With the phenomenal success in America of REO Speedwagon's Hi Infidelity, it would come as no surprise to find any number of sub-metal bands toning down the stun guitars and coming up with a selection of pretty tunes that have got hit single stamped all over them.

A point, then, to Journey for not taking the bait, and another for coming up with the same old formula and still topping the U.S. albums charts.

The theme of this collection of tired old high energy (i.e. low inspiration) riffs is, surprise, surprise, escape: a bunch of mediocre songs about people running away from things - perhaps this album?

Thus in "Don't Stop Believin'" - which at least has a bit of zip to it - a small town girl takes "the midnight train goin' anywhere"; in "Escape", a school leaver is "leavin', getting' out from this masquerade"; and the blue-collar worker in "Keep On Runnin'" advises, "Let's run tonight, till the morning light." You can never get too much of a bad thing.

Aficionados may be interested to know that Gregg Rolie has left the band, to be replaced on keyboards by Jonathan Cain. You can't tell the difference.

© Melody Maker, 1981
Escape (CBS 85138)

Album Review

By Michael Oldfield

Melody Maker, 1981
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