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Europe - "Last Look At Eden" (CD)

Europe - "Last Look At Eden" CD cover image

"Last Look At Eden" track listing:

1. Prelude (0:52)
2. Last Look At Eden (3:56)
3. Gonna Get Ready (3:35)
4. Catch That Plane (4:47)
5. New Love In Town (3:33)
6. The Beast (3:23)
7. Mojito Girl (3:44)
8. No Stone Unturned (4:48)
9. Only Young Twice (3:51)
10. U Devil U (4:10)
11. Run With The Angels (4:03)
12. In My Time (6:15)

Reviewed by on September 20, 2009

"…this new version of Europe definitely proves that some things grow better with age."

When I reviewed the EP version of Europe’s latest endeavor, "Last Look At Eden," I said that it warranted checking out the iconic 80’s band again. Well, after hearing the full version of their new album, I definitely recommend it for anyone who likes heavy rock and 80’s fashioned mainstream metal. As said before, this is not the Europe you grew up on, and though some of us throwbacks liked their distinctive sound of old, this new version of Europe definitely proves that some things grow better with age.

The album opens with a dark, stormy symphonic piece that will have some wondering if this really is a Europe CD. In a small way it reminds me of a death march, but then a violin enters the scene, lifting the tune out of this dark place, and providing the perfect segue into the title song.

"Last Look At Eden" probably is the best choice for title track, because it’s more traditional Europe sounding, but for those who aren’t hair metal fans, the rest of the album has lots of other elements to offer too, so even if this song isn’t your style, don’t dismiss it just yet. There’s also plenty of funk and blues, a bit of southern rock, and even some very Slash-like guitar work in "Gonna Get Ready," which was a pleasant surprise and definitely something new.

Sure, there are still some 80’s elements in the album, with some formulaic melodies and more than one monster ballad sounding track, but the real appeal is the dirty, funky southern rock sound Europe has added to their resume. "Run With The Angels" is a particularly great sampling of this added dimension, and the guitar ending is quality work not previously found in Europe’s songs.

Also noteworthy is the closer, "In My Time," because though it’s a slow ballad, the acoustic work and Santana-ish sound shows yet another facet to this new and improved band. It’s a beautiful piece, and provides a mellow ending to an album that keeps you second-guessing all the way through.

With "Last Look At Eden," Europe has managed to keep some of their roots that made them one of the 80’s iconic bands, but they’ve also added many new dimensions that will pleasantly surprise those who chalked them up as another one of those over-the-top glam bands.

Highs: The versatile guitar work that ranges from sleazy Slash-like to mellow Santana-ish.

Lows: Two or three of the tracks are a bit formulaic.

Bottom line: Though still mainstream, Europe offers lots of new sounds and styles that are a pleasant surprise and make up an excellent composition.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 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)