With their debut When Kaleidoscopes Collide Swedish duo Elevener, consisting of Johan Bergquist (bass, keyboards, vocals) and Andreas Broden (drums and guitar) really hit the mark back in 2008. It was a crafty and coherent rock album with a sweet and airy Westcoast sound. The distinctive, nasal vocals done by Bergquist (that reminded me of Talk Talk singer Mark Hollis) really set the album apart and it ended up high in my list of favorite album of the year.
Three years later many things have changed with the release of their sophomore effort called Symmetry In Motion. Founding member Broden left the band to make room for newcomers Magnus Lindqvist (guitar) Pierre Wensberg (vocals), Anton Roos (drums) and Robert Garnold (bass) turning Elevener into a real five piece band now. No need to tell you my hopes where high towards this release, but high hopes are usually not the best start judging a new record.
Eleven (of course) new tracks are on offer and after numerous spins I still haven't figured out whether I like the album or not. Let me give away the conclusion that Symmetry In Motion hosts a number of really good, well written and well produced tracks that meet the requirements of a modern day melodic rock record with ease. With tracks like opener Just As I Thought, Written In Your Eyes, Cage Of Broken Dreams, Heal Me and You Got What It Takes the trip down memory lane is also made easy.
But the remainder of the songs are too indifferent. The ballads Dare To Love and For The Times We Share never capture me and both heavier tracks Tearing Me Down and Modern Times seem a bit lost on this disc. They remind me of Journeys Eclipse and give me that same unsettled feeling. I am not aware of the goals the band set out with this album, but it seems they tried to do too much. That's when danger comes in, chasing too many goals might leave you with nothing.
However, saying Symmetry In Motion is nothing would be far from the truth since there are too many good tracks on the play list. Still, they are not half as well strung together as on When Kaleidoscopes Collide and new singer Wensberg delivers the goods, but it was Bergquist's voice that differentiated the debut from the pack. And that summarizes the problem with Symmetry In Motion, it's good but it does not stand out in the consistent flow of good melodic rock albums to emerge every day. With Symmetry In Motion Elevener are hiding in the pack again. Not a bad pack, but it feels like a missed opportunity.