Published on December 6th, 2019 | by Justin G.
Work Of Art: Exhibits (Frontiers, 2019)
Has it really been five years since the last release from Swedish AOR masters Work Of Art? I guess having the band’s excellent 2014 album Framework in regular rotation since its release has made it seem like Work Of Art hadn’t gone anywhere. Work Of Art’s latest offering is titled Exhibits, and if the return of arguably the finest modern AOR band wasn’t exciting enough, they’ve brought a few notable guests with them. Survivor legend Jim Peterik lends his songwriting talents, as does Jeff Scott Soto, and Rocky soundtrack master Vince DiCola delivers a guest keyboard solo.
When they debuted just over a decade ago, Work Of Art immediately made an impression with their ultra-melodic, ultra-polished modern take on the classic AOR sound of Toto, Survivor and Journey, and with each new release they’ve continued to perfect that sound. I honestly didn’t see them topping Framework, but Exhibits may be their strongest album yet. This is prime AOR. Guitarist Robert Sall and vocalist Lars Safsund make the perfect combination, with Sall providing the sublime melodies and Safsund providing smooth as silk vocals.
Exhibits is an absolutely gorgeous album from start to finish, with every element – the musicianship, songwriting, vocals and production – all coming together perfectly. My favorite tracks so far are “Be The Believer” (Jim Peterik didn’t help write that one, but it has a total Survivor vibe), “If I Could Fly” (Peterik did help with that one), “Come Home” and “This Isn’t Love,” but this is an album full of songs I’ll be listening to (and singing along with, badly) over and over again in the months ahead.
It’s hard not to listen to Exhibits and not immediately declare it the best melodic rock album of 2019. It’s certainly the best AOR album this year has to offer, and is another triumph for Work Of Art. Anyone who appreciates high quality melodic rock, whether that’s newer bands like State Of Salazar, Lionville, Eclipse and W.E.T or classics like Giant, Survivor, Journey and Toto, should definitelty get their hands on this album. Work Of Art is elite tier melodic rock, and Exhibits shows exactly why that is.
Summary: Best AOR album of 2019