The Swedish sleaze kings are back again with the release of 'C'mon Take On Me'. Blending together anthemic choruses and melody have been the blueprint since the bands inception. They have stretched boundaries with heavy, thrash type riffs and aggressiveness that has separated them from many of their counterparts. Joakim Berg (Vocals), Martin Sandvick (Bass), Magnus "Adde" Andreasson (Drums) and Vic Zino (Guitars) have put together a solid record
After the intro 'Cutting The Slack' the record rips into the title track 'C'mon Take On Me'. Its rousing power riff explodes before being led into an infectious chorus. The next two tracks 'One More Minute' and 'Above The Law' trend to unfamiliar territory as both swing for the fences for commercial success.
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Hardcore Superstar has always seemed to manage to be one-step away from modern mainstream music. 'One More Minute' is the first single and it begs for immediate attention. It tries, maybe too hard, to supply a massive sing-along chorus with wide sweeping hooks and chanting of the title. There is no doubt this will be a fan favorite in a live setting.
The almost 'pop' approach of 'Above The Law' may surprise many of the hardcore fans of the band. It embraces a melodic sensibility with a simplistic grove that drives the entire song. The guitar tones also add a nice flavor to the mix along with a catchy riff layered into the bridge before the chorus. It's the most radio friendly song in the bands catalog.
The dark acoustic ballad "Stranger Of Mine" features haunting verses and a somber feel to create an emotional pull into the song. I keep going back to the blazing "Dead Man's Shoes". The guitar is center stage and carries this riff monster of a rocker. The melody entraps the song throughout the duration and sweeps you in.
The rest of the album caters to up-tempo songs that stay on the genres path. Tracks like 'Are You Gonna Cry Now', 'Because Of You', and 'Too Much Business' are good tracks but fail to reach the level of the standouts on the record. The catchy 'Won't Take The Blame Pt.1' is followed by the completely unnecessary 'Won't Take The Blame Pt. 2'. It's basically a repeat of itself and feels like the initial song has been overextended. The closer is a semi-ballad called 'Long Time No See'. It's a powerful song with a strong vocal performance.
'C'mon Take On Me' is a good record but does not match previous efforts. The brilliance of 'Dreamin' In A Casket' or 'Split Your Lip' keeps the bar raised pretty high. This album is full of good songs but only a few stand out from the pack.