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Optimus Import


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Audio CD, Import, March 7, 2005
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 7, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Mascot
  • ASIN: B0007KT0B8
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #503,485 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Chase Down The Moon
2. Nailed To The Cross
3. Better Day
4. One More Time
5. Time To Run
6. Optimus
7. Takin' The Blame
8. Change Will Come
9. Forced
10. Solitude

Editorial Reviews

The guitarist of Europe is at it again with a new rage. This follow up to the band's "Start From The Dark" has increased exposure to Norum's massive guitar playing and solo career.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Lawrence on January 17, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Norum is in charge of the mike on this one and certainly in charge of his guitar. Even UK magazine Classic Rock liked this one and they (fairly enough) have panned some of his other releases.

The guitar work here is thundering and heavy. But in a 70's kind of way. Which makes sense since John grew up in that environment. But... well I'm sort of lost for words in the about turn this guy has achieved with this album. I can't give it five stars as it does drone a little, but the riffs here would be worth three stars even if the album was marred by Norums usually crap lyrics. And that isn't the case here. And listening to the latest Europe album, the guy took this new found heavy riff style into that band too, which can only be an improvement.

Anyone who liked the new Europe album should get this. Anyone who didn't like the new Europe album also should probably get this!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Smith on May 15, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I recently came across this cd in a used shop, and was very happy to pick it up. I have been a big fan of John's for many years. I have all of his previous solo efforts and enjoy all of them. While I think John Norum is an exceptionally talented guitarist and songwriter, I really can't give this disc a favorable review. I have a few issues with it. First off the disc is extremely short. Ten songs clocking in at a total time of 37:52 is really unacceptable in this day and age of cd technology. Of the ten tracks, two are instrumental, which leaves only eight vocal tracks. Once I get past the short running time, my biggest issue it the drop-tuning guitar sound that John is using these days. It is also present on his last solo disc Slipped into Tomorrow. At times some of the tracks almost start to sound like Zak Wylde's BLS work. I find that rather strange as Norum comes from the European culture of rock/metal. This is an area where "traditional metal" is considered to still be doing well, and not having to update itself to more modern sounds. I again cite Norum's Thin Lizzy influence, which is nowhere to be found on this disc. Lizzy is long considered to be a pillar of classic European hard rock/metal.

My other issue is the same as was previously noted. John's vocals are passable, but he would benefit from using a guest vocalist who could have improved these tracks. I think John's first two solo albums are his best work. 1992's Face the Truth is simply fantasic.

In conclusion, there are a couple of decent tracks on here, such as Takin' the Blame and Time to Run. I am sure fans of John Norum will seek this disc out, no matter what reviews it recieves. I would encourage all fans to pick it up and form their own opinions, but in my humble opinion, I find it the least essential of his solo work.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I got this album as a young guitar player just after I'd gotten Start from the Dark (Europe). Since I'd just started playing guitar, Solitude and Optimus were two of the first killer instrumental tracks to inspire me. Today, (nearly 10 years later) I still listen to songs like Chase Down the Moon all the time (the vocals are great!). More memorable mentions are: Nailed to the Cross where, Norum described the lead as his only 'Yngwie-style' solo. Apparently it gave him a headache, he won't likely do much more like it. =p And the cover of the song Time to Run from the band Phantom Blue (which he has credit in co-writing) is a heavy modernized version of the original that I quite like. If you like the heavy sounds of Start from the Dark, you'll like this. But if you're stuck on Total Control and TFC, you should probably look elsewhere.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
He has put out some very good solo work but this one disappoints. He really needs to beef up the writing, and find at least a part-time vocalist. He doesn't have the pipes to carry an entire cd, so he should recruit a vocalist for 4-5 cuts, or get a full-time singer as he did with Glenn Hughes. The solos are not up to his standards either.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The OpiumDen on April 29, 2006
Format: Audio CD
John Norum's "Optimus" is a an incendiary cocktail that burns,

without variation, into a symphonious burst of poetic expressions. The guitar work is consistent and pleasantly harsh, from beginning to end and the songs are even more interesting as they are stressed by John's ferocious and turbulent vocals.

This album is -required by rule- for people that enjoy his work and it is a great place to start for new listeners interested or curious about his music.

"Optimum" creation!
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