WORK OF ART – Exhibits (2019)
The new album from Swedish wonders WORK OF ART, “Exhibits“, has been in the works for over a year and a half, but is finally being unleashed tomorrow to the legions of hungry AOR / melodic rock fans that the band has enraptured with its first three albums. “It’s been a long time indeed. Five years, although funnily enough it didn’t seem that way,” says Work Of Art guitarist and producer Robert Säll.
After 5 years where the band members have spread their efforts into different projects, it was time for Work Of Art again, and although the wait has been quite long, in the case of this band it pays its dividends.
Säll & Co. take the time to polish the songwriting / arrangements to the extreme, and you can hear that into the final product.
I was really anxious to hear “Exhibits”, and since the first bits of opener “Misguided Love” the magic is back, the pure AOR Melodic Rock magic. The keyboards flood the bottom of the sonic canvas that is perfectly complemented with the vocal harmony in charge of Lars that grants the perfect gold-plated frame of elegant pomposity Work Of Art are known for, exposed with beauty.
“Be the believer” is pure WOA without any doubt with all the elements that have characterized this band since its inception. Layers and layers of keyboards, choirs in abundance, and melodies galore.
“Another night” is more relaxed than the previous ones where they take a step further to offer us a more exquisite AOR tune to taste. A pleasure.
Shades of Toto – a big WOA influence – appear within “This isn’t love”. It’s an intriguing track, plenty of twists and dexterity. As a curiosity, here Vince DiCola (Transformers soundtrack, Roxy IV “Training Montage”) collaborates on the keyboards.
“Gotta get out” is one of the best songs on the album – and all are superb, believe me – sporting a shockingly perfect and addictive chorus. Simply mind blowing. “If I could fly” could have been part of any WOA first 2 albums, and any ’80s AOR album as well. Lars sweet vocals takes you to another time and age, and with class.
Speaking about the Eighties, check out ‘that’ keyboards fills and pulsating guitar riffs on “Destined to survive”… Love it.
“Exhibits” should be WOA most varied album to date, and “Scars to prove it” is fine example. The guys rock here, and call me nuts, but this one sounds like a lost Europe track circa 1991. Melodic rock close to perfection, with pulse.
It’s Eddie Van Halen guesting at the beginning of “What you want for me”? No, it’s Robert Säll, a terrific player, and the song soon develops into a 1987 pumping AOR song with a classy Scandinavian feel.
Not convinced yet?
WOA titled closing track “Let me dream”, and they make you dream indeed, dreams of pure AOR waves into a midtempo song where your senses are invaded by tinkling keys – my God this is terrific – sublime vocals, elegant guitar and a chorus to die for. I should say this is my album favorite, but darn, all songs on “Exhibits” are gold powder.
Work Of Art’s “Exhibits” is among the best AOR albums of the decade, and I dare to say one of the greatest ever in this musical genre.
At 0dayrox we try to feature only worthwhile albums, that’s why you usually see the ‘Highly Recommended’ sentence. Let us go further here: we never rate an album by numbers / stars, it’s up to you to decide.
We’ll make an exception here: “Exhibits” is a 10/10, 5/5, whatever you want…
01 – Misguisded Love
02 – Be the Believer
03 – Another Night
04 – This Isn’t Love
05 – Gotta Get Out
06 – Come Home
07 – If I Could Fly
08 – Destined to Survive
09 – Scars to Prove It
10 – What You Want from Me
11 – Let Me Dream
Lars Säfsund – Vocals
Robert Säll – Guitar
Herman Furin – Drums