Several minutes into Arrival, the listener is likely to reach for a calendar. Is it really 2001? In the land of Journey, one can't be too sure.

Several minutes into Arrival, the listener is likely to reach for a calendar. Is it really 2001? In the land of Journey, one can't be too sure. Much of the veteran band's 18th set sounds like it could've been recorded during its '80s prime. That's not necessarily a bad thing; after all, it would be more jarring had the band returned swathed in electronic sonics or hip-hop samples. Instead, Arrival shows Journey striving for a steady, consistent musical familiarity. Unfortunately, the new album shows the band attempting to mine well-turned soil even as it tries to recover from the loss of longtime belter Steve Perry. To his credit, replacement Steve Augeri has respectable chops, and he works his way through both metallic anthems and power ballads with relative ease. It doesn't hurt, either, that he has a vocal tone and a style that's remarkably close to Perry's. Still, it's hard to imagine a Journey record sans the original Steve faring well in today's marketplace.—LF

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print