It has been almost twenty-five years since we’ve heard a new album from former Journey front man Steve Perry. The iconic vocalist possesses one of the most powerful set of pipes in rock and was the voice of melodic album oriented rock in the late seventies and eighties. His songs with Journey are in a class of their own and instantly recognizable whether you are dancing with your love to the epic ballad “Faithfully” or cheering on your favorite team to “Don’t Stop Believin’.” After all these years, Perry is back with his third solo effort “Traces.”
Perry’s comeback has been a hot topic since the news broke making “Traces” one of the most anticipated records of all time. Kicking things off is the melodic rocker and first single “No Erasin'” with Steve reminiscing backed by a cool guitar riff and piano melody. It’s a great song and perfect way to start off. The opener would prove to be an exception as most of the album is a bit somber with a real melancholy feel. “Most of All” was co-written with Randy Goodrum, who also helped pen Perry’s solo hit “Oh, Sherrie,” and has Steve lamenting over loved ones lost. Perry shines on the beautiful piano ballad “In The Rain” and it’s good to hear that he still has his range after all these years, although his vocals are a bit scratchy and hoarse at times which at almost seventy years old is understandable. I loved the Motown swing feel of “Easy To Love” and the upbeat rocker “Sun Shines Gray” which was co-written with guitarist John 5 who also provides a crisp solo. Closing out the record is a cover of the Beatles’ song “I Need You” and the epic ballad “We Fly.”
It’s wonderful to have Steve Perry back in the game and doing what he does so well. “Traces” is a solid release and Steve sounds fantastic, but for me, a little bit of the magic is missing.