Developed first as a songwriting team for other artists, Mikkel Bryde (v,k) and Jes Kirstein (g) discovered they would rather play their own music, than let others do it. Therefore, they built a band as Raspberry Park was born from veterans of Denmark's rock music scene. With their first album, Scratchin' The Surface, these veterans have cooked up a solid collection of classic AOR melodic hard rock.
I'll admit at the start that, when I listened to the video for Paradise, I wasn't all that impressed with Raspberry Park, notably Bryde's vocals, and so I wasn't ready to review the album. But knowing, for the most part, Power Prog Records doesn't sign or distribute crap bands, I thought I'd give the band and album a full listen. Paradise, thanks to the catchy chorus, heavier groove, and fine solo, did grow on me. As did Bryde's vocals, which are varied, bit raspy, but always melodic. And there's even better songs than Paradise on this album.
There's more edgier songs, like Paradise, with Let Them Burn, Straight to the Bone, and Dangerous Zone with stronger riffs and a thick bottom end. Yet, none these skimp on groove, melody or crackin' guitar solos. Raspberry Park takes a turn towards AOR with other songs like the breeze and bouncy, and tasty chorus of Can't Get Out; the slow burning groove of I'm The Only One; and, the radio-friendly, arena anthem ready, groove and guitar driven Friends & Lovers. There is one true ballad, the lightest song here: One Second, which features mostly Bryde and his piano. Though I mentioned Let Them Burn earlier, along with I'll Stay, they weren't all that engaging.
Nevertheless, as I said at the start, this is a well-rounded album of classic AOR melodic rock and, as the title suggests, I think Raspberry Park is only scrathing the surface of what lies ahead for this talented band. But the band should have opened up their collective wallets for some better art work as the current art is visually boring, and betrays the fine music within.
Scratchin' The Surface is a well-rounded album of classic AOR melodic rock and, as the title suggests, I think Raspberry Park is only scrathing the surface of what lies ahead for this talented band.
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