Over the years, Journey has gone through a few incarnations, most notably their transition from a Latin-tinged rock group (due to a couple Santana alums) to the more pop-driven years with Steve Perry as their lead singer. When the band reconvened in 1996 after a ten-year hiatus, it looked like they were determined to restore their glory years by returning with the same line-up that had recorded their biggest hits, 1981’s Escape and Frontiers. Alas, the reunion didn’t last.
Perry left the fold. “New Yorker Steve Augeri seemed to be the perfect replacement…, his voice being a natural fit for Journey. Sadly that voice failed him. In 2006, after eight years and two albums with the band, Augeri left Journey amid rumours that he had lip-synced on stage. He was later diagnosed with a serious throat infection” (classicrockmagazine.com).
The predicament threw Journey into the hunt for a lead singer yet again. “Schon scouted literally hundreds of singers via online video website YouTube before finding the band’s new frontman” (JourneyMusic.com), Arnel Pineda. Meanwhile, the remainder of the line-up included founding member Neal Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain, who joined the band at the onset of their heyday in 1981. Returning for his third consecutive album was drummer Deen Castronovo, celebrating ten years with the band after first working with Schon and Cain in the short-lived late-‘80s/early-‘90s supergroup Bad English. Returning to the fold after a dozen years is bassist Ross Valory, a founding member who’d been with the band through their glory years and was part of their 1996 reunion.
“Never Walk Away kicks Revelation off with the resilient air and upbeat optimism fans have come to expect from Journey, a melody-soaked and guitar-driven anthem sure to ignite the live circuit just as it lights up the new release. The heartwarming sentiment offered by Like a Sunshower gives a more poetic and reflective look at relationships. It’s an uncharacteristic ballad from the more hard rock-inclined Schon. There’s even an instrumental, The Journey (Revelation)…the band’s first instrumental since Departure (1980)” (JourneyMusic.com).
“Cain’s keyboards elevate After All These Years to new emotional heights. What I Needed is a power ballad, driven by heavy guitars, reminiscent of the early Journey that so many bands have modeled themselves after. Deen Castronovo drums up a frenzy during the hard-driving rock song, Wildest Dream. The talented Castronovo also sings most of the high harmonies heard throughout the album, proving that not only is he an amazing drummer, but he’s a dynamic vocalist as well. Schon’s smoking guitars rip through this track with a cool, eastern flavor. Bassist Ross Valory is steady throughout, a stabilizing force through the albums more driven highs and heartfelt lows” (JourneyMusic.com).