SAPPHIRE EYES – Magic Moments (2020)
While not the most prolific acts from the scene, SAPPHIRE EYES is one of the best Scandinavian melodic rock AOR bands out there.
Started as a solo project by keyboard player Niclas Olsson (Alyson Avenue, Second Heat), the self-titled debut album resulted highly praised. Then Olsson decided to form a full band made up of friends and familiar Swedish musicians, and Finnish vocalist Kimmo Blom (Leverage, Urban Tale). This crew produced Breath Of Ages, the second album. Now Sapphire Eyes returns with their effort ‘Magic Moments’, indeed, a magic set of amazing AOR hooklines, versatile melodic arrangements and a very detailed production.
‘Magic Moments’ is another great showcase for Sapphire Eyes’ signature Eighties-style AOR melodic rock. Naturally, with a keyboard player at the helm as the principal songwriter, you can expect a large synth presence, from symphonic texture to wispy West Coast style nuances to singular solos.
You’ll hear these things across the entire, but notable songs include Don’t Walk Away, Magic Moment, Cutting Like A Knife and the closing ballad, All I Need Is To Hold You.
After this you’ll find the usual AOR musical suspects of guitar harmony (twin guitars in Sapphire Eyes’ case), thrilling solos, fine song melody and vocal harmony, and more than a few hooks from catchy choruses.
With these elements added to the mix, I found my interest turn to the strong, more edgy, riff rockers such as Bring Back The Night, the speedy As Days Go By, and the radio ready Still Alive.
The new album title speaks for itself: with ‘Magic Moments’ Sapphire Eyes brings back the classic AOR / Melodic Rock sound with style, and class
01. Still Alive
02. Don’t Walk Away
03. I Never Meant to Hurt You
04. Magic Moment
05. Do You Think About Us
06. Just Leave Me
07. Bring Back the Night (feat. Anette Olzon)
08. As the Days Go By
09. Cutting Like a Knife
10. Only the Night
11. All I Need Is to Hold You
Kimmo Blom – vocals (LEVERAGE, URBAN TALE)
Niclas Olsson – keyboards (ALYSON AVENUE, SECOND HEAT)
Emil Knabe – guitars (ACACIA)
Patrik Svard – guitars (CLOUDSCAPE)
Christer Engholm – bass (ALYSON AVENUE, ACACIA)
Fredrik Eriksson – drums (DAWN OF OBLIVION, ALYSON AVENUE)