Degreed – Are You Ready (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 40:54 minutes | 527 MB | Genre: Hard Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Frontiers Records s.r.l.
Robin Erikkson, Mats Erikkson, Mikael Blanc and Daniel Johansson have come a long long way in six albums. Their focus is clearly on the road ahead, but they steal frequent looks into AOR’s rear view mirror.
They’ve audibly spent the time since the debut honing their songwriting skills to a razorlike sharpness. Systematically shaping their style into one that makes the New Wave of Scandi Melodic Rock a thrilling sensory experience.
Superb opener, ‘Into The Fire’ is more passion than pastiche. Their songs’ dynamics are more assured now, showing us a band with a firm grasp of the essentials and an eye for the finer points, spinning a web of melody into concise, punchy AOR.
It’s the leading edge of an album that brings us a new set of songs that put them up there with Bro Firetribe (Higher), Leverage (Feed The Lie), and Wigelius (Turn Back).
That said, the Queen-like ‘Radio’ is head and shoulders above everything else here. The production and arrangement are powerful and full on, slowly transitioning the song from thumping rock to a cross generational middle section … an emotional surge of instrumental music that blends rock with film score sophistication.
And still, the headlining hooks just keep on coming.
‘Burning’ and ‘Falling Down’ show us amazingly athletic changes of pace. Both going from zero to hero in a heartbeat, delivering two swaggeringly confident choruses that recall Harem Scarem’s best moments.
It’s no exaggeration to say this is a truly absorbing, entertaining melodic rock album. One that could easily be a gateway drug to the AOR of the eighties.
01. Degreed – Into the Fire (03:23)
02. Degreed – Higher (03:48)
03. Degreed – Feed the Lie (03:42)
04. Degreed – Radio (04:50)
05. Degreed – Are You Ready (03:15)
06. Degreed – Burning (03:26)
07. Degreed – Falling Down (03:47)
08. Degreed – Lost in Paradise (03:47)
09. Degreed – Turn Back (04:06)
10. Degreed – We Will Win (03:28)
11. Degreed – Desire (03:18)