Swedish AOR veterans Roulette are back for anther spin (sorry) with a new album, Now! which is packed full to bursting of sleek, slick and slinky radio rock that’ll have you pushing the sleeves of your linen jacket elbow-wards as soon as you slip the album into the CD player…
The boys ply a pleasant, unthreatening brand of modern AOR, kind of like a cross between similarly-minded Brits Vega and fellow Scands Brother Firetribe; There’s nothing dirty or greasy or remotely rock and roll about Now! but, if you love depression-free, chirpy melodic rock with big choruses to sing along to, songs that remind you of a carefree youth on the turps clad only in leather chaps and a satin dustcoat then allow me to present you with a new soundtrack to your dewy-eyed reveries.
We Can Make It and Better Day are both uplifting anthems in the best Desmond Child/Diane Warren style, with vocalist Thomas Lundgren in particular impressing with committed performances on both tracks. His voice – inevitably sometimes reminiscent of Joey Tempest, especially on the superb Turn It Around – is quite superb throughout, and his tonsils make even the most prosaic material on offer here more than palatable.
Magnus Nelin also adds a fine solo to Turn It Around, his bluesy style here reminding the listener of Survivor’s Frankie Sullivan, but, although the highly mannered style of Now! does lead to these old-master comparisons, Roulette for the most part deliver their eighties-themed rock with a freshness many of the original protagonists fail to muster. Now! can be whatever you want it to be – a tight trousered nostalgiafest (in which case it should have been called When!, surely? -Ed), a bright new take on old tropes, or simply a pleasant way to spend forty minutes for those who don’t like their rock and roll too menacing. Any way you want it, these blokes can help. Give them a whirl!
Now! is out on March 22nd.