Creye was put together by former Grand Slam guitarist Andreas Gullstrand in early 2015 with a vision of generating a sound that would take listeners back to the polished melodic rock of the 80’s. Their 2016 debut single ‘Never Too Late’, certainly promised that the AOR genre was about to have a new and powerful force. Inevitably they have been compared, favourably, with melodic rock stalwarts H.E.A.T., Work Of Art and the like, but how have the band fared with a full-length album? Well, Robin Jidhed (lead vocals), Andreas Gullstrand (lead guitar), Fredrik Joakimsson (rhythm guitar), Gustaf Örsta (bass), Joel Rönning (keyboards) and Arvid Filipsson (drums), have come up with thirteen slices of AOR and pop/rock songs that contain flashes of brilliance but do not yet make them stand out sufficiently for Andreas’ vision to be truly fulfilled. Titled simply Creye, the album kicks of in fine style with the synth in full Europe 80’s mode and a classy riff behind it on the AOR perfection of ‘Holding On’. ‘Nothing To Lose’ follows a similar path with the keys to the fore with a neat but short guitar solo. ‘Different State Of Mind’ is pure pop/rock and even approaches (horror!) disco with its synth beat and noodlings. ‘Miracle’ gives us an acoustic over the synth and is essentially a pacy ballad but with enough variation to make it enjoyable and to burn fingers when the lighters come out. ‘Love Will Never Die’ is a more model ballad that BJ should listen to! ‘Still Believe In You’ hits a true rock riff and beat and while it remains AOR it has an edge that some of others lack, and a suitably fiery guitar solo that makes this my personal favourite. Closing with ‘A Better Way’ we’re back to the synth building to the riff and another class, but standard AOR anthem.
I guess that is my problem with this album; every song is superbly produced with crystal clear sound, every member plays a blinder and yet…in one sitting they start to blur together a bit. That’s my feeling, but if you notice the regularity that the word ‘synth’ has earned, and you like said instrument, then you will love this. For me, however, it is an album for my iPod set on shuffle so that I can enjoy Creye’s work individually because, make no mistake, they are very good songs.