BEYOND IMAGINATION – Beyond Imagination (2019)
If you have legendary Jay Graydon as guest player in your album then there’s two certain things: first, your songwriting / musicianship is very good, and second, you play AOR / West Coast music. This is the case with this Swedish combo BEYOND IMAGINATION and their full length, self-titled debut album, inspired by the late 70s FM rock and the first half of the ’80s commercial, smooth AOR.
Many years in the making, “Beyond Imagination” is immaculately arranged and produced to detail. This is ‘elegant’ AOR on the Scandinavian ‘West Coast’ vein, clearly inspired by the US golden years of the genre, but with that unique Swedish touch for the genre.
These are really talented players – is there a bad musician in Sweden? – the songs are very well crafted, cleaverly arranged and you always feel that ‘quality sensation’ all over this CD.
Songs like ‘Traces of Laughter’, ‘I Can’t Find Enough Reasons’, ‘Driving Along the Coast’, ‘I Want to Be Loved (feat. Joakim Jonzon)’ or ‘Stay With Me Tonight’ are pure class, combining sweet keys, horns ala chicago, melodious guitars (Tim Carlstedt brings to mind Peter Friestedt) and smooth vocals, at places recalling Toto’s Jean Michel Byron-era.
Maestro Jay Grandon appears on the suave ‘Say Is This Love’, dropping an excellent solo.
There’s not many bands out there playing this brand of classy AOR, and BEYOND IMAGINATION it had to come from Sweden, perhaps the only place on Earth with such fervent fan base of this musical style.
01 – Traces of Laughter
02 – I Can’t Find Enough Reasons
03 – Inside Your Eyes
04 – Say Is This Love (feat. Jay Graydon)
05 – Driving Along the Coast
06 – Change the Way
07 – I Want to Be Loved (feat. Joakim Jonzon)
08 – Courage at Heart
09 – Love of My Youth
10 – Stay With Me Tonight
11 – Spirit of Freedom
Viktor Johansson – vocals
Tim Carlstedt – guitar
Jimmy Garting – keyboards
Daniel Purk – bass
Emanuel Nyman – drums
Andreas Baro – saxophone
Isak Serholt – backing vocals
BUY IT !