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The US super-instrumentalist Mike Walsh is the mind and soul of the band 'Departure'. They are playing in a musical division with similarities to bands like Kansas, Journey, Saga and Styx. Light and melodic rock with a big dose of AOR to it. This is the fourth album from Departure and I haven't heard the previous discs before, so 'Hitch A Ride' is my first contact.
Great arranged tracks with 'easy to like' feeling to them. The vocalist on 'HAR' is the great Swedish singer Andi Kravljaca (Silent Call, Seventh Wonder) and he has this special high voice mode that fits so perfect to these melodic rock tunes. Mike's brilliant guitar solos lifts the rating above the general and the constellation seem to work out just fine.
A flawless production and elegant songs pays off, but I am not convinced that this is a top album, because it gets a little too clean and colorless in the long run. I miss tracks that stands out and breaks off the polished surface and slams me up against the wall.
Overall it's a solid and safe album purchase for those, who love great vocals, lush melodies, clean and clear sound with no surprises in the tempo changes. Not wine, not water, something in between.