Frontiers Records
Release date: March 23, 2003

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Frontiers Records corners the market on unabashed ‘80s sounding pop rock. Call it AOR, call it melodic rock, it’s really music that Foreigner and Journey ruled the airwaves with two decades ago. And the new release by Drive, She Said, Real Life, is the perfect amalgam of the two aforementioned bands, and Asia, Toto, and 20 others you could chuck in the blender and set on synonymous.

Drive, She Said is a trio with Mark Mangold (Valhalla, Micheal Bolton), Al Fritsch and Jonathan Mover (Marillion, GTR, Joe Satriani). There is something to be said for a band that writes the same song over and over, and somehow makes it sound OK.

Where most bands tend to open their CD with a rocker, Real Life starts with the eponymous track, an unimportant earnest semi-ballad. “You’ve got to read between the lines, because this is real life.” Ever seen kids raise the first 3 fingers of their hand and say “read between the lines?” Just asking.

The songs get confusing as you go along. You will honestly wonder if they are covering Journey or Foreigner, at times. But they aren’t. And you can’t call this an homage, because they are peers of those bands. At worst, they are cannibalizing themselves.

The second song, “Stronger,” is an uplifting, harmonious tune about living for love. The vocals are about 300 percent saccharine, and with lines like “you’ll never realize enough, you’ll never belong enough,” you might find yourself wondering why is this sticking in your head. And it will. Drive, She Said might sound like a lot of other bands, but they sound like a lot of other GOOD bands.

There is a slew of catchy, well-written, and overall, fun songs on Real Life. “What’s It Gonna Take” is a great rock song. “Silver White” is a simplistic but believable ballad. “When Will It Be Love,” has Top-40 radio hit written all over it.

The one song where they take a chance – and you have to give them credit because it doesn’t fit the album and they don’t really pull it off – is a heavy, almost Led Zeppelin-ish number called “Overdrive.” Fritsch quits trying to make you fall in love with or cry for him and just starts screaming. At least you know the band can rip it up, if they feel so inclined, which is apparently once every 13 songs.

Real Life isn’t going to win any awards for “most innovative rock band.” Obviously, they aren’t trying to. But what they have to offer is a CD without any bad songs, a pile of tracks that could be played on any Top-40 radio station in the world, and a formula they aren’t afraid to hold on to with an umbilical embrace.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.