Originally released in 1995, Life was the 5th album from Swedish melodic rockers Talisman, which featured powerhouse vocalist Jeff Scott Soto (Takara, Yngwie Malmsteen, and way too many others to list here). Leave it to the Swedes to boldly forge ahead with a melodic hard rock sound at a time when mainstream radio and MTV had long sine moved on to all things alternative (for MTV this was a last stop before abandoning music altogether).
Life is another in a growing line of high quality melodic rock albums from Talisman. If the 80’s AOR and hard rock sound was allowed to grow and progress without record company interference, this is what it would sound like. Life has all of the strengths of the classic Journey/Foreigner sound, but with a more modern feel, proving that an upbeat “party” rock & roll album doesn’t have to be immature or dated. It’s a great album from start to finish, but I have to call special attention to the band’s cover of the Seal hit “Crazy”, which is the highlight of Life.
Just about any release by Talisman falls under the “must have” heading for all dedicated melodic rock fans, and Life is no exception. If you’re planning on picking it up, I highly recommend the 2005 Rock Treasures reissue of Life, which features digitally remastered sound, 3 bonus demo tracks, and the entire 5 out of 5 – Live in Japan album as a bonus disc. Talk about a deluxe edition! I’d have bought it just for the remastering, but the extra live album was a nice touch.