July 24, 2008

Music Review: Journey - Revelation

Arnel Pineda is revered as a rock vocal god among Filipinos all these years. Last year, he got the biggest break of his career when legendary American rock band Journey discovered him and invited him to join the group. We've seen, heard, and raved on his performances (as seen on YouTube and other video-sharing sites). Finally, Arnel cements his Journey frontman status with the band's new recording, Revelation.

I have the two-disc album. The first cd features fresh new Journey materials, while the second cd contains remakes of Journey's timeless, classic hits with Arnel on vocals. Overseas, the album is a 3-disc package. The third disc is a live in-concert dvd, which was filmed on March 8th, 2008, during Journey's performance at the Planet Hollywood Theatre for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada. I'm hoping that the 3-disc set will become available here in the Philippines.

I've been a Journey fan ever since I started checking out their former drummer, the legendary Steve Smith. As expected, the music on the new album is impressive. Recording quality is topnotch, thanks to producer Kevin Shirley. Current drummer Deen Castronovo's performance is rock solid. On the remakes, Deen faithfully played Steve Smith's drum parts, which the former described as perfect for the songs. Among the new songs, my favorite drumming performance of Deen is Wildest Dream (watch out for his double bass attack at the end of the song). And regarding the vocal performance, what more can I say? Arnel is incredible! And it seems that Arnel generates so much energy and makes the tunes feel so much better (no disrespect to the great Steve Perry, who is of course a certified vocal god). Thank God guitarist Neal Schon found Arnel; he's a prize catch.

My favorite tracks on the first cd are Never Walk Away, Change For The Better, After All These Years, and What It Takes To Win; on the second cd: Faithfully, Separate Ways (Worlds Apart), Lights, Open Arms, and Stone In Love. Buy the album. It's so worth it.

ARNEL PINEDA, YOU ARE THE KING!!! Mabuhay ang musikong Pinoy!!! You make us Filipinos very proud.