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Dennis DeYoung: 26 East Vol. 2
Dennis DeYoung - 26 East Vol. 2 Album Art

Dennis DeYoung: 26 East Vol. 2

AOR Melodic Rock
5.0/5.0

Last year, in the midst of a global pandemic, we saw the release of Dennis DeYoung's 26 East Vol. 1, an album that was to be his swan song of last recordings. Except until he discovered that he had a whole bunch more songs to offer from a lifetime of musical creativity. The folks at Frontiers Music's suggested dropping two albums to mark the end of his recording career, wherein 26 East Vol. 2 hits the stores. (But I have the gut feeling that this may not be the end.)

Dennis DeYoung - Click For Larger Image

Dennis DeYoung

This volume succeeds where the first one left off. DeYoung offers his fans more AOR melodic hard rock infused with his smooth vocals and immense harmonious vocal arrangements, synth symphonic embellishment, wonderful guitar solos, a dash of horns, with all things wrapped up in fashionable song melody and catchy refrains. And, yes, the Styx element and influence remains, but we all know that. Also, longtime friend and fellow Chicagoan Jim Peterik returns to assist in songwriting, but also play bass and guitar. Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine fame appears to add a guitar solo to The Last Guitar Hero. (Listen below.)

Other acts of musical brilliance arrive with the up beat and popish Hello Goodbye and St Quarantine, though the latter is a bit heavier. But that's to say that DeYoung and friends can still rock out, as with Land Of The Living and The Last Guitar Hero. Softer, ballad-like, material comes with Made For Each Other and There's No Turning Back. Then there were my two favorites: Your Saving Grace and Proof Of Heaven. Perhaps two inspirational, even Gospel-inspired numbers, at least maybe the former? The album concludes, appropriately, with the Styx tune, Grand Finale from The Grand Illusion. All said, if 26 East Vols. 1 & 2 are Dennis DeYoung's parting musical recordings, then they are fine ones. His status as a distinguished AOR melodic rock songwriter and musician are easily now legendary. Quite recommended.




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The Take Away

All said, if 26 East Vols. 1 & 2 are Dennis DeYoung's parting musical recordings, then they are fine ones. His status as a distinguished AOR melodic rock songwriter and musician are easily now legendary. Quite recommended.

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