WIGELIUS – Tabula Rasa
Wigelius is a Swedish AOR act that has a lot of great 80’s feelings on their latest album "Tabula Rasa". Addictive, easy on the ear melodies, catchy keyboard/ guitar hooks, and solid bass/drum performances all roll into a smart collection of songs here. "Do It All Again" has that Giant meets Bad English vibe, while at other times you feel Def Leppard meets H.E.A.T. on the mid-tempo, semi-ballad "These Tears I Cry". Anders Wigelius has a voice ready for radio, emotional connective and willing to reach for the proper money notes during the choruses.
Occasionally breaking out more of a bluesy guitar riff that makes you think of Aerosmith or Ratt for "Long Way from Home", the smooth as silk vocal harmonies during the chorus bring your right back to the heart of AOR. There is also a sixth sense of how to reach for the right keyboard hook and surround things with a sultry vocal delivery – check out "Yesterday’s News" as the ‘ah….ah’ background harmonies set up the silky chorus that easily plants itself in the brain for weeks on end. Jake Svensson has remarkable touch with his guitar licks and lead breaks – preferring to let the individual songs dictate where the exciting spots need to propel the arrangement (the Toto-like "Run With Me" one of his best efforts). Add in a closing power ballad like "My Cheri" and you have the makings of a well-rounded 12 song record that proves melodic rock and AOR will never die as long as younger musicians keep their eyes on the songwriting principles that made the movement top of mind in the 1980’s.
Four years seems like forever between records, but now on AOR Heaven "Tabula Rasa" should elevate Wigelius back to the heart of their fans – as this is high quality music that remains timeless.