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Honeymoon Suite: Alive
Honeymoon Suite - Alive Album Art

Honeymoon Suite: Alive

AOR Melodic Hard Rock
5.0/5.0

A few weeks ago, I was at one of my favorite independent record stores, Lititz Music Company, digging through their vinyl collection. In a small section, labeled "hair bands or hair metal," or some such designation, I found several albums from Honeymoon Suite. Wherein, I said to the owner, Ben Hartranft (no immediate relation), that the Canadian band was dropping a new album in February, Alive. He shrugged something like, "Don't know the band." I nodded, "I have some vague recollection of them."

That's not a great beginning, but an honest one. I committed to revisiting Honeymoon Suite via YouTube videos before listening to the new album and writing a review. But first, a little history ...

Formed in 1981 in Niagara Falls, the unofficial honeymoon capital of the world, Honeymoon Suite entered a demo single, New Girl Now, in a local radio contest, and won a recording deal with WEA Canada. Their eponymous debut hit the stores, radio, and MTV with a massive amount of air play. The band would have continued success in the Eighties with triple platinum sales of the first three albums in Canada alone, thanks to numerous successful singles including, but not limited to, Burning In Love, Wave Babies, Stay In the Light, Feel It Again, and What Does It Take. Today, in Canada, Honeymoon Suite is one of the most beloved rock bands.

Honeymoon Suite - Click For Larger Image

Honeymoon Suite

Honeymoon Suite would tour North America and Europe, appearing with long list of talent like ZZ Top, Heart, Journey, and Canadian peers Bryan Adams, Saga, and Loverboy. Their tunes would appear in television and movies including Miami Vice and Lethal Weapon. Despite personnel changes in the Nineties, the core members would regroup in 2000, and release three more albums.

Now turning to the new album Alive. For context, I did watch and listen to most all of Honeymoon Suite's singles from the Eighties. The band was working the AOR melodic hard rock angle while the popular music environment was a mash up of the continuing New Wave movement and the blossoming hair/glam rock/metal scene. Some Internet references do refer to Honeymoon Suite as glam metal, but I think that's a gross misnomer. Largely, I wasn't all that impressed with those early singles (which explains my aforementioned vague recollections). But they did remind me of fellow peers like Mister Mister or Tears For Fears, which I enjoyed. Nevertheless ...


This year's Alive is exceptional, spot on, and fandamntastic AOR melodic hard rock. Drawing from a well of skill and experience, Honeymoon Suite delivers songs overflowing with catchy song melody, vocal harmony, rock rhythm and groove, a touch of synths, big choruses, and ripping guitar solos. The production is lush, the recording vibrant. Thanks to fellow Canadian producer/songwriter Mike Krompass (Desmond Child, Mutt Lange, Smash Mouth, Elton John, et al).

Honestly, all the songs are terrific. It's a hit factory with every song eligible for radio play or arena-ready anthems. This is self-evident, if not undeniable, with Done Doin' Me, Tell Me What You Want, Give It All, and Alive, the latter two rousing hard rockers. Alternatively, true to the genre and themselves, Honeymoon Suite gives you AOR ballads with Doesn't Feel That Way and Love Comes.

All said, Honeymoon Suite's Alive is an exceptionally fine and entertaining album of classic AOR melodic hard rock. Every song is terrific. 40 years removed from their Eighties success, Honeymoon Suite sounds even better now and more success awaits. Quite recommended.



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The Take Away

Honeymoon Suite's Alive is an exceptionally fine and entertaining album of classic AOR melodic hard rock. Every song is terrific. 40 years removed from their Eighties success, Honeymoon Suite sounds even better now and more success awaits. Quite recommended.

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Purchase Honeymoon Suite - Alive at Amazon
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