Swedish soulful West Coast singer, songwriter, keyboardist & producer ANDREAS ALEMAN grabbed my attention with his debut CD in 2009.
It became clear right away that this cat meant business with baritone vocals left me wondering if this is what Robbie Dupree or Michael McDonald might have sounded-like today if they were born only 40 years ago.
Bring us up to 2012 and this blue eyed soul disciple of McDonald finds himself right in the middle of an incredible wave of extraordinary music coming out of Sweden and Norway from other artists like Ole Borud, Work Of Art, State Cows, Steffan Gunnarsson and more with his sophomore release entitled "It's The Journey".
Andreas Aleman has triumphantly risen to the occasion with a sophisticated follow-up album that’s sleeker than the first and delivered with pure lean muscle. The songs had such great range and attention to detail.
The production sounds lush with classic keyboards, pocket rhythms, precise bass work, stabbing horns, soaring guitars and amazing musical and vocal arrangements.
The party roars out of the gate with the catchy Donald Fagen-like track “Power” with its soul gospel feel that’ll make you an immediate believer.
The album then segues into the smooth shuffle AOR West Coast groove of “If It’s A Dream” that features classy horn arrangements and insane fretwork from guitarist Mikael Berg Andersson. An absolutely early '80s sounding gem.
“When It Happens” continues the ride with its mid-tempo story about holding out for real love, musically in a Bill Champlin style filled with classic L.A. rhythm guitars, vintage organs and electric pianos.
The pace moves back into high gear with the tasty keyboard and horn intro licks that build into the feel good chorus on “Right Out Loud”. The common thread throughout is the warm, relaxed vocals of Andreas Aleman who weaves an effortless spell over these great compositions.
Other standouts on this fine CD include the beautiful pure West Coast sounds of “Helplessly In Love”, the classic rock vibe of “Real Life Love” and the low down soul celebration in “Keep On Keepin’ Funky”.
Andreas produced and arranged "It's The Journey" and co-wrote 9 of the 10 songs, mostly with principle collaborator Brian Hobbs, an American studio-songwriter stablished in Sweden. Additional songwriters were the great Steffan Gunnarsson, Jonas Andre (Kelly Rowland), the Emmy nominated Ron Boustead and many more.
Backed-up by prime Swedish session musicians, this recording has a superb and organic production, with sounds that recalls the glory of the early eighties.
"It's The Journey" is a huge accomplishment in the classic West Coast AOR style, the kind of disc that will get people within earshot to ask you “Who is THIS?”
West Coast AOR audiophiles; you are advised.
01 - Power
02 - If It's A Dream
03 - When It Happens
04 - Right Out Loud
05 - Helplessly In Love
06 - I Knew It Was You
07 - Keep On Keepin' Funky
08 - Real Life Love
09 - Dirty Love
10 - Put Some Trust In Me
Lead & Backing Vocals, Keyboards: Andreas Aleman
Guitars: Mikael Berg Andersson & Andy Pfeiler
Bass: Tom Beimel & Thobias Gabrielsson
Synths: Stefan Gunnarsson
Horns: Patrik Skogh, Wojtek Goral, Staffan Findin
Drums & Percussion: Christer Jansson, Anders Hedlund & M. Wikman
Backing Vocals: Anna Hall, Louise Palmstierna, Pelle Ankarberg, Peter Getz, Anders Von
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