Prudential Music Group
‘We still got the rock’ sings Sweet in the song of the same name on their new album Isolation Boulevard. They are not wrong. From their first Canadian hit, “Little Willy” to their classics “Ballroom Blitz” and beyond, Sweet have always delivered first rate rock, and they do indeed still have it. Have no doubt about it.
Sweet is really Andy Scott, the last member from the ‘classic’ line-up, and he does justice to the name. This is one hell of a great album. Yes, these are reworkings of classic Sweet songs, but so what? They are fun, energetic and although somewhat nostalgic, this lineup, headed by Scott, adds some serious energy to the music. These versions are not better than the original, but they do sound good in their own right.
Kicking off with “Fox On The Run”, the band makes it clear this is a rock album, one that will blow your speakers. If your foot is not moving to the beat, you might want to check yourself for a pulse. Even their power ballad, “Love Is Like Oxygen” sounds more like a demand than a love song.
Their cover of “New York Groove”, which was written by Russ Ballard, but made famous by Ace Frehley, is the best version I have heard of that song. It is great to begin with, but then Scott has arranged it to highlight the longing of missing that incredible city.The inclusion of Alicia Keys “New York” makes the song something unique and different.
They have worked and reworked the songs to sound fresh and exciting. A highlight on the album, “Set Me Free”, sounds like it was written today. It is much harder than the original 1974 version and, quite frankly, rivals it. The driving drums, and the layered guitars and vocals, all come together. I find it hard to believe they were not in the same room when the song was recorded. Yet, Scott was able to bring the pieces together to form a glorious sound. Not just on “Set Me Free” but the entire album.
Isolation Boulevard is a an album that can sit comfortably alongside other classic Sweet albums. The band is tigh. Even though these are covers of old Sweet songs, Andy Scott and company turn them into something new and vibrant. This is the album that is going to get you moving and keep you rocking!
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: SWEET – ISOLATION BOULEVARD