CARE OF NIGHT – Connected [Japan Edition +1] out of print
Almost ten years ago 0dayrox proudly presented in exclusive the debut EP from CARE OF NIGHT, a Swedish AOR bringing all the magic from the genre to the new Millennium.
After shedding more than seven tears over the split of Seven Tears back in 2009, three of that band members initially stuck together (bassist Fredrik Lager subsequently stepped aside) to form Care Of Night and finally their debut studio album “Connected” was released in Europe by AOR Heaven Records, and this Japanese edition featuring a bonus track through Rubicon Music – now out of print.
I for one am eternally thankful that these guys stayed together to bring us such fantastic AOR / Melodic Rock, and if you like the classic, keyboard-driven side of the street from the genre then you really do have to get “Connected”.
Names as Da Vinci, Grand Illusion and Europe are mentioned as influences, alongside new acts like Work Of Art and Houston, so we know what to expect, we think, but what we get is a surprise.
“Connected” (produced by the Wigelius brothers) doesn’t transcend genre clichés, it embraces them, then shapes them into something coherent and totally fresh.
Dynamic songwriting, sharp guitars, bouncy rhythm section, keyboards galore, a classy singer, tons of harmonies and top choruses are the motto of Care Of Night, and I love it.
All the songs in “Connected” indeed switch on you an emotional connection to the comforting warmth of ’80s AOR, where it all began. But Care Of Night adds a contemporary feel turning things even more interesting and enjoyable.
The opening cut “Cassandra” is the perfect summary of what this album is all about, bright and bold with a sparkling factor in the catchy melodies in the key of love.
If the amazing vocalist Calle Schönberg takes the lead and shares with his superb voice and his positive energy, the other members are more than competent, notably Jonathan Carlemar who provides some first class lead guitar chops in the subtle tradition of Schon & Scholtz (check “Those Words” or “Unify”).
The urgent “Contact” (another highlight) is driven by fluffy keyboard melodic line, but without resign muscle and power. A rocker that Loverboy would be proud of, and as with most albums of this much loved genre the themes are mainly about the trials and tribulations of love.
Add to these songs like “Heart Belongs” or the slick, awesome mid-tempo “Say A Prayer” and this album will no doubt be a regular listening partner for me for quite a while to come, it’s easily up there with FM and White Widdow’s more recent releases.
“Dividing Lines” with it’s beautiful piano led into and verse segues into a heart wrenching chorus complete with lovable harmonies, then on “Please Remember” the backing vocals swell and subside around while the guitars and keyboards race to crescendo, ready to underline an inviting killer hook.
With already 10 gems in the regular release, this Japanese Edition worth every penny just to get… another gem.
Bonus track “Parts Of Paradise” is an elegant, smooth tune with some Toto inspiration, where the vocal harmonies are carefully worked to provide a L.A. West Coast AOR ambiance.
Sweden seems to be an inexhaustible AOR / Melodic Rock hot bed… “Connected” by Care Of Night is another clear proof and a must have for any rocker with a heart.
Every song is pulled taut, stretched across deceptively simple arrangements, and Care Of Night never let the tension slacken, leavening the mix occasionally with an emotional yell or a suitably snarling guitar.
“Connected” is truly a triumph of passion, a work of genuine flair and accomplishment, rich in melodic detail. The aforementioned Work Of Art and Houston, as well as H.E.A.T, Brother Firetribe and others should take heed. There’s a new kid on the block.
And they are awesome. They are called Care Of Night.
A Must Have
RUBICON Music Japan ~ RBNCD-1181
01 – Cassandra
02 – Hearts Belong
03 – Those Words
04 – Dividing Lines
05 – Say A Prayer
06 – Contact
07 – Please Remember
08 – Unify
09 – Give Me Strength
10 – Say You Will
11 – Parts Of Paradise (Japanese bonus track)
Calle Schönberg – Lead Vocals
Jonathan Carlemar – Electric & Acoustic Guitars
Kristofer von Wachenfeldt – Keyboards, Vocals
Jonas Rosengren – Bass
Linus Svensson – Drums, Vocals