Published on May 27th, 2017 | by Justin G.
Degreed: Life Love Loss/We Don’t Belong (Sun Hill)
Newly signed to Sony’s Gain label, Swedish melodic rock band Degreed is a band on the rise. And with good reason. Since making their debut at the beginning of the decade, Degreed has done a terrific job of bringing a modern energy and pop sensibility to a traditional melodic rock sound. They make the kind of music that’s immediately satisfying to old school melodic rock fans but has a huge crossover potential.
Given the band’s increased profile, Degreed’s decision to reissue their first two overlooked albums is a smart one. The 2-disc collection Life Love Loss/We Don’t Belong (on the Sun Hill label) gives fans exactly what the title suggests: Degreed’s 2010 debut Life Love Loss (with its bouncy, pop-oriented melodic rock sound) and their 2013 follow-up We Don’t Belong (which had a more rocking edge reminiscent of Pretty Maids’ more melodic moments). That alone would be reason to smile, given how tough those albums have been to find lately, but that’s not the end. Life Love Loss features two bonus tracks: “Constant” and a fun cover of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Bark at the Moon,” and We Don’t Belong has three bonus tracks as well. They’re packaged in a gatefold digipack, which is the only downside of this set.
This deluxe set has two really terrific melodic rock albums plus a few fun extras. There’s probably not enough bonus material to be worth upgrading if you already have the original albums, but for those of us who missed them the first time around, this one is a mandatory purchase. And if you’re new to Degreed but love bands like H.E.A.T., Eclipse, Harem Scarem, Pretty Maids and Art Nation, you won’t find a better introduction to this up and coming band than Life Love Loss/We Don’t Belong.
Summary: Great albums, and even with the digipack this is a good reissue set.