Journey: Frontiers (1983)

Journey: Frontiers (1983)

Columbia QC 38504

Side One:

  1. Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
  2. Send Her My Love
  3. Chain Reaction
  4. After the Fall
  5. Faithfully

Side Two:

  1. Edge of the Blade
  2. Troubled Child
  3. Back Talk
  4. Frontiers
  5. Rubicon

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This is the first album I truly remember listening to all the way through.  It was probably the first time I realized that bands had more songs than were played on the radio (hey, I was 8).  My music tastes may have changed over the years many, many times, but this is once again in my record collection.  it seems Journey was going through some changes in taste as well with this record.  There are some of Journey’s most beloved songs, but then there are some nearly forgotten, slightly harder, less poppy, more out there songs.

The album starts off with the now classic, Separate Ways (Worlds Apart), largely remembered for its energetic, way catchy intro and also giving us one of the silliest, most generically awful music videos ever.  You can set aside the video and just enjoy the instantly improved mood you get just from hearing this song.  Send Her My Love is next; a great slow ballad right in line with other great Journey ballads.  It may get lost in the shuffle of Journey ballads, but It shouldn’t.  Then comes Chain Reaction, one of the first attempts at an edgier sound…in this case it works.  It is a catchy song and still has some of Journey’s trademark sound.  After the Fall is next.  It is a nearly forgotten song, unjustifiably so.  It is a good song that suffers from being on an album full of similar songs that are all slightly better.  The first side ends in perfect fashion with Faithfully.  One of Journey’s true classic ballads.  Love it or hate it, it is a song everyone knows.  It is a very poignant song of life on the road.

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Side two opens with the forgettable Edge of the Blade.  This is one of the band’s attempts at a harder sound and it fails pretty miserably.  Troubled Child is a catchy ballad that seems a little out of place — I’m not sure why I don’t like it more than I do.  Back Talk has got to be the weakest song on the album.  It is one of the songs with the newer sound they were working toward and it fails utterly.  the title track, Frontiers is next, another out of place, odd-tempo song.  It doesn’t quite work, either.  The finale is Rubicon, a decent, catchy finale to end the album.

This was Journey’s last great album (I have mixed feelings about Raised on Radio and ignored everything after).  The music is catchy and extremely solid (especially Neil Schon and John Cain) as one expects from a Journey album.  Steve Perry’s voice is once again the draw here…and he doesn’t disappoint.  This album partly was in my sights as a kid due to the great science fiction-y album cover.  A little Tron like and a little extra-terrestrial like…it still is one of my favorite 80’s album covers.

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