It's been 13 years since we've heard from Boston's Extreme. Even in there glory days, they were better and unexpected than their late 80's glam/hair metal peers. Their breakthrough album 'Pornograffitti' (1990) yielded the epic 'More Than Words,' a stunning vocal driven ballad. Never convinced that they should follow the mainstream, Extreme cut their own path with no regard to popular conventions. In their return, Extreme still breaks the mold; 'Saudades de Rock' is an eclectic and impressive mix of innovative melodic rock.
Sometimes on 'Saudades de Rock,' you don't know where Extreme is going simply because of the versatility of styles. But that's alright. The whole work sounds like a major jam session. The song composition and arrangement is speculator; the guitar work incredible; throughout the bass line is deliberative and bright. Everything about this work is simply fine. Extreme rocks and rolls bringing in some beautiful influences. Extreme ventures into melodic rock blues, funk, and even country on this work while, at the same time, invoking modern influences. Gary Cherone has never sounded better; the vocal arrangements , always a definitive characteristic, are simply sterling.
Even though I loved everything about this album, I must point some great tracks. 'Star' is simply a completely cool melodic rock number. In this same motif is 'King Of The Ladies,' with a great and catchy chorus; easily my favorite song on the album. 'Take Us Alive,' which is the title of their tour, blends melodic rock with an obvious country style: very good. Where would Extreme be without some ballads. Though nothing stands out like 'More Than Words,' this does not matter. 'Last Hour' is an innovative and sometimes quirky ballad with a blues feel and fiery guitar work. And 'Ghost' is as mysterious as its name. It's a piano driven song with vocals that remind you of current American Emo-driven rock. But Extreme does it better: more talent and more style. I could go on and on about more songs. This is simply a taste of what your ears will encounter. This excellent music.
With 14 tracks and nearly an hour of music, Extreme's 'Saudades de Rock's an incredibly pleasing work of innovative melodic rock. Each song stands on its own merits. This work is a true delight. Highly recommended!
- Craig Hartranft
After 13 years, what can we expect from Extreme? Nothing but creative and exciting melodic rock. Mixing varied styles with creative arrangements, 'Saudades de Rock' is a monumental work. Prepare to be thrilled and pleased. This is amazing music!