Album Review: The Night Flight Orchestra - Sometimes The World Ain't Enough

25 June 2018 | 12:53 pm | Brendan Crabb

"This outfit no longer feel like a project, but instead a fully-fledged band."

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It may have largely eluded mainstream attention - Swedish Grammy nomination aside - but few rock records released in 2017 were as unbridled and as shamelessly fun as The Night Flight Orchestra's Amber Galactic. A melange of classic rock and prog influences, accomplished musicianship and hooks catchier than flypaper, it deserved wider recognition.

A year on, the prolific Swedes, featuring members of metal outfits Soilwork and Arch Enemy have swiftly followed it with another LP. The results are akin to curating a Spotify playlist of your favourite album-oriented rock artists; think Toto, Foreigner, Journey, Boston and even Unmasked-era Kiss. But you can save your time and just listen to this album instead. There's fractionally more emphasis on '80s-oriented keyboards, and Bjorn 'Speed' Strid, typically one of metal's most versatile voices, sounds like he's having an absolute ball belting out songs like the title track and Speedwagon. The grandiose hooks and lush backing vocals are present in spades, and Pretty Thing Closing In's authentically retro vibe is such that you can almost envision it getting a run during a future season of Stranger Things.

There are loving nudge-and-a-winks to the era's tropes, but this isn't a form of mockery; the members collectively respect and understand this music. Sometimes The World Ain't Enough oozes its own distinctive personality, preventing it from being mere pastiche. This outfit no longer feel like a project, but instead a fully-fledged band.