Review Summary: A very promising follow-up to the classic debut by Journey.
It seems very interesting that a jazz rock band like Journey to go so low as to bring Steve Perry into to the fold and screw things up. This music was actually quite good when Gregg Rolie was in early Journey as depicted here in Look Into the Future. In case there's a need of a recap, Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie used to be from Santana, and they showcased much of their creative talent with Carlos Santana. They show a lot of the same creative force here, too, but in more of a prog/jazz light. The change from prog to pop also happened in numerous bands, like Styx, Genesis, etc. So that's the story up until this album.
The album starts out with a more accessible selection, On a Saturday Night, that takes a lot more from blues-flavored rock reminiscent of a night out or a party of some sort. In any case, this band depicts the theme well and crafts a good opener for a great album. After this, It's All Too Much comes up. It starts out with more of a jazzy riff that this band's early stage is known for. This one emphasizes Neal Schon's guitar harmonies more than anything else. It also makes great use of Gregg's keyboards, keeping the rhythm in line. The guitar solo is really not too special, just an average jazz-rock solo and a bit of flair, which of course Neal Schon is commonly known for in Journey, even now. This is definitely a good track.
Next comes one of early-era Journey's best ballads, Anyway. This song can evoke more emotion than most of the albums tracks and, of course, still keeps its jazz roots intact for the solos and interesting time signatures of the song. It can get a bit boring in the middle, and admittedly there's the fact that Gregg Rolie is not as good at heartful ballads as Steve Perry, but this is still a good solid track that showcases weirder beats and Gregg Rolie's singing. Next is She Makes Me(Feel Alright). This is bar none the heaviest song on the album. It is the ultamite song for Neal Schon to show off his guitar skills and present his talent. This song is a great combination of accessibility and talent, so fans of common music will enjoy this, as well as jazz and prog fans. It should also be noted that this is the shortest tune on the album, clocking in at 3:12. It'd be cool if Steve Perry actually made a remake of this song with the other members when he was still in Journey, because the band was definitely on to something in arena rock music with this song.
The following track is probably my favorite song, You're on your Own. This has got to be the most progressive song on the album, as well as the most creative one here. This is where all the members show their talents and creativity on the album. Of course Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie still take the cake here in terms of writing and talent, but Ross Valory and Ansley Dunbar definitely help here too. Ansley has accomplished a lot in his drumming career, even with Frank Zappa, and it shows here. He can keep the rhythm in place, and yet he can also do so much more with the drums. He truly makes a mark here. As with the song, it starts out with a 6/8 beat and alternates a lot and generally changes tempos frequently. There are also great keyboard and guitar solos. After this is the awesome title track. What a great epic ballad! This one is the other side of the debate of which on the album is my favorite. Anyway, it starts out with a good soft riff with the guitar. It soon is a very good jazz-rock ballad that was very overlooked.
Now we get to a track called Midnight Dreamer. This is yet another highlight in the album. the first 2 mins. is occupied by a straightforward rocker. It is a very atmospheric song. Soon it turns into an improv piece with lots of keyboard playing. Neal Schon does some good guitar work here, too, but it's mainly Gregg Rolie's spotlight. The last track is I'm Gonna Leave You. Listen for the shared riff that Kansas took from this song on Carry on Wayward Son. This song is on of the more progressive songs on the album, some of them even quite tough to identify. Overall, this is a great closer to the album and a satisfying prog rock song.
This album is very professional and more people need to notice it, so that's why I wrote the review. This is a solid album that incorporated many jazz themes. This is how it is distinctly different from most accessible albums. Overall, this is a great album.