WORK OF ART – In Progress [Japan Edition +1] Out Of Print
If there ever was a band that closely resemble what contemporary Melodic Rock is all about, is WORK OF ART. A young and refreshing up and coming Melodic Rock / AOR monsters that blow through your speakers with a strong polished sound that captivates your every sense of rhythm and groove.
The very talented Swedes took the world by storm in 2008 when they released their debut album titled “Artwork”, your classic Toto, Giant influences were all there but a special totem of skillful and top notch quality songwriting & musicianship was also refreshing to hear.
The whole record provided the listener with a consistent sound that resonated long after.
WOA were back with the all challenging sophomore release titled “In Progress” and what you have here is a continuation from where the debut left off.
I have to admit that this release is one of the most anticipated for me as a big AOR fan, as well being an admirer of lead singer Lars Säfsund, owner of the best pipes recently emerged in the genre, and the skillful, solid songwriting work of Robert Sall, who also does a great job on both guitars and keys.
Opener “The Rain” grabs hold of your attention with immediate effect, with a bouncing riff beneath a glorious vocal melody.
“Nature Of The Game” lifts me back to the good ol’ days of the likes of Bonfire and the Stage Dolls and, like the opening tune, has a lovely little guitar break of sorts from guitarist Robert Sall, who also multi-tasks as keyboardist.
“Once Again” is really well assembled track with a nice keyboard solo moment and yet more neat six string work.
“Never Love Again” was originally written for the W.E.T album. This tune has a node to Gods Journey, an up tempo song with a positive message.
“Eye Of The Storm” is one of the best produced tracks on the album. The intro riff has actually the exact same chord progression as the verse riff for ‘Whenever You Sleep’ (from the debut album) but in a totally different arrangement.
The boys’ balladry skills are called upon on “Until You Believe”, another song originally penned for W.E.T, a really nice midtempo resembling, again, mid-eighties Journey.
A rather big, deep keyboard intro kicks up “The Great Fall”, a bounding romp of riffage and melody all wrapped around a memorable hook of a chorus. A prototypical quencher number with addicting keyboards melodies that plow forward with a super additive of AOR flavor like it should be done.
“Call On Me” has a really summerish vibe. The kind of song you want to crank while cruising down Sunset boulevard in your cabriolet.
Perhaps the strongest musically produced song on this CD is the faster burner “Emelie”, an homage to true heroes like Toto providing the listener with a taint-less atmosphere indulged in a heartfelt ballad. Fine vocal performance delivered by Lars and I really should mention here drummer Herman Furin tasteful beats.
“Fall Down” is piano led but with a smooth production, great musicianship and a catchy chorus.
On “Castaway” it’s time to pick up the acoustic from the corner of the room for the underlying of this particular song… but it soon turns to a full-on rocker.
Still those fab melodies continue, a nice swirling keyboard piece introduces us to “One Step Away”, a song that really pays tribute to west coast legends such as David Foster, Toto, Chicago or Mr. Mister. It really ends the album on a high note.
When we closely break down this 2nd album by Work Of Art, we find a band playing in their comfort zone and not really deviating much from the formula brought forward on their debut.
Lars Säfsund is a truly talented singer, elevating each song with precision and sureness, and Robert Sall’s job on all departments is outstanding.
“In Progress” was one of the albums of the Year, an approved and sealed winner in all areas; vocals, songwriting, musicianship and production.
These guys along with a few other veterans, are the future of a genre that while is a delicate and a acquired taste, they do have a very good following around the world.
They’re not a WORK ‘In Progress’ anymore, this is just another piece OF ART.
01 – The Rain
02 – Nature Of The Game
03 – Once Again
04 – Never Love Again
05 – Eye Of The Storm
06 – Until You Believe
07 – The Great Fall
08 – Call On Me
09 – Emelie
10 – Fall Down
11 – Castaway
12 – One Step Away
JAPAN BONUS TRACK:
13 – Fall Down (acoustic version)
Lars Säfsund – vocals
Robert Sall – guitars, keyboards
Herman Furin – drums
Out Of Print