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Sven Larsson - Sunlight & Shadow

posted 25 Jul 2011, 07:30 by Paul Woodward   [ updated 25 Jul 2011, 11:26 ]

(Avenue Of Allies)

Review by Woody

Another album from the Avenue Of Allies label which has a strong west coast sound, this time courtesy of Swedish guitarist Sven Larsson. Yeah, I was like who? As well, that was until I checked out the bio and discovered that Sven is guitarist with the awesome AOR band Street Talk! So now I was fully intrigued and filled with high hopes for this one.

Forget the sound and style of Street Talk, this is far more in the west coast AOR style and I suppose Sven’s way of showing a different side of his talents, He also sings on the album and he does a decent job too, but he does draft in singer Thomas Eriksson for two songs. He’s also joined by fellow Street Talk members Fredrik Bergh (Keyboards) & Christian Johansson (Drums) for some guest appearances on the album.

For me it’s an album of massive high’s and deep low’s, I went from Wow that’s a fantastic song to holy crap that’s probably the shitest song ever recorded in a flash quite a few times when I listened to the album through. Disappointingly from such a great talent a very 50/50 album although I do have to give a nod to Sven for trying to spread his musical wings and not just create a Street Talk copy album.

The album opens brightly with “Sunlight & Shadow” a really catchy upbeat AOR song full of hooks and some fantastic guitar licks which stick in your head, he also lets rip on the outro guitar solo. “Eagle” is a Toto-esque rocker, with a song structure that builds to an in your face chorus. “This Is Not The Right Time” is a great atmospheric ballad with some killer melodies; it’s really catchy and hits all the right spots with me.

“Daydreamer” is an out and out west coast number, but it’s very forgettable and fails to catch you, it did nothing for me. “Fly On By” is a smooth west coast ballad, it doesn’t hit you instantly but it does grow on you after a while. Instrumental “Tube” is a bit of filler, didn’t grab my attention at all, just a bit of laid back widdling.

“Bastard” made me think of The Police & Sting, but it’s a horrendous song total dirge! “It’s Over” has a great memorable chorus and coupled with some fantastic guitar work brings the song to the fore and is a stand out track.

Thomas Eriksson takes over on lead vocals for the next two tracks, not sure why the change maybe Sven wanted a grittier vocal on these two songs, but I wouldn’t say he’s a better singer. “I’ll Turn My Back” is a full of energy rocker. A song that builds into an up tempo instant hook filled chorus which hits you instantly. “The Neighbour” is another rocker but in contrast to the previous song is total crap and didn’t make an impression on me at all. I’m not normally a fan of Instrumental’s but closing track “Candy” is just filler and left me cold, the screeching vocal of “I Want Candy” didn’t help the song either so NO I don’t want candy!

A very hit and miss album, maybe one just for Street Talk complete-ists and for fans of Toto, west coast and lite AOR to check out. There is some great stuff on here well worth checking out but the album as a whole is a bit of a let down. Now isn’t it about time we got that long overdue new album from the kick ass Street Talk!

Track Listing:

Sunlight & Shadow / Eagle / This Is Not The Right Time / Daydreamer / Fly On By / Tube / Bastard / It’s Over / I’ll Turn My Back / The Neighbour / Candy

Album Rating:


Woody’s Essential Track:

I’ll Turn My Back

Sunlight & Shadow is OUT NOW from all good retailers and