Album Review — W.E.T.
W.E.T. — Retransmission
Four studio albums is enough to stop referring to a band as a “supergroup” and we can just call them a band. “Retransmission” marks W.E.T.’s fourth studio record (plus a live record) and sees the return of original members Robert Saal (Work of Art), Erik Martensson (Eclipse) and Jeff Scott Soto (Talisman) along with a few friends.
It is Soto’s inclusion that first interested me in the band. But since that first record I’ve become a huge fan of anything Erik Martensson does. So to only hear Martensson sing on half of one song was a bit of a letdown at first. It’s not that Soto isn’t a fantastic vocalist, I was just hoping to hear more Martensson.
Overall, the band has a nice combination of the three main artists. You can hear a lot of Eclipse-sounding tracks, especially with Eclipse guitarist Magnus Henriksson on board for this record. But you can also hear the more melodic Soto stuff as well as a bit of Work of Art feel on the record as well.
The first thing I notice on the opening track, “Big Boys Don’t Cry”, is the big sound. Martensson sings the first part of the first verse which is both a blessing and a curse. He sounds so great but we don’t get much more for the rest of the record. “Big Boys Don’t Cry” is a big rocker with huge gang vocals throughout which is something we will hear a lot going forward.
“The Moment of Truth” doesn’t quite have the same edge but there’s plenty of guitar. Every track has a big chorus and is quite catchy. Martensson in particular has figured out how to take the best of the 80s “hair metal” and the melody of Journey and meld it into four minutes of tasty rock.
“Got To Be About Love” is one of the those songs that sounds like something you’ve heard before. It’s not quite a ballad but definitely slower than the majority of the record. And there’s that chorus again. Soto can sing anything, but he’s especially strong in this genre.
“Beautiful Game” sounds like it could have been straight off an Eclipse record. So of course I dig this one.
The record doesn’t have a lot of variety, per se, but “How Far To Babylon” has some elements that you don’t hear anywhere else on the record. It’s still quite melodic but has a bit of a tribal beat.
“Coming Home” is straight melodic joy. It’s got that late 80s/early 90s “hair metal” feel again but slightly updated. It’s not complicated but it sounds so great.
The album has a strong finish with three of the best songs at the end. “You Better Believe It” and “How Do I Know” are straight forward melodic rockers while the closer “One Final Kiss” has a little more edge to it but another killer chorus.
After getting over my initial disappointment of very little Martensson vocals, I can appreciate this as the melodic rock gift that it is. Soto really does excel in this arena and Martensson is such a great song writer that just keeps producing fantastic tracks. You would think with each main member releasing their own work fairly regularly that this would be a collection of leftover and reject songs, but nothing can be further from the truth.
“Retransmission” is full of great songs that are delivered by wonderful musicians and Soto’s unique blend of soulful and powerful vocals. If you enjoy big choruses and lots of guitars, I am quite sure you will dig this record.
It’s hard for me to think there’s going to be a better record this year, unless of course, Erik Martensson has something in the making that I’m not aware of yet.
95 out of 100
- Big Boys Don’t Cry *
- The Moment Of Truth *
- The Call Of The Wild
- Got To Be About Love *
- Beautiful Game
- How Far To Babylon
- Coming Home *
- What Are You Waiting For
- You Better Believe It *
- How Do I Know *
- One Final Kiss *