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Coastland Ride: Coastland Ride +3

Having just signed with Avenue Of Allies to release their second album On Top Of The World, Coastland Ride and AofA have also teamed up to rerelease this Swedish trio's self titled debut album, which was originally put out by AORHeaven in 2003. Mixing AOR with the more pure sound of Westcoast and more than hint of straight ahead Pop music, Coastland Ride is an album crammed with hooks and sing along choruses although for some, much of what is included here will be far too sugary sweet. With the pairing of Anders Rybank and Mikael Bohlin sharing, guitar, keyboard and "programming" duties (the former also handles bass and there isn't a live drummer on this album), the trio is completed by singer Markus Nordenberg, whose voice sits somewhere between the clarity of Bobby Kimball, the gruff charm of David Glenn Eisley and the power of Grand Illusion pairing Peter Sundell and Per Svensson.

Surprisingly for a band who operate in a bright, breezy area of music, the lyrics from Coastland Ride can at times be of a serious and insightful nature, with "On The Path Of Greed", "The World Is Not Enough" and "Second Hand America" all making interesting comments on the world we live in. The vocal delivery ensures that the weighty subject matter never sounds out of place alongside the upbeat and sunny disposition of the music, although they can still make for unusual bedfellows. There's no denying that Westcoast is always the style of Rock that veers closest to pure Pop, but in the case of Coastland Ride, that line can become extremely blurred indeed, with a couple of the tracks and especially "Never The Same" being almost manufactured boy-band style fodder. That said "Let Me Let You Go" and "Sleepless" are excellent bursts of AOR, with the former being the more in your face variety while the latter is a poised and refined slower number. Things do become a little formulaic in places and while there isn't a bad song on this album, it can be ever so slightly bland in places.

The "+3" referred to in the album title arrive in the shape of three bonus tracks from the original album sessions, which follow in the same vein as the album itself, although the slightly darker atmosphere they bring does actually offer an interesting change of focus to this release. More an album that showed promise than one which truly delivered upon it, Coastland Ride still comes recommended to those with a love of all things Westcoast.

Track Listing
1. Let Me Let You Go
2. On The Path Of Greed
3. The Angels Must Have Missed A Turn
4. Never The Same
5. Second Hand America
6. Hearts To The Flame
7. Believe In Me
8. Eyes
9. Sleepless
10. Jenny's Heart
11. The World Is Not Enough
12. Pitch Black Ride

Added: December 15th 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Coastland Ride MySpace
Hits: 2131
Language: english

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