CHRIS ANTBLAD – A New Dawn (Out Of Print)
This one was requested and it’s a Melodic Rock pearl of an album: CHRIS ANTBLAD‘s “A New Dawn“. This Swedish vocalist, songwriter & multi-instrumentalist has been in the business for more than 20 years, perhaps better known for AOR fans for his his involvement in the brilliant Spin Gallery album ‘Standing Tall’. Chris was the singer and co-writer along with Tommy Denander, but then he wanted to focus on a solo career.
Antblad, a Swedish Grammy nominated artist, producer and composer, delivers here a smash hit album for all lovers of slick-produced American arena style rock in the same vein as Foreigner, Bryan Adams, Stan Meissner, modern day Journey and Toto to name a few comparisons…
After years of collaborating with other songwriters such as Randy Goodrum, Jay Graydon, Paul Carrack, Eric Martin and Joe Lynn Turner, he was ready to record his first solo album ‘Century’ which was completed in 2008 but things didn’t go as planned and the album was poorly distributed.
‘Century’ exposed Antblad’s more poppy side, and not so focused. “A New Dawn” really shows where musically he is planted: breezy Melodic Rock / AOR with a typical Scandinavian bright sound.
And we are talking of high quality music here.
The soaring melody of opener “Love Was” is a good introduction of what you can expect on the album, but it just keeps getting stronger and stronger with each track.
“Who Loves You Now” turns more Americanized, with its strong rhythm guitar and driven melody this track reminds me the late Eighties Jeff Paris.
“In Your Eyes”, and later “Nothing Happened”, have a beautiful sweet European West Coast style that Chris has masterfully developed with Spin Gallery in the past. The uptempo melodic rocker “She Makes Love With The Light On” is one of the instant tracks of the album, one of those songs that you want to repeat over and over.
The pure AOR comes with the fantastic “I Still Remember”, a melody with a on-the-air sound and wonderful vocal job. One of the highlights for me.
“Heartbreaker” exudes class all over. This smooth number has fantastic vocal harmonies, maybe the best on the entire album. Just listen this track a couple of times and then tell me if this isn’t one of the best midtempo melodic rock songs of the decade. A Winner.
The tempo gets up with the awesome “Too Far Away”. Yes, a simple track, but what a great keyboard – Scandi Melodic Rocker it is! “Love Came Along” is another slow tune, with much of earlier Toto written over it. The sometimes fragile vocal lines of Chris on this tune are delicious.
“A New Dawn” is the album of Chris Antblad we have been waiting for since the Spin Gallery debut. I has the right dose of cheerful AOR, breezy Scandi West Coast and instantly appealing Euro Melodic Rock we all love.
Tasty pieces of ear candy and perfectly accessible songs with beautiful harmonies filled with soaring melodies, great musicianship and topped off with a lead vocal performance that is a real highlight of the album.
The physical CD is out of print, and well worth to track down a used copy.
01 – Love Was
02 – Who Loves You Now
03 – In Your Eyes
04 – She’s Waiting For Somebody To Love
05 – Nothing Happened
06 – She Makes Love With The Light On
07 – I Still Remember
08 – Heartbreaker
09 – Maybe Someday
10 – Too Far Away
11 – I’ll Find A Way
12 – Love Came Along
Chris Antblad – vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, drums
Ingemar Aberg – guitars
Matt Johnson (Solinger) – backing vocals
Timberville – backing vocals