Frontiers Records (2012)
These days, talent can be discovered as easily through YouTube or television shows as it used to be slugging it out in the bar scene 30 years before. Vocalist Anders Wigelius came to the attention of producer Daniel Flores through his work on a Sweden national talent show, who broadcasted his rendition of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’”. Joining him on this 12 song AOR/melodic rock “Reinventions” debut is guitarist Jake Svensson, bassist Chris Pettersson and drummer / older brother Eric Wigelius- so it shouldn’t be shocking that this young singer performs with a strong similarity to Journey, Toto, and Richard Marx based on several passes with this record.
“Angeline” opens with a steel factory feel before the guitars charge through the mix, and Anders resides comfortably over the mix with melodies that are two parts AOR, one part hard rock. Often the hooks come early, be it guitar-wise on “Next To Me” or the vocal intro on “Hold On To Love” – essential to the heart of great melodic rock. The playful aspect of Wigelius comes out on the highway cruising “Piece Of The Action” which features some ZZ Top-like licks and blues harp action, as well as the engaging acoustic number “Love Can Be That Much” that recalls Richard Marx when he was regularly selling out sports arenas during his non-stop top five singles mania from 1988-1991. The piano driven ballad “There Is No Me Without You” allows Anders to flex more of his lower range during the verses, but do not fear as he turns on his charm and grace during the chorus.
Frontiers really know how to put the best songwriting and production values at the forefront for their artists, and “Reinventions” as a result is another gem for the new melodic rock generation to rally around.
Rating: 5 / 6
Composed by Matt Coe