Steve Perry – Traces
For a sizeable chunk of my life, Journey was my all time favourite band. There was understandably a dull ache therefore surrounding the fact that their famous frontman – “The Voice” himself – who was a large part of what made their music so special, has shied away from the spotlight. You could probably count on your fingers all the times he’s made a public appearance in the time I’ve existed on this Earth. It’s not that his fans are owed anything, but rather that there was always a lack of closure. Steve’s story read like one that had the final pages torn out of the book. No one was really asking for miraculous return to the glory days, all that was missing was knowing that his story ultimately had a happy ending.
From the opening track ‘No Erasin’, it is clear that Steve’s famed vocals are on fine form. Sure, his voice a damn sight huskier than on the big 80s hits, but when you compare with when we last heard his voice on 1996’s Trial By Fire you can scarcely believe that he’s taken a twenty year break from music. The songs are as nostalgic and bittersweet as you would likely expect them to be, but sadly fail to make a lasting impression, proving to be moving but not all that memorable. Traces has its flaws, but its exactly the record it needed to be, and while it may not be an album you find yourself coming back to it is definitely one well worth listening to. It doesn’t tread new ground nor stand amongst his best work, instead it provides the closure that has been absent for so long. Traces is not some astonishing top-tier record harking some new beginning, but it is the heartfelt happy ending that he deserves and that fans needed to hear.