Genre: Melodic Rock
Label: Frontiers Music S.R.L
Release Date: Out Now
Pete Jupp – drums
Merv Goldsworthy – bass
Steve Overland – vocals \ guitar
Jim Kirkpatrick – guitars
Jem Davis – Keyboards
1 Black Magic
2 Too Much of a Good Thing
3 Killed by Love
4 In It for the Money
5 Golden Days
6 Playing Tricks on Me
7 Make the Best of What You Got
8 Follow Your Heart
9 Do You Love Me Enough
11 Love is the Law
Since reuniting in 2007, FM haven’t looked back. A solidified line up that has remained constant since comeback album ‘Metropolis’ has delivered slice after slice of near perfect melodic rock.
Last album (their ninth) ‘Heroes and Villains’ also released via Frontiers Music Srl in April 2015 saw the band dipping a toe in the water and testing a few new styles, not least ‘Walking With Angels’, a track that sounded as heavenly as the title suggested. The addition of some strings over the beautiful Overland vocal lent the track something very special and the band explore what else they can do and add to tracks on their 10th and possibly finest release to date, ‘Atomic Generation’.
With the band having celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the release of debut album ‘Indiscreet‘ with a re-recorded version of the classic in 2016, the latest and 11th studio album sees the band open with ‘Black Magic’ a track that simply oozes swagger and the sort of groove that could start a new music genre. With almost tribal chanting hooking the listener in from early on, it’s a classic opening track that instantly makes you want to see what else is on offer.
‘Too Much of a Good Thing’ follows and puts forward a song that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the band’s classic debut. A superior slice of AOR that fits perfectly and will raise a smile on the hardest of fans faces.
The current line up of the band, one that has now celebrated its tenth anniversary feels like perhaps the most accomplished one to date. Prolific album releases with well supported tours to back them up, prestigious support slots with some genre greats and solid critical responses to the music sees the band riding the crest of a wave that now results in regular playlist slots on national stations like Planetrock and BBC Radio 2.
Why do FM continue to do so well? Simple really, the music. The music they produce is created by some of the finest songwriters out there at the moment, masters of their craft and it’s music that will finally be heard live in the US on May 6th at MelodicRockFest. For a band that’s been around since the mid 1980s how they have never played in the States, a country where their brand of AOR would have slotted into daytime FM radio perfectly, remains a mystery.
Full details of the festival including the others playing alongside FM can be found here: http://www.melodicrockfest.com/
Elsewhere on the album, ‘Playing Tricks on Me’ shows a band not afraid to take risks and adds horns and a distinctive Motown feel to the mix. It’s a repeat play track that demands multiple listens whilst helping you get your groove firmly ‘ON’. Once you do manage to get past it and trust me it’s a difficult one to move past for all of the right reasons, ‘Follow Your Heart’ and ‘Stronger’ maintain the momentum and energy on the album whilst album closer ‘Love Is The Law’ offers the sort of ballad that should sell millions and deserves a sea of lighters (or mobile phone flashlights as is the modern equivalent) to be held aloft it it’s played live.
I truly believe this is one of, if not the, best albums FM has released. If offers everything a fan who has been with the band since ‘Indiscreet’ could ask for whilst presenting a modern, updated sound that will hook many new followers given half a chance.
This is guaranteed to make my top 5 albums this year. Fantastic.
Reviewed by: Adrian Hextall