Journey: Escape

On the rare occasion that I listen to the radio when I’m in my car, there is invariably always one song that comes on that I know that will remain stuck in my head, playing on repeat, for at least 2.4 days. Today, in the pouring rain and waiting in traffic, I had the radio on and not one but two Journey songs came on. I then remembered that I had their full discography on my iTunes and had never extensively listened to them. I don’t know how I escaped this, really. My mother is a huge fan. (Hey, Mom!)

As I was staring at the 154 songs that came up on my iTunes when I searched, “Journey” (including Orianthi and apparently some pretty awesome mashups that I didn’t know I had), I cheated. I saw two of my favorite Journey tracks on one album and decided I’d go with it. Today’s album is Escape by Journey.

The album starts out with one of my favorite power ballads of all time – Don’t Stop Believin‘. Many people have said to me, “Oh, I love that song on Glee!” and each and every time, I quiver and a fairy dies. While I adore Glee and catch it weekly, I know this song was not started by a bunch of 20-30 year old actors portraying high schoolers on a hot sitcom. Please, give the original a listen. It is truly a classic rock gem.

Steve Perry proves that his vocals can go into any type of song he chooses to put them into as the band steps up the tempo with Stone in Love. There are also some awesome guitar breaks that I can definitely play on air guitar.

As I was finishing my air guitar solo, Who’s Cryin Now began and I could’ve sworn that I was suddenly listening to the Eagles because of the opening notes with a piano and a guitar. While Perry’s voice can fit into any crevice he wanted, it is most aromatic in slow songs where you can really get lost in the sounds. I would put some adjectives here that I thought described Perry’s vocals, but I can’t even pinpoint some that would do his voice justice. The man puts out some of the best vocals that I have ever heard.

Perhaps my favorite new-to-me track on the album is Lay it Down. I was nodding my head seconds into the song, and had to stop some Tumblr surfing because I had to dance. It’s upbeat, fun, and easy to dance to, but Perry’s luscious voice still comes at you like a train.

If Don’t Stop Believing is one of the best power ballads in the history of earth, Dead or Alive has to be the best power…song out there. The piano in the background of the fastest track on the album is a genius touch – not expected, but fitting well, reminding me of the scene in Tangled when they’re dancing with all of the crooks and thugs and singing about their dreams. Except, well, Journey is singing about being wanted and taking Mazaradis.

Closing the album is my favorite Journey song of all time, yall. The lyrics are great enough in Open Arms, but you drape the band’s talent over the lyrics, mixed with Perry’s perfectly raspy vocals, and you have literally the best Journey song of all time. I hear the open notes and I’m ready to get out my lighter (or cell phone) and sing my lungs out. Turn this jam on and crank up the volume.

Oh, and I really want to hear Steve Perry have a sing-off with Celine Dion. Can we make this happen?

Key Tracks:
Don’t Stop Believin’ (track 1)
Lay It Down (track 7)
Mother, Father (track 9)
Open Arms (track 10)

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