As ever, the frequency of more commercially viable ballads in Angra's works makes songs like this the obvious choice for a single, but because the band's softer side has been so well developed there's never a sense that these are sell-out power ballads of the sort that dominated rock in the eighties.
'Lisbon' is a pleasant song that makes full use of the live orchestra drafted in for the 'Fireworks' album, but like the rest of the album it is a little lacking in the originality and excitement of earlier (and later) works. There's very effective use of harpsichord and violin behind André Matos' usual falsetto singing, and only a brief keyboard solo in the middle disrupts what is otherwise a very strong atmosphere perfectly suited to the lyrics, but ultimately it does remind me an awful lot of exactly the same type of ballads that other power metal bands were releasing in the late nineties, particularly Stratovarius. Despite clearly being the superior variety, I'm not as fond of this overall.
The second track was Angra's previous single from 'Holy Land,' here performed in a new acoustic version with the Fireworks orchestra that's quite nice to have alongside the original. At first I thought the band would replace the lead piano melody entirely with acoustic guitar, but after the initial strumming was over and done with it's much the same as the album version, only with a sparser sound that sounds a little out of place as Matos reaches for the high notes in the chorus. It's still a good Angra song though, and along with 'Angels Cry' is their most distinctive material here, though the slightly inferior demo quality makes this final track a little questionable, especially as there are so many versions around (including acoustic variants).
Still, two acoustic songs in a row would have been overkill, especially with the haunting memory of the freeform performance that ended the 'Freedom Call' E.P., and it's nice to tread gradually back in time with a song from each album with the original line-up before the drastic change of 'Rebirth.'
2. Make Believe (acoustic)
3. Angels Cry (demo)