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Monday, December 28, 2015

CD-Review: Last Autumn's Dream - "Paintings"

Every new year sees a new Last Autumn's Dream release. That is as safe as the "Amen" in a church and so the forthcoming record "Paintings" will be released in the end of February 2016. Three years ago I said that the quality doesn't suffer under the annual releases. Now we are at some point where it does. But let me explain this in this review.

First I want to make something clear: "Paintings" is by far not a bad album. It delivers once more the well-known mixture of traditional midtempo AOR tunes and slow ballads. That all is packed in a solid production with some remarkable vocals from singer Mikael Erlandsson. You also have some pretty good songs like "Out Of Love", "Take It On The Run" (REO Speedwagon cover) and "Bring Out The Heroes" on this release as well as the obligatory fillers - like always. Maybe you guys can guess what my point is. I simply don't see some development here, something that keeps everything interesting or makes it better in comparison to previous records.

Meanwhile I reached a point where I simply feel satiated. I'm satiated of always the same melodies, same arrangements, same song structures - I've heard them way too often in recent years and back then they were even better. That leads to one major problem: some of the songs on "Paintings" are simply boring to me. I know that sounds hard, but that's what it is: boring. Last Autumn's Dream repeat themselves too often. For sure, there are many bands out there, who do the same thing, BUT they don't do it every single year over and over again. And that's why I'm so tired of it. I listened to this album for a few times now to write this review and when this text is done I don't feel the need to go back to this album once more and that says something. 

I could repeat everything in this review I wrote about previous records. The only thing that makes Last Autumn's Dream still relevant to me (and which defines this band) is the charismatic and unique voice of Mikale Erlandsson. He is a true blessing for this band and I love his vocals. But in case of songwriting and presentation, there are so many other Scandi Rock bands out there who are far better nowadays. Take a look at H.e.a.t or the new Nordic Union - just to mention a few. Those bands also don't reinvent the wheel, but somehow everything feels more fresh and creative. I really would appriciate it if Last Autumn's Dream would take a break from two or three years and then come back with an album full of hits , where they simply had the time to collect song ideas over a longer period of time. The last album of these guys, which blew my mind was "A Touch Of Heaven" from 2010 and it still is one of my favorite albums of all time. That was exciting for me.

If those points don't bother you and you are a LAD hardcore fan, then for sure you can't do something wrong with "Paintings". The band sounds still tight and they are all skilled musicians, so there is nothing to complain about in this case. The record has also a warm sound there is nothing that sounds terrible, it's just this repetitive songwriting on each new album. I hope you understand my point and why this album gets a lower rating this time.

In conclusion I just can say "Paintings" is like every other LAD album in recent years. Not mindblowing, but also not terribly bad. It has solid (but also some average) songmaterial on it and some strong vocals, but personally I don't like to listen to the same LAD album over and over again for years now. If you can't get enough of Scandi Rock or if you never heard something from Last Autumn's Dream before you can give this a listen. It may be much more satisfying for you if you don't know previous records.



01. My Mistake To Make
02. Bring Out The Heroes *
03. Out Of Love *
04. Too Late
05. Take It On The Run *
06. Wont'cha Stay The Night
07. An Eye For An Eye
08. Bitter Blue
09. In Case Of Landing On Water
10. Rock Star Crazy

* best tracks

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