Apparently, being able to cover a Journey song with some skill can provide a singer with greater career possibilities. Vocalist Anders Wigelius was discovered by producer Daniel Flores (Issa, The Murder of My Sweet, Mind's Eye,) ripping through 'Don't Stop Believin' on Swedish television. Anders is quite talented as plays guitar, keyboards, and writes his own songs. He's been heavily influenced by AOR giants like Richard Marx, Toto, Journey and Foreigner. With his older brother Erik on drums, the band Wigelius was formed to offer that classic AOR melodic rock sound.
Anders and company succeed at this quest on their debut album Reinventions. That's a rather quizzical title for this album as Wigelius is not reinventing anything from the genre. Nevertheless, since he's still in his twenties, it's nice to see a younger generation pursing this venerable style.
Fundamental to good AOR is good melodies and hooks, catchy choruses and nice guitar solos. It's all here. Also typical of the genre, the songs are mostly about love and, of course, there's two songs named after chicks. Of these 'love' songs Too Young to Fall in Love, Love Can Be That Much, and There Is No Me Without You are definitive. Wigelius can also show some spunk beyond mild-mannered melodic rock. The aforementioned Too Young To Fall in Love, the opener Angeline, Right Here Right Now, and especially Piece of the Action offer a heavier rock groove.
Overall, there's much to be said for sound and songwriting of Wigelius; this is straight forward AOR melodic rock, no muss and no fuss. The wild card, believe it or not, may be Anders himself. While he's a great vocalist, there's nothing distinctive about his voice. It's rather generic. Unlike when you hear the previously mentioned original 'Don't Stop Believin,' you know it's both Steve Perry and Journey. Nevertheless, considered in the whole, Wigelius does just fine.
Reinventions is easily recommended for AOR fans everywhere.
Vocalist Anders Wigelius and his namesake band offer classic AOR melodic rock, plain and simple, and it's quite good.
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