WE WERE RAISED ON RADIO
Released on February 19, 2021 (Angeline)
Since the death of original singer Jorgen Sigvardsson in 1995, Sweden’s Angeline endured a rough few years before a tentative comeback of sorts in 2010 with a couple of well-produced EPs and then the nicely received 2018 album Shadowlands – their first album in almost two decades. Less than three years on from that, and with an even more refined sound, their new collection hits the shelves and airwaves.
The radio friendly opener “Helpless” immediately hooks you with its perfect AOR styling, beautifully produced harmonies and memorable chorus which only continues further after the twangy opening to “Closer” that has faint echoes of Danger Danger at their most melodic. There is sterling guitar work from Janne Akegren on the whole album, but “My Heart Won’t Let You Go” allows him the first real opportunity throughout another classy and harmony driven track that reminded me slightly of Trixter. “Raised On Radio” does exactly what it says on its tin but with a real sunset strip nostalgia feel and yet another killer chorus.
“Remission” has a slightly harder edged blues feel with the textured harmonies and the quality rhythm section of Tobbe Jonsson on drums and bassist Uffe Nilsson shining even brighter on this and the mid-tempo stadium. Bon Jovi tinged, “Closer To Forever.” “Baby Come Back” has a slightly funky and dangerous feel to it that is only exemplified by Jocke Nilsson‘s superb vocals. A fact that he further qualifies on the beautiful ballad “Come What May” , a real stirring tearjerker that should be rushed onto the soundtrack of any rom-com worth its salt. The rousing, stadium bouncing, Europe styled “Halfway To Anywhere” is just begging to be released as a single, such is its instantly familiar vibe. The sprawling, epic “Welcome To Paradise” is the longest track but allows the entire band to channel their togetherness with the precision that runs through the entire album and, at 4.32, doesn’t outstay its welcome.
It’s always hard for a band to come back after the loss of a founding member, but Angeline have carefully taken their time to regroup and have followed the very fine “Shadowlands” with an even better collection of songs. The production is clear, the playing, harmonies and lead vocals are simply brilliant throughout the entire album, perfectly befitting the now middle aged men who are clearly relishing what they are doing. It’s not completely flawless AOR but it’s bloody close. A joy.
03. My Heart Won’t Let You Go
04. Raised On Radio
06. Closer To Forever
07. Baby Come Back
08. Come What May
09. Halfway To Anywhere
10. Welcome To Paradise
Jocke Nilsson – vocals
Jann Akegren – guitar
Tobbe Jonsson – drums
Uffe Nilsson – bass
Reviewed by Rockney Colin for Sleaze Roxx, May 2021
Angeline‘s “Closer” lyric video: