memories you get with Journey music, and is about as self-serving as it sounds – surely that’s going to be a concert highlight this summer.  Forget about that, and the ill-advised second disc of remakes- Journey’s album of new songs is a worthy purchase for rock fans old and young.

MP3: “Never Walk Away” 

MP3: “Let It Take You Back” (European bonus track)

Journey official website

One Response to “Review: “Revelation,” Journey”

  1. […] has to do whatever he can these days to sell CDs. Wal-Mart worked beautifully for the Eagles, Journey, and AC/DC, so why shouldn’t he follow their lead?  They’ll probably sell the disc for […]

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