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83 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Newly Confident, Energetic, and Solid
Journey finds its footing again and shows signs of its newly-found confidence by taking some chances throughout "Generations." The album is a quantum leap forward from "Arrival" and certainly miles ahead of the uninspired "Raised on Radio" and "Trial By Fire." After twenty years, this album shows Journey returning to the energetic form of "Frontiers" and "Escape." And...
Published on October 6, 2005 by The Point

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A "Generation" gap
As a committed Journey fan, I was truly looking forward to their new album, only to be gravely disappointed. The first three tracks are nice, as are the last two...the rest has much to be desired. Gone are the sweeping melodies that typified the Perry era. Missing is any of the creative orchestration and progressive rock associated with "Dream After Dream" and the...
Published on June 7, 2006 by Jim Kelsey


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83 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Newly Confident, Energetic, and Solid, October 6, 2005
This review is from: Generations (Audio CD)
Journey finds its footing again and shows signs of its newly-found confidence by taking some chances throughout "Generations." The album is a quantum leap forward from "Arrival" and certainly miles ahead of the uninspired "Raised on Radio" and "Trial By Fire." After twenty years, this album shows Journey returning to the energetic form of "Frontiers" and "Escape." And while not matching the fresh brilliance of "Escape" or "Evolution," on the whole this album is qualitatively the equal of "Frontiers."

What keeps the album from breaking through to brilliant is that perhaps the boldness was tempered TOO MUCH. Taking a few more chances songwriting-wise and incorporating a few more interesting production techniques could really have a huge difference at the top end. If Amazon had decimals, this album would get a 4.3.

The current Journey lineup, which remains a highly successful touring act, is now in its seventh year and the Steve Perry-esque Steve Augeri remains at the mic, supported by the entire band on this release: for the first time in Journey's thirty-year history, every band member gets a turn to sing lead on a song.

Although Augeri develops his own vocal style toward a harder rocking Robert Plant-like edge on this release ("Believe"), Augeri's delivery can nevertheless steer eerily close to Perry's ("The Place in Your Heart").

"The Place in Your Heart" could be "Separate Ways, Part II," and, in fact, seems to be a reflection on the theme of separation, but this time from the perspective of the process of reconciliation.

"Butterfly" is a beautiful power ballad, solo-penned by Augeri, which is straight out of the Journey-swoon playbook and shows that Augeri has absorbed the "Journey-system" of songwriting very well.

Augeri also wrote "Believe," an energetic Zeppelin-esque rocker that shows off his harder-edge to maximum advantage and incorporates a more interesting structure and set of time signatures than most traditional Journey rockers. Kudos for this.

One of the best tracks on the album is "Out of Harms Way," a searing rocker that could be taught in classes on how to write good lyrics. Thematically it addresses military service and the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, yet without casting a cloying political gloss to the song that is so common among so-called political rock. In any case, it's a performance tour-de-force by both Augeri and Schon.

Augeri's best vocal performance on this album is arguably the gorgeous "Knowing That You Love Me," a soul and gospel-infused ballad that shows Augeri's independent vocal identity from that of Perry's imprint.

Drummer Deen Castronovo, who sings lead on two tracks, is even closer to many traditionalist fans' breathy Steve Perry vocal ideal that they will swoon ("A Better Life," and "Never Too Late"). "A Better Life" is too close to the mid-80s (Raised On Radio ear) production and vocal gloss, that even with the fabulous vocals, it simply lacks the passion and warmth of Castronovo's other track, the fiery "Never Too Late," which is easily one of the top three tracks on the album.

Jonathan Cain's vocals on "Every Generation" are perfectly adequate and reminiscent of Gregg Rolie's vocal tracks during his Santana and Journey days in the 1970s. The track itself is a strong bluesy jaunt with beautifully sleazy guitar work by Neal Schon that recalls Keith Richards and Joe Walsh. Lyrically, Cain infuses the song with self-referencing humor and a tribute to rock traditions prized by boomer rockers. Despite Cain's middling vocal delivery, its other merits make it one of the strongest tracks on the album.

Undervalued for his vocals, bassist Ross Valory lends a gritty lead vocal to a ZZ-Top-evoking dirt-rubbed shuffle ("Gone Crazy") that is also a fabulous showcase of Schon's guitar technical prowess and breadth of musical inspiration. At times Schon manages to sound like both Billy Gibbons AND Zakk Wylde on this track. For Perry fans, Valory's vocals may be a step too far, but there is no questioning the song's energy and awe-inspiring guitar work on this track.

The two weakest tracks on the album precede this song. "In Self Defense," revived from the 1983 Frontiers sessions and tracked on a release by Schon and Mahavishnu Orchestra alumnus Jan Hammer, is a blistering guitar track but isn't sufficiently interesting beyond hearing Neal Schon take lead vocal duties and hearing him shred. "Better Together" is a funk-rock track too close to "Arrival"'s "Nothin' Comes Close" and "To Be Alive Again" to merit a reprise of the same theme on this album.

The songwriting on this album, with a couple of exceptions, is superb and occasionally topical (another new wrinkle to the band). Avoiding the clumsiness and heavy-handedness of other artists' efforts, Journey manages to deliver a hopeful and positive message for those emerging from tragedy through "Beyond the Clouds," a song written about 9/11, specific reference of which only becomes obvious through the figurative subtext of the song. The musical structure of the song breaks no new ground for the band, but is nevertheless a classier tribute to 9/11 than that of other pop artists.

Finally, and not to be overlooked, is the lead track "Faith in the Heartland," which pays tribute to British hard rock by musically (and not lyrically) invoking The Who's "Pinball Wizard," "Won't Get Fooled Again," and "Baba O'Riley" (later generations may also find shades of U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name" here). It is a fabulously energetic track and a good introduction to the "New Journey" that a listener is about to hear.

This is a solidly strong album, even if not ground-breaking. Hopefully this band will be able to harness its newfound energy and confidence to blaze even bolder trails on a subsequent release.

CHOICEST CUTS: "Faith in the Heartland," "Every Generation," "Believe," "Knowing That You Love Me," "Out of Harms Way," "Never Too Late."
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Since The 80's, August 31, 2005
By 
This review is from: Generations (Audio CD)
I just ordered the import version of this CD that comes complete with a 10-page booklet and 14 songs, including two I have never heard. What I have is the copy the band has been handing out at concerts during their summer U.S. tour that is packaged in a CD size album jacket and has just 12 songs on it. But, in my judgment this is the best music Journey has recorded since Escape and Frontiers. I heard some of these songs previewed at a Journey concert I attended recently and I listened to the new CD on the way home from the concert and absolutely loved it. I have been listening to nothing else for the last two weeks. Honestly, I can't understand the indifference Journey fans have to the new material. I heard people outside the arena complaining about the fact that the band played so many new songs during a 3 hour concert that also featured all the hits from the 70's and 80's that everyone wanted to hear. Do people object to the new material just because Steve Perry is not the front man anymore? Get over it! Steve Augeri's vocals are superb on this new CD and he contributes some writing credits that are excellent as well. The band loses nothing, and I believe gains a great deal with the less egomaniacal Steve Augeri on lead vocals, because they are more of a band. This CD has more variety in musical style then you would have seen in Perry's day, and every member of the band takes a turn singing lead on at least one song on the CD. Schon's and Valory's voices are barely passable, but Cain and Castronovo can sing lead vocal quality on their songs. This is a more creative and happy Journey lineup, and the results are evident on this new CD.
The opening track is "Faith In The Heartland," an excellent rock and roll song about holding onto hope in the face of a changing, dangerous world. The tone of the song is typically upbeat and positive, and the music is signature journey, somewhat reminiscent of "Separate Ways." What follows is a straight ahead rocker entitled "The Place In Your Heart." Again, an excellent track somewhat reminiscent of "Chain Reaction" or one of the lesser known Journey rockers that are nevertheless solid tracks. Track three is "Better Life," and thanks to Penetrator above, I have discovered that this is actually the first song on the CD fronted by someone other than Steve A. As I said I have a concert copy without any credits or lyrics, and was startled to find that the song features Deen Castronovo on lead vocals, though he sounds very much like Augeri. The song is about a young couple struggling to earn a living, congquering the challenges through love and believing in the future. Again, it is typically hopeful in tone and has more of a pop rock feel to it, featuring excellent harmonies by the band. The vocals on Song four are delivered by Jonathan Cain, and in places sounds a great deal like Greg Rolie used to when he sang lead. The song is "Every Generation," a song with the message that the more things change the more they seem to stay the same across generations and it expresses Cain's hope, as he said introducing this song in concert, that some of the newest generation will leave this world a better place than they found it. Song five is the first true ballad on the CD, though it does still feature some great guitar work by Neal Schon. The song was written solo by Steve Augeri and it is excellent. It is very lyrical and somewhat reminiscent of songs Journey was writing on their first few albums with Perry, though longer. The next track is the first one that fails a bit for me. Though it is not a bad song, it is not a standout track and doesn't really sound like Journey. It was written by Augeri and DeRossi, which leads me to believe it might by a song written by Steve and one of his former "Tall Stories" band mates that they have tried to turn into a Journey song and it doesn't quite work. Track 7 is a blues, soul piece written by Jonathan Cain entitled "Knowing That You Love Me." In some ways it is a typical Cain ballad with some syrupy lyrics but I found with several listens that the song grew on me. Musically though the piece is excellent and it shows Journey's versatility. "Out Of Harms Way," is a song written for the troops fighting in Iraq. Journey featured this song in concert and it a great rocker with lyrics that deal sensitively and realistically with what our soldiers must confront, both on the battle field and then readjusting to civilian life. It is definitely not a rah, rah, patriotic piece that glorifies the conflict in Iraq, for which I am grateful. "In Self-Defense" is the next song and Neal sings lead. This is a song written by Schon/Cain and apparently dates back to the Frontiers era. It's a decent straight ahead rocker, but it doesn't have the melodic touch of a typical Journey rocker. "Better Together" is another straight ahead rocker. There is nothing remarkable about it but it is a decent track. "Gone Crazy" is the one song on the CD that seems truly out of place. I can appreciate the effort to have everyone in the band sing lead on at least one song, but...Ross Valory's voice is even less palatable than Schon's, and the song sounds like it should have been recorded by ZZ Top, not Journey. Journey closes out the concert version of their CD on a high note however, with a ballad written by Augeri and Schon entitled "Beyond The Clouds." Again it is a song about hoping in the future though the present may appear dark. The song uses the theme of the clouds to describe the present, and the hope of the return of the sun "beyond the clouds" as a metaphor for the future. Schons brings a bit of a jazz/soul feel to the song, not unlike some of the material on Infinity. It is sentimental without being cheesy, and provides an opportunity for Augeri to shine, not just as a vocalist, but with his song writing. I can't review the two songs I have not heard on the Japanese import version of the CD, but I am eager to hear the songs myself.
This is the most satisfying Journey CD by far since Frontiers. Musically the CD is very Journeyesque throughout, much more consistent than "Raised On Radio," "Trial By Fire," or even "Arrival" was. The lyrics are much stronger, showing more of the maturity and the sensitivity of songs on "Red 13," however the sound quality on "Generations" is far superior to the EP. This is a CD that, had it been released in the 1980's following Escape and Frontiers, I feel certain would have been a multi-platinum seller. However, in today's radio market, where everything is rap and hip hop driven, Journey is reduced to having to hand out their new CD on their concert tour because they cannot find a distributer to handle the CD for retail and no radio station will play any of their new material. But, people who have appreciated Journey's music in the past need to give the new material a chance. Stop worshiping Steve Perry. Steve Augeri does sound very like Perry, particularly when he sings the old material in concert. But he shows on the new CD that he is his own man, and his vocal style on the new material sets him apart from Perry. This is the best CD I have obtained in a long time, and I am looking forward to getting a copy of the Import and to the eventual U.S. release that is coming after Journey completes its tour. Give this new music a try. It will not disappoint!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can tell they're having fun, August 30, 2005
By 
Tonya Price "elysianhunter" (Gahanna, OH United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Generations (Audio CD)
Ok, there are people who are going to either love or hate this one. I haven't found myself capable of really disliking any Journey offering with maybe the exception of "Raised on Radio." Those who enjoyed "Arrival" and "Red 13" will find this one enjoyable as well.

I found it interesting that they switch the lead vocals around - notable examples are Neal Schon on "Self Defense" and Ross Valory on "She's Gone Crazy." (that's one to crank up, it's a fun song) Those who are familiar with Journey before Steve Perry (and have the album "Next") know that Neal sang lead vocals on the song "Karma." Neal also sang lead vocals on his solo album "Late Nite." He's a better guitarist than singer (duh) but he can sing to a degree. He's good if you want a sort of grungy voice.

"Butterfly (She Flies Alone)" and "Beyond the Clouds" are power ballads fronted by Steve Augeri that are more reminiscent of "Escape" or "Frontiers."

Over all I really enjoy this CD - it's fresh, the guitar is awesome and it's a refreshing change from all the syrupy pop and horrid rap/dance garbage that seems to be polluting the airwaves. The problem is that no one will probably hear these songs played on the radio which is a real shame.

Yes it's 80's style music which makes it necessary to make a distinction - there was bad 80's music and good 80's music. This is better than a lot of the good 80's music. Enjoy and don't be afraid to admit your closet pleasure is cranking up Journey in the car!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The journey continues on in grand style!!, September 14, 2005
This review is from: Generations (Audio CD)
Despite the less than stellar review by Honda, don't believe it. This is Journey's best CD period and yes, the band is still making great music even without Steve Perry. I was a huge Steve Perry fan, but basically he tended to dominate things a little too much at times, while now the band is more of a band with Steve Augeri fronting the group. Generations is a great mix of the old and new Journey sound, and as good as Arrival and Red 13 were, this collection of great songs leaves those two in the dust. Faith in the Heartland and Better Life are two of the best songs Journey has created period and it's great to see Journey back to rocking hard again. Each of the members contributes to the CD in a very significant way and Generations is a great gift to Journey fans and good music fans.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Journey Rolls On, September 13, 2005
By 
This review is from: Generations (Audio CD)
This is a great Journey album. It has all the hallmarks of Journey, old and new. There's some classic Neal Schon guitar work - the solos on 'Faith in the Heartland' and 'Place in Your Heart' give me goose bumps! There's some good solid rock numbers, including a redo of Neal's 'In Self-Defence' which originally appeared on one of his Schon and Hammer albums with the members of Journey as guests.

Steve Augeri's vocals certainly fit the new Journey, and his song writing capabilities are revealed a little with 'Butterfly' and 'Beyond the Clouds.'

There's another beautiful Jon Cain ballad in 'Knowing That You Love Me' - a great love song. But I think that it's this song that highlights a weakness in Augeri's vocals. This is the kind of song that Steve Perry would've lifted to the stars in the days when his voice was on top form. He certainly had depth and power in his voice that, I'm sorry to say, Augeri is missing. Nevertheless, Augeri does a great job and is coming into his own on this album. I think he and Deen are great additions to the lineup of Schon, Cain and Valory.

In fact, the whole band gets to sing lead vocals at least once on this album! Deen Castronova's voice is quite a nice surprise - I think he's paying homage to Perry! And on 'Every Generation' Cain's vocals give a hint of the days of Gregg Rolie.

Overall, this is a very uplifting, fun, melodic rock album, with some great lyrics about love, faith and hope. The Limited Edition comes in the form of a hardback booklet with pics and lyrics. There's also an extra multimedia video track for the computer which is a little documentary/interview with the band (about 10 minutes).

The Journey rolls on - and I'm a happy Journey fan. My advice: If you like good melodic rock - buy it!
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Album - Don't Count Journey Out Yet Folks..., October 4, 2005
This review is from: Generations (Audio CD)
Before I get into the review...

PERRY ISN'T IN THE BAND ANYMORE. Hasn't been since 96. That's nearly 10 years! He's NOT coming back. Those of you that want to live in the past, go put on "Escape". Don't dog this album simply because your hero (and one of mine quite frankly) doesn't appear here. Look into the future! While I'm at it, I don't think Dennis DeYoung will be taking over as Journey's singer either (just to cover all the bases!).

This is Journey 2005 and it's a GREAT band with a GREAT new album. Harder edged than their last album "Arrival" (another great album, though a bit 'ballad heavy'), "Generations" finds the band striving for something a bit different. Everyone in the band sings this time around and the results are sometimes missing the mark (bringing the album rating down to a 4 instead of a 5) and sometimes brilliant. I don't remember other band members singing lead since "Departure".

Journey did this album without the support of a major label... "Support" might be a subjective word here. While major label support is great for getting the music out to the masses, they really hampered Journey's creativity on "Arrival" which SHOULD have been a blockbuster album. However, Sony kept at them to add more ballads to the album creating an album that was just too soft for Journey to use as a comeback statement. It's still a good collection of songs though.

On "Generations" the band is a lot more free and it shows. The rocking songs are really rocking and the ballads have a bit more of a bluesy touch to them rather than the power ballad feel of "Open Arms" and "Faithfully".

It must also be said that Steve Augeri is one HELL of a singer. His voice really comes alive on this record where on "Arrival", there might've been more nods than necessary to his predecessor. His songwriting is also featured on the album with (I believe) 3 tracks that he wrote on his own. Hey, look at that! Another hero! Cool.

The good:
"Faith in the Heartland"- A great rocker song with some good guitar from Neal Schon. Augeri turns in a great vocal here as well.

"The Place in Your Heart"- Another good rocker. This song seems to actually have a bit of Motown thrown in. Some of the backup vocals in the chorus and the rhythm in the chorus is very "Four Tops". Not that the song sounds like Motown, but the influence is clearly there.

"A Better Life"- This song is sung by drummer Deen Castronovo. WOW. This guy's got a great voice and turns in a very soulful performance here. Perryheads will like this as Deen's voice sounds like "Raised on Radio"-era Perry. Actually sounds more like Perry than Augeri. Great lyrics on this one too. I don't know, since Ringo, I always expect mediocre vocals from drummers. This guy blows that myth away. Good job Deen.

"Believe"- Augeri's second self-written tune on the record. I really like the piano and string arrangement in this upbeat tune. It's got a positive message and is a good song. I think it could've had a stronger chorus or at least used different chords there, but I still like it.

"Knowing That You Love Me"- This is THE ballad on the album and it stands along side "Open Arms" and "Faithfully" but does them one better by having a much more bluesy feel. I believe this is a Jon Cain song. It's absolutely brilliant. I'm not much of a ballad guy, but this one is truly great. Steve's voice kills on this song. If radio is looking for a good ballad PUSH THIS TRACK. It's really good and deserves to be heard. Great lyrics Jon! Great string arrangement. I love this one.

"Out of Harm's Way"- This one's about a guy who goes and comes back from Iraq. It definitely rocks. I like the verses better than the choruses though. It gets into the war thing without telling you how to think but just kind of explains the character in the song's trials. Neal Schon turns in some good guitar solos in this one. I wish the lyric was "Keep them out of harm's way... AND GET THEM THE F**K HOME!" but they're not that kind of band.

"In Self Defense"- Sung by guitarist Neal Schon. Neal's voice actually reminds me of Jimi Hendrix. Cool. This song kick's MAJOR tail. Killer guitar riff from Neal and great playing from Castronovo. Neal recorded this one for his solo album in 83 (actually all of Journey played on it back then too) but it was redone for this record. Not sure why they did that, but I'm glad they did. This version's backup vocals fit the song better than Perry's did. Perry's were intrusive. These are much better and help the song. Good job Neal!

"Better Together"- Great bluesy rock track with Augeri on lead. This song is really good and rocks. Good guitar from Neal as well. I also like when Cain moves to the organ for the harder rock songs. Reminds me of his playing in the Baby's. Great chorus. This song sounds kind of like "who the hell cares, we're Journey and we're going to kick your a$$". Good song.

"Beyond The Clouds"- I think this might be another Augeri-written one. Not sure. It's been said to be about the 9/11 stuff. Good ballad with good lyrics. It doesn't hold a candle to "Knowing that You Love Me", but it's still a good song with a good chorus. Similar to "Trial By Fire" but a much much better song.

"Never Too Late"- Another Deen Castronovo vocal here. This song was going to be left off of the American release. THANK GOD someone came to their senses. This is a great song and definitely should be here. Good rocking tune.

The not so good:

"Every Generation"- Jonathan Cain sings this one. The song is a good song with a great chorus. I find myself humming this one a lot. However, Jon's voice just doesn't make it for me. It's not horrible or anything, but it's very tight sounding on the higher notes. I think it's a bit out of his vocal range. Steve would've done this song better and I wish that he had. If you like Jon Cain singing, buy "Back to the Innocence" his solo album. It's pretty good.

"Butterfly"- This is an Augeri-penned tune. Decent song, but definitely different for Journey. I think this would've been a better song for Augeri's solo album. There's just not a strong enough chorus here. However, having said that, this one could've been on "Dream After Dream". This one has grown on me, but it's still not one of my favorite tracks. Also, the lyrics remind me of "Something Corporate's" song "Me and the Moon". Similar lyric ideas of an oppressed woman that wants to be free, both with butterflies in them. I think "Something Corporate" pulled the idea off a bit better, yet a bit more on the dark side. A LOT of Journey fans love this song. So I could be wrong...

"Gone Crazy"- Bassist Ross Valory sings this one. The music on this song is so un-Journey like. It's actually like Van Halen's "The Full Bug" from "Diver Down" which is very cool. It's a great rock song with awesome guitar - BUT- Valory's voice just isn't Journey and is more like George Thorogood or a bit like David Lee Roth. Imagine how cool this song would've been had Augeri sang it. It would've been a good B-side. I actually like the song quite a bit, but it doesn't fit that well here.

All in all, a really solid effort from a band that really deserves some respect. I mean, if friggin' Bob Segar, James Taylor, and Jackson Browne (?!?!) can get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, why not Journey? Journey is one of America's great bands and they deserve to be doing better than they are these days. Major labels and radio- Get a grip and push this album!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars They've released the parking brake...., September 4, 2005
By 
This review is from: Generations (Audio CD)
A previous reviewer was very thorough in his examination of each track. I would simply like to offer that this is the overall hardest rocking album Journey has ever done. Though there are a few excellent mellower numbers (e.g., Beyond the Clouds), the core of Generations are the straight-ahead rockers, which are driven by Neal Schon's resurgent guitar work (this is a 180 degree turn from his latest, excellent solo work I on U).

Though Journey took great pains to find a replacement singer who could pass for Steve Perry, after repeated listens, I can note that not only can Steve Augeri imitate Perry but he has a more robust voice (perhaps not the glass-breaking range, though). The rest of the group is in fine form.

Journey has produced the album that they should have done in the 1980s. This is pure AOR rock, without the seemingly obligatory "radio hit." Something I find very interesting is the theme of the album. Many of the songs revolve around the topic of how successive generations encounter and deal with similar challenges. Though the tragedy and ill-decision of the Iraq war figures high (e.g., Harm's Way), but the treatment is sufficiently broad as to have salience for a variety of situations.

A very enjoyable listen!
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23 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best album since Frontiers...no doubt about it!, October 11, 2005
By 
This review is from: Generations (Audio CD)
This release from Journey had me completely surprised and caught off guard. I knew the band was releasing a new album this October, but I hadn't been to a concert since 2001, and I was a little disappointed with their Red 13 EP in 2002. I had fairly high expectations for Generations, but I was afraid that their songwriting would be similar to Red 13: hurried, lacking creativity, and amateur production (don't get me wrong, I still liked Red 13 for its energy and hard-edge sound). Then, I listened to a 30-second blurb of "The Place In Your Heart" on the band's website, and it brought tears to my eyes, it was so good! Last night, I finally bought this album and all I have to say is...

WOW!!!!!! HOLY S*#T!!!!

Are you kidding me?! This Journey album is by far one of the best albums Journey has ever made, and yes, I realize what that statement is truly saying. I firmly believe this is one of the best albums since Frontiers. It severly beats any of the albums made since then, from Raised on Radio to Arrival, their first album under the band's current line-up. The reason(s)? Neal Schon's sheer virtuosity in his solos and playing, Steve Augeri's incredible performances, Deen's blistering drummer skills (and sensational singing!), Jonathan Cain's songwriting, and Ross Valory's solid bass work.

The album first starts with an amazing song called "Faith in the Heartland" where it begins slowly with synthesizers from Jon, then it explodes with a rocking beat. Throughout the song, Neal makes his guitar sing with gracefulness in his solos, then switches to playing a fist-pumping rhythm riff. Next is "The Place In Your Heart", which is a true classic. I have to disagree with another person's review saying the song was weak; this rock song has an edge to it but contains smooth tones that usually accompany a melodic rock anthem. The drummer Dean sings the next song "A Better Life" along with the last track on this version of the album "Never Too Late". The former song is a mellow rocker with a great message, and the latter is a fast-paced rocker with superb guitar work from Neal. Deen truly shows his versatility with great drumwork, and he has a fabulous voice with stark similarities to Steve Perry.

Every song on this album literally demands your attention from each beginning. Steve Augeri has blossomed as Journey's frontman with his contributions in "Butterfly", an excellent ballad, and "Believe", a mid-tempo rocker, in addition to other songs he co-wrote with Jon and Neal. This guy is phenomenal in another ballad "Knowing That You Love Me"...he hits high notes that Perry would now shy away from in the song. I was literally amazed! Other great rockers are songs like "Every Generation", sung by Cain and "In Self-Defense", sung by Schon. Even bassist Valory gets in on the action for lead vocals with a hard blues-rocker "Gone Crazy". "Out of Harms' Way", a surprising political song from this band, thankfully avoids any agendas about the War on Terror, and is another hard rocker along with "Better Together".

In Generations, the band got very creative and bold with the distribution of lead vocalist responsibilities to its other members, but it greatly shows how diverse the members in this band are. The album has been fused with the energy of Red 13, yet it contains far more creativity, and the production quality is far superior. If you are a Journey fan, you NEED to get this album! If you are a classic rock fan, you SHOULD get this album. Generations is one of the best offerings of rock 'n roll by Journey since the mid-80s. Hopefully, it will become an essential classic for any rock listener.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A "Generation" gap, June 7, 2006
This review is from: Generations (Audio CD)
As a committed Journey fan, I was truly looking forward to their new album, only to be gravely disappointed. The first three tracks are nice, as are the last two...the rest has much to be desired. Gone are the sweeping melodies that typified the Perry era. Missing is any of the creative orchestration and progressive rock associated with "Dream After Dream" and the "Escape" albums. The album video said that the band was stretching into new territory - they weren't kidding!

Melodies are rather limiting and repetitive; the band is rather rough around the edges; Tracks 8-11 are very much like "Back Talk," off of the "Frontiers" album; ("Back Talk" is my least favorite Journey tune). In fact, part of the writing credits go to Steve Perry on "In Self-Defense." The ballads, with the exception of "Beyond the Clouds" are stagnant and tend to drag on and on and on...you get the picture. The final drawback is that every member gets a chance at singing. Remember William Shatner - well, it's not that bad, but didn't they hire Augeri for a reason?

One nice surprise is that Deen Castronovo, Journey's new drummer, sings on two tunes ("Never Too Late," "A Better Life"). Deen has a very strong, "Steve Perry-sounding" voice that fits the Journey mold. Both of these tunes are great additions to the Journey library. Schon gives a stellar solo in the former tune - one of his best on the album. I hope they give Deen the floor more often; however, I can't imagine playing drums live and trying to sing at the same time.

My recommendation is to listen to the album and draw your own conclusions. I'm keeping the album for the few songs that I listed above. They'll go on a burned compilation CD and the original master will sit on the shelf - until I have to make another CD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Frontier, October 21, 2006
This review is from: Generations (Audio CD)
2005 release. Journey's second album since the departure of Steve Perry became a varied one. Sound direction reminds me of that of Frontier album in 1983 mixing ballads and aggressive rockers in a spectacular manner. Some tracks have different lead vocals including Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain. To the best of my knowledge they have nerver served as lead vocalist with the exception of perhaps pre-perry works.

FAITH IN THE HEARTLAND is a prime time Journey rock anthem sounding close to TO TAME A LION in Trial By Fire album. THE PLACE IN YOUR HEART is again a Journey anthem. A BETTER LIFE introduces drummer Dean Castronovo as lead vocalist. One of the best tracks. In EVERY GENERATION Jonathan Cain takes the lead. BUTTERFLY is melancholic yet superb ballad surprisingly penned not by Jonathan Cain but Steve Augeri. KNOWING THAT YOU LOVE ME is unmistakably Cain type ballad while Augeri pens another quasi-Cain style ballad BEYOND THE CLOUDS. Rock sides is better than ever particularly I love the aggressive DAMN YANKEES like wild rocker IN SELF-DEFENCE. BETTER TOGETHER has another of great tight arranged rock track. They close the album with typical Journey pop rocker NEVER TOO LATE. It's a pity only a number of lucky rock fans can ever get this well-produced album.

Verdict: Alternative vocals ploy gives the band variety.

Rating: 88 out of 100. Nearly the prime-time Journey we love.

Recommended for: Wide range of 80s pop rock fans.
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Generations
Generations by Journey (Audio CD - 2005)
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