Review by Woody
Antblad has been around for a long time, working hard as a songwriter and working on various projects, but believe it or not Century is actually his debut solo album. The album did get delayed for various label related issues but was rescued and released by Andrew McNiece’s Melodic Rock Records label. It’s taken me a while to get round to this review, but it’s worth noting that Antblad has recently released his follow up album A New Dawn on the resurrected Atenzia record label.
Century is a solid release of pure AOR with plenty of west coast touches and nods to AOR heroes Toto and Richard Marx. Whilst I would argue the fact this is a very strong album with virtually no filler, I do feel the lack of some real stand out ‘single’ type tracks fails to make the album reach ‘classic’ status. That said this is classy collection of feel-good summer drenched AOR and I love Antblad’s warm vocal style which suits this type of music perfectly.
Antblad can craft a catchy melody and chorus with ease and he is a pretty decent lyricist, obviously his years of experience are shown here. Although the album as a whole has a feel good ambience not all the lyrics are happy-go-lucky, some of the songs do have a bittersweet edge to the lyrics, which is something I love.
The album kicks off with anthemic AOR rocker ‘A Fire Burning’ which has a real uplifting vibe and a smooth chorus. ‘Century’ is a West Coast rocker with a driving guitar hook and some wonderful keys. ‘Asleep In Your Arms’ is a strong song with a huge Toto inspired chorus.
Ballad, ‘Battlefields’, is an atmospheric Richard Marx style track with a great chorus and a bittersweet feel. ‘Get In The Car’ is a great upbeat rocker with a memorable chorus, while my favourite track ‘When Fools Rush In’ has a catchy sing-a-long chorus and it has an amazingly upbeat vibe. It has some wonderful keys and guitar hooks which really makes the track stand out.
‘I Stand Corrected’ is a fast tempo rocker which hits you on first play and has a memorable chorus. ‘Home For Me Is You’ is a catchy-as-hell feel good tune with some killer melodies. ‘I’m Gonna Make You Mine’ is a driving anthemic style West Coast rocker with impressive vocals from Antblad.
‘Be Mine’ is a ballad that again remind me of Richard Marx style atmospherics and I love Antblad’s warm vocals on this song. ‘Jealous Eyes’ is a driving rocker with some cool guitar licks. I love the killer keyboards on mid-tempo rocker ‘I’ll Keep Holding Onto Love’ which has a catchy anthemic chorus and is one of the strongest tracks. The album closes with ‘Living On A Lie’ a mid –tempo rocker with some delightful melodies, that I really like the lyrics of.
Century is a must-buy album for fans of pure AOR and West Coast music, if you want to give your stereo a rest from Toto or Marx! This is a fantastically warm, feel-good album dripping with delicious melodies and stunning choruses. You best get this one ready for when that late autumn sun comes out and your lily-white skin breathes air again!
8 out of 10
- Visit Melodic Rock Records here for more on Chris Antblad