Released by: AOR Heaven
Release date: 26 February 2016
Genre: Hard Rock
Mikael Erlandsson – Vocals, Keyboards, Guitars
Peter Pac Soderstrom – Guitars
Jamie Borger – Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Nalley Pahlsson – Bass, Backing Vocals
Ulf Wahlberg – Keyboards
01. My Mistake to Make
02. Bring Out the Heroes
03. Out of Love
04. Too Late
05. Take It On the Run
06. Won’tcha Stay the Night
07. An Eye For An Eye
08. Bitter Blue
09. In Case Of Landing on Water
10. Rock Star Crazy
Every New Year sees a new release from Last Autumn’s Dream. This is a sure bet. So, Last Autumn’s Dream is set to release their latest offering “Paintings” at the end of February 2016. Three years ago I mentioned that a production’s quality doesn’t suffer when released annually. Now we are at a point where it does. Allow me to explain in the review.
First let’s make something clear: “Paintings” is not a bad album overall. It once more delivers the well-known mixture of traditional mid-tempo AOR tunes and slow ballads. This is packed in a solid production with some remarkable vocals from singer Mikael Erlandsson. There are some pretty good songs on this release, which includes “Out Of Love”, “Take It On The Run” (REO Speedwagon cover) and “Bring Out The Heroes”. The obligatory filler tracks are included as well. Maybe can guess what my point? I simply cannot tell whether the band has development between releases. This is something, which keeps everything interesting or makes it better in comparison to previous records.
Meanwhile, I have reached a point where I simply do not feel satiated. I’m just satiated with the same melodies, same arrangements, same song structures – I’ve heard them way too often in recent years and even back then, these was better. That leads to one major problem: some of the songs on “Paintings” are simply boring. I know that sounds harsh, but that’s what it is… boring. Last Autumn’s Dream repeat themselves far too often. There are many bands out there, which do the same thing, BUT they don’t do it every single year over and over again. And that’s what I’m so tired of. I listened to this album a few times 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.
For this review it would be possible to use my reviews of their 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 to this band and I love his vocals. But in the case of songwriting and presentation, there are so many other Scandi Rock bands out there that are far better nowadays. Take a look at H.e.a.t or the new Nordic Union – just to mention a few. Those bands don’t reinvent the wheel, but somehow everything feels more fresh and creative. It would really be appreciated if Last Autumn’s Dream would take a break for two or three years and then come back with an album filled with potential hits. Taking sometime off would allow them the time to collect song ideas over a longer period of time. The last album, which blew my mind, was “A Touch Of Heaven” in 2010. It still is one of my favorite albums of all time.
If what I have written up to now doesn’t bother you too much and you are a LAD hardcore fan, then you would not realize that something is wrong with “Paintings”. The band still sounds tight and they are all skilled musicians, so there is nothing to complain about. The record also has a warm sound and nothing sounds terrible. Although, the songwriting is repetitive. I hope you understand my reasons for giving this album a lower rating.
In conclusion, “Paintings” is like every other LAD album of recent years. Not mind-blowing, but also not terribly bad. It has solid (but also average) song material on it and some strong vocals. But personally I don’t like to listen to the same LAD album over and over again. If you can’t get enough of Scandi Rock or if you never heard of Last Autumn’s Dream before, give this a listen. If you haven’t heard their previous material, you will feel very satisfied with the current offering.
Written by: Thomas Swarzkopf
Ratings: Thomas 6/10