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Europe - "Last Look At Eden EP" (CD/EP)

Europe - "Last Look At Eden EP" CD/EP cover image

"Last Look At Eden EP" track listing:

1. Last Look At Eden (4:07)
2. U Devil U (4:09)
3. Superstitious (4:56)
4. Start From The Dark (4:26)
5. Since I've Been Loving You (7:24)

Reviewed by on July 30, 2009

"...while there’s still enough stadium rock sound to the songs, those who might have sneered at the mention of Europe may just be pleasantly surprised."

Releasing a teaser EP for an upcoming full-length album is always a risky move, as many people will assume all the songs worth hearing are on it, and won’t bother buying the album. But in the case of Europe, distributing an EP version of "Last Look At Eden" was probably a very wise move.

As the band that will probably forever be remembered for the over the top 80’s hit "The Final Countdown," Europe needed to make a bold statement that their style is less glam, and more serious some thirty-odd years later. And while there’s still enough stadium rock sound to the songs, those who might have sneered at the mention of Europe may just be pleasantly surprised.

The title track does flashback in time some, with a glam guitar solo, but it’s certainly not over the top like so many 80’s songs, and the amazing thing overall is how little Joey Tempest’s vocals have changed. Time can be hard on the chords, but you’d never realize it’s been thirty years listening to this tune.

The opening of the song is probably the most surprising, since you’re expecting glam, glam, and more glam, but the dark, pummeling tempo makes you realize this isn’t the Europe you grew up on. The addition of a little funk and the slightest bit of thrash makes this one a solid track.

"U Devil U" is a good tune for those who like the funky, sleazy style of Guns n Roses. The bass line is low and rumbling, and Tempest’s vocals follow their lead. Sure, there are some gang vocals in the chorus, but that’s about the only part of the Europe formula to be found on this one. What makes "U Devil U" interesting, though, is the way it evolves from a funk-inspired tune to a romantic, and then bitter ballad.

"Superstitious" offers more of the traditional Europe sound, and then "Start From the Dark" surprises everyone with its slow, dirty southern rock sound that features a repetitive acoustic riff that will have you wanting to grab the closest girl in Daisy Dukes and move to the dance floor. The pulsing rhythm in "Start From the Dark" makes this one the definite highlight of the album.

The only negative aspect of this teaser version of "Last Look At Eden" is the closer, a cover of Led Zeppelin’s "Since I’ve Been Loving You." First of all, it’s long, but also, it seems odd for an established band to be doing a cover of another band from virtually the same time period. It’s also a live performance, unlike the rest of the tracks, and just plain seems out of place. Though the performance is fine, there’s still the question of why they included it on the short list when they had other tracks to choose from.

Overall though, "Last Look At Eden" EP style is a good investment for those who like classic rock and mainstream metal sounds, or for those who just plain are curious about what Europe’s been up to these last twenty-five years.

Highs: Each song has its own personality and is good in its own right, though "Start From The Dark" is especially enjoyable.

Lows: The decision to include a Led Zeppelin cover seems odd, and the space could have been used more effectively.

Bottom line: Yes, it’s Europe, and yes, it’s a bit 80’s sounding, but this is not the Europe you’re expecting.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)