The word on the street is Vega have created a classic; a masterpiece of melodic hard rock, an album of auspicious AOR to match the very best the genre has to offer. You shouldn’t always listen to the word on the street.
What Vega have really done is release a good album that in places hints at magnificence, but overall lacks the stone cold killer instinct to place them truly in the company of legends where many believe they belong. Vega may become a Journey or a Foreigner, but not quite yet.
At its best, “What The Hell” is superb. ‘Cry’ is a standout track and if anyone pens a better, more infectious melodic rocker this year, it will be a special song indeed. In a similar vein, ‘She Walks Alone’ is lean and focused, showcasing Vega to be arena-ready in a way no UK band has been since Def Leppard were at their chart-topping peak.
It would be wrong to speak of this album as having weak links, because each and every song is nuanced; crafted with precision, technique and tenderness. Vocalist Nick Workman is effortlessly impressive throughout, shining most brightly on ‘Saviour’.
The glitch is simply that too many of the fourteen tracks on offer don’t quite hit the mark like the above-mentioned trio. Strong, steady and solid for sure, but ultimately missing out on greatness by a whisker, with choruses that fail to completely ignite the way one desperately wants them to.
Maybe, had the fourteen songs been trimmed to ten or eleven, we would have been looking at a classic, because, let’s be clear; we’re talking tiny margins here and “What The Hell” is still a damn fine record guaranteed to satisfy even the most discerning hard rocker.
The next album though, now that really could be monumental.