Never known as the most diverse or commercially accessible recording artist around (well, not outside Japan, at least), YNGWIE was still able to deliver rasonably enjoyable albums troughout the late '80s and most of the '90s, even when he would change his bandmembers like most people change their underwear. At some point, however, the fire and passion that always existed in his music dissipated, and he began regurgitating his ideas in a way that turned off even his most ardent fans (hence his diminishing popularity in the Far East). His eleventh studio album (by my count), Alchemy sees the return of vocalist Mark Boals to the fold (14 years after his appearance on Trilogy)and a switch to a more "uncommercial" direction, one that was intended firmly to recapture some of the excitement of YNGWIE's early recordings. Unfortunately, YNGWIE's efforts fall well short of the mark, with his substandard attempt at rehashing the neo-classical complexity of his first couple of albums sounding contrived and not entirely effective. As superbly performed as the likes of "Leonardo" and "Playing With Fire" are, they simply sound like they were thrown together in a hurry, and they lack the spark that made 's earliest output so special.If you're a die-hard YNGWIE MALMSTEEN fan, you probably already own this record and love it for what it is. The rest of us, however, will want to spend our dollars elsewhere.
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