Elevener is the collaborative work of two childhood friends, Johan Bergquist (vocals, keyboards, bass) and Andreas Brodén (guitar, drums). With a mutual love for AOR style melodic rock, the friends began writing songs together back in 2005. The momentum grew to bring Elevener to the world and the result is 'When Kaleidoscopes Collide.' The album is exactly what you would expect if the 90's never happened. This is melodic rock, pure and simple.
The first thing I noticed when listen to 'Kaleideoscopes' was Bergquist's exceptional vocals. He is smooth and incredibly efficient. The second notable characteristic of Elevener is the fine song compositions; the arrangements are elemental and strong often based on rich vocal harmonies or lush keyboard formulas. Another important feature is the balanced mix: neither artist nor a particular instrument is promoted above others. The mix is equitable and fluid. The result is an album that is rich and full of very good melodic rock. At times, Elevener reminds me of later Ambrosia, but only in certain moments.
As for the songs, I did not find a single dog or filler on the entire album. From beginning to end, 'When Kaleideoscopes Collide' delivers consistent and enthusiastic music. The following song are particularly notable. 'Her Eyes' rocks a bit harder and is filled with some great guitar work from Broden. 'This Heart Of Mine' is classic melodic rock stuffed full of great vocals, melody, and an unbelievably catchy chorus. 'Say If You Want' brings the melody wrapped in rolling rock number. 'All Of My Life' draws upon the great ballads of an era long past. It reveals passion as it soars to a crescendo. These are only a few highlights; there is a lot more to enjoy on this work. If there is a flaw (and they are hard to find), it is that there is an inherent consistency throughout that could easily lead some to find the work monotonous.
Elevener's 'When Kaleideoscopes Collide' displays the brilliant talent and passion of Bergquist and Broden. The know what they love to play and do it very well. Fans of earlier melodic rock will love this album. Others may find it monotonous and syrupy. I thought was great: highly recommended.
Elevener brings solid melodic rock with great arrangements filled with fine melodies, lush keyboards, efficient and satisfying fret work, and grand vocal arrangements. In the works since 2005, 'When Kaleideoscopes Collide' delivers the goods. Very good stuff!
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