On April 18th, Europe released their 9th CD, Bag of Bones. If your only knowledge of Europe is the band’s mega pop metal “The Final Countdown”, you may find yourself disappointed with the band’s latest opus. This is not a pop metal CD. This is a real rock record! For you classic rock fans, Europe has offered up a tasty block of well executed rock that will sound amazing on your turntables, or “gasp” mp3 players.
Europe’s latest long player has a classic, more bluesy feel to the music. There are moments when I hear little bits of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin influence in the music, and I think that is really cool. I love the classic approach that the band took for this album. John Norum dishes out some excellent riffs, but also offers up a variety of styles which shows just how versatile of guitarist he is. Joey Tempest’s voice is as strong as ever, but I think he smartly refrains from going after those super high notes. That makes no difference on the songs on Bag of Bones, as Tempest often proves he has plenty of gas in the tank. He delivers another great vocal performance.
Bag of Bones is more of a guitar oriented album, but the music also has some excellent keyboards in it too. Mic Michaeli’s playing reminds me a lot of Jon Lord on this album. His keys and bluesy approach really enhance the songs on Bag of Bones.
There are plenty of rockin’ cuts on this disc including “Riches to Rags”, “Not Supposed To Sing the Blues”, “Firebox” and my personal favorite “Doghouse”. There really isn’t a bad song in the bunch. This is the type of album that you can listen to beginning to end, and will want to hit repeat afterwards. Bag of Bones may be a bit of a grower for some, but if you give this one a fair chance, I think you will enjoy it quite a bit.
While Bag of Bones has not had an official release in United States, you can still purchase it at a reasonable price from Amazon.com at this link.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Riches to Rags
02. Not Supposed to Sing the Blues
04. Bag of Bones
06. My Woman My Friend
07. Demon Head
08. Drink and a Smile
10. Mercy You Mercy Me
11. Bring It All Home
Joey Tempest – lead and backing vocals
John Norum – guitars
John Levén – Bass
Mic Michaeli – keyboards and backing vocals
Ian Haugland – drums and backing vocals