Bad Habit - Above And Beyond
I feel stronger than the sun comes from the title track of Swedish AOR rockers Bad Habit latest album and that exact line pretty much sums up what this disc is all about. Above and Beyond truly shines with a brilliant bright light, 13 songs blasting at you with full melodic force, leaving you in a state of absolute bliss.
I Don't Want You hits you straight on, just under three minutes of amazing, catchy rock with attitude and edge. The distinct choirs roaming in the background is such a fantastic treat.
Vocalist Bax Fehling delivers a world-class performance in each and every song, take the enhanced chorus line around 2:13 in the sweeping Don't Want To Say Goodbye, it takes pure class carrying that one through.
Let Me Be The One is one of the softest tracks on the album, rich in warmth and soul, each instrument used effectively to create an extremely smooth flow, captivating and lucid.
Sometimes you can tell by the opening of a song if its going to be any good, the gorgeous breeze of lush tenderness kicking off A Lot To Learn is an example of a song you instantly know is going to be something special. The unique guitar leads and harmonious glow of the whole thing is just spellbinding.
Apart from two songs Hal Marabel is the man behind the song writing and I most honestly say that I'm truly impressed with the diversity and overall quality of the material.
The title track is a powerful and groovy rocker with a thick bass foundation, spiced with elaborate guitar inputs and a life conforming chorus.
When looking for adjectives for this release words as effusive, positive, catchy and heartfelt comes to mind, all which could apply to My Confession. The genius keyboard is all over the place, the solid drumming sets a steady course and with such a vivid refrain you simply can't go wrong.
Let Me Tell You is one of my favourite tracks, the sensitive but absolute brilliant lyrics is easily relatable and again Bax's enlightening vocals is the icing on the sweet pastry.
The ingenious used of acoustic guitars is one of the albums biggest strengths; it really adds depth and soul with Never Gonna Give You Up as a stunning example.
Closing the album in just the right way, I Need Someone lights up with majestic grace, the phenomenal chorus and supporting background choirs melt together in fascinating style.
I clearly dig the up beat, ultra catchy tunes the best but the moodier, more serious compositions are needed to give the album the right balance.
Just A Heartbeat Away is more complex in nature than it appears to be at first glance. Keyboard and piano bounces off each other in a smooth fashion and the mid-tempo beat reflect a sombre state of mind.
I Believe plays with harder guitar riffs and moody progressive key arrangements, interesting but the chorus is a bit too simple.
Surrender has a deep, hurtful and hard pounding heart, nicely symbolised by a steady bass beat, nothing special but a good song.
A bit of the same thing goes for Calling Your Name, a laid back, atmospheric composition with a splendid guitar solo, but it becomes a bit too stretched out in the end.
The production is crystal clear and very professional if a bit too polished for my personal taste. The well-put together lyrics reflect on the different shades of life and in particular love, mostly from a positive angle but you'll find some deeper and quite stirring stuff here as well.
This album is a triumph for Hal Marabel and Bad Habit. An impressive display of brilliant AOR.

Written by Tommy
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
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Tommy: 8.5/10

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Comment by Sandra (Member) - Friday, April 10, 2009
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Comments: 36
Ratings: 25
I just recently discovered this great swedish melodic rock band, and this release is very catchy. I have been listing to it almost on daily basis. Above and Beyond is a perfect album for this time of the year and it improves my mood instantly!
I agree with Tommy, the production is a bit too polished and "pretty" and it takes some of the edginess away. Unfortunately. But still... what an amazing release.

Posted by Sandra
Friday, April 10, 2009

Comment by Sandra (Member) - Friday, April 10, 2009
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Comments: 36
Ratings: 25
...Just watched the videos for "I don't want you" and " and the title track...
and they are soo random.
Really not my taste.

Posted by Sandra
Friday, April 10, 2009

Comment by ProfessorShred (Member) - Sunday, May 17, 2009
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Comments: 16
Ratings: 45
I thought overall these guys are pretty weak...
Check out ColdSpell Infinite Stargate,think you'll be impressed.

Posted by ProfessorShred
Sunday, May 17, 2009

Review by Tommy

Released by
AOR Heaven - 2009

1. I Don't Want You
2. Just A Heartbeat Away
3. Don't Want To Say Goodbye
4. Let Me Be The One
5. A Lot To Learn
6. I Believe
7. Above And Beyond
8. My Confession
9. Let Me Tell You
10. Surrender
11. Calling Your Name
12. Never Gonna Give You Up
13. I Need Someone


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