Dare attain musical Nirvana after a 30-year search
The AOR quintet return with their long-awaited new album 'Road to Eden'. With Vinny Burns and Nigel Clutterbuck firmly back in the line-up alongside Darren Wharton's ageless vocals, the album feels set in aspic. That's not a negative, by the way, the band sound on top form. This album is probably the true successor to their first two releases. There's still a smattering of the Celtic sound that dominated their albums during the 90s, but 'Road to Eden' sees a welcome return to Dare's classic sound.
One of the stand out tracks is 'Only the Good Die Young'. In a broader sense, it's a fitting tribute to a fitting tribute to those we have loved and lost. On a macro level it's about Wharton's Thin Lizzy bandmates: Phil Lynott and Gary Moore. The song even name-checks the Moore track 'Over the Hills and Far Away.'
" 'Road to Eden' sees a welcome return to Dare's classic sound. "
Continuing the retro feel on the album, 'Road to Eden' overflows with mid-tempo headbangers and soft rock ballads, all of which wouldn't be out of place on an 80s film soundtrack for a film that probably featured Patrick Swayze or Ralph Macchio. 'The Devil Rides Tonight' has 80s film montage all over it and the incendiary opener 'Born in the Storm' has that driving rhythm, anthemic chorus, and razor-sharp guitar work that screams opening or closing film credits. That's the brilliance of AOR though, it's often beautifully cinematic, creating huge musical vistas that John Williams would envy.
If Wharton and co were hoping that 'Road to Eden' would lead them to their musical paradise, they might be right. It's only taken them 30 odd years, but this time they have come pretty close.