Survivor
Vital Signs


3.5
great

Review

by manosg STAFF
August 19th, 2018 | 8 replies


Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A prime example of well-executed AOR.

AOR can be the very definition of hit-or-miss; when it’s bad it can easily become awful but unless you’re a miserable sod, it can also be rewarding, especially during summer. At the end of the day, who doesn’t love a catchy melody" Survivor, as a band, is synonymous with their hits “Eye of the Tiger” and “Burning Heart”, however, Vital Signs may very well be their most consistent and stellar effort. Featuring Jimi Jamison (ex-Cobra, also written and performed the Baywatch theme song) on vocals for the first time, Survivor’s fifth LP is more keyboard-oriented and less hard rocking than its predecessor, Caught in the Game. Nevertheless, the blueprint remained more or less the same with vocal-driven tracks, an emphasis on creating memorable melodies, acoustic guitars, clever harmonies, lots of build-ups and cheesy lyrics around love-related matters.

However, where the album succeeds compared to other AOR LPs is in the songwriting and execution departments. The keyboards are used efficiently, the overall atmosphere is not over the top, and Jimi Jamison’s voice fits the slightly changed Survivor sound perfectly. With the exception of the overdramatic “The Search is Over” and the passable “I See You in Everyone” – which can easily be among your favorites if you’re a big fan of ballads – every track on here has single potential. From the uplifting “I Can’t Hold Back” and the tender “High on You”, to the driving rhythm of “Broken Promises” and the energetic “Popular Girl”, Vital Signs is full of feel-good moments. In addition, the guitars are used more sparingly than in the past but they add a nice flavor such as in the form of a tasty solo on “It’s the Singer not the Song”. Finally, clocking at 36 minutes, the album doesn’t prolong its stay. Granted, Vital Signs is not for everyone and every occasion but given the right circumstances (during summertime or a road trip), it can be a very rewarding listen.



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user ratings (42)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 19th 2018


11321 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thinking of writing a couple of short reviews for older stuff. Feel free to let me know if you like this style of writing.

Digging: Dio - Magica

TheNotrap
August 19th 2018


9310 Comments


With a few exceptions, I never read long reviews.

Honestly, I don’r know if I've ever heard any songs from this album.
Nice review, as always.

Digging: Burning Witches - Hexenhammer

manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 19th 2018


11321 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers, Notrap! Yeah, I tend to avoid long reviews lately especially for albums which I don't know.



Sweet dig as well, was surprised by how solid the album is even though I shouldn't have been considering Michael Romeo's chops.

TheNotrap
August 19th 2018


9310 Comments


Cheers manosg!

Yeah, the album is indeed pretty interesting. One of my summer hard jams.
I’m also going to listen to some Symphony X during my vacations, I hardly know their discography.


Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 19th 2018


8022 Comments


Short, sweet and to the point, mindpos, 2-3 paragraph reviews are a breeze to read, but sometimes the context of some albums prompt for longer reads (case in point: Channing's review for the new Nicki Minaj album).

Jimi Jamison is a legend.

Digging: Suffering Quota - Life In Disgust

manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 19th 2018


11321 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, Voi. Jimi Jamison is a legend indeed, not only because of his amazing voice, but for singing the Baywatch theme song too!

deslad
August 19th 2018


624 Comments


Nice, concise and to the point review manos. I have probably listened to the album before but it sounds interesting enough to give it another listen.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 20th 2018


11321 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome, hope you enjoy des!



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