Friday, October 12, 2018

RECORD REVIEW: Steve Perry - "Traces"

Steve Perry
(Fantasy Records)

Welcome back, Steve.
You've been missed.

For many dedicated longtime fans, the eagerly-anticipated 2018 release from iconic singer / songwriter and former Journey frontman, Steve Perry, might feel like a comforting hug from a long-lost friend.

Produced by Perry, Traces marks his third solo effort — his first since 1994's Top 20, gold-selling For the Love of Strange Medicine. Pointing to Perry's personal passion for smooth-sounding, adult contemporary-style pop, this sparkling ten-song set is brimming with noteworthy highlights.

Reflecting fondly on a love from the past, the record's lead-off single, "No Erasin'" is engaging and upbeat  a radio-friendly track in a stylistic vein similar to Perry's much-loved hits from Journey's 1986 smash, Raised on Radio.

Bursting with bluesy allure, "No More Cryin'" is an irresistible, pop-flavored seduction, while "Sun Shines Gray" buzzes with rock-ribbed energy provided by an unlikely guest contribution from legendary Marilyn Manson / Rob Zombie guitarist, John 5. The delicate Fender Rhodes-driven remake of the George Harrison-penned 1965 Beatles classic, "I Need You" makes for another golden moment. However, it's Perry's signature-style ballad, "You Belong to Me" that may deliver the record's most heartfelt payoff.

In sum, with Traces, Steve Perry offers his legions of worldwide admirers a beautiful treasure — at a time it likely is needed most. Welcome back, Steve. You've been missed, indeed.

-Christopher Long
(October 2018)

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