Jerusalem - Can't Stop Us Now (Legends Remastered)

Published Wednesday 1st August 2018
Jerusalem - Can't Stop Us Now (Legends Remastered)
Jerusalem - Can't Stop Us Now (Legends Remastered)

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 170256-26827
LABEL: Retroactive RRCD1469
RELEASE DATE: 2018-08-21

Reviewed by Paul S Ganney

New-to-metal fans might need to know that this album, from possibly the best rock band that Sweden's ever produced, was originally released in 1983. Now, thanks to Retroactive Records, this has been re-issued and remastered and even offers two bonus tracks. So how do these recordings stand up 35 years later? Quite well is the answer. The source recordings (especially the drums) are trapped in the time they were recorded, but with so many bands looking over their shoulders for "authenticity" that's not necessarily a bad thing. Kicking off with the rocking title track, I was expecting a heads down no nonsense album, but that wasn't what I got. Instead it's more guitar rock bookending a more keyboardy central section. With the former, the band powers along, distorted guitars and riffs to the fore, lyrics clear in meaning and overtly faith-based and generally evangelistic. Some of the backing harmonies are prog-rock influenced and some vocal inflections bear more than a passing resemblance to flower power, but it works. This is a band that were solid: their playing slotted together seemingly effortlessly, each part there to make the song work and work they do. Even the swirly keyboard-driven "Read Between The Lines" sits well in the context of the album, the riffs now being in the background but still there. The album is a mix of late '70s guitar rock and early '80s keyboard power pop (most evident on the poppy "Let's Go (Dancing)"), although the organ work on "Time" is solidly '70s. It contains two bonus tracks from other compilations, one of which is an alternative mix ("Heartbeat"). The album catches the band at a time when musical genres were mutating: rock was incorporating more synthesisers as the technology stabilised and bands were producing more in-studio material than they were ever likely to play live, due to the complexity or subtlety. These tensions meet best in the well-worked and arranged "Mourner's Parade" and "Tomorrow's World" where the riffs are carried by the synths. Overall I preferred the more straight ahead rock material, drenched in reverb and carrying a level of excitement. And no one can doubt the passion and conviction of lead singer Ulf Christiansson. As far as Cross Rhythms is concerned, Ulf, along with the Resurrection Band's Glenn Kaiser, was one of the GREAT Christian rock singers. So though some elements of this album may be dated, it has to be one discerning rockers will enjoy.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. Can't Stop Us Now [Listen]
2. Loves You More [Listen]
3. The Wind Is Blowing [Listen]
4. Tomorrow's World [Listen]
5. The Waiting [Listen]
6. Let's Go (Dancing) [Listen]
7. Mourner's Parade [Listen]
8. Read Between The Lines [Listen]
9. The Missing Piece [Listen]
10. Heartbeat [Listen]
11. Time (From The Front Row Compilation) [Listen]
12. Heartbeat (Light Remix From The Tretti Compilation) [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

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