Street Talk

Track Listing
1. Give Me A Reason
2. Hare & Hounds
3. Language of Love
4. Tables Turning
5. Dancer in the Rain
6. Place in the Sun
7. My Heart Beats For You
8. Forever By Your Side
9. In the Arms of Love
10. Why Is My Heart Feeling Lonely Tonight

AOR Heaven 2002

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More Street Talk:
Collaboration (1997)
Transistion (2000)
Goran Edman:
Madison - Best in Show (1987)
Yngwie Malmsteen - Fire and Ice (1992)
Reingold - Universe (1999)


It's no mystery by now... I'm an admitted Goran Edman *fan*atic*. So anything 'new' he performs on is treated with the utmost level of excitement, and the Street Talk project is no exception. His lush vocals could reduce the most hard hearted into tender tears in under 30 seconds flat. And Edman is not even the focus of this group! That would be Fredrik Bergh, who seems hell bent on creating "Journey" for the 90s..err..2000s now, and has he ever succeeded. The tapestries are multi-dimensional with something new awaiting to pounce for each new run-through and the melodies are lush, amazing and absolutely relaxing. Bergh's creations are not just musical compositions but songs to dream by. Floaty and delicate, their pop sensibilities are their strengths, yet without the distinctive pipes of the lead singing Swede, the ride would be much less enticing. Fredrik lays down the lines and Edman brings them to life with a pointed purpose every time.

The first fluffy Street Talk cloud, "Collaboration", drifted by nearly unnoticed. Edman was on board from the get-go but was unfortunately joined by two others, Daniel Jonsson and Kristian Andren, both left no doubt as to who the 'real' singer on the disc was. Goran showed them both up with his dizzying performances that were sure to leave the audience breathless. Andren and Jonsson just could not compete with such talent and thus when it was time to record the follow up, "Transistion", a wise decision was made, and Edman was left to go it alone. A duo of tongue and cheek partial rockers and a host of delicate ballads sent the disc up with style yet substance. Unfortunately, the latest "Restoration" sees a newcomer to the Street Talk gang moving in on the Swedish sensation's territory. Hugo has been welcomed aboard and while his efforts are appreciated and his material clipping it close to the Journey mothership, personally it leaves us craving to hear Goran dropped into these particular parts as well. You just can't get enough of a good thing y'know. Then again, with many of the songs sounding so... similiar... its nice to hear a fresh voice for a track or two so its a give and take situation that might have been agreed on for the best.

The major differences seperating "Restoration" with the other two is the guitars. Sven Larsson has been thrown some extra opportunities his way and he makes the most of them with smooth, easy flowing solos and silken riffs that add luscious curves to the already curvaceous material, which by the way, has also been given a much needed shot in the arm. Yes its as soft and pliable as stated earlier, but the whole tempo has been given a hefty lift while retaining its dream-like qualities. This is holding-hands-on-the-beach-during-a-beautiful-sunset-with-the-one-you-love music. Delicate like the kiss of a butterfly, soft as the downy wings of a dove, or gentle as the breeze from a hummingbird's wings, Street Talk explores the language of love in all its forms, fashions and precious beauty.


01.] "Give Me A Reason"
Wild guitars abound! My what is this? Have we stepped into the wrong disc here? A lovely blast of sound from the golden pipes of Edman silence any doubts with effective immediacy. Its an uptempo track that thrives on the lead, scattering around the main vocals with a linked fluency. The chorus breezes by with a carefree tendancy and the whole thing just zips before you can blink twice and while a pleasant listen, is quickly forgettable. Everything a good cd opener should be.

02.] "Hare & Hounds"
Lyrically beginning at the foot of a grave, things take a downturn from there. A bit of social commentary thrown in on an album mostly orbiting around the allmighty "L" word? Surprisingly, it works straight up from the start, perhaps because of its killer chorus that sees backing vocals so thick you couldn't cut it with the sharpest knife in the drawer, or the flowing tempo that is so smooth, you could slice it with a plastic spoon. Not one, but two guitar solos come as a delightful surprise to top it all off.

03.] "Language of Love"
The themes of love exercised again, at the capable hands of Edman who belts this one with a fevert urgency matching the saccharine tempest of the guitar riffs urging the pacing into overdrive. Just when you believe it might take that half step from lighter fare into the realms of rocking, the commander pulls back on the reigns and sends it careening into a swirling synthesizer induced trip into the outer areas of dreamland.

04.] "Tables Turning"
So smooth, so Westcoast, and the lead-in is reminiscent of Brazen Abbot's "Restless in Seattle" also sung by Goran. A little slice of autumn sorrow, lovers blown in different directions by the changing tides of life like fallen leaves twisting in the wind only to gather at your feet like broken and withering pieces of love's memory.

05.] "Dancer in the Rain"
A luscious delight and the bullseye hit of the album, "Dancer" is a brilliant showcase for Goran's voice, discovered here in a form so soothing he could not only tame the vicious dragon, but lull the fiery beast to sleep with his gorgeous tone and restrained command. If only you could reach out and touch the melodies from this song, surely you would grasp a little piece of heaven. The chorus is like wet velvet, the texture soft and inviting but soaked with salty tears. This is all surrounded by a blanket of electric raindrops and keyboard thunderclouds which swell into a fluffy yet fleeting solo.

06.] "A Place in the Sun"
Twists on the vocals transforms them into another creature of flight, but the tempo is whirlwind, the lyrics catchy and so quickly clever, they could slip by without notice. All in all, its just another high energy track that showcases the band's new subtle facelift. Larsson's guitar is a dead giveaway, with its fanciful grace and appearances galore. Unfortunately it suffers from the deja vu effect, sounding all too much like everything else on the album.

07.] "My Heart Beats For You"
No longer are they flirting with a ballad creation, they settle down and just let the currents flow where they will. Some would call it late 70s/early 80s styled adult contemporary fodder. Perhaps it is, but it still manages to ooze class all the way, touching upon the strings of the heart and plucking them lightly. It won't reduce anyone to a sobbing puddle, but gains bonus points for allowing the listener to just simply let go. This one also signals Hugo's first appearance, and while I would rather hear Goran crooning away, Hugo is a nice alternative.

08.] "Forever By Your Side"
Pouncing in, "Forever" drags you in with its pulsating keys and kicked up tempo. But it doesn't take flight until the chorus blooms, which just smolders, Goran melting the protective coatings of your soul and stealing your heart away with his lush, unmistakable style. Its consistancy is like that of cotton candy, the pinkness appealing to the feminine side, yet sticky sweet and melting in your mouth delicious. Offering lots to love, it falls into a close second right behind the delictable "Dancer in the Rain" for best track of the disc.

09.] "In the Arms of Love"
The guitars and vocals alone keep this one from feeling like a song from another planet. Sure its just as plush as the other offerings on "Restoration", but the vibe is a bit different and with good reason. It benefits from having a couple of other hands in the songwriting pot, namely former Alien singer Jim Jidhead and Radioactive leader Tommy Denander. Sounding plucked from the heart of AOR in the deepest crevice of the 90s, it winds out with the same kind of relaxing grace that drives the essence of Street Talk.

10.] "Why is My Heart Feeling Lonely Tonight"
Hugo was delivered on a silver platter the best of the bunch songwriting-wise and here it is. Its the kind of ballad that in 1986 would have had the ladies swooning in concert halls the world over and eating out of the band's hands while skyrocketing album sales tenfold. Unfortunately this is 2002 and Journey-esque ballads belted by pipes that echo a gentler, kinder, Steve Perry are destined to be banished to Europe and Japan only with no hope of a US release. The chorus is curiously comforting while resonating with the tender touch of sorrow and a love that seems so far away. Co-written by members of the band Urban Tale, its a clear winner that would have been made even sweeter if only Goran had been chucked in there to sing along with Hugo...


Looking for a metal fix? Then pass on by, for this contains no grit, no rock, and its all about love, baby. A Valentine's confection but with the kind of emotional depth that has been missing from US American radio since way before the Titanic sunk and Celine Dion stormed the airwaves with her contrived mega ballad. This scarce beacon of song solidity is about the only thing that the pop princesses haven't exposed yet... So if you are searching for that AOR disc that will win over your lady friends, ease you into a safe, protective dreamland on a bleary eyed insomniac night, and sweep your troubles away with catchy choruses and carefree rhythms, then "Restoration" will surely do the trick.

Ratings and Wrap Up:
Songs - 8.0, Performance - 8.7, Production - 7.5, Lyrics - 8.0

Hot Spots:  "Dancer in the Rain", "Why is My Heart Feeling Lonely Tonight", "Forever By Your Side"
Bottom Line: Goran Edman + Journey-esque softie songs = AOR magic.

Review by Alanna Evans -

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