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Album Review: Generations

Journeyville Reviews the Newest Release from Journey:

Review by: Lee P Butler

Journey: Generations 

Through the trials and tribulations that have marked the ‘Generations’ of existence that has been the rock ‘super group’ Journey, the band has withstood and even evolved like few other music groups in rock-n-roll history. From multiple line-up changes, to personal tragedies, and eventually a split with the music label they’d spent decades with, Journey endured.

Finally, after losing the vocal image that was promoted for years by the publicity machine, Journey has amplified their musical image with the album Generations. Bridging the divide, the members of Journey were able to produce a collaborative array of styles and musical voices that has led to an album that contains not only contributions from the writing nucleus of Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain, but vocals from every member of the band.

Starting with Steve Augeri’s smooth, soulful vocals, on Generations he sounds even more comfortable with the group than on their two earlier albums and his song writing ability melds perfectly with the musical quality of the Journey sound. He has now become a member of the band without his voice being a stand-alone distraction from the attitude and importance of the music they are producing.

Augeri gives stellar performances on The Place in Your Heart, Butterfly (She Flies Alone), Out of Harms Way, and especially Beyond The Clouds, a song that clearly displays Augeri's talent and allows him to reach the listener on an emotional level unlike anything he's ever produced with Journey.

The rhythm section of Valory and Castronovo is as tight as it has ever been, with both also contributing lead vocals. Ross Valory gives a Billy Gibbons-esque sound to the hard-rocking/blues song Gone Crazy that is a cross between ZZTop and Damn Yankees.

Deen Castronovo shines as he adds his vocals to two songs, A Better Life and Never Too Late. His vocal talent is of a quality that many bands would wish their lead singers could display.

Neal and Jon give solid performances as their guitar and keyboard work, respectively, complements each other in classic Journey fashion and their song writing shines as they produced songs that are reminiscent of their Eighties hits. Contributing to that sound is the production work of Kevin Elson who also produced Departure, Captured, Escape, and Frontiers.

Generations completes the trifecta so many 'super groups' search so desperately to attain, but rarely seem to achieve. After Escape and Frontiers, Journey found the third opus to bridge the final gap in the historical evolution of Journey's musical saga.

From their post-Santana musical experimentation, to the 'super group' mega-hit heyday, then finally to a musical maturity that demonstrates a depth only life experiences can provide.

As Journey fans from around the world have come to expect on Journey albums, the music on Generations moves flawlessly from emotionally charged power-ballad (Knowing That You Love Me) to soaring melodic rock song (Faith In The Heartland) to full out guitar-driven hard rocker (In Self-Defense), a song produced in 1983 by the hit-writing trio of Schon/Cain/Perry that fully demonstrates the completed bridge in Journey history. All without missing a beat or stopping for a break.

A solid album from start to finish, Generations has three hits songs that stand out from the rest: The first released single, The Place In Your Heart, Beyond The Clouds, and Never Too Late which is superbly sung by Deen Castrononvo.

In addition to the 13 original song tracks on Generations, it contains a bonus feature video of behind the scenes footage, interviews, and more.

Overall, Generations is a complete four-and-a-half star album that will impress and satisfy the musical appetite of 'Every Generation' and proves that Journey deserves it's rightful place in the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame as one of the greatest rock bands in history.