• 6/10
    STREET TALK - V - 6/10


Major MTM Music
Release date: June 16, 2006

User Review
5.5/10 (1 vote)

Some bands take several years between albums. Street Talk manage to disband and reunite within three years! After announcing their split after the 2004 Destination – Best Of album, it was only a short time later that Street Talk, which was formed around the central band member Fredrik Bergh (keyboards), got together again. And among his new bunch of musicians, Fredrik has one who has a reputation for his work with guitar hero Yngwie Malmsteen: Göran Edman was on vox for the Eclipse and Fire And Ice albums. Given that those were not Yngwie’s strongest albums, Goran still performed quite well.

That is also the strongest feature of this CD, as the music is centered around Göran’s voice. AOR and Melodic Rock stand or fall with a good singer, and in this regard, Street Talk can consider themselves lucky to have one that fits their style perfectly, and has progressed considerably since his intermezzo with the mighty Malmsteen. While good musicianship is seldom audible in this type of music, not every band has a singer that may be compared to the idols Street Talk obviously worships: Survivor, Foreigner, Toto, Journey, or to name a few newer bands, Pride Of Lions and Seventh Key.

With their fifth album, they return to the label that is known as a safe haven for Melodic Rock bands, although in the past not everything MTM touched turned gold. V seems to be one of the stronger releases when it kicks off with the irresistible “Responsible.“ Sunshine, convertibles, Southern California -– close your eyes and you will be there. This is one of the best AOR songs of 2006. Next up, “Don’t Believe“ does slow down a bit, but it’s almost as brilliant. The sound is smooth, as it is supposed to be with this kind of music. There are ingenious choruses and nice guitar riffs (although for real many Metalheads, they’re probably a bit too far in the background) floating above a foundation of sphery keyboards and a solid rhythm section make the first songs of V the perfect soundtrack for a sunny day.

The good stuff continues for anther song, “If I Could,“ before the listener has to face the first of several ballads on V. Though this is also very common for AOR, it often marks the critical point on most albums, as listeners generally will overlook a mediocre up-tempo song much more easily than a substandard ballad. Fortunately, although not very original, “At The End Of The Day“ is still good stuff.

The album does not keep the high level of compositions from here on out, however. Perhaps it’s because one gets too used to their style, or because the first tracks really are so obviously superior than the rest … hard to tell — any thoughts here would be welcome, because after the first 16 minutes of top notch Melodic Rock, “Family Business“ still is good, but “Just A Little Appetizer“ is just okay. Even the very poppy tune “Something’s Gotta Give“ is bearable, though soft and normally off the compatibility scale for most Metalheads. None of these make you smile like the opening tracks do.

The second ballad, “Groundhog Day,“ is really boring and horrible. The vocal melody is just too plain, too simple, and after that all of the tracks are extremely shallow and lack the catchy choruses you learned to love in the first songs. Still, every song by itself would not be too bad, but you get the feeling they can do better than that. In the end, their own abilities hinder the listener’s enjoyment the rest, and one is drawn to rather start over again rather than to let the album finish. If this CD had only 8 songs, and if out of the last 4 tracks only “Brother Sun And Sister Moon“ had made it to the album, the result would have been much more satisfying, and would have resulted in a must buy.

In summary, this is a above average release for fans of the softer side of Rock. If you like Toto and Journey, check this out. The combination of good musicianship, an excellent voice, and to some extent, fitting compositions are there … they just do not make it to the top of the list – yet.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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