Crowne is one of the “supergroups” that Frontiers Music tends to put up every so often. The band consists of vocalist Alexander Strandell (Art Nation), keyboardist & producer Jona Tee (H.E.A.T.), bassist John Levén (Europe), drummer Christian Lundqvist (The Poodles), and the new guitarist Love Magnusson (Dynazty). “Operation Phoenix” was produced by Jona Tee and has a full and powerful sound.
Musically, the album is moving closer to the Dynazty style in a way. Modern melodic hard rock with lots of melodic metal elements. The musicianship is strong and all the performances are amazing. How can you go wrong with such musicians, right?!
The opening track and title song, “Operation Phoenix”, is a nice melodic rocker that has borrowed its basic melody from Halloween’s “Forever and One”. Other nice tracks are “Champions”, “In the Name of the Fallen”, “Ready to Run”, “Just Believe” and “Northern Lights”. The album’s major downside is that the songwriting feels rather formulaic. Another drawback is the lack of memorable melodies. I wish there was more creativity in vocal melodies in general.
By no means is this a bad album. It’s just not a great one. I think it will be soon forgotten, due to the lack of hit singles and catchy melodies. Overall, it’s polished, well-produced, and wonderfully performed. Take a couple of listens before making a decision.