I've never failed to be impressed whenever this Swedish trio have popped up on compilations and this excellent album offers ample proof that here is a band with the talent to challenge Mesh and Iris, both of whom act as pointers as to the Michigan sound, not least in the emotive, grandiose and often majestic mood that pervades the album while the grittier edge that the excellent guitar work provides should never be underestimated. Indeed, the rocking choruses that grace "Sorrows" and the chorus of "My Own Denial" are very much a forerunner of the heartfelt power that is the hallmark of Mesh's We Collide album while the ethereal elements serve to emphasise the inherent power in a masterful manner.
Right from the opening "Sad Queen" it's obvious that this is an album that demands to be played LOUD, all the better to appreciate the power that is very much what the album is about and even if I'm not sure the mix is 100% perfect it all works in the band's favour by giving each track an even greater grandeur and is thus an important element in their success with great track following great track. Such is the quality on show here that to single out any highlights would be nigh-on impossible but both "Control Of Me" and "Red Dawn" deserve special mention for the excellent synthleads that add an even greater grandeur while "The Ocean's Wide" boasts an appropriately expansive and powerfully refreshing, uplifting sound. A more strident rhythm line heralds the beginning of "The Collector" which veers slightly towards a more mechanical feel but otherwise maintains the fluid style that is their hallmark. In fact the only slight let-down for me is the ballad "At Times" where the harmonised vocals sound too much like Simon and Garfunkel for comfort with the beautiful piano line only adding to the MOR feel that is conspicuous by its absence elsewhere.
One out of fourteen, however, is good going by anyone's standards with this German reissue boasting 3 bonus tracks, including the all-new "Belong Together" which continues the album's good work along with the stripped down 'April Mix' of "Control Of Me" which isn't without merit, either. Michigan have done themselves proud on this album which is full of poppy yet emotive, powerful and intense music that you'll miss at your peril.
Artist Link: http://www.infacted-recordings.de