|Classic Review: Yngwie Malmsteen - Odyssey|
Year released: 1988
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: February 3, 2009
Reviewed by: Hermer Arroyo
Rated 4.2/5 (84%) (15 Votes)
After the success that was his solo career, Yngwie Malmsteen went through a lot of changes. Beginning from his mostly instrumental album Rising Force until this day, he has employed different styles, always appealing to a larger audience. This is where the fourth album by Malmsteen, Odyssey, comes in. The first with John Lynn Turner, continuing his streak of amazing singers; yes, this guy rules just as much as he did on Rainbow. Odyssey has more of the same things that we expect from Malmsteen: shredding solos, awesome vocals, insane hooks and good production. However one thing that stands out above all is the solid songwriting.
The reason for this is that Odyssey is the first release that Malmsteen employs a real melodic sensitivity. You just can't get enough of the songs as you remember most of the choruses on the album especially in "Hold On". This is also the first record in which Yngwie did a real ballad with "Dreaming (Tell Me)", it sounds good and not too much over the top. The rest of the musicians are good, as expected, so there are no changes on this aspect (Yngwie plays bass in the majority of the songs). The combination of these things results in a more commercial-sounding album, however he doesn't sacrifice his musical integrity to achieve this.
Not everything is gold though, "Now is the Time" is a little bit bland. That song is the only real bad one on the album because it has a huge drop in quality compared to the rest of Odyssey. Also this is the first record in which Malmsteen shows his first real shades of excess, but as not much as he will in future releases. Not much headbanging material, but then again this is not what he's known for.
Although the collections of songs on this record are a tad worse than his previous efforts, Odyssey is a very good record worthy of Malmsteen's name. Maybe is not his best, but a very enjoyable album and a nice place to start if you don't know him.
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