LAVA – Water (2019)
42 years after they started as a band, ‘Norwegian Toto’ combo LAVA releases their 9th album “Water” including 12 brand new songs in the AOR West-Coast style they’re know for; elaborated songwriting, elegant arrangements, and a pristine production.
With “Water” they break a 14-year silence since their last studio album.
Mentioned by Steve Lukather as one of his favorite bands, LAVA has been delivering their smooth brand of AOR melodies for more than 40 years.
While bass player and songwriter Rolf Graf died in 2013, founder members Svein Dag Hauge & Per Hillestad and long time vocalist Egil Eldøen decided to keep the band going playing in Scandinavia and all over Europe all these years, in between their solo projects.
Now 2019 we have a fresh, new set of songs in the form of “Water”, with that classy West Coast AOR feeling blending American musical waves with a Scandi touch.
As happened in the band’s last studio album there’s some tracks here with a more rocking approach, like the dynamic opener ‘Perfect Crime’, the groovy ‘Double Vision’, or the great ‘Tell Me’ that seems escaped from one Toto’s recent albums.
The characteristic Lava mid-tempo AOR melodies say present on the breezy ‘True Diamond’, the velvety title track ‘Water’, and the pure Toto-like ballad ‘Falling Down’ (a favorite).
“Velvet Eyes” could have been a FM radio staple in 1982, while “Every Beat of My Heart” is a sweet tune full of refinement that reminds me of the Williams / Friestedt album from some years ago.
Bands like Lava never disappoints: if classy songwriting, sublime arrangements, top notch musicianship and pristine production (excellent) are your thing, “Water” will make your weekend, and many months ahead.
It’s that kind of timeless albums you never get tired to listen to, top class AOR to press play over and over again.
01 – Perfect Crime
02 – True Diamond
03 – Double Vision
04 – Water
05 – Falling Down
06 – All or Nothing
07 – Peter Pan
08 – Velvet Eyes
09 – What Can I Do
10 – Every Beat of My Heart
11 – Tell Me
12 – Wishing Well
Egil Eldøen – vocals
Svein Dag Hauge – guitar
Per Hillestad – drums
Jonny Sjo – bass
Frode Østang Mangen – keyboards
Kåre Kolve – sax