on May 21, 2000
Odyssey, Yngwie J. Malmsteen's fourth full-length album, was released in 1988. Out of a total of 12 tracks, three are instrumentals: "Bite the Bullet," "Krakatau," and "Memories." The gothic-sounding "Bite the Bullet" is almost two minutes. The tight, medieval-flavored "Krakatau"--just over six minutes--sports noteworthy, commanding rhythm guitar playing from Malmsteen and classy keyboard work from Jens Johansson. The pleasant, disc-closing "Memories" is just over a minute. Altogether, this disc contains impressive musicianship, good songwriting, and polished sound quality. The material is in a hard rock musical direction. Joe Lynn Turner does a nice job when it comes to his meat-and-potatoes vocal delivery. There is one power ballad on Odyssey, "Dreaming (Tell Me)." Throughout the album, Malmsteen does not disappoint. Though I like every one of the cuts, "Hold On," "Dreaming (Tell Me)," and "Crystal Ball" are my favorites. The melodic "Hold On" features an engaging intro guitar melody from Malmsteen, smooth keyboard playing from Johansson, and a catchy chorus. The pretty "Dreaming (Tell Me)" exhibits notable, earnest, and plaintive vocals from Turner and a pleasing refrain. The lively "Crystal Ball" has an attractive beginning. An example of another enjoyable composition is "Heaven Tonight"--it is spirited and displays a memorable, energetic chorus. The disc is almost 51 minutes. The CD insert includes the song lyrics, a black-and-white photo of the band, and an individual color photo of each of the guys. I recommend Odyssey.
on August 23, 1998
Most of you know Yngwie as the infamous speed-demon jerk dude he is portrayed as in publications such as Guitar World. While the style of music he likes to be known for is defined by Rising Force and Trilogy, Odyssey gets my vote for being his best overall record. He sacrifices none of his trademark shredding, dizzying speed-picking, and mesmerising sweep-arpeggios, and still manages to make some incredibly catchy and effective rock songs (ie: Deja Vu, Riot in the Dungeons, Rising Force). The presence of three instrumentals keeps his Rising Force advocates from accusing him of selling out. (Yngwie sell out... not likely.)
If I remember correctly, this is Yngwie's first association with the former bandmates of his hero Richie Blackmore. Joe Lynn Turner writes all the lyrics and handles the vocals on this record and performs on the Live in Leningrad disc.
If you like the musicianship on Rising Force and the songwriting in Trilogy, you owe it to yourself to get this album. But by all means, avoid Eclipse!!
on February 8, 2004
First of all this MIGHT have been seen as "selling out" by making this album a commercial type of album. Yngwie recruited vocalist extraordinaire, Joe Lynn Turner, to perform on "Odyssey." Joe Lynn also wrote all the lyrics for the 1988 effort, and the result was like magic. The two complimented each other perfectly, and together they created an album that outshines all others. The highlights were the ballads, Joe Lynn has a gorgeous voice and he was the best vocalist the Malmsteen had hired out of all the albums that he had created. Yngwie's guitar rips your heart out, and Joe Lynn's vocals tear it apart. When he sings Dreamin' (Tell Me) it is so beautiful that it still the heart. The lyrics only add to the sorrow with verses like "dreaming visions of you, feeling the love I never knew" and another favorite is "here we are on the crossroads of forever, shining star lights the way, walk with me on the winds of time, love's mystery is for us to find." And the guitar music in this one blends with the music wonderfully. Its not too loud, it allows Turner to really get to you with his soaring vocals, but its there, a sweet, harp-like acoustic in the background, and then during the solo it switches to a bubbling electric, that fits the mood of the song. Hold On is another classic ballad from this album, and in some ways is even more heartbreaking than Dreamin'. The opening guitar riff is an attention grabber, and makes the heart skip a beat when it starts up, its so beautiful. Hold On has a bluesy type feel to it, and the vocals are lush and beautiful, only Turner could perform them like this. There are some rockers on "Odyssey" too, like the thundering Rising Force which has another great verse in it "the lightning strikes cracking the night, it feels like never before, thunder and sparks in the Heart of the Dark, I hear a rising force". There is also an off-with-their-heads gothic metal song, that leaves you missing the days when Ronnie James Dio would sing songs about witches,demons, dragons, and magic spells, in Rainbow, Sabbath, and Dio. The song is called Riot In the Dungeons and is really killer, the necromancer rips on this one. Another album hot spot is Deja Vu. Overall, "Odyssey" was wonderful, there was no way Yngwie could ever top this, especially since Turner left to join Deep Purple, so Yng was forced to find another singer. Swedish born, Goran Edman came in to fill in the spot
on February 5, 2004
Questo CD è forse una delle produzioni piu' belle del grande chitarrista, che emerse alla grande con le sue soluzioni barocche nel primo valevole album "Rising Force", ma che poi si è andato sempre più aggrappando (forse disperatamente) a queste stesse soluzioni, che si traducono praticamente in circa 10 album, stilisticamente uno fotocopia dell'altro. Questo Odyssey invece è tutt'altra storia, brioso e arieggiato grazie ai testi e alle belle melodie di Joe Lynn Turner che sicuramente apporta una "botta de vita" a tutto quanto. I virtuosismi di Malmsteen sono sempre presenti, ma in questo caso sono perfettamente integrati in melodie originali ora malinconiche, ora struggenti ora grintose, aggiungendo al già elevato phatos uno splendido tocco di tecnicismo mai gratuito o scontato. Peccato che la megalomania di Malmsteen (e forse la paura di non brillare più da solo nel suo gruppo), abbia portato alla rapida esclusione di Turner dalle successive formazioni (e dai suoi album), e quindi ad un decadimento a picco dell'originalità delle sue successive composizioni che (anche se bisogna dire presentano qualche volta qualche spunto originale) risentono di una farraginosità di note e scale armoniche "da manuale", che sebbene da un punto di vista strettamente estetico possano far la loro bella figura, riducono a mio avviso il tutto, ad una serie di CD "Come imparare a suonare la chitarra come Malmsteen". In conclusione, questo Odyssey è IMPERDIBILE.
on May 22, 2003
I know...I'll probably get some criticism from other Yngwie fans for saying this, but this is truly one of my favorite Yngwie albums. It has been criticized for being "too commercial", but personally, I love it! This is the CD that introduced me to Yngwie and as soon as I heard "Dreamin", I was hooked. It is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard, and solo on it will give you chills! After listening to this CD, I soon found myself looking to buy anything and everything that Yngwie ever recorded. I now own most of his CD's, as well as those from his days with Steeler and Alcatrazz and I like just about all of them, but "Odyssey" is one that I find myself pulling out to listen to the most. I've heard it said that Yngwie plays without emotion, but I'll tell you what...if you can't hear the emotion on this CD, especially in "Dreamin" something's wrong with you!!! I don't see how anyone who really listens to Yngwie's music can say that he plays without emotion, because I can hear the passion with which he plays in nearly every song on this CD (as well as on others). I've seen Yngwie in concert multiple times and there is nothing but passion in this man when he plays. I think that people say that he plays without emotion only because he plays with such ease and such technical perfection. His fingers float so effortlessley across his fretboard that that I think his immense talent sometimes clouds the passion when he plays. In any case, Yngwie's talent is a true gift for all of us to enjoy and while this CD may be more commercial than some of his others, it contains some really great work. For those of you that are not really into the super heavy guitar-shredding stuff, but who appreciate good guitar work and true talent, this CD and "Eclipse" would be good for you. This was a good introduction to Yngwie's work for me and I feel that it would be for others as well. However, if you've never heard anything from Yngwie before and you want a true flavor of what Yngwie's all about, I think a good introduction with a little more variety would be to get his "Collection" CD. That being said, I think this is a great CD and Yngwie really shines in it. He is, without a doubt, one of the world's greatest guitarists ever!
on January 13, 2002
For the first time since Graham Bonnet, Yngwie permits significant collaboration with another singer and ex-Blackmore protege, Joe Lynn Turner. As the songwriting credits pointedly indicate, Turner's contributions extend beyond the lyric department and his musical influence clearly pervades most tracks, especially on "Crystal Ball" and "Deja Vu." (One is tempted to speculate that thus far in his career Yngwie habitually allocated more autonomy to Ritchie's partners, a privilege which he unfortunately did not avail to Jeff Scot Soto, arguably the finest vocalist to grace an Yngwie album) While the increased permeation of pop (courtesy of Turner) may be certain to pique devotee's of Yngwie's more gothic Scandinavian anthems like "I am a Viking" and "Mystic Mirror," there is nonetheless an unmistakable Malmsteen imprint on this album manifested not only in the shred solos (as scorchingly fast as ever, a remarkable feat in light of Yngwie severely damaging his picking hand in a racing car accident a year before) but on numerous tracks as well, namely "Rising Force" and "Deja Vu." Given its title, the former is quintessential Yngwie, which coincidentally he has noted in interviews as the first track that he wrote. "Dreaming" is one of Yngwie's most beautiful songs and unquestionably his greatest ballad since "Suffer Me." Colored with haunting arpeggiated diminished seventh chords, "Dreaming" affirms that Yngwie's prodigious knowledge of baroque progressions can likewise produce an ethereal atmosphere not commonly featured in typical metal ballads as well as astonish with through dazzling technique. Finally, no review of this album would be complete without mention of the most famous track, "Heaven Tonight," which to still day still stands as Yngwie's only top 40 hit in America. Granted this song reeks of AOR pop metal, yet its chorus is so infectiously catchy and its memorable verses and bridges admirably constructed that one has to concede that it is a well-crafted song. Surprisingly, this is perhaps the one Yngwie song with an unspectacular solo (by his standards), which neo-classical disciple Chris Impellitteri criticizes as "sloppy." Nevertheless, thanks to the emphasis on structure and melody, "Heaven Tonight" ranks as one of the few Yngwie songs which effectively stands on its own without a solo.
Significantly, no goth metal purist is more dismissive of this album than Yngwie himself, who has extrapolated how even at the time of its release he was already disappointed with its musical direction. Although hindsight undoubtedly played a galvanic role in this reassessment, it is visibly clear from the concert video of Live in Leningrad that Yngwie is displeased with Turner's performance, particularly in the latter's rendition of the earlier gothic songs, whereby Yngwie often interjects quasi-Mark Boals screams during the choruses. Knowing that these shrill vocals were incompatible with Turner's cleaner, subdued, and straightforward singing style, Yngwie presumably attempted to supply the songs with a tougher edge, an endeavor which would be partially realized with the replacement of Turner for the more aggressive vocalist Goran Edman on the subsequent album Eclipse. While this stylistic incongruity is true with the concert, it is nowhere evident on Odyssey in which both Turner and Yngwie made a concerted effort to write songs which accommodated both of their approaches. The fact that these two disparate individuals managed to churn out a lyrical and un-labored album is a testament to the creativity of their fruitful yet predictably ephemeral collaboration. Overall, Odyssey deftly interweaves goth and pop metal brilliantly whereby it comes across as a different yet not by any means unimpressive Yngwie album. While it lacks the savage assault of Marching Out and the emotive histrionics of Trilogy, Odyssey is a landmark album from the Yngwie catalogue which is most enjoyable when appreciated not in contrast to its predecessors but on its own merit.
on January 16, 2001
Yngwie is a god. Nothing more and nothing less can or needs be said. His deityhood is not in doubt on this cd, which has some of his heaviest riffing to date, including the phenomenal Faster than the Speed of Light. Brilliant guitar work, good drum work and keyboard work by his band mates, and a crisp sound overall make this a magnificent album to have. The lack of a fifth start lies in the travesty that is the song Heaven Tonight, and the near travesty that is Dreaming. Joe lynn Turner has his moments on this cd, as he did with Rainbow,but his strength lies as a pop vocalist, not a metal vocalist. Heaven Tonight is a light popish offering that turns Malmsteen from the blitzkrieg-style dragon-slayer on Trilogy's cover into a panderer of soft mush. Not only should it never have been put on cd, but Turner should be beaten for this song appearing under Yngwie's flag. Dreaming isnt quite as pop-sounding, though damn close. It does, however, have some decent form, and so would not be rated worse than 2 stars. Heaven Tonight on the other hand would get negative stars if it were possible. Otherwise this might have been Yngwie's finest album to date. The plus the Turner added, was that the lyrics are not quite as bland and repetitive as they were on Trilogy and Marching Out, the only negative against those two albums. Hopefully Yngwie can keep the superior lyrical ability of turner, and ditch the pop-heresy. Here's to the continued reign of the Arpeggio king!
on November 26, 2000
Afetr taking 1987 off, Yngwie returned to the scene again with Jens and Anders Johansson(making their last studio appearence) Bob Daisley sharing bass duties with Yngwie, and ex-Rainbow simger Joe Lynn Turner on vocals further adding to the Yngwie ever rotating line up. Leaving his vintage heavy metal roots even further behind (as well as the rawer guitar tone that was a big love on the earlier stuff) and entering even more in the direction that he had alluded to with TRILOGY, Yngwie gives us ODYSSEY, a pop-metal masterpiece garnering his biggest commercial success( largely due to the radio and Mtv hit, the mid tempo rocker "Heaven Tonight") while still taking on all comers to his crown. By this time, everybody on the block was emulating the neo-classical rock guitar style Malmsteen had pioneered back in the earlier part of the 80's but nobody was really even coming close to matching Yngwie's fierce vibrato, tone, and overall mastery of the electric guitar. And it's all in rare form here too! From the double bass thrash of the title track and "Faster Than The Speed Of Light", to the mid tempo groove of "Hold On", "Crystal Ball" and "Now Is The Time". But the true gems of the album have to be "Dreaming(Tell Me)" which is definently Malmsteen's best ballad with vocals and the devestating "Krakatau" which harkens back to his earlier recordings. "Riot In The Dungeons" also deserves a big nod as does the guitar intense "Deja Vu" which features a nice wah tinged funk groove in the middle. Yngwie hasn't changed much in the whole time he's been on the guitar scene, and ODYSSEY isn't much different sylistcally than any of his other albums. If you like the others, you'll like this one. That isn't to say that this album wasn't sort of a departure from his earlier work because ODYSSEY is a late 80's glam metal album in every sense of the word and his first two albums were not. But, with this disc, Yngwie became both guitar superstar and radio playboy, broadening his audience even further and finding the commercial fame that had alluded him throughout the earlier part of his career. The last album to feature the band name Rising Force for many years, ODYSSEY proved that Yngwie Malmsteen was a bonified stateside success.
on September 30, 2000
I realize that I have already reviewed this album, but hear me out. In my first review, I made this CD sound like it wasn't all that great. However, I have been listening to it a lot lately, and I realize that it is a considerable bit better than what I made it out to be. First of all, the songs are all great. I'm not disappointed with any of them. My favorites are Hold On, Dreaming (Tell Me), Now is the Time, Krakatau, and Memories. Memories and Krakatau are the two instrumentals on here. Krakatau is such a great contrast to Memories, and you can really tell because Memories is right after. A very poignant ending to this album. Now is the Time and Hold On have two of the coolest and emotional solos I've ever heard. Dreaming (Tell Me) is very beautiful song, although perhaps not quite as much as Memories (a very sad and thought-provoking acoustic instrumental). Second, the guitar work on here is incredible, as usual. I've already mentioned how great the solos are. Third, the vocals, done by Joe Lynn Turner (ex-Rainbow), are fantastic. Last, I really like the lyrics. They're very poetic and emotional, like the singing. I think anyone who likes good music should own this amazing album.
on March 4, 2000
I have to admit that I originally purchased this CD because I'm a huge Rainbow fanatic and wanted to hear what Joe Lynn Turner was doing after he left that group. Of course, I was well aware of Malmsteen's status as guitar virtuoso and studied Blackmore stylings... so that didn't hurt the cause of me throwing a few bucks into this CD either. I'm happy to say I was not disappointed. Yngwie is a flashier, more updated player than Blackmore (Ritchie still remains my favorite, though). The songs here are quite commercial sounding, which isn't surprising given Turner's presence. A couple of color-by-number ballads (Dreaming, Hold On) mixed with more typical fast fret burners (Riot In the Dungeons, the aptly titled Faster than the Speed of Light) make for an interesting listen. A couple of songs really stand out: Deja Vu, and my personal favorite Crystal Ball. Unfortuneately, Turner isn't a much better lyricist than David Coverdale, so you get an overdose of love-related themes. A small complaint though. This record is very late '80s sounding and will always remind me of summer days during my high school years.