OSUKARU – Transition (2015)
OSUKARU are back with a new album, “Transition“, which makes it their 5th official release to date and second with the same line-up, and they seem to have found the chemistry together.
Created by Swedish guitarist Oz Osukaru, the band is his vehicle to spread his love for AOR / melodic rock sounds.
On this new record there’s 5 new songs specially written for vocalists Fredrik Werner and Cecilia Camuii while the last five songs are all re-records of old material, chosen and arranged for Fredrik and Cecilia to perform in their own style. And we have a bonus too.
Starting off the album is “Arrows”, a duet I hold as one of the best Oz-written songs ever. The mix between Fredrik and Cecilia here is really good where Cecilia shows that she really can sing, her best effort on the record. The song also sets the sound on the album; sharp riffs, keyboard flourishes and a bright production.
“Strangled Emotions” is more of an AOR affair including Osukarus’ special touch on all their albums; a saxophone arrangement which made them pretty unique.
“Edge Of A Broken Heart” is a typically female-fronted melodic rock song finely sung by Cecilia, but the instrumentation is the star here, including a killer guest guitar solo by Janne Stark (Grand Design)
After this we get an “Play”, almost entirely instrumental with few vocals by Werner. This bany rocks hard with screaming guitars by Oz but later mixed with sax resulting in a great blend.
Last of the new songs is “Blinded Eyes”, a midtempo melodic hard rock track but with an AOR feeling throwing in. The main melody is strong, and even at places, the instrumental scales are a bit progressive.
Then we arrive to the re-recorded songs. It was necessary? Absolutely.
When reviewing the previous albums here, we said that Osukaru had it all: strong songs, competent musicians, a great guitarist and a true Melodic Rock / AOR heart as band. But there was a big problem: weak production.
Well, let me tell you that on “Transition”, the band truly sounds awesome thanks to the – this time – very good production.
Hence, the re-recorded tracks from past albums acquire a new life.
Now “Tell Me You’ll Stay” – always was a great song – come out vibrant, glossy, fully. “Out of Touch” from the debut EP with Johan Bernspång (Katana) on vocals gets a better fresh sound. The refrain results much better thanks to Werner vocals and results more catchy on this 2015 version. Rocks.
The re-work on “Maffia Rules” features Erik Heikne (Miss Behaviour) playing some mean guitar as guest, plus additional vocals from Jules Millis (White Widdow).
Also “Change of Heart”, featured as bonus tracks feels much more juicy now, with grand harmony vocals all over.
Osukaru finally did it: wrapped their very good songs with a very good production. Melodic Rock / AOR needs a glossy sound, and “Transition” nails it for the most part.
This is a band that has been fighting for more than five years to get established into the scene, and I think “Transition” would be the vehicle. Support Osukaru buying the album when come out, they truly deserve success.
01 – Arrows
02 – Strangled Emotions
03 – Edge of A Broken Heart
04 – Play
05 – Blinded Eyes
06 – FM Rocks 98.5 [Redux]
07 – Tell Me You’ll Stay (2015)
08 – Out of Touch (2015)
09 – Mafia Rules (2015)
10 – Promised Land (2015)
11 – Change of Heart (Reimagined) – digital bonus
Oz Osukaru – Guitars, Keyboards
Fredrik Werner – Vocals, Guitars
Cecilia Camuii – Vocals
Vidar Mårtensson – Drums
Jens Björk – Saxophone
Fredrik Svensson – Bass
Ryan Coyle – add. Drums
Janne Stark (Grand Design) – guest guitar
Erik Heikne (Miss Behaviour) – guest guitar
Jules Millis (White Widdow) – guest vocals