Since Steve Perry left Journey, the saga of the lead vocalist position could best be described as a revolving door soap opera. Steve Augeri has come and gone. The fabulous Jeff Scott Soto filled in for about a year, more or less, only to be dismissed by the Journey franchise. So the search begins to some how replace 'the voice' of Journey. Enter Filipino Arnel Pineda, a singer who covered Journey songs in his native land (of course, he did) and also fronted the band, (The) Zoo. Unfortunately, the question will always be, does he sound like Perry and can he sing the classics. The answer is yes to both, but Mr. Pineda adds his own mark. Yes, he can croon (ala Perry); yet in his heart, I think he's a rocker. With the songwriting of Neal Schon and Jonathon Cain, 'Revelation' stands as the best Journey album since the chart breaking, arena-packing glory days. It is miles better than 'Generations,' a worthy but substandard effort.
'Revelation' starts out strong with 'Never Walk Away' which has all the signature Journey elements like a brilliant opening lead from Schon to great vocal harmonies to another fine solo to round out the work. Believe me, my hopes were up. Then came 'Like A Sunshower,' a good mellow number, but ultimately unsatisfying. After this track, 'Change For The Better' is exactly that; it's more melodic hard rock where Arnel Pineda shows that he is more a rocker than Steve Perry ever was. His enthusiasm continues on 'Wildest Dream' which also moves fast and Schon delivers some hefty fret work. If you're looking for a quintessential Journey ballad then consider 'After All These Years,' a fine composition where the arrangement moves smoothly and Mr. Pineda delivers the vocals we long for. 'Where Did I Lose Your Love' also shines as a classic Journey composition. Here the whole band shines bringing melodic rock with wonderful vocal harmonies. Returning again to a more melodic hard rock sound, 'What It Takes To Win' definitely delivers. 'Turn Down The World Tonight' is another ballad that many lovers will find speaks to them. Meaningful lyrics combine with a wonderful piano driven arrangement to produce another elemental Journey song. 'Revelation' closes with an entirely instrumental number, 'The Journey' where Schon's expertise on guitar is pushed to the forefront. Call it self-indulgent, yet it's still a fine number.
Journey's 'Revelation' comes as a two CD set. The first disc holds the new material. The second disc is (supposedly) re-recorded versions of their classic songs. However, that still sounds like Steve Perry on vocals. Additionally, a DVD accompanies this set where you can see Arnel Pineda for the first time. Journey embarks on a massive tour this summer with generational peers Heart and Cheap Trick. I'm hoping to check them out at the end of August. As for my conclusions about 'Revelation,' I will stick to my aforementioned statement in the first paragraph. This is a fine work promising to bring Journey back to its former grandeur. Very recommended.
- Craig Hartranft
Again, Journey introduces a new vocalist to fill the rather large shoes of Steve Perry. Is Arnel Pineda up to the challenge? I think so. He can easily mimic Perry, yet his style is more aggressive; Pineda is a rocker. 'Revelation' enjoys all the classic style of Journey with some new enthusiasm. It is definitely a significant accomplishment.
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