Monday, February 24, 2014

Europe - Wings of Tomorrow

Following their self-titled 1983 debut (click here for that review), Europe returned in 1984 with Wings of Tomorrow. It charted at number 20 in their native Sweden. Today (February 24th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of that release.

Side one starts with “Stormwind”, the album’s third single. This mid-tempo rocker has a strong beat and driving guitar riff. The lyrics tell of a guy who seeks solitude from a persistent lover; he likens the woman to a violent storm that blows in and wrecks havoc.

“Scream of Anger” has an appropriate high-speed rhythm and sharp attitude. This is a lot of hard rocking goodness in this four minute long track.

The power ballad “Open Your Heart” was released as the fourth single from this album. The band revisited the song again as the title track of their 1988 album with some slight modifications to the lyrics.

“Treated Bad Again” features a heavy, thundering drumbeat with grinding guitars.

The first half closes with the instrumental “Aphasia”.

Side two begins with the title track and the B-side to the fourth single. “Wings of Tomorrow” is an up-beat plea for change, to make a better future. This is mirrored by the cover illustration of Peter Engberg which features a cybernetic dove.

Next up is “Wasted Time”.

Lyin’ Eyes”, a song about indecision and deception, was the lead single from the album but was quickly withdrawn from circulation. Interestingly enough, it would show up as the B-side to the second single.

The B-side to the first single, ”Dreamer”, was released as the second single, but only in Japan. This ballad was then featured as the B-side to the third single as well. I really like the piano arrangement on this one.

The album closes with the rollicking track “Dance the Night Away”.

Wings of Tomorrow is a good record; the guys from Europe perform some solid hard rock here. My only quibble is that a number of the songs have a very similar arrangement to them, thus they tend to blend together. I would have appreciated a bit more variety.

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