TASTE is a Swedish AOR project created by brothers Christoffer and Felix Borg, former members of ART NATION. This is their second album and a lot of attention went into it in terms of production and mastering. It was recorded and mixed at Top Floor Studios, Gothenburg, by Christoffer Borg himself who happens to be a sound engineer and assistant producer who has worked with bands like ANTHRAX, AMARANTHE, DANKO JONES etc and it was mastered by Jacob Hansen (VOLBEAT, AMARANTHE, EPICA).
The music of TASTE is definitely very keyboard driven and sometimes too ‘’happy’’ sounding. Thankfully the guitars play also a prominent role, so the music has a nice balance between the two. I think the vocals are the less strong part on this album. Christoffer definitely has a good range but he is not on par with professional singers of the genre. He is quite good in his mid range, but sounds somewhat weak in his high range. And actually there’s nothing special about the timbre of his voice. The instrumental part of the album is well delivered and both brothers prove to be accomplished multi-instrumentalists.
The songs left me with mixed emotions, there’s some good stuff here but most of the songs fail to deliver. Sometimes the band sounds too poppy, on the other hand when they write harder and more sentimental stuff it’s decent. ‘’Alive’’ is a nice melodic up tempo rocker with a strange contradiction between the uplifting lyrics (Keep your dreams alive, never give up etc) and the moody vocal approach. ‘’Dangerous’’ follows in a similar vein. Those two make a good beginning but from there on the album drops in quality. You can definitely enjoy some riff here, some keys there, but most of the songs sound like fillers to me. Towards the end there’s a nice mid tempo AOR song, ‘’We are back’’ that gets the job done and the album finishes in style with a retro wave instrumental piece, ‘’More Than A Thousand Charades’’.
I think the Borg brothers should secure a full band and a good singer, because there’s talent here, just not enough of it to fill all spots. Only for AOR enthusiasts.