Work Of Art – Exhibits (Frontiers)

When you call your band Work Of Art then the pressure’s on.

But melodic rock master Robert Säll puts his money where his mouth is on the superior Exhibits.

Eleven years on from WOA’s dazzling debut Artwork, the guitarist and producer has returned from a five-year hiatus to hit dizzying new heights.

This is an album that keeps on giving…and keeps on rocking.

As a study in shiny AOR it’s an immersive and joyous journey: Lars Säfsund boasts the luscious tones required to mould melodic rock greatness.

And Säll’s retro-fuelled riffs evoke reassuring memories of Toto, Journey et al.

What You Want From Me, controversially positioned as the penultimate track, is the classiest song here.

Its subtle keys, layered vocal harmonies and heavenly fretwork are what every AOR fan wants from their favourite band.

Foreigner come to the fore on the soft-focus set closer Let Me Dream and perhaps it’s no coincidence that Exhibits finishes on an emotive high.

There’s a sense that this remarkable record was always crafted with a lofty crescendo in mind.

And joining Säll on a revelatory journey guarantees the richest of rewards.

Genre nerds will love the fact that keysman Vince DiCola – the man responsible for the ‘training montage’ piece on Rocky IV) – adds his unique touch to This Isn’t Love.

2014’s Framework was fantastic in its own right.

But Exhibits is a picture of melodic rock perfection.

Four albums in and it could well be WOA’s masterwork.