I am by no means the king of AOR. I leave that to certain friends of mine. Mostly I find much of it too flowery with all the keyboards. I prefer a little more “dick punch” to my grooves. That said there are a few AOR bands that do rise above the grade. The songs have more beat and balls to them. They don’t sound exactly like the song before it. The guitar solos are engaging. Age of Reflection is one such band and their available last week release Age of Reflection – A New Dawn is one such album.
After a long hiatus from music and concerts for reasons I’ll not delve into here, I returned and heightened my game. World traveling came into effect and I started attending foreign festivals a few years ago. So, back in June of this year, I attended the Swedish AOR Convention, presented by Johan Nylen, known as “Dr. AOR”. As I said, many AOR bands don’t tweak my nipples so to speak, but in support of Johan, the music scene in general and a couple of bands and friends, there I was. When Age of Reflection delivered more kick than I expected, I was impressed. Coming up, I will see them at H.E.A.T. Festival in Germany this December and hopefully also at Indoor Summer 2020. And now I’ve received the latest album effort for review on CGCM.
Age Of Reflection – A New Dawn (Album Review)
Let’s see what Age of Reflection in recorded form does for the ole Meister. The A New Dawn release starts off with a 1:30 intro titled “Aurora”. Man, I really hate intros to albums feeling they are just a complete waste of time in 99% of the case. But then we get into the meat with “A New Dawn”. The track starts off with a tastefully executed guitar solo/guitar work with exhibiting more punch than expected from an AOR record.
“Stay with Me” has some infectious sing-along capabilities and more guitar virtuoso. The chorus, though, while it features those capabilities, is a little more AOR-ish. The fourth finds “Here I Stand” starting out with a piano beginning and my excitement becoming doubtful. But before long we are enveloped by more juicy riffage. Just enough to dampen the AOR that’s threatening to take over ahead of another sing-along chorus.
Still riding high on the riffs through track 5, “Until Death Do Us Part”, the ballad, “What If I Break”, rears it’s ugly head in the sixth position. A woman’s spoken plea about someone walking out on her begins “Go”. The track has a real verve to it charging through the runtime for more of a high energy banger. Then “Never Alone Again” leads through to…
…And the Crowning Glory…
When I was a young kid, like maybe 13 and started getting into music, 80s pop was the flavour. Back when the radio was where you listened to music. I saved paper route cash and would visit Records On Wheels each week to pick up the latest ’45 singles. I loved the Cutting Crew‘s song “(I Just) Died In Your Arms” and put aside extra change for weeks to get the full Broadcast album. No, it doesn’t gel with my current Heavy Metal tastes in music, but it’s one of my favourite albums of all time. And here Age of Reflection presents a cover version of “(I Just) Died In Your Arms”. It stays true to that original, but freshened up and heavied up with some delicious guitar work in place of the keyboards. This one’s showing up on a CGCM Podcast episode for sure! Meister likes!
A New Dawn wraps up with “Write It On The Wall” and “Can’t Let Go” for an all-around enjoyable listen.
The Meister’s Summary of Age Of Reflection – A New Dawn
And there you have it from a guy who doesn’t really gel with AOR but who likes this album….alot…more than I should probably.
Find more of my album reviews here: Meister Music