The band from Upplands Väsby in Sweden that won an early local incarnation of American Idol has gone a long way since Johns broken string and Seven Doors Hotel live on Swedish TV. They were the band that made Hard Rock accessible to the masses, blending Hard Rock and POP like no other at the time and many girl rooms had a poster or two of the band. EUROPE produced some massive hits back in the eighties like "Carrie" and "The Final Countdown", the music went from bluesy hard rock to mainstream radio hits and EUROPE were swept to the stars with the hair metal wave. John Norum quit and forged his own career as a solo artist, he wanted to play harder music.
The band split up when hair metal went obsolete and the grunge entered the stage. Some of the band member were stuck with huge tax debts, ventilating their problems in the Swedish media. Joey Tempest landed in the UK and has produced a few lame solo albums over the years but no sign of a reunion were in the horizon. Time laid it's veils over all bad blood between the members and a few years back they entered the main stage at Sweden Rock Festival for a reunion. They were welcomed back as lost sons, the audience went bonkers and it was obvious that EUROPE very much in demand, at least in Sweden.
Since 2004 they have worked steadily to rebuild a following and surprisingly enough stuck to a slightly harder sound than they lest us to remember from back in their hay day. John Norum probably has a significant role making in EUROPE what it is today. During the press conference at Sweden Rock Festival 2009 John just sat quiet until Joey Tempests singing were brought up. John leaned forward to the microphone and said
"Finally Joey has grown up, his singing on the new album is the best he ever has achieved."
Last Look At Eden is exactly what you could expect from EUROPE. It is a solid album filled with rock tunes, with its feet firmly planted along the veins of THIN LIZZY and LED ZEPPELIN. Joey Tempest sound like he does, the melodies are catchy as always but there is one thing that really stands out. The guitar work on the album is great and John Norum is what makes this album listenable. He truly is the guitarist that EUROPE wouldn't survive without.
High points on the album are "Gonna Get Ready", "Only Young Twice" and "U Devil U" and the mellow "In My Time" that somewhat resemble what "Parisian Walkways" is for THIN LIZZY.