CARE OF NIGHT – Love Equals War

Here’s another AOR band that hails from Sweden and whadda you know, they’re NOT on Frontiers Records. Care Of Night contains four dudes – vocalist Calle Schörberg, guitarist and bassist Viktor Öström Berg, drummer Linus Svensson and keyboarder Kristofer von Wachenfeldt – that were formed back in 2009. They released their self-titled debut E.P. in 2013 after which they signed a deal with AOR Heaven – a label they’re still with – and released the critically acclaimed “Connected” in 2015. After a highly acclaimed performance at the Nottingham festival the same year, the band really had something to keep working by but things went silent after that. Now, with a new guitarist in Öström Berg, the band is current with a brand new album. But in this day and age, AOR bands pops up like mushrooms in the forest and it remains to be seen if Care Of Night has something that sets them apart from the rest.

The title-track and first single that open the album is an uptempo smooth and slick AOR number but in the background of all the polish lies some chunky Hard Rock riffing that brings up this catchy and poppy piece another notch. It’s a great song that bodes well for the rest of the album. The silky AOR continues with “Your Perfection” but this one also holds some raunchy guitar work that’s mixed with Pomp undertones. It’s a catchy rocker while listening but unfortunately it don’t leave a lasting impression. Not bad, though. “She Leads You On” brings a whole bunch of sweet and slick AOR melodies that rests upon a Hard Rock ground. It’s a tough and punchy rocker, all within the AOR box of course and a contagious refrain bigger than a bus. It’s the first video/single and it doesn’t take rocket scientist to figure out why. This deserves to be a major hit!

“All I Got” is a softer pop-rock tune on the ballad side that speeds up a bit towards the end. It holds a big chorus that really sticks, full of both sugar and syrup. It’s an ok tune but too saccharine for me. “Hit” is both fatter and heavier and more raunchy and Hard Rock laden, not a far cry from Treat’s 80’s records. It’s more straightforward and in-your-face where the guitars and keyboards teams up in a common attack over a good, meaty beat. A damn good track! The upbeat “Ivory Tower” is a very Pop oriented AOR tune, very pink, fluffy and slick with lots and lots of keyboards all over the place. Again, it’s not bad but it’s standard, mediocre and quite forgettable. “Cold As My Heart” comes with smooth and soft verses where a saxophone makes for a slight jazzy vibe. The big refrain takes it into AOR style power balladry and it’s catchy as can be. Should be a future single. Very good!

“Please Don’t Leave” comes in a mid pace and holds verses on the softer side, very pink n’ fluffy that screams mid 80’s AOR a long way. The chorus is a bit more punchy but still on the softer side. Even though the refrain feels catchy while listening, the song fails to make any impact and it really goes nowhere – a forgettable tune. “We Will Find A Way” is a more rocked up AOR tune that holds an upbeat tempo and land somewhere between Bad Habit and H.E.A.T.’s “1000 Miles”. It’s a smooth rocker with a very catchy refrain that holds lots of hit-potential – a great tune. The album closes in a great way with “At Last”, a slower in pace AOR tune with verses on the smooth and slick side and while keeps its slower pace in the refrain, it holds a big span and it’s very catchy and direct. When the guitar solo comes the tune speeds up which adds some variation. Great!

I have said it before in my later reviews concerning new AOR acts, nothing new has happened in a long time and it’s really rare that I get excited about new AOR albums now. When it comes to Care Of Night, I really can’t hear anything out of the ordinary Scandinavian sound –  the whole album lacks in identity, but since I couldn’t give a flying fekk about originality if the songs are killer enough, Care Of Night gets away with at least a passable rating. Because there are some really good songs on this album. Also, they are really good musicians and the album is well-produced, if only a bit too slick and clean sounding for my taste. However, the album also contains a few too many fillers and forgettable tunes for it to pass a high score from me. I’m not sure how much this record will be played in my house but I guess for AOR diehards, this album is a no-brainer!

6/10

Tracklist:

1. Love Equals War
2. Your Perfection
3. She Leads You On
4. All I Got
5. Hit
6. Ivory Tower
7. Cold As My Heart
8. Please Don’t Leave
9. We Will Find a Way
10. At Last

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