Last Look At Eden

Europe

Swedish band Europe hasn’t released new music since 2006’s Secret Society and now they are back with a vengeance with Last Look At Eden, available in several configurations. A five-song EP features two tunes from the album plus live versions of “Superstitious,” “Start From The Dark,” and a daring cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Since I’ve Been Loving You.” Out of the five, I really dig the classic Europe sound on “Start From The Dark,” while guitarist John Norum rips it up and Mic Michaeli adds some sweet understated organ on the Zeppelin number.

The CD comes as a limited edition digipak with two live tracks (“Yesterday's News” and “Wake Up Call”) or as a collector's edition with live versions of “Sign Of The Times” and “Start From The Dark.” As for the 12-song CD itself, the title track and “U Devil U” are pretty much throwaways, but “Gonna Get Ready” and “Catch That Plane” help kick-start the record into gear. “Gonna” has a nice pop feel to it, a solid riff with a simple yet effective lyric, while “Catch” supports a grooving Deep Purple feel. “New Love In Town” begins with some nice keyboard work as singer Joey Tempest shines.

I really dig “The Beast” with its heavy, crunching chord sequence. “No Stone Unturned” mines more Purple territory, but the playing of all the musicians is consistently superb. Note drummer Ian Haugland on “”Only Young Twice” and the one-two punch of John Leven’s rolling bass on “Run With The Angels,” and it’s clear the band best known for the 1986 hit “Final Countdown” still has chops . This is Europe 23 years later, with the potent playing of Norum and big, bombastic voice of Tempest leading the way. There’s nothing new explored on Last Look At Eden, but then again, does there have to be?

~ Ralph Greco, Jr.

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