One of the DVDs that has received a lot of plays in my player as of late is a live show of Journey circa 2001. Why? Because I really like Journey's music, pure and simple.

Yes, Journey. Complete with the wanky guitar solos, upper-register vocals and synthesizers. Sure, Journey is a relic from the corporate rock heyday (definition and discussion of corporate rock here), but their music still holds up.

Since the late-90s, the band's line-up has Steve Augeri on lead vocals and Deen Castronovo on drums, but that has made Journey better. Not to take any credit away from Steve Perry's previous work with the band, but Steve Augeri is as strong a vocalist as his predecessor. Augeri hits the high notes effortlessly and performs the songs flawlessly, just like Perry did (before all the legal matters and personality differences got him fired from the band). However, Augeri isn't a Perry clone. His voice is close enough to Perry's voice but it has enough freshness to make it unique. Augeri's voice on older songs like "Be Good to Yourself" and "Ask the Lonely" fits naturally well. Castronovo's drumming does the same. As good as Steve Smith and Aynsley Dunbar, Castronovo plays the classic fills but pumps new life into them.

As strong as Augeri and Castronovo are, some people can't get past the fact that Steve Perry and Steve Smith aren't in the band anymore. The band isn't taken as seriously (well . . .) and certain people are waiting for the day that Perry and Smith rejoin. I doubt the two will return. I'm just thankful that Journey is still kicking around, corporate rock cheesiness et al.


Matthew said…
"Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'" is one of my guilty pleasures.
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Kev said…
I got to interview Steve Smith and his jazz group, Vital Information (yes, the whole group) when I worked at KNTU. Everybody was having fun and cutting up...great times.