Let's talk about cheese. There's real cheese like cheddar, Swiss and the expensive stinky stuff they sell in the deli section at Albertson's. Then there's stuff posing as cheese, those individually wrapped slabs of screaming yellow waxy matter, aerosol cheese that comes in a can, and Velveeta, whatever that stuff is. If music were cheese, Survivor would fall into the latter variety.
Their breakout third album Eye Of The Tiger is a heapin' helpin' of 80's pop-rock cheese, a big greasy wheel of imitation gouda, a hard shiny veneer masking something soft and stinky underneath.
The disc opens with the ubiquitous title track, made famous as the theme music from Rocky III(the one with Mr. T, for those of you keeping score.) Featuring one of the best-known intros in the history of recorded music, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't recognize it from the first few bars, and I haven't been to a hockey game in 20 years where they didn't play it. Give the boys their due on that one; it's a classic and lots of people love it, and on the whole it's not a bad song even for cheese, standing the test of time. Dubya used it during his campaign and the band even dusted off the keytar to parody themselves playing it in a hilarious Starbucks ad.
Sadly, that song is the high point of the album. The remaining eight tracks find Survivor doing their utmost to be Journey in every respect. These songs are heavy on keys and big guitar riffs, and singer Dave Bickler is up on his tip-toes trying to reach those castrati notes that only Steve Perry could ever do justice to. Not to mention there are some absolutely hideous harmony vocals here.
The songs are so generic it's laughable. There's nothing even mildly interesting either lyrically or musically beyond the title track. I was trying to find something interesting to say about this disc or the band but I drew a blank. And that's about all that needs to be said.