Even if you're lightly familiar with Journey, you've got at least six of their songs memorized. Sure, you know "Wheel in the Sky" and "Open Arms" and the lot of classics, but we're here to stump for the late-catalogue stuff. After the introduction of new singer Arnel Pineda in 2007, Journey blasted out two albums -- their most recent ones -- and these are the songs that we're going to dive into today.
You'll have the opportunity to see Journey when they make their two stops at The Classic, going down first in Los Angeles July 15 and 16 and then in New York on July 29 and 30. The Classic East and West will both feature legendary bands like Journey (of course), Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers and Earth, Wind & Fire.
In the meantime, let’s brush up on some of the band’s most awesome recent music…
"City of Hope"
The Eclipse album opener kicks things off with a inspirationally charged power ballad in the vein of 1980s Journey (they even inject the self-referential line, "Never stop believin' change will come"). Neal Schon leads tune with some intricate finger work, then Pineda slowly builds the verses until he yells out: "There's a city of hope beyond our fears / Where miracles happen / Where truth can be heard / Don't you wanna go to the city of hope." It's an excellent mood booster.
"She's A Mystery"
Also a cut from the band's 2011 album, Eclipse, starts off with bubbling broth of Schon’s spacy guitars, but keep you ears peeled on the rhythm section too, as Ross Valory’s bass anchors the heart of the song. The lyrics ponder the capacity of the "feminine spirit," wondering if a woman loves him back. The swirling sounds of the ethereal tune take a jammy turn as drums get involved and "She's A Mystery" soon turns into an all-out rock song, which will have you hootin' and hollerin’.
“What I Needed"
The song really does show off all of the members’ virtuosic musical abilities, but the song itself is like a theatrical production too. There's Jonathan Cain’s pounding piano, whirling guitar, cinematic strings and a melody that will have you thinking you’re hearing a rock opera rather than a Journey song. It's really something.
“Never Walk Away"
Listen to Schon’s howling guitar on "Never Walk Away"! The band can pull of this upbeat love song with the charisma of iconic rock gods. This song, written by Schon, Cain and Jeremey Hunsicker, is all about the guitar action. If you're into duelling six strings or blinding electric solos, find a way to request this joint at The Classic in July or when the guys continue their tour this summer. By the end of the song, even the guys seem breathless.
"Edge of the Moment"
Schon’s singing lead guitar, sweet harmonies and some equally as impressive drum fills -- "Edge of a Moment" is another one of those theatric must-see tracks. Pineda sings the story of a heartbroken lover on the verge of a relationship crash: "On the edge of a moment / Return to forever with you / We made love over lifetimes / Rapture so rare to be true / I keep holding onto / On the edge of the moment / With you." The lyrics are filled with imagery of fire, vivid colors and scary tension, you can feel that all with the menacing melody unraveled by the band.
"After All These Years"
"After All These Years," from the Revelation album, is a song about a long lasting marriage. But, as Schon once pointed out at a Norway concert in 2009, it could also be about Journey's dedicated fans, who kept them rockin’ for decades. The track is glittery and sweet. In typical Journey fashion, this one's a beautiful balled with huge cymbal crashes and soaring vocals. "And I'm proud of all the blessings / You have given me / The mountains we have climbed to get this far / You've learned to take the laughter with the tears / After all these years."