JOURNEY – Freedom

JOURNEY - Freedom album cover art
  • 7.3/10
    JOURNEY - Freedom - 7.3/10


Label: Frontier Records s.r.l.
Release date: July 8, 2022

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

11 Year Drought Ends With Double Album

With 25 Gold and Platinum albums to their credit, Journey has become a household name when it comes to Melodic Rock and Roll. After a rollercoaster ride of legal battles between guitarist Neal Schon and former founding member bassist Ross Vallory and long-time drummer Steve Smith, Journey have come out of it with a double album titled Freedom that has lots to offer fans old and new. With Neal Schon as the constant with Arnel Pineda on vocals, the band members have been re-shuffled over the last 2 years, finally settling in with Jonathan Cain on keyboards, Deen Castronovo on drums and backing vocals, and returning bassist Randy Jackson.

Rising from the Ashes

The new album, the first since 2011’s Eclipse, has 15 tracks and runs just over 73 minutes. The album started out in 2020 as Neal Schon was under lockdown like so many musicians. Schon explains: “During the pandemic, there wasn’t much to do, I spent a lot of time in my little studio at home, learning how to play keyboards and looping. Some of those ideas ended up being songs. So it kind of came out of nowhere.”

One of the more energetic tracks is “You Got The Best Of Me” which is easily the strongest song on the album. Neal talks about how it came together: “I wanted kind of a punky rendition of “Any Way You Want It”. I usually don’t go in saying I’m going to look for something like that, but then it just came to me, like “Wheel in the Sky” did years ago. It just kind of flew out of my mouth.” One interesting thing to note is drummer Narada Michael Walden played on the entire album, but had to bow out due to personal issues, leaving the door open for former drummer Deen Castronovo to return. Castronovo does appear on the album, but as lead vocalist on “After Glow”, and also sounds strangely enough like Steve Perry.

Journey - Arnel Pineda on stage

Final Notes

Though Journey has been known for it’s ballads, this reviewer felt that there were too many on the album, making it an uneven listen. The songs do feel like Journey songs, but there seemed to be a lot of heavy handed use of reverb on most of the record. That said, Freedom has a lot to offer Journey fans who’ve been waiting for so long for new music. It’s worth giving a spin, and with so many tracks, there’s likely something there for every Journey fan to enjoy.

Journey - Neil Schon on stage on stage.


Neal Schon – Guitars, Keyboards & Background Vocals
Jonathan Cain – Keyboards & Background Vocals
Jason Deralta – Background Vocals
Arnel Pineda – Lead Vocals
Deen Castronovo – Lead Vocals on “After Glow”
Randy Jackson – Bass, Background Vocals
Narada Michael Walden – Drums & Background Vocals

Freedom – Tracklist

01. Together We Run
02. Don’t Give Up On Us
03. Still Believe In Love
04. You Got The Best Of Me
05. Live To Love Again
06. The Way We Used To Be
07. Come Away With Me
08. After Glow
09. Let It Rain
10. Holdin’ On
11. All Day And All Night
12. Don’t Go
13. United We Stand
14. Life Rolls On
15. Beautiful As You Are


  • Bryce Van Patten

    Bryce is an audio engineer and a graphic designer here at Metal Express Radio. From the day he purchased his first album (Machine Head by Deep Purple), he has had a passion for heavy music, which has influenced his whole life. Bryce is from the great Pacific Northwest in USA, and has played in metal bands like Babylon, Holy Terror, The Wild Dogs, Warhead and Egypt through the 80s. He had his first interview for the Portland, Oregon publication The Rock Rag with guitarist Paul Gilbert in his Racer X days. Then he was honored to get to have drinks, and talk for an hour with the legendary Dan McCafferty of Nazareth for his second interview. In 2013, he spent an amazing hour talking to Andi Deris of Helloween, which was the high point of his heavy metal journalism.   In the year 2001, he formed Man in Black Music Publishing. They released recordings by several local bands, and in the spirit of the old Metal Massacre compilations, he created a 2-album series called The Defenders of Metal. The albums featured classic styled Metal bands from all around the world, with bands from Australia to England, and from Argentina to Russia. Currently, he is the producer/creator/vocalist of the Metal band The Black Tuesdays.

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