If you’re into melodic rock and AOR, then Departure is a must have CD for your collection.
Written by: gdmonline
LABEL: Escape Music
SERIAL: ESM 028
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Kenny Michaels – vocals * Mike Walsh – guitars, keyboards * Jeff Seykot – bass * John O’Connell – keyboards * Steve Pazzalenti – drums * David Rosenthal – keyboards (guest)
TRACK LISTING: 01 Faster * 02 Searchin’ * 03 The Way You Show Your Love * 04 Tonight’s The Night * 05 Is This Love? * 06 Anymore * 07 Howling At The Moon * 08 All So Easy * 09 Eyes Don’t Lie * 10 The Bitter Rage * 11 What Goes Around * 12 Can’t Hurt Me Now
Perhaps one of the new breed of 90’s melodic rock bands that has an affinity with the glory days style being promoted on this site. I remember well the debates on respective newsgroups about the merits of this band, as well as the label they were distributed on (ie: Escape a.ka. messrs Turk and Kirtley).
Well, I can say wholeheartedly this album is a monster AOR release! Period! For all the arguments which split the melodic rock community during 1998 re: the antics of Escape Music, this album is a saving grace, and it really was the efforts of Khalil and Barrie which got a lot of bands some prominence on their LABEL. That there is no doubt.
Who cares if some of them weren’t top notch, but hey, who else apart from N&T were promoting this style of music? No one. Diddly squat. So be thankful you ungrateful bastards! (ha ha). As for Departure, who are another New Jersey product, this is incredible stuff. A great singer and guitarist, with stunning bombastic keyboards all over the show.
There’s a rich mix of Journey, Tour De Force, and Prophet all wrapped up in one package. I’ve played this CD front to back, back to front, and then some, and all the songs are so strong, and considering their influences include those aforementioned references it’s no surprise then that this album is so good.
You’ll notice that David Rosenthal (Red Dawn, Rainbow) makes an appearance as a special guest. I’m not sure what tracks he plays on, but the fact that he’s involved adds to the scorecard.
I am stunned by the quality of the material on offer here. To make comments on these songs would be a waste of time as I’d run out of superlatives before the end of the review.
Anyhow, honourable mentions go to ‘Tonights The Night’ (tell me this isn’t Tour De Force a la the ‘World On Fire’ album), the extremely 80’s pomp and parp of ‘Is This Love’, the moody Shotgun Symphony similarities of ‘Howling At The Moon’, as well as the keyboard-tastic ‘Searchin’. Ooh.. break out those air keyboards please!
‘Eyes Don’t Lie’ has a feel similar to Jess Harnell’s band Loud And Clear, while the last track ‘Can’t Hurt Me Now’ follows along with three bonus tracks tacked on to the end.
If you’re into melodic rock and AOR, then Departure is a must have CD for your collection. This might be a very hard album to track down now, so perhaps a reissue is in order?