Sonic Station

1. Intro
2. Love's Gonna Show The Way
3. I Wish I Could Lie
4. Hold On To Me
5. You Have To Let Me Go
6. The Most Beautiful Fear
7. Running Through The Night
8. Never Let The Sunshine Die
9. My Last Refrain
10. Love You More
11. Reasons

Lead Vocals: Marika Willstedt, Kristoffer Fogelmark, Magnus Bäcklund, Tove Lo
Guitars: Alexander Kronbrink
Bass: Henrik Linder, Erik Metall, Kristofer Sundström, Johan Ivansson, Johan Hansén-Larson
Drums: Aron Mellergårdh, Thern Pettersson, Niklas Almgren
Keyboards: Jonathan Fritzén, Marika Willstedt, David Larson, Alexander Kronbrink
Percussion: Andreas Ekstedt
Backing vocals: Oskar Nilsson, Matilda Bådagård, Alexander Kronbrink
Saxophone: Conny Lindgren
Trumpet, Flugelhorn: Erik Palmberg



Produced and arranged by Alexander Kronbrink
Cover art by Nello Dell'Omo

Released 24/2-2012
Reviewed 30/1-2012


Swedish melodic rock, AOR-westcoast or whatever you like to call it, isn’t it becoming more and more common? I would certainly say so and the quality is also rather good overall, Sonic Station is a new star in this Swedish sky. It is a project by Alexander Kronbrink, guitarist, composer and producer is he called in the press info. He has apparently learnt his skill when working with smooth jazz start Jonathan Fritzén, whom I have never heard about which might not be that surprising since jazz has never been a preferred musical direction of mine. There are some more background stuff written in the release which you can find on the band’s website or probably at the label’s as well, I move on to looking at what we got instead. I said a big project, just look to the left at the number of people involved with the instrumentation, and four singers of which two are female and two are male which is equality I would say, they do however not share the singing equally but that is something I might get into later on. The cover art is an interesting piece designed by album cover master artist Nello Dell’Omo, I think it visualises a smooth kind of melodic rock music. But enough said already and lets move on to the album instead.

Sure, why not?

The first thought that comes to my mind when listening to this album is an american city called Chicago, which also happens to be a band. The first song with Magnus Bäcklund singing sounds very much like a song in the vein of that band with his voice and the very melodic sound. Relaxed and with a touch of the 80s is a word (or two) that fits well for this music also, the tempo is quite low for most parts although it picks up in a few songs like the fifth and seventh. There are some trumpet giving a jazzy song in the fourth track and the variation is rather good much due to the different character of the four singers. One track is an instrumental intro, then five are female fronted and four are male fronted, the tenth track is a duet between Magnus Bäcklund and Marika Willstedt with the latter also being the most frequent singer on the album. The sound is clean and very polished, melodic and gives a feeling of being a well worked quality product. The tracks are eleven in total if you hadn’t been able to count that from the singer part, they play a bit past 46 minutes.

I said that it felt like a quality product on the basis of the sound, and it sure does. The songs are also very good and easy to take in and to heart perhaps as well, the variation is good and the singers are all very good. I do have one slight problem though, there is no soul. In looking for the perfect sound it seems like they also managed to scrub away the soul in the songs, take track four Hold on to Me for example, a track I should like with its nice Jazzy feel and a good singer but for some reason it does nothing for me, I think it is a good song but then move on quickly to the next. Track five You Have to Let Me Go is another example, a fast rock song with a singer in Tove Lo (her only appearance by the way) that has a passionate voice which you can hear traces of in the song but the song is so polished that this passion is negated and the song becomes a good but rather flat song, elevator music. Completely inoffensive can also be said. Such a good album but still it doesn’t quite appeal, I have heard it 25 times now and can only remember one song and that is the seventh Running Through the Night where Marika Willstedt makes a good appearance and the song has some tempo and some feel to it, the only one that has made an impression over 25 plays on an album that sounds really good overall. So good but soulless would be what I can say about the album.

I will not recommend you to overlook this album because it is good and opinions differ I am sure Mr Dog will award this 4.75 or 5 of 5 in his review but he does that with all albums, but my point is that you might see it differently than I and you might see a soul where I don’t so it is an album to check up because it is very well made that one is for certain and can’t be disputed no matter how you look at it. In short I would say that Sonic Station is the passionate melodic rock of the eighties tamed with today’s technique. Though it is technically superior to Chicago and their peers, I would still rather play Chicago because they have something that Sonic Station sadly lack and that is that little subjective thing called a soul.




Label: Frontiers Records
Three similar bands: Chicago/Mr Mister/Airplay
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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