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Saturday, January 25, 2014

CD-Review: Lover Under Cover - "Into The Night"

I was already wondering if a new Last Autumn's Dream album will arrive this month, because usually we get to hear a new album from these guys each year. But this time they released just a Best-Of. So, nothing new from workaholic and singer Mikael Erlandsson this year?  No - how could I think about that. Seems like Erlandsson took a break from LAD to write a new album togehter with his buddy Martin Kronlund. Under the banner "Lover Under Cover" they released their second album "Into The Night" a few days ago.

The first album "Set The Night On Fire" was a solid Melodic Rock record. To me it was Last Autumn's Dream - just with more edges and a more rockin' sound. That hasn't changed so far. This is due to two reasons: first of all the songs are typical Scandi Rock tunes with much melody and some AOR influences. So songwriting is very similar to Erlandsson's main band. Second thing is the voice of Mikael Erlandsson. I always associate this man with LAD, so always when I hear him sing it reminds me at this band. He is still a fantastic singer and I love his voice, which is very clear and raspy at the same time. But what makes the difference to LAD? Like I said the songs sound a bit more rough, there are more guitar riffs and less keyboards. On the other hand Erlandsson sings a bit more aggressive here and there and of course the band members are different.

Speaking about the line-up there is also a similarity to another band: under the banner SALUTE Erlandsson and Kronlund released two albums in the past and the thing is "Into The Night" sounds exactly like Salute. I don't really know why these two guys establish Lover Under Cover now, because they create nothing new here when it comes to sound and songwriting. This could easily be Salute's fourth album. You see, the uniqueness remains on track.

This leads to one problem: some songs are very predictable, so they just pass you by - they are easy to listen to in the background while doing something else, but they don't deliver an intense listening experience.
That means you get to hear again some solid songs, which are played and presented very well, but I think they aren't groundbreaking. Just listen to "Life Is Easy", "The Game Is On" or "Fantasy Man" and you know what I mean. They are nice, they hurt nobody, but I heard this melodies a bit too often now.

Whereever, this album has also some highlights to offer, for example the opener "A Fight". Mikael's fantastic voice can really shine on this one and it features an amazing sing along chorus. Also the darker "Into The Shadows" and the half-ballad "Toy Soldier" are very enjoyable.
The pounding "Playboy No. 7" (which seems to be the heaviest track on this CD) and the sugar-sweet Melodic Rocker "Closer To The Truth" round up a very solid Rock record in the Scandinavian style.

Finally every lover of Mikael Erlandsson's voice and Scandi Rock can't go wrong with this album. It is far away from beeing a failure, because the band is tight and the songmaterial is solid. Same goes to the production. The duo Kronlund/Erlandsson is always a trademark for high quality music, but with "Into The Night" you also realize that the songwriting has worn off a bit. Since there aren't many Melodic Rock releases around in January, fans of this style can easily spend their money for this one.



01. A Fight *
02. Into The Shadows *
03. Miracle
04. Toy Soldier *
05. Crushing Stones
06. Life Is Easy
07. Playboy No. 7 *
08. The Game Is On
09. Fantasy Man
10. Closer To The Truth *
11. No Place Like Home

* best tracks

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