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Sonic Station - 'Sonic Station' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/a8/ae/1b/2005_SonicStationSonicStation_1331231114.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 08, 2012    
 
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Beautifully arranged and produced.

Alexander Kronbrink is a Swedish composer and producer, who at an early age took up playing the guitar. A family friend who lived just down the road played piano and soon they were both jamming away and writing songs together. At around the age of twenty Kronbrink decided that he would dedicate his life solely to music and a lifelong passion began. After playing in a lot of different bands and genres he soon found a love for west coast rock, artists like Kenny Loggins, Lee Ritenour, Jay Graydon and Steely Dan became his passion and he decided that this was the kind of music he wanted to play. Alexander then went to the Royal College Of Music in Sweden where he met Marika Willstedt a singer and piano player whom he began writing songs with; this writing collaboration went on to be the building blocks of what would later become the Sonic Station album.

The album itself is one that encompasses many aspects of west coast AOR, and having four different singers involved on it and having the songs tailored to their individual vocal talents, might you may think, be a bit of a mish mash. It isn’t because what you get on the album are smooth, jazzy west coast songs mixed with slices of AOR, and a little melodic rock squeezed in for good measure. The four vocalists Magnus Backlund, Marika Willstedt, Kristoffer Fogelmark and Tove Lo all have an easy going lilt to their voices, and each singer brings out the best of the songs they get to sing. Yet with four singers it would be hard to tell you about every song on the album so I’ll pick one from each of them.

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‘Gonna Show You The Way’ features Backlund and it’s a track that wouldn’t be out of place on any of the AOR albums, it is the rockiest track on the album and the guitar work of Kronbrink is just wonderful. ‘Never Let The Sunshine Die’ is sung by Fogelmark, and it reminded me of the Michael Thompson Band circa their debut album; the guitar work throughout the song is simply stunning and the song has that cool nonchalance that all the great songs seem to have. Lo sings on ‘You Have To Let Me Go’ which reminded me of Tone Norum’s first album, poppy with crunchy guitars the song rocks. And finally to Willstedt and ‘Running Through The Night’, a Totoesque cut that once again shows off all the best things about west coast rock.

For a debut album ‘Sonic Station’ shows a maturity beyond its years. It is beautifully arranged and produced, the guitar of Kronbrink (who is a real find) is superb and each singer puts in a powerful and emotional performance. So, if you have a liking for all things west coast, then you’ll definitely want to add this album to your collection.

Ian Johnson

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