It has been a long, long road for these Swedish melodic rockers. Formed back in 1992 and only now preparing to release their third studio album, you’d be somewhat puzzled at the time line. Imagine if you will a group of talented melodic rockers only managing three albums of material which was poor in quality over a career lasting 22 years? The message would be clear for all concerned! Luckily for those on the receiving end it tends to lean towards quality over quantity with regards to their output.
It isn’t strictly accurate to say their career has been a steady non-stop 22 years as the band did temporarily hold off activity in the 90’s for several years and a spell from 2000 to 2002. In 2011 the intrepid Stockholm-based talent known as Work of Art unveiled their second album In Progress which truly reached some dizzy heights regarding great quality melodic goodness. Tracks like Nature of the Game, The Great Fall and The Rain all cast a spell of hook-laden magic so there might well have been a certain degree of pressure to live up to the hype this time around.
With Framework the only danger is the material is so saccharine at times and so rich in hook-laden sugar-coated syrup that you may feel inclined to save your ears from dripping with too much of the sweet stuff. The precise and polished production values suit the music but also enhance the layers of vocal melody.
Lars Säfsund, Robert Säll and Herman Furin all put in great performances and exhibit tender moments on album-closer My Waking Dream, the upbeat album-opener Time to Let Go and the gently arranged and prominent Can’t Let Go. Other highlights which make the grade include How Will I Know, Over the Line and How Do You Sleep at Night.
It is hard in all honesty to distinguish between the good and the bad when they all incorporate a soaring chorus and lashings of backing vocals lifting each individual song. If this sounds like your ideal set of songs, then Framework is going to deliver without much effort. If you enjoy more of a diversity to your melodic rock music, then this album may prove to be frustrating as it is evidently good, just a little too similar from start to finish.