PEO – Welcome to the Party
You can always count on AOR Heaven to offer up a proven veteran in the music industry and let them showcase their skills sets today. Peo Pettersson probably has gained most attention for his work in acts like the Swedish Christian metal band Leviticus and Axia – so this record "Welcome to the Party" includes some of his favorite musicians in guitarist Roger Ljunggren and drummer Tony Morra, with Peo handling the vocal, bass, and keyboard parts.
Inspired by a lot of the classic melodic rock heroes of the past, a song like "You’ve Got It Going On" for instance has that Survivor / Rocky-theme feel in terms of hooks and larger than life chorus. Bright keyboards and smooth AOR harmonies make "Coming Out" another standout, Roger injecting a wonderful shred-oriented lead at first before settling into something restrained and tasteful at the break’s end. Much of this material would easily sit on American rock radio during 1984-1987, a cross between acts like Bad Company, Europe, and House of Lords – especially evident on "Sweet Dreams" which contains this sultry bluesy streak on both musical and vocal fronts.
Pristine production values, true organ sounds on the semi-ballad "It’s All Coming Back to Me" – this is an 11 song record that brings me back to my adolescence for sure. Let’s hope this becomes more than a one-off outing, as the songwriting and playing typify high caliber knowledge and idea execution, and most would be glad to savor "Welcome to the Party" again and again.