“RAISED ON RADIO.” Journey. Columbia. The first Journey album since 1983’s multi-platinum “Frontiers” is safe as milk--nothing on it cuts even skin-deep. The writing, playing and production are predictably slick and contemporary, but also predictably empty.
From the opening “Girl Can’t Help It” ( not the Little Richard classic) through the closing “Why Can’t the Night,” there is nary a lick nor lyric that could possibly be construed as a challenge to either listener or performer. Everything sounds calculated solely for air play and sales. Artistic growth? Forget it! The only journey these guys seem interested in is to the bank.
The title cut comes off as a particularly brazen and profit-minded hop on the “American rock” bandwagon. Only the raw harmonica intro comes close to the feel of even Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll” or John Cougar Mellencamp’s “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.,” let alone “C.C. Rider,” “Maybelline,” “Louie Louie,” or any of the other all-time greats named in the song’s litany. Steve Perry, Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain may have been raised on these radio chestnuts, but judging by their music, they never really listened to what they said.