Steve Perry – Traces

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This is definitely the event of the year…well, damn it this can easily be the recording event of the decade. Steve Perry is back after 20 years of complete absence of the music industry. It was 1998 when we last heard of Perry when he released a one-off single for the excellent track “I Stand Alone”. But the wait is over and the man who has influenced thousands of singers all around the world is back with its third solo album thus spreading waves of joy to millions of fans. Naturally, the expectations are high –this is Steve Perry we are talking about- but in this case just the sheer fact that Perry is back casts a huge shadow even on the songs themselves. But let’s see what Perry had prepared for us with “Traces”…
For starters, the regular edition of the album includes 10 tracks out of which only two are up tempo compositions with the opening “No Erasin’” being clearly the stand-out song of the album. Right in the same quality path, we encounter the magnificent cuts “We’re Still Here”, “In The Rain” and “Most of All”, three ballads that set the mood of the whole album. At this point, we must point out that all the songs –especially the ballads- are not what we would call “easy listening songs” as the melodic lines are well crafted and the lyrics have a depth waiting to be discovered by the potential careful listener. Just imagine something in the vein of “Missin’ You” (For The Love of Strange Medicine) and “It’s Just The Rain” (Trial By Fire). As for the vocals…well, it’s like an oasis in the middle of a seemingly endless desert. Remember that good singers can be found anywhere but there is only one VOICE.
“Traces” is a really enjoyable record that needs lots and lots of listening sessions in order to grasp its whole dynamic. It’s kinda an album that reminds of the good old days when you purchased an album, put it on the turntable and really focus on it. It’s album that brings out a pure nostalgic sentiment where the melancholy is alternated harmonically with hope as Steve Perry writes some of his most sincere and introspect lyrics. I’d say that “Traces” is the natural follow up to “For The Love of Strange Medicine” even with a 24-year gap in between them.
Highlight: The cover artwork is awesome with various hidden details on it. Take a good look at it…