Journey - Red 13

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Journeymusic
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 24:26:00

Last year, Journey parted ways with their record company, Sony Music, and set out to do things their own way. Journey's first steps as an independent entity were the "Under The Radar" tour and the release of Red 13, a four-track EP written on tour, recorded at Jonathon Cain's home studio, and released on the band's own Journeymusic label.

Just as 2001's Arrival heralded the reemergence and evolution of America's finest AOR band, Red 13 demonstrates Journey's desire to experiment with new sounds and reconnect with their hard rock roots. But these explorations serve up mixed results: The music rocks, but the production ? well, let's say "leaves a lot to be desired." Which just means that I love and hate Red 13. (Is this starting to sound like my review of Vapor Trails?)

All four songs are well written and played, but the production - courtesy of Neal Schon and Jonathon Cain - is a mire of indistinct instruments lost in a low-end drone of rhythm guitars. Ross Valory's bass is occasionally imperceptible, and the dull, industrial roar of the guitars frequently overcomes Deen Castronovo's ham-fisted drumming. Even Steve Augeri's vocals, mixed at the top of the arrangements, sometimes threaten to sink into musical mud.

But, having said all that, I go obbity-ga-ga (sp) over anything Journey, and Red 13 is no exception. If I have to pick favorite tracks, the tracks that most exemplify Journey's desire to experiment get the nod. "Intro: Red 13" is an Eastern-Indian flavored electronic piece that preludes "State Of Grace," a driving rocker which proves that Journey can easily stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Iron Maiden. "I Can Breathe" recalls the Marillion-esque flavor of Arrival's "We Will Meet Again" while pitting soulful horns against Schon's wah-wah solo in a funky blues-rock arrangement.

So, for Journey fanatics, Red 13 is a must have. For everyone else, Red 13 is good, but you'll get more satisfaction from Journey's previous efforts. Check out Escape, Frontiers, Raised On Radio or Arrival to hear Journey at their prime.

Intro: Red 13/State Of Grace (7:26) / The Time (6:25) / Walking Away From The Edge (6:16) / I Can Breathe (4:19)

Neal Schon - guitars, background vocals
Jonathon Cain - keyboards, rhythm guitars, background vocals
Ross Valory - bass guitars, background vocals
Deen Castronovo - drums, percussion, background vocals
Steve Augeri - lead vocals

Journey (1974)
Look Into The Future (1976)
Next (1977)
Infinity (1978)
In The Beginning (1978)
Evolution (1979)
Departure (1980)
Dream After Dream (OST) (1980)
Captured (1981)
Escape (1981)
Tron (OST) (1982)
Frontiers (1983)
Raised On Radio (1986)
Greatest Hits (1988)
Ballad Collection (1992) Time 3 (box set) (1993)
Trial By Fire (1996)
Greatest Hits Live (1998)
The Journey Continues (2001)
Arrival (2001)
The Essential Journey (2001)
Red 13 (ep) (2002)
Generations (2005)
Revelation (2008)

Live: 2001 (DVD) (2001)
Greatest Hits DVD 1978-1997: Videos And Live Performances (DVD) (2003)
Live In Houston 1981: The Escape Tour (DVD) (2006)
With Love From Japan (DVD) (2008)

Genre: Melodic Rock/AOR

Origin US

Added: February 1st 2003
Reviewer: David Cisco
Artist website:
Hits: 859
Language: english


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