It's very easy to take Europe for granted. A couple of years ago, I was blown away by their stage show and the album "Last Look At Eden". Despite this, it's taken me a while to catch up with this new album. If anything it's stronger and more consistent than its predecessor. The band are fairly traditional and sometimes sound a lot like Led Zeppelin or Whitesnake without the cock rock hilarity. There are eleven tracks here, and the album clocks in at just 41 minutes. In a sense, this is a strength and the album doesn't peter out towards the end like so many.
The album kicks off with "Riches To Rags" a cool rocker, and it must be autobiographical to some extent. Next up is "Not Supposed To Sing The Blues", the first single from the album. Here is the video, so that you can judge the quality for yourself:
Third track is the new single "Firebox", reviewed here before. Just to recap, this is built around a Zep-type riff and has the most amazing psychedelic break mid-song. Check out the video here:
Title track "Bag Of Bones" is an interesting bluesy number, and features guest Joe Bonamassa on slide guitar. "Requiem", a short instrumental courtesy of keyboard player Michael Michaeli, leads into another bluesy track "My Woman My Friend". "Demon Head" is another rocker and "Drink And A Smile" has a more acoustic feel with Joey's vocal sounding rather strange. "Doghouse" is a fun rocker track which may be familiar from the Shepherd's Bush live CD/DVD/Blu-Ray (of which more soon) but sounds rather more together here. An even better riff kicks off "Mercy You Mercy Me" which has a guitar tone to die for, courtesy of original guitarist John Norum, now firmly back in the fold. Final track is the ballad "Bring It All Home".
So, all in all, a great album mixing rockers and bluesy numbers to devastating effect. While writing this review, I came across the interview below in which Joey explains the album in detail, and is quite honest about the influences on the band. Joey is an anglophile, and his command of our language is second to none.
This album is an essential purchase and is available on vinyl, CD and as inferior download mp3s. Get a copy now, and give some thought to the upcoming shows. The band's website is at http://www.europetheband.com/home.html and is well worth a visit.