Rating: RRRR Label: Escape Music 2013
Review by Kimmo Toivonen
It's the second round for Stala & So, Finnish glam rockers. Their first album was okay, although a bit of a mixed bag of seventies' and eighties' influences. In the end, it didn't have enough great songs to be something particulary exciting. I'm glad to say that the second effort is better. Even Stala's accent seems to have gotten less edgy.
The seventies' influences have taken the backseat as most of the songs are very much 80'ies style melodic rock. Yet the band throws in some quirky pop elements to the mix.
This album has been compared to Reckless Love, and while I hear the similarities, I'd say that Stala & So are a bit more down-to-earth and their sound is less polished. But yeah, both bands can write catchy melodies and take their cues from the eighties, so they do play in the same ballpark.
So, what do we have on the album? 11 melodic rock tracks. Admittedly a couple of the songs could be considered a bit "throwaway" ("Rock Star" and "Alrite Tonite" maybe) and one of them, the video song "The Boys Are Having Fun", is just so sickeningly sugary attempt at a "summer hit" it makes my teeth ache. Otherwise it's all very good, big or even bigger choruses and a couple of good, if somewhat familiar sounding power ballads somewhere in between the rockers. The stand-out track is "Tokyo Delights", which is one of my favourite songs of this year so far. The hook hits ya straight between the eyes!
Note: The European release features two bonus tracks; a remix of the band's Eurovision Song Contest "Pamela" and an acoustic cover of Ozzy's "Shot In The Dark".