Vega – Only Human
Frontiers Music srl
Release Date: 11/05/2018
Running Time: 52:57
Review By Beth Jones
My first experience of Vega was at Amplified 2017 and I was an instant fan. I love their kind of melodic, American rock – it brings out my girly side. Having been a life – long Bon Jovi fan, they sit very nicely in my tastes, and I was very pleased when I found out that they were releasing a new album this year.
Only Human is Vega’s fifth album. The band have produced it themselves, and have teamed up with legendary Canadian musician and producer, Harry Hess of Harem Scarem, to mix and master the final product, and what a pretty damn fine final product it is! Since it’s release date on 11th May 2018, I have had it on in my car as my ‘cheer me up on the drive to work’ music and it really does the trick!
Whilst Vega do sound very much like Bon Jovi, Nick Workman sounding very similar to JBJ in particular on this album, they do definitely have their own sound. That being said, they do fit very neatly into that style, it is very 80s, very American and very easy to get on with. With the quality of the songs on this album, this could quite easily be an album from a multinational chart topping band of that genre. It is 12 tracks of thumping American style melodic rock, with a good mix of upbeat anthems and ballads, all of which have catchy hooks, great melodies, and a finesse in the production quality that shows not only the skill, but the passion and craftsmanship of those involved.
It is really hard to pick out a favourite track from the album as they are all so good, however I think I do have two favourites; the title track, ‘Only Human’, and ‘Last Man Standing’. These were the two tracks that instantly caught my attention on first listen, and are definitely the tracks that I now sing along with.
Only Human, appearing about half way through the album, has the feel of a classic stadium anthem, starting off quietly, just vocals, keys and drums. I can imagine the staging for it – packed stadium, low lighting, the whole crowd cheering, spotlight on Nick for the verse, smoke machine, then BAM! Lights up! More Smoke! Drums! Guitars! Keys! Crowd going wild! Bouncing! WE ARE ONLY HUMAAAAAN…… Then I stop getting lost in the song and focus on the road because I am driving! But that is what that song does to you, and that for me is the mark of a good song and the whole point of music – the fact that it takes you somewhere else and makes you feel good. It has a more modern feel, whilst still hanging on to its classic roots. It is one of those songs that will stay ageless.
Last Man Standing, positioned in slot 3 on the album, is a different kettle of fish! More upbeat, but very 80’s American Rock. Good solid chunky rhythms underpin the whole song, with bass and rhythm guitar providing good riffs that echo each other in the chorus, along with a very catchy melody line, with classic harmonies in 3rds on the title line, which give the track a very nice lift. This is a track that you can really move to, and even if you are too cool to have a bop, I can guarantee you that you will not be able to resist some sort of movement to this song, whether that be a slight toe tap, or a very aloof nod of the head in time. IT WILL MAKE YOU DO IT – IT IS INFECTIOUSLY GOOD!! This track is my ear worm at the moment. I can be stood in the kitchen at work making a brew, and then all of a sudden, there it is!!! So goddamn catchy!!
The vibe of the whole album is pretty much encapsulated by these two songs. This is 12 tracks of really solid, really catchy ear worms that wouldn’t be out of place at any ‘mainstream’ event, but fit perfectly into the world of rock too, and it is for this reason that I am pretty sure the Vega boys are some kind of sorcerers, and their songs are their spells!! They certainly have me hooked!
If I had one criticism, and believe me it is incredibly hard to find one on this album, this is just because I am properly fussy, it would be that the vocals on track 11 (Fade Away) seem to be slightly out of sync with the rest of the track – just by a tiny bit – in the chorus, so it feels like the vocals are rushing. Whether this was an issue in mixing, or it is meant to be like that, I’m not sure, but it just doesn’t hit the level of brilliance the other tracks do. For this reason, it is my least favourite track on the album and, depending what mood I am in, I do sometimes skip it as my brain can’t cope with it being not quite in sync!
Other than that, this is an absolutely stonking album. OK, it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but it most certainly is mine, and judging by some of the other reviews it has picked up so far, I am not the only one who thinks so. If you are a connoisseur of high class Melodic Rock, you need this album in your collection now…right now!
01. Let’s Have Fun Tonight
02. Worth Dying For
03. Last Man Standing
04. Come Back Again
05. All Over Now
06. Mess You Made
07. Only Human
08. Standing Still
10. Turning Pages
11. Fade Away
12. Go To War
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
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