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Degreed: Are You Ready
Degreed - Are You Ready Album Art

Degreed: Are You Ready

Melodic Hard Rock/AOR
5.0/5.0

It appears February will be a banner month for exceptional AOR melodic hard rock in 2022. So far we've had some strong efforts from newcomers City Of Lights, with Lionville and others still to com. But now turn our attention to returning Swedish rock veterans Degreed which offer their sixth studio album, Are You Ready. I believe we are.

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Degreed

We're ready for another fine album of strong and forthright AOR-infused melodic hard rock from these Scandi champions of the genre. Some general observations come to mind. One, there's some real rock punch to many songs thanks to some beefy guitar riffs. I wouldn't necessarily call it a metal vibe, but Feed The Lie, We Will Win, or especially Burning have a tough guitar rock sound. Second, and conversely, these same songs and others are tempered by the juxtaposition of softer moments with smooth melodic vocals, only to rise and kick ass. Besides Burning, Into The Fire pulls this off. And that song is an example of another element, a subtle use of keyboards that can sweeten a song. Then there's tunes such as Falling Down and the title cut Are You Ready where a milder vocal start leads the song but, again, only to rise to rock and rumble with groove to those bristling guitar solos. While this songwriting is not progish, it is versatile, deliberate, and damn entertaining. Sometimes it simply kept me guessing, on my toes. That's all good. All in all, with Are You Ready, Degreed has exceed expectations, even their own creativity and talent: this is exceptional AOR melodic hard rock. Nice. Quite recommended.




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The Take Away

All in all, with Are You Ready, Degreed has exceed expectations, even their own creativity and talent: this is exceptional AOR melodic hard rock. Nice. Quite recommended.

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