Traces

Steve Perry

Concord, 2018

http://steveperry.com

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 10/22/2018

Well, it’s here. Almost 25 years after his last solo album and 20 years since he made any music at all, Steve Perry has finally returned. Though his voice has aged a bit, the overall power is still there. I have to admit I wasn’t going into this with a lot of hope, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Unfortunately, even though it’s 2018, Perry is still stuck in an AOR mode. Opening song “No Erasin’” has the feel of a Journey song circa 1980, right down to the keyboard flourishes and that kind of diminishes the power and feel. While many people would be okay with this, it does feel that the song needs updating in order to really sound cool and relevant.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“We’re Still Here” is another nostalgic rocker that actually works; it’s a bit of a ballad at the same time, but I dig it because it’s interesting and very retro but has enough of a modern feel to really work and come across exceptionally well.

“Most Of All” is straight up ballad, something Perry has truly excelled at in that last 40 years or so. While it’s just an okay song musically, his vocals really do stand out. “Sun Shines Gray” is a full-on rocker, although still stuck a bit in the ‘80s. His voice still soars but it’s clear this is more of a nostalgia trip than anything else.

“You Belong To Me” is where you really hear his full, un-fixed vocals, and while you can hear his age, it’s endearing to hear him again, playing the music that he’s best at. No one’s going to say this is one of best records of the year, but it’s always nice to take a trip down memory lane

“Easy To Love” is a lightweight pop song that really takes me back to why I love classic ‘60s and ’70s oldies! It’s pure, it’s polished, there’s no pretentiousness to it – it’s just good music, pure and simple. This is really great song and one that took me aback by how smooth it actually was.

If you’re a fan of Journey and still love ‘80s AOR rock, then this is definitely the record you’ve been waiting for. Otherwise, some might be disappointed by the plainness of the record, but if you dig enough, you’ll find more than enough great material here to welcome back Steve Perry after all these years away.

Rating: B-

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