JOHN NORUM

"Another Destination" (Shrapnel; 1995)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

John Norum was the guitar force behind Europe’s worldwide success during the “The Final Countdown” explosion. Problem is, he left that band to go solo in 1987. "Another Destination" is the third release in an ever-growing and simply excellent discography. Hands down, Norum can play like nobody’s business. He even has a great voice to go along with his playing. I jumped on the bandwagon when Europe made it big and never jumped ship, even when Norum left. I never followed John’s solo career until my guitar playing friend guided my path back to John’s trademark sound.

Usually, when a singer leaves a band, its toil and trouble to replace the voice we all recognize. But, when a guitar player leaves, there are at least ten standing in line. When Norum left he did it because of the commercial route that Europe was taking; apparently, he didn’t want to go that way. So “Another Destination” could be his mantra. If you have ever heard John Norum rip the guitar apart then you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, I highly encourage you to do some research and see if he can’t find a place in your vocabulary of guitar players.

I could go on for days about his soloing but mere words can only begin to describe his sound. An uninterrupted listen is required to absorb Norum's talent. Because he can sing and play guitar he is afforded a choice. He does sing a lot on this release but he confidently places a couple of instrumentals in with assurance. “Shimmering Highs” is such a rich-sounding and string-bending masterpiece that I would elevate Norum to Steve Vai status per “For The Love Of God.” John, who is a seasoned guitar player, also recognizes his roots and covers Eric Clapton’s/Cream’s “Sunshine Of Your Love.”

The best cuts of this guitar buffet are “Strange Days,” “Shimmering Highs,” “Who’s Side Are You On?” and “Healing Rays.”

For more information, check out http://www.johnnorum.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Revised: 02 May 2017 23:02:43 -0400.