Miss Behaviour - Double Agent (2014/AOR Heaven)
Double Agent is Miss Behaviour’s third full-length record, but the history of the band actually go back as far as 2003, when founding members Henrik Sproge (keyboards) and Erik Heikne (guitars) were both studying Music Management in Kalmar, Sweden. The debut CD Heart Of Midwinter was released in 2006, while follow-up Last Woman Standing saw the light in 2011. Even though the latter didn’t do much for me personally, it was pretty well received in the AOR community on the whole and gained the band some attention abroad. This new CD, however, is a whole different beast altogether and I suspect even those who raved over L.W.S will agree it is a step up from that one. A big step, I would say.
If you should compare these guys to anyone, the closest reference would probably be a band like H.E.A.T, or bands of that ilk. Melodic, well-written songs firmly placed in the classic 80’s
AOR sound but with a slight modern edge. This is in my opinion how AOR should be made in 2014 and it’s releases like this that really show why Sweden is at the forefront of melodic rock right now.
What I like the most about Double Agent is how well the songs flow into one another, usually a sign of a great album. H.E.A.T fans will be all over tracks like opener On With the Show, Love Reflector or the excellent Don’t Let It End, the latter which was written by guitarist Erik Heikne who also puts in some impressive axework throughout the album. Elsewhere, Dancing With Danger and Midnight Runner is more superlative AOR, on par with anything from the 80’s, but the track that really steals the show for me has to be the title track. Unquestionably one of the AOR tracks of the year, this uptempo gem contains enough hooks, melody and keys to melt even the most hardened AOR fan’s heart in an instant.
If Last Woman Standing didn’t win me over then Double Agent certainly has, and I am certain that this release will sit at the top of most AOR listeners “best of 2014” lists at the end of the year. There are so many highlights on this album, I can’t even name them all! All I have to say is, hats off to the band for keeping the AOR flame burning and providing us with this great music. To you others, well you know what to do. Buy buy buy 🙂
Bob Wheeler - s/t
Fury - s/t