FrontA Place to Call Home was the debut solo album from Europe vocalist Joey Tempest. While Europe spent much of the decade on hiatus, Tempest used the break to explore a musical direction that wouldn’t have worked with that band’s sound, and the results are as surprising as they are impressive.

A Place to Call Home reminds me a lot of Great White vocalist Jack Russell’s solo album For You. Both albums are lighter and more emotional than the singers’ main bands, but are still within shouting distance of that core sound. Tempest seems to be going for a singer/songwriter meets AOR vibe that pays tribute to Thin Lizzy and maybe Bon Jovi, with smooth, melodic songs that have honest and emotional lyrics. It never really gets to rocking, but the songs have you nodding your head and singing along anyway. There are some really beautiful songs on this album, and it’s a great showcase of Tempest’s talents. Anybody who has written him off as “that Final Countdown guy” would have to eat those words if they heard this album.

It’s not going to thrill fans of Europe’s harder rocking albums, but those who enjoyed the more melodic songs on Prisoners in Paradise should really enjoy Joey Tempest’s solo work. A Place to Call Home should also please just about any fan of honest, heartfelt melodic rock. It’s just a shame the album is so hard to find. Tempest’s solo albums are past due for a proper remastering and reissue campaign.

1. We Come Alive
2. Under The Influence
3. A Place To Call Home
4. Pleasure And Pain
5. Elsewhere
6. Lord Of The Manor
7. Don’t Go Changin’ On Me
8. Harder To Leave A Friend Than A Lover
9. Right To Respect
10. Always A Friend Of Mine
11. How Come You’re Not Dead Yet
12. For My Country
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Joey Tempest – A Place To Call Home (1995)

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