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Bound and determined to carry on post-Perry, Journey toured with replacement/soundalike Steve Augeri doing a fine job mimicking the original parts for the greatest hits, and finally coming into his own on the new material. Then from out of nowhere Steve Perry re-emerged from his exile for Journey's Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony, which in turn started the appropriate Internet forest fires ablaze with speculation that Perry was going to return to the Journey flock yet again for an album and tour. Alas, these rumors were smoldered by time, but not before Perry and company also won recognition from Charlize Theron and Hollywood for their use of the Journey anthem "Don't Stop Believin'" in the movie Monster. So, sans Perry, Generations finds the band continuing onward. As Journey albums go, this isn't anywhere near the genius that the dream team of Neal Schon/Jonathan Cain/Perry brought forth in their heyday, but it certainly isn't their worst work either. Augeri has finally grown beyond being a soundalike for Perry and adds his own distinct flourishes to his delivery, though there are moments you could swear the band is just playing one large practical joke and it really is Perry in the vocal booth. This time around, Augeri isn't the only one doing vocal duty; it's a whole band thing. Each member takes a turn singing a song, and the results are painfully mixed. Drummer Dean Castronovo is another convincing Perry soundalike, but Schon and bassist Ross Valory come up short. Of course, singing isn't Schon's forte, as his signature blistering solos return and will testify to on many of these songs (including a nod in one solo to his memorable ending guitar solo on "Who's Crying Now"). The band remains in finer form than ever, and of course will see another successful series of concerts sell out by mixing the old with the new. It's just a shame that Augeri didn't get a chance to really spread his wings and shine on Generations as much as he's capable of, and if the album's closer, "Never Too Late," is any indication, he just might make the lead vocalist spot his own after all.

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