Palace - Rock And Roll Radio

Palace (Sweden) – Rock And Roll Radio


Swede Michael Palace is up to album number 3 as 2020 clocks off, it’s typical AOR, has a load of melody, spacious production, in a ‘one man does it all’ show.

Written by: gdmonline

ARTIST: Palace (Sweden)
ALBUM: Rock And Roll Radio
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2020
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Michael Palace – all vocals, instruments * Jordan Cox – backing vocals (#2) * Oscar Bromvall – lead guitar (#6)

TRACK LISTING: 01 Rock And Roll Radio * 02 Castaway * 03 Way Up Here * 04 Cold Ones * 05 Eleonora * 06 Hot Steel * 07 My Gray Cloud * 08 Origin Of Love * 09 She’s So Original * 10 Strictly By The Rules * 11 When It’s Over * 12 Fight

RATING: 80/100



Swedish musician Michael Palace is up to album number three just as the year 2020 clocks off, and aren’t we all pleased about that! I’ve enjoyed his music over the last four years, it’s fairly rudimentary AOR but it is given a boat load of melody and the production is really good. Let’s not forget Michael is actually playing all of the instruments and singing all the vocals and the arranging, he’s a pretty talented guy.

If you heard the first two albums then what’s on offer here won’t come as a surprise to you. There’s plenty of keys and synths, the guitar is obviously a feature because that’s Michael’s main instrument, but the vocals really stand out too. The modern-day Aldo Nova? Possibly.

The Songs

The fun and games begin with the bubbly title track ‘Rock And Roll Radio’, an 80’s workout with all the production traits from three decades ago, including brass parps, a stinging guitar solo and a whole bunch of synths. I was reminded of fellow Swedes Houston when listening to ‘Castaway’, though that change-up during the mid-section was unusual.

‘Way Up Here’ is archetypal AOR that many of us know and love, graced with light verses and a happy vibe chorus. I’m guessing the track ‘Cold Ones’ is not about our favourite weekend beer. Nope. I did read the lyrics but couldn’t pick the bones. The sax solo was also a change-up moment.

‘Eleonora’ (in Australia at least) was the name of a popular racehorse a few years ago, but I doubt Michael is singing a power ballad about a four-legged equine heroine. I’d say it’s about a two-legged girl with just as much hair as my horsey friend. Good song even if the phrasing is a tad uneven.

‘Hot Steel’ is where Palace lift the tempo a touch and adds some metal to the equation. It comes across as a bit throwaway though. Basic to the point of filler. The acoustic/electric blend of ‘My Gray Cloud’ kinda works, it fits nicely with the modern style of melodic rock.

‘Origin Of Love’ is probably the best representation of the Palace sound, chugging guitars, Steve Newman styled vocals and a choice chorus. When Michael sings about origins, it sounds like ‘oranges of love’.

‘She’s So Original’ is a busy track with stacked choruses being the main feature. ‘Strictly By The Rules’ is a relationship song by the looks of things, reading the lyrics is a source of confusion on my part.

‘When It’s Over’ takes on a West-Coast identity, not unlike Toto fused with Bill Champlin for instance. Quite funky. ‘Fight’ wraps up things, without doubt this is the album’s anthem moment. A song the great Stan Bush could write in his sleep.

In Summary

Certainly, the production on this album is damn good. However only a few of the songs really stood out, the rest hovering in the middle ground without truly setting the world on fire. I need to spend more time with it to let the songs settle in a bit more, so it will be hanging around the deth-deck for a few weeks, at least up until Christmas.


Way Up Here

Palace - "Way Up Here" - Official Music Video

Palace - "Castaway" - Static Video

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