This is the debut album of “Code Red” a new Swedish AOR band with the combined tallents of Morgan Jensen (Swedish Erotica) and Michael Palace ,
who seems to be in a lot of new albums lately ? Together with Daniel Flores on the drums and handling the production !
But as soon as I saw the name of “Ulrick Lönnqvist” who we all know as the singer from “Sahara” (2001) I almost knew what to expect !
The “Sahara” album is one of my all time favorites so this here could be huge !?
Ulrick co-wrote songs with Hal Marabel (Bad Habit), Morgan Jensen (Swedish Erotica), Jake E (Amaranthe), Michael Palace (Palace) and Andreas Gullstrand (Creye) to name a few.
With all this amazing tallent on board this can’t go wrong as far as I’m concerned !
The album opens with the amazing rocking song,
— “I won’t be your hero” , the song kicks right in with amazing guitars and Mr. Ulrick shows here right away that he still can sing a tune !!!!!
– Man where have you been all those years ? –
He still sings above average than what is needed for this style of rock music ! The song reminds me a lot of “Arena Sweden” !!
Great guitar solo half way !! This is only the first song and already I’m sold !
— “Heat of the night” is simply another stunning example of Mr. Ulrick’s amazing tallent !
I almost can’ t believe what I’m hearing…the lyrics here will enter your brain and stay there for days to come !
This is Melodic Music with cappital “M” !!
— “Lift me up” has a mid tempo , nice Scandinavian vibe in it ! Hard to explain but true AOR lovers will know what I mean (think Bad Habbit , Arena Sweden…) The song gives me goosebumbs all over, it is so beautyful…so damn perfect in every way !
I’m starting to drift away to a world where all’s fine , where everybody laughs………
— “My Hollywood ending” is in the same vain, a midium tempo highlight that has the exclusive brand “Made in Sweden” written all over it.
An overdose of keyboards combined with superb guitars that commands me to turn the volume up a bit more !!
— “Saving Grace” opens strong with solid guitars but mellows down as soon as Ulrick appears with his perfect voice…
Just listen to this song…I’m in AOR heaven….the composition of the songs is from the highest possible level ! True Scandi AOR !!
— “Eternal pretender” is from the same high class songwriting ! The talent of these guys is so remarkable high ! It takes me back to times when I was still a young boy !
I was just discovering this amazing kind of music ! When I heard Journey for the first time………well this feels just like that….to be honnest, it feels even better ! From now on if someone asks me what is AOR or why I listen to it, I will only play this song….that should do it I guess !!
— “Like I remember you” is a nice power ballad that makes me drift even further away…remembering all the good things from then.
Things were so different back then , less complicated ! Listen to the lyrics of the song…..it almost made me cry !!
— “Forever and a day” an amazing rock song where Mr. Ulrick shines again ! If I could only name 2 of my favorite AOR singers then he is deffinitly one of those 2 !! He makes singing seem so natural like it’s an easy thing to do (all in a days work for Mr. Ulrick I guess).
And it just doesn’t stop…..listen to the next song,
— “Returning the flame” , this song is so amazingly beautiful that I’m in my own little world by now, all the rest is like a big blurr around me.
If I should die now, I’ld die a happy man ! Despite my personal problems I had the last few months, I’m actually feeling fine right now !
— “Are you leaving now” closes this masterpiece of an album. Big choruses sung by the master himself….with an overflow of guitars and keyboards…and Daniel Flores just giving all he’s got and more !
With my thoughts slowly returning back to the world of today I can easily say that this is more than what I even could imagine at the start !!
I’ve been listening to AOR now for almost 30 years and I’m not easily impressed , but hearing these gentlemen play ,
I must say that this is even beyond that !
I’ve changed my nr 1 album for my year list a few times by now , but those who top this have yet to be born ! It’s simply not possible anymore !!
The golden years of AOR / Melodic rock music may be over but these guys surely bring it back for a while and they do it with such great style !
This is a MUST BUY for every AOR fan worldwide !!
Here’s again the video for the amazing “Heat of the night” , enjoy !
Tracklist: Band members:
01 I Won’t Be Your Hero Ulrick Lönnqvist – Lead and backing vocals, Acoustic guitars
02 Heat Of The Night Morgan Jensen – Electric guitars
03 Lift Me Up Oscar Bromvall – Lead guitars
04 My Hollywood Ending Michael Palace – Bass and backing vocals
05 Saving Grace Kaspar Dahlqvist – Keyboards
06 Eternal Pretender Daniel Flores – Drums
07 Like I Remember You
08 Forever And A Day
09 Returning The Flame
10 Are You Leaving Now?