ON THE RISE – On The Rise

ON THE RISE - On The Rise


Frontiers Records
Release date: June 26, 2003

User Review
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Remember how Alice in Chains employed the use of two-part harmony to design some of the darkest music ever created, the duos’ voices a disharmonious death knell? You do? Well, On The Rise (OTR) sounds nothing like that.

OTR hails from Norway, and is basically two people: Terje Eide and Bennech Lyngboe. Their self-title debut release is chock-a-block full of the “poppiest” music released in years. This is the kind of CD you’d give to someone who was thinking about suicide, because they’ll be so damn happy afterwards they’d be hard pressed to even kill a mood.

The CD starts with a song called “Beat of Your Heart.” It’s happy, it’s joyful, it sounds like it should be the replacement song to the NBC sitcom “Friends.” They list their influences as bands like Toto, Boston, Nelson, and Rick Springfield. You’ll hear every one of those nuances in the opener. It’s catchy, and after one listen, you’ll be singing along, whether you want to or not.

The two trade off on lead vocals on different songs, and it doesn’t make a difference who is singing. Both have excellent voices, and the comparisons to Nelson are apropos. The probably shine the strongest when they are both singing at the same time, but standing alone, they still excel.

Song number six, “Leaps and Bounds,” is exactly what you’d expect to hear on the radio. Pop, rock, Top 40 radio; it doesn’t matter. They know how to write hits. Is it original? Not by any means. Are they trying to reinvent the wheel? No, but if they are trying to deluge a public appreciative of this kind of music, they achieved it with flying colors.

“Stay Away” is a little bit of a different song for them. Here, although it is still pop music, they stray a little more towards rock, and it not quite as antiseptic as the other songs. And of course, it works well.

Lyrically, you are not going to find any big surprises. Sometimes you’d think all of the chorus lines were handpicked from a million other pop tunes. With lyrics like “hold on to the beat of your heart, if you don’t know the difference, you don’t know your heart,” it’s no wonder you learn the songs after one listen. But, they do throw a wicked line in the end of the chorus to “Memories Forever.” That is, if they say what it sounds like: “Memories, they ossify, forever they stay …” But, if they say, “memories, they all survive,” well, just hear it the other way, and give them kudos on great lyrics.

The last song on the CD, “The Moment,” brings to front all of their skills. The acoustic ballad sounds like a Kansas or Styx (with Shaw singing) composition. This is by far the best song on the CD, and a great way to close it out.

Metal heads beware. This is the kind of thing that could make your CD collection start to turn into something your girlfriend won’t frown at.

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