For entertainment purposes only
Legendary rock band, Journey, has released their fifteenth studio album Freedom. The follow-up to their 2011 album Eclipse, this new record is a hefty fifteen-track, classic pop-rock album. With Neal Schon still on lead vocals, the band retains the same sound that it had in the ‘80s. However, this album begs the question: “What is a Journey album without the cultural significance and legacy?” It turns out, not much.
Undoubtedly there has been an uptick in pop and rock music from the ’80s resurfacing, including Journey’s “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” that was used as Stranger Things 4 promotion. However, the band may have seen this as an excuse to make another album filled with generic ‘80s-sounding rock ballads.
Although Freedom does not provide anything new or—albeit—meaningful, there are still a handful of fun tracks on the record that are at least enjoyable. The first half of the album is filled with potential hits like “Together We Run” and “You Got The Best Of Me,” all of which are adorned with the usual synths, electric guitar and drums.
The lyrics of the songs on the album are overwhelmingly simple, which match the titles of the tracks. For the first half of the record, this is easy to overlook since the songs themselves are pretty enjoyable. However, in the latter half of the album, once the songs begin to feel repetitive and formulaic the lyricism is harder to ignore.
The three-track run of “All Day and All Night,” “Don’t Go” and “United We Stand” marks a low point in the album. The last one is filled with disappointingly boring lines like “United, we stand / Divided, we fall / Love conquers all / Even when darkness comes to call.” Tracks like these feel completely unnecessary when the runtime of the record is already well over an hour.
No matter how eye-rollingly simple the songs on the album are, the project is thoroughly Journey. Given the band is nearly fifty years old, it brings comfort knowing that the group has never felt the need to change themselves. All in all, the album has some great tunes that are definitely worth a listen.