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Sunday, April 10, 2016

CD-Review: Treat - "Ghost Of Graceland"

It's kind of a surprise to hear something new from the legendary Scandi-Rock act Treat these days, because three years back they announced the end of the band. To be honest in my opinion it was a good decision at that time, because with their previous album "Coup De Grace" Treat were on the top of their game. It just couldn't get any better. CDG was praised by press and fans all over the world and so it seemed acceptable to me to end the journey when you are at your best - just to keep the legacy alive. With that in mind the new record "Ghost Of Graceland" has big shoes to fill. I'll tell you if the resurrection of Treat can live up to its hype.

When I first saw the cover artwork of "Ghost Of Graceland" I thought this will be a quiet dark album, but you don't need to worry, this record comes along in best Treat-fashion with some catchy melodies and a very positive vibe. Maybe the lyrics are a bit more mature and have more substance than on previous records.

I think the most important question is: can this album stand against "Coup De Grace"? Short and simple: no, it can't. This is due to two reasons: first of all "Ghost Of Graceland" has more of an classic AOR record this time, which means everything is a bit more polished and it simply doesn't rock that hard. "Coup De Grace" had more energy to offer, which made it sound very fresh. You don't have that effect here. In a very few moments Treat sound even a bit tired in my opinion. The second problem is the songwriting itself. Many of the hooks and melodies aren't that big anymore, there are not so many songs that catch your balls and pull you right in. Outstanding tracks like "The War Is Over" or "Skies Of Mongolia" are simply missing here. That don't mean that we have to deal with bad songmaterial here. It's all quiet solid and easy to listen to while driving in your car or doing something else, but for an intense listening experience it simply lacks at variety.

Nevertheless Treat fans will definietely find what they are looking for. It's obvious that Treat wanted to re-create that style and essence from "Coup De Grace" and a song like "Too Late To Die Young" captures that spirit quiet well. It's one of the more rockin' tracks on this album. The big vocal harmonies are also still there and other tunes like "I Don't Miss The Misery", "Endangered", "Alien Earthlings", and "Do Your Own Stunts" feature some very memorable choruses that spread this feel-good-vibe all over you. Also the musicianship sounds tight as ever. It's a slightly different line-up this time, because Pontus Egberg (ex- Poodles) is playing the bass this time. I was very surprised when I saw him on the promo pic. I liked him very much while he was playing with The Poodles, because he is a kick-ass bass player - especially live. Anders Wikström delivers once more some very melodic guitarlines and Robert Ernlund is doing a solid job at the microphone. He still has the advantage of having a unique voice.

Speaking about production I just can say once more that I would have preferred a more pucnhy sound, but OK this time they are mixing classic AOR with a modern twist and the result is still enjoyable.

Finally I just can say that you have to lower your own expectations here, because "Ghost Of Graceland" can't stand against the marvelous predecessor. I wouldn't go that far to say the whole album is a disappointment, because that is definitely not true. It has its very good moments, but at the same time some problems when it comes to variety and power. It's a solid entry in the Treat discography and people who love catchy Scandi-Rock will have fun with "Ghost Of Graceland" - that's for sure.



01. Ghost Of Graceland
02. I Don't Miss The Misery *
03. Better The Devil You Know
04. Do Your Own Stunts
05. Endangered *
06. Inferno
07. Alien Earthlings *
08. Nonstop Madness
09. Too Late To Die Young *
10. House On Fire
11. Together Alone
12. Everything To Everyone

* best tracks


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