Review of the album "Power Up" by AC / DC
Power Up (also known as PWR or UP) is the 17th studio album by AC/DC, released at the end of 2020. For fans of the band, it marked the return of Brian Johnson, Phil Rudd and Cliff Williams, who left the band for various reasons after the release of Rock or Bust. The album is also notable for being the first studio release by AC/DC since the death of Malcolm Young.
“It’s kind of a tribute to Malcolm…” commented his brother Angus.
In general, the album was warmly received by critics and the public: it reached the top position in the charts in more than 20 countries! At the moment, its sales are about 1.5 million copies worldwide.
Background and recording…
The last few years have been extraordinarily difficult for AC / DC: because of this, the future of the group has been repeatedly questioned ... The Rock or Bust tour was in jeopardy: vocalist Brian Johnson was told by doctors that he would go deaf if he did not stop touring immediately! Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses then replaced Johnson so that AC/DC could play the rest of the dates... Bassist Cliff Williams retired at the end of the tour and drummer Phil Rudd was sentenced to house arrest: it's worth noting that he was convicted of a rather serious a crime…
Most importantly, rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young passed away in 2017: he was preceded by a younger brother, George, who co-produced a number of the band's albums... Reflecting back on AC/DC's early years, when the band was just beginning its ascent, Angus Young said:
“Malcolm was… Oh God. He told me, “Whenever you go to a bar, the songs that make you move are hard-sounding songs—something with a grain of salt! We just need a good, hard rock 'n' roll sound!" I was shocked, but he asked me: "Do you want to be a part of this?" And I thought: yes, of course I want to!”
Five and a half years after releasing their groundbreaking debut album, High Voltage, AC/DC have been dealing with the sudden death of legendary frontman Bon Scott. It was 1980 and a few months later the band's seventh album, Back in Black, was released to worldwide acclaim. It was based on a tribute to Scott, their fallen comrade-in-arms, a rock 'n' roll soldier... Four decades later, AC/DC released an album in which the united rock 'n' rollers once again paid an almighty tribute - this time to Malcolm Ian...
List of tracks
From the very first moments of the "Realize" intro video, it's clear that AC/DC hasn't changed or softened their musical approach one iota, and that they can push their brand of bluesy hard rock like never before. Brian Johnson sounds better than ever, while lead guitar icon Angus Young remains a flamethrower! The song has a kind of simple groove that made this part a household name... "Shot In The Dark" is the lead single in favor of the rampant rock feeling of freedom! Johnson's tongue-in-cheek vocals are sure to lift the spirits of rock fans the world over! 'Demon Fire' contains one of the coolest AC/DC riffs of all time and Johnson rampages into the mic again... The band's style is still minimal, perfect and straight forward and the fact that it still works so well is solid proof the truth of rock music...
"Shot in the Dark"
"Through the Mists of Time"
"Kick You When You're Down"
"No Man's Land"
Release, recognition ...
In AC/DC's native Australia, "Power Up" debuted at number one on the ARIA charts. This made them the first band to have an Australian number one in every decade! Its sales in the first 7 days exceeded 20,000 copies! "Power Up" stayed at the top for four weeks... AllMusic's review states:
“AC/DC is not fixated on the past. They are pushing forward... And their music has a special feeling... This album is a tribute to Malcolm Young - as a reminder of how powerful and timeless the very idea of AC / DC is ... "
AC/DC are not interested in musical experiments. And that's why their fans don't expect any drastic departure from the proven formula from the band... Molded in the best tradition of albums like 1978's Powerage or 1990's The Razors Edge, the heavy "Power Up" is accompanied by a heavy dose of boogie-woogie that not for long, but it will save you from worries... And for sure, all the new songs from this album will be additions to the long-awaited next AC/DC tour! In the meantime, it's a stark reminder that this band isn't done yet.
“I'm sure it's a good rock 'n' roll album. Something you can sing along to! The most beautiful thing about this album is that you can use it to distract yourself from what surrounds you ... "- comments Angus Young.