Before we can even consider this album, ‘Bag Of Bones’ by Swedish Supergroup Europe, we must understand the process it took to get here. We’re not talking about the greatest achievements of the band or how long it took to record the album or even if they got a talking monkey to produce it. What we are talking about is what’s hot, and what is not, over the years.
Classic rock bands these days are throwing out their synthesizers and keyboards and bringing in the raunchier, heavier riffs because that is what the kids of today are listening to. I mean, let’s face it; they want people to buy this album right? Whitesnake are a prime example of a band who does this well. With their newest album ‘Forevermore’ coming out last year, it received positive feedback from not just critics. But the thing that David Coverdale does in Whitesnake that our friends in Europe haven’t is he bought in younger, fresher musicians to bring that younger, fresher sound. Europe have reformed with the original line up, so their ‘young and fresh’ outlook is definitely out the window…or is it?
In 2004, after Europe reformed they brought with them a new album called ‘Start From The Dark’ where the first attempt at this new ‘young’ sound was made. And to be honest, they didn’t quite do it well. And in the album after that, ‘Secret Society’, they made a better effort, but still hadn’t mastered it. But, when the band swapped labels and went to earMUSIC, the home of Deep Purple, Foreigner and Savatage, the band were winning back the audience with their last album ‘Last Look At Eden.’
So this brings us to ‘Bag Of Bones’, the ninth album by the band and the second on earMUSIC, and maybe this time, they might have nailed it.
The short answer is: HELL YEAH. Opening track ‘Riches To Rags’ brings back that classic glam rock Supergroup act that was so iconic in the ’80s, but with that modern twist that we’ve all been craving. With bluesy riffs and Joey Tempest‘s signature high pitched squeals Europe are back in the game this year.
The track ‘Not Supposed To Sing The Blues’ is by far one of the most influential songs on the album, showing clear signs of becoming the nation’s favourite very soon. With the raunchy guitars and the drone of the bass, this hip-waving, head-turning track is what new age classic rock is all about.
Title track ‘Bag Of Bones’ is yet another masterpiece on the album. With that blues tempo thumping through the speakers, this is what Europe fans have been craving for some time now.
‘Drink And A Smile’ and ‘Firebox’ are arguably the two strongest songs on the album. With that haunting guitar riff and melodic drum beats, you get that over-powering urge to throw your hands up in the air and shout just like a good classic rock ballad should.
Closing off the album is the track ‘Bring It All Home’ which offers nothing but soulful, heartfelt lyrics and slow elegant guitars. This is a perfect tune to unwind to or plug into your iPod and relax with on a summer’s evening.
To classic rock lovers across the world, this album does not disappoint: it only delivers the best of what Europe can give. It seems that after playing with Whitesnake that one time in 2008 they’ve picked up a thing or two about how to keep that classic sound and make it young and fresh at the same time. It’s still noticeably Europe, with a few modern tweaks. Definitely one for the CD collection.
Reviewer: Louisa Smith