Record #455: Journey – Frontiers (1983)


Here’s a hot take for you: “Separate Ways” is the best song Journey ever put out.

People might lift up “Don’t Stop Believin'” or “Any Way You Want It,” but those songs can’t compete with the urgency and moodiness of the opening track of Frontiers.

The sonic palette of “Separate Ways” informs much of the other songs as well. Most of the album lives in a synth-tinged minor key with fiery lead guitars and Steve Perry’s unmistakable wail.

Frontiers’ playlist is also marked by the headbanging “Edge of the Blade” (the closest they got to heavy metal), the moody “Chain Reaction,” the dramatic “Troubled Child,” and the eternal ballad “Faithfully.” The one dud is “Back Talk,” an ill-advised attempt at punk that finds Perry abandoning all semblance of melody.

After the incredible one-two punch of Departure and EscapeFrontiers proves that Journey was anything but a flash in the pan. This album tops off an incredible three-album run that any musician would find enviable.

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