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Oxygen: Final Warning

I cannot tell you how the level of consternation on my face when I spotted that the first song on Final Warning was actually called "Janitor of Love". Seriously? "I'll take care of you cos baby I'm the Janitor of Love?" Ok, so far so dumb but do you know what? Throughout Final Warning melody is the key. Lots of big fluffy 1980s style melody. Songs that worm inside your brain and refuse to leave are very much the order of the day here.

This is pure melodic rock, a genre which is decidedly dead in the water these days outside heritage acts such as Journey and Foreigner and their ilk traipsing around the world's arenas playing the hits to the housewives and such like. Credit to Escape Music for keeping the genre alive and releasing little gems such as this one. Go on, listen to "Gold from the Future" and "We Must Fight" and try not to nod your head in appreciation.

Track Listing:
1- Janitor of Love
2- Anything for You
3- When Tomorrow Never Comes
4- I Remember
5- Gold from the Future
6- We Must Fight
7- I Wanna Know for Sure
8- Bring Back the Joy
9- Best Days of Our Lives
10- You

Added: May 26th 2012
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Escape Music
Hits: 2521
Language: english

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Oxygen: Final Warning
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-05-26 12:08:52
My Score:

After listening to Final Warning, the debut album from Swedish, smooth melodic rockers Oxygen, it is hard to believe that I haven't heard of singer Tony Niva before. He may well have released an album under his own Niva name in 1994 and featured with Lion's Share, however I have to admit that he has completely passed me by on both occasions. Put simply, I've been missing out. With a high octane delivery that brings to mind a less muscular early TNT, or current Grand Illusion, Oxygen have served up an album with hooks a plenty, choruses to die for and a fine mix of classy keys and biting riffs. However from start to finish it is the octave smashing delivery from Niva himself that really hits home, raising a good set of melodic rock songs to an altogether more impressive level.

Granted, it would be hard to suggest that there's much on Final Warning that steps outside of the well established Euro MHR formula. However the fact that Oxygen do it all with a whiff of freshness and a boundless enthusiasm, keeps the likes of the up-tempo "When Tomorrow Never Comes", the catchy as hell "Gold From The Future" and the daftly named and almost laugh out loud sing along of "Janitor Of Love" just too irresistible to ignore. The keyboard work from Marcus Persson is busy, but unobtrusive and whether he be laying down swathes of atmospheric chords, or bursts of dextrous colour, the most impressive aspect of his playing is the room he leaves for Niva's stunning vocals and the excellent guitar work of Roger Ljunggren.

There's no doubt that the sugary sweet "We Must Fight", or the unashamed power-ballad "You" will be an AOR step too far for some. However there's no denying the class, style and sincerity with which these songs are delivered, resulting in an album that will have melodic rock lovers everywhere punching the air with joy!

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