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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fergie Frederiksen – Happiness Is The Road album review

Fergie Frederiksen – Happiness Is The Road album review
Released on: Frontiers Records. Release date: Available now … For a while!

This is an album I confess I’ve had for a while, I received it around the time when Frontiers was swamping all us reviewers with plenty of excellent new material and just recently I found it again and realized that I had not posted the review ... Arrrggghhh!!! Shame on me!
So I got writing again, pretty sharpish, to share this gem with you and here it is!

Former Toto, Trillion and La Roux singer Fergie Frederiksen has such a fantastic voice that can really reach those heights, that so many vocalists wish they could reach, but many simply wouldn’t stand a chance even trying and it's slick too!
The man has in recent years been through a pretty rough ride having been diagnosed with liver cancer in 2010, but he wasn’t going to just lay back and let it beat him. No, instead he decided to continue recording great music, while still fighting back against the evil cancer that sadly is seemingly at almost epidemic proportions these days. Those with the disease would most likely tell us it that it is an epidemic.
It’s indeed truly awful and I’m certain we all know someone that has either got it, passed away from it or had it at one point, but has battled to defeat it, but enough on that ...
 
The thing is, Fergie is no slouch and he with the help of some great writers, Jim Peterik (Survivor, World Stage, Pride of Lions), David Roberts (Bad English), Robert Sall (Work of Art), Mark Baker (House of Lords), Joe Vana (Mecca) as well as the albums producer Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69), have written some stunning material, that brings back great memories, from those old great glorious years!
Opening with ‘Angel (Mirror To Your Soul),’ it’s so lush, so rich with its musical escapades and the lead vocal will remind you of what a great voice this man has and how much so many people have missed it. 
Oh yeah, the rocky, catchy very Toto like ‘Elaine’ is up next and it just gets you from the start and I’m sure before too long you’ll be singing along with the chorus. Again, very rich musically, brilliant!
Now that’s funny, I’ve heard this next one before … ‘First To Cry’ was indeed on last year’s House of Lords album ‘Big Money,’ another Frontiers release.
  Once more, it’s packed with hooks and yes, vocally it’s so strong and it’s going to have you singing along again in no time at all!
 
‘Follow Your Heart,’ is a beautifully presented power ballad, really sweet guitar solo here, lovely keyboard flourishes too.
 
The title track ‘Happiness Is The Road’ next starts with a little piano before picking up and getting punchy, nice up tempo pop rock, almost sounds a little like some classic Survivor material. Nice work!
‘I Still Believe In Love’ starts easy and then picks up a little more, with hints of Toto about it, another well-presented track indeed, but to be honest, for me, there isn’t a track here that I don’t really like. It’s classic slick AOR!
 
Next up, ‘Lyin’ Eyes’ reminds me a little of Journey meets Toto in its musical structure, nice steady pop rocker with some nice guitar work too, some nice changes late on too.

‘Love Waits For No One’ is like the last track, pretty much mid-paced and more pop rock in its style, with a nice guitar solo, albeit a little brief, but then there’s a little more as the song fades out.

Fergie's vocals throughout the album are great and the man is indeed truly blessed to have such talent.
 
Back to some more up tempo material with next song ‘Writing On The Wall,‘ which is certainly more rocky, yet the multi layering of so much sound keeps it’s melody present.
I love the way the guitar and keyboards echo each other, in harmony in the second verse, between the vocals and when the guitar solo kicks in here it rips! Great stuff!

‘The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be’ could almost be a Bon Jovi track to be honest. It’s one of those tracks that kind of hangs back then picks up and goes back and forth like this, in its own poppy kind of way.

I really like the keyboard stabs that introduce next number ‘The One’; it breaks a lot of the intro patterns across the album.
 The song follows a stop / start riff pattern, but yet still picks up in the chorus and eases back a little in the chorus. It actually sounds a little reminiscent of Canadian rockers Harlequin at times to me. I love it!
  There’s certainly more than a touch of Survivor about final track ‘The Savior,’ which has some nice little synth lead touches in the pre-choruses, in this mid paced rocker. Some nice little musical interludes here and there too, good one!
So that wraps the album up and I have to say that Fergie has every reason to be very happy and proud of this album, it’s so well done.

  Much praise to all the album players!
Fergie Frederiksen - Vocals
Dennis Ward - Bass Guitar, Guitars, Keyboards and Background Vocals
Dirk Bruinenberg - Drums
Nathan Eshman - Guitars
Eric Ragno - Keyboards

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Official weblinks:

4 comments:

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  2. Pensavo meglio sinceramente. L'album passa da ottimi brani ad altri meno incisivi e vaghi. Forse dovrei ascoltarlo ancora, ma al momento non m'è rimasto particolarmente in testa.
    Di: inquietudinedikobal

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  3. Well, my Italian is lame at best, so "I think" what my anonymous friend
    is trying to say is that either they thought it could've been better or that maybe they need to go back and listen to it some more ...

    I still think there are instaneous moments that are great, other moments took some growing on me, but did and it was enjoyable.
    When you think of all Fergie has been through, I'm just really happy that he got to get this album out.
    Stay well Fergie!

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