"You Lighting up my World and I could almost see it Clear"

Arkado, To Leave it all Behind




Arkado reviews and newspaper reports.


On this site we collect reviews made in various magazines and blogs. Amazingly, we only received positive feedback on our debut album. Sometimes it's almost so you don't believe your eyes. We are compared to everything from our house gods FM to Europe. We are very humble and grateful for that. Below you can read, among other things, what te.x Italine's most respected magazine writes about Arkado.

Arkado News

On this page we have collected newspaper clippings and reviews about Arkado

Well, the truth is that I don't know what you are doing reading this review because surely this group called Arkado doesn't sound like anything to you. In fact, it changed its name in 2018 due to some modifications in its line up, because they were known in BB Sweden in 1983 as their native. And there, there are people who do know them, a lot. He especially asks the sympathetic people of the soccer club called Ödakra whose anthem composed by them, sounds in all their matches, and who has remained practically the official. If you have noticed the name of the club it is Arkado backwards but surely you had already noticed it ... or not? As BB2 they even put the Sold Out poster at a concert in 2018, so they are not newcomers to this world of Melodic Rock or AOR.

I am very bad to remember the names, I hope that the members of the group know how to forgive me, because I remember the name of my wife, my son and few others. And I must confess to you that the only name I recognize is that of Philip Lindstrand, the brilliant vocalist and best guitarist who has had a prolific career with collaborations in bands such as Find Me, Osukaru, Nitrate or the Italian project of Raintimes. Basically he's a guy who sings really well. And he plays the guitar like the angels and it shows at the level the album has shown. It is a very good album by the Swedish AOR, which lately are those who continue to water the music scene in this style, especially appreciated by me, with good work, which I personally appreciate. I am of the belief that more and more we are a kind of weirdos for continuing to enjoy this style instead of falling into the clutches of the infected Reggaetón. For this alone we should be grateful to guys like these.

So these guys, who are really good musicians all, have known how to compose an album called Never say never, with the air of Stage Dolls, Treat or the good times of the currently defeated Europe, and I am not saying that they are as good as the aforementioned but it is true that they scratch at a very high level to be a debut. Great songs like the opening theme called So bad with great vocal overtones, guitar and key background arrangements, and the drum and bass playing the beat right. The choruses, the difficult part in choruses is brilliantly resolved, as in To leave it all behind, with good ideas on keyboards and creating a really beautiful chorus that invites you to listen to it from the absolute satisfaction.

The title of the album Never say never is a tremendous melodic theme, well-paired and with very successful arrangements with undistorted guitars in the background, which personally conquers me from the beginning. Of course by now you will be wondering if it is worth listening to the album you do not know, but if you have the opportunity to do it, do not hesitate because it is a safe bet. Stop thinking if you know them or not, if they are famous or not. There are many examples of records that you did not know and they conquered you from the first listen. Like Don´t rape the nature, a song to the latest ecology, with 80s airs of groups like Harlan Cage or Guild of Ages. I really like this topic. And some magical keyboards along with good ideas on guitars so that Walk your way becomes one of your favorite songs on the album because here everything is well designed, Philip sings at a high level and is the typical melodic theme that enters you first. I would have used it as a single to promote the album ... or not, because If we are to last is another download of great impact, a theme of clear prominence in keys that the AOReros of the world like so much. And that the guitars do not stop working hard to claim your attention, in short, a very good song that allows total enjoyment when you listen to a disc with ease ... because I wonder ... do you remember the times when you opened a record or a vinyl, you put it for the first time and you looked at the book or the vinyl cover to know the texts, the members of the band? Those lost times that we are no longer in the rush to listen to a disc like this from your mp3 player, and move on to the next without even being able to think about whether you liked this album or not.

Well, we are facing an album that is worth it, that you enjoy in small drinks and be able to think about whether it is worth buying it or not. Whether to do like those viral videos where a person drinks a pint of beer in two seconds or enjoy it quietly talking to friends little by little. This has become the music, that more and more people drink it all in two seconds without stopping to think for a moment about the number of hours, of hard work that it takes to publish an album from the first time you make a chord, until the plastic is closed, almost impossible to remove, which closes a cd. My advice is that you enjoy it little by little because also your life will be more pleasant. Because missing themes like My hometown is nothing short of a sin because of the intrinsic elegance that this theme especially has. With wise arrangements, dreamy choirs and that taste of what is well done. You do not have time to see everything at once, if you pay attention to the guitar, you will miss what the keyboard player is doing, which is not a little, but the guitars are rocking the crib in the foreground with distortion, and caressing your hair with Acoustic touches in the background that you can't miss. Everything at a tremendous height, with heartbreaking beauty.

Let me use these last two words as heartbreaking beauty to describe So fine, a halftime so beautiful that you will simply have to sit down to enjoy such a work. If this could be visualized, it would have to be transferred in an armored van to be exhibited in a museum of Modern Art to be enjoyed with the splendor that something like this deserves. There is nothing more beautiful in this world than a half-time well done from the world of Rock. It is simply unbeatable. And this topic is a good example of it. My congratulations to the authors of this because it is the perfect theme in my opinion. And the keyboard player who does not stop showing off, enters with Eagle with some wonderful chords along with good ideas on the guitars and some very successful vocal games. The umpteenth example of a theme well done, of how to use brain neurons to design a very good melodic theme.

Aura of mystery in Carry my heart with that keyboard player whose name I must say because I think it's great ... Mikael Svensson ... often signing ... it's fucking good, it has all the possible piano records, keys, sounds in the background and very accurate foreground. A genius seems to me this man. I will track him down. The theme is certainly tremendous, with good ideas in general of how to give birth to another good melodic theme, I have no doubt that they are endowed with great talent to manufacture themes of current AOR taste.

At the moment I have not been bored by any song in the catalog listened to so far, which usually happens easily. And to close the album it occurs to them to cover their own song Never say never in the shadow of a piano, the piano of the great Mikael Svensson with the voice of Philip Lindstrand and how could it be otherwise what has come out of them is a genius within the reach of few. A piano and keys raised to the kingdom of heaven, a well-made theme that becomes a theme for posterity with its own merits.

Frankly very surprised by these Arkado, authors of the Ödakra football club anthem who have shown that they also know how to compose and very well, songs that will go through my ears more times than other albums that buried the sands of time of my forgetfulness for not deserving the pain. And this album I assure you is not one of those. This album has its own personality, and you just have to listen to it alone with your soul, and together ... enjoy a unique sensory experience ... I hope you like it as much as I do.


Arkado present first rate AOR selections that will remain blissfully in your head forever and a day.  With roots dating back as early as 1983, Arkado has at long last made their presence known worldwide thanks to Never Say Never – their standout debut album from AOR Heaven.  With a thoroughly appropriate album title and the dynamic tunes and skillful musicianship to back it all up, Arkado is ready to launch themselves into the AOR stratosphere. Highwire Daze recently caught up with keyboardist Mikael Svensson to discuss the Arkado AOR experience and why you really should Never Say Never again.  Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Arkado, and how long the band has been together.
My name is Mikael Svensson, and I play the keyboards and backing vocals in the band. I am also the one, writing the music for ARKADO. As well, I do arrange, produce and records, all the music.

Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there?
ARKADO is based in Helsingborg, in South of Sweden. The local music scenes here is quite limited, however there are one or two small – midsize stages, that sometimes offers the opportunity to arrange some live gigs.

How did you wind up signing with AOR Heaven?
Last year, we did just for fun and because we found the theme in the song very important and in time, released a small video on YouTube. It is the song on the album, called Don´t Rape The Nature, that we did at the time release. Just a few days later, we were contacted from several actors in the music biz, such as Radio Channels all over the world, wanted the song, to play on their stations. After some twist and turns, we ended up talking to AOR Heaven. Which resulted in a contract, for which we are really happy.

Is there any overall story or concept behind the Never Say Never album title?
Yes, actually there is. We started to play together already in 1983, and ended at 1987 (about).  After that point, we have not been in contact with each other, until 2018, where we suddenly were asked to set up a gig, playing our old songs. At first we were very unsure, but then it was decided to accept. This gig went so well, so we decided to keep on playing together. However we changed the name to ARKADO, since we did see this as a “new start”. Also we added Mr. Philip Lindstrand on lead vocals. So it was a bit of a re-formation of the band.

So the fact that we after more than 30 years later, came together again, and now succeeded with, which was never reached back in the 80’s, we would like to say as you should, Never Say Never. You never know what future will bring 🙂

Select two songs from Never Say Never and what inspired the lyrics.
Don’t Rape The Nature. This is a really hard title, we know. However the message is very clear. And should be very clear. It is quite obvious that we all over the world do have a huge environmental problem. Another problem is that too many people “shut their eyes” for this critical situation we all face. The lyrics are all about what is happening, and that we can only hope we are not too late, to make some changes

To Leave It All Behind. This song is about the situation that we believe a lot of people are finding themselves in. You have it all. Good life and you have found your life partner. However as days go by, reality does have an ability to create some, initially, invisible fractions to the relations. Such build up over time, and suddenly you find your relationship with a big gap in the middle. Often this is due to we as people tend to commit ourselves to, by far, many, what we believe, important and necessary obligations. Such as that in your daily profession, you must be very successful. Make a lot of money. Show the surroundings, by material items such as nice cars etc. how good you are. Instead of just be brave enough and letting go of all this pressure, and just realize, what is actually really important in life. Your family, friends etc.. to realize such, you sometimes just need to dare to Leave It All Behind.

Who produced Never Say Never and what was it like working with them?
All the songs on the album are arranged, produced and recorded by myself, in my own studio. So we do not have any external help or such, at all.

Who did the cover art for Never Say Never and how much input did you have on it?
The artwork was done by Nello Dellómo, in Italy. All the ideas about theme, layout etc, is coming from ourselves in the band. However Nello did a fantastic job realizing our vision of the artwork.

What could one expect from a live Arkado show?
Such we still have not done any gig in present band configuration, it is a bit hard to exactly say 🙂 . However, we do expect to deliver an energetic and memorable show. With a lot of passion to be able to play live.

If Arkado could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Wow, tough question 🙂 .  Well, I’ll have to choose from the bands which have done the most impression on me and the others in the band. So I would say, Saga, Journey, Toto. We hold so much respect to these bands as musicians, and their songs respectively, of course. I also believe our music/songs maybe could attract the audience for these bands.

When you look back on the BB2 (Better Be Together) version of the band in 1983, what do you think of that time period of your band and in music overall?
BB2 was the start of everything for us. And at the time, we was just happy new beginners, dreaming of a success within rock music. Something at the time seemed to be a tough mission, however at some occasion, we had some small opportunities. But I believe we was just too young to realize and to take the chance. Music wise, we looked a lot at band such as Toto, Saga, U2 and so. Of course trying to replicate that music into our own. I believe one of the problem at the time, was that we did not have the sufficient skills, as musicians to reach all the way. Looking at music in that period, I still believe that this period released the best music. But that’s all about taste, and I believe there is nothing right or wrong, when it comes to music taste 🙂

Are you or any other members involved with any other projects outside of Arkado?
Our singer, Philip Lindstrand is involved in a few projects. East Temple Avenue. He also part of Nitrate’s last album. Myself running my own studio, and of course acting as producer for some others that want to record music in my studio. But that is only upon request, and I would not see that as some side-project to ARKADO

What’s up next for Arkado?
We are preparing for a live-setup. We just recently, a few weeks ago, changed one of the guitarist. Mr. Mats Nilsson is no longer a part of ARKADO, and is now focused on other missions within the music branch. Mats have been replace with Mikey K Nilsson. Mikey is an excellent guitarist and will be the lead guitar in ARKADO. Mikey have a history playing with Sapphire Eyes, Alyson Avenue, Divine Rain, Anett Olzon etc. So we are really happy with this addition. This is a huge strengthening of us as a band, to have Mikey joining. So repetitions is ongoing at full speed, and we hope to be ready to go live after the summer

Any final words of wisdom?
Well, don’t know if wisdom is my strongest side. Live your life as every day is the last. Live here and now. We believe that is very important. And do spend a lot of time listening to good music. There are so many excellent bands out there, so just enjoy and take good care of each other.

(Interview by Ken Morton)

”Never say Never ”… never say never…
A title that in practice is a piece of biography for the unknown Arkado, a band that materialized from nothing in a pandemic era and, thanks to a cover with a vague prophetic flavor, manages to capture our curiosity.

Unknown but certainly not newbies: the news tells us, in fact, of a first group nucleus whose foundation can be traced back to 1983, the year in which at the small town of Ödåkra (over time it then became a suburb of Helsingborg), a bunch of beardless musicians put together a band called BB2, which stands for Better Be Together.
A mere 45 rpm on vinyl, the small production in his career, whose main piece was however chosen (remaining to this day) as the official anthem of the local football club.
After dark and silence: lasted like the proverbial "morning space", the BB2 project quickly disappeared from the scene, remaining a heritage preserved exclusively by the inhabitants of the area.

However, just as the good James Bond said (coincidentally, exactly in 1983), "Never say never".
Reunited almost as a game eons later, and on the wave of only one concert unexpectedly sold out in that of Helsingborg, the group was able to have a second chance after a long time, recording a debut album that, given the story, could have be titled with an equally significant "better late than never".
A singular story that is enriched by a further unusual anecdote referring to the moniker chosen for this second artistic life. Arkado is, in fact, neither the appellation of any bizarre Viking deity, nor a term referring to some unknown Nordic language. Not even a hypothetical reference to the Hellenic Arcadia or the mythological Arcade. Much more prosaically, it is the name of the city of origin of the musicians written in reverse.
When you say fantasy ...

Colorful biographical notes aside, two certain data help to identify with certain immediacy the stylistic area around which the Arkadoes rotate.
As said, the homeland is Sweden. The support label is the well-known AOR Heaven.
Without even hearing a note, we could have bet, with reasonable presumption of victory, on a style rooted in the classic Scandinavian AOR. For the "friends" and the guests (the few left at least) of melodic stuff, the dear "Scandi Aor".
Like to win easy: the comparisons that pile up listening to "Never say Never" tickle some excellent exponents of the sector. Jim Jidhed and Alien, Street Talk, Roulette, Radioactive and Bad Habit have certainly contributed to some extent to the construction of the Arkado sound, marked by a constant search for melody and presence - sometimes even a little bulky - of keyboards declined towards the so-called Hi-tech AOR.
The brushstrokes of fascinating elegance and good taste ascribable to the unattainable Toto complete the descriptive overview with ease.

The disc, net of technicalities and abstruse definitions, flows really well, highlighting an unsuspected mastery of the material and superior quality in interpreting it. The songs offer the impression of being built with romantic attention by expert hands and are appreciated for the wealth of details. From the presence of captivating and immediate harmonies, to often effective and good level sounds.
A categorically essential aspect for the genre, it is also the ease with which the album is usable and maintains freshness even after a certain number of passages, although pleasing after a few notes.
An evident clue to indicate how the return to the scene was successfully resolved and requires, without hesitation, a continuation of the adventure.

It is no longer an era of great stages for bands and discs of this type: the destination is now increasingly that of the musical undergrowth reserved for a small number of stainless fans.
However, it is a pleasure to discover, from time to time, some news of lively interest even outside the big record circuits. Small semi-hidden realities that, like the Arkadoes, can provide a little new life to a genre limited in sales numbers yet never completely dormant like the AOR.

Nostalgic, vintage, naive, out of time: it doesn't matter.
To us, frankly, it's really fine.

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