2008 proved to be the best year in at least a decade when it comes to westcoast music, and 2009 looks more than promising. This "Fly away" CD is a total gem your westcoast fans! It´s simply a DAVID FOSTER tribute in many ways, as the songs are all Foster penned masterpieces and a major part of the studio session mafiosos from now and then are involved. The result is nothing short of stunning!
With such a line-up and interesting item it´s almost hard to know where to begin. I can´t mention every song, even though I´d like to. Just feel free to read the track listing where all the lead vocalists are mentioned. Even though we´re looking at cover songs, the arrangements have been re-done on all of them. Some of them have been given a more jazzy feeling, while some have been added a richer westcoast overcoat compared to the originals.
Upon taking off by the soft intro "Prelude", BILL CHAMPLIN enters as the first lead vocalist in "In The Stone" (which gave EARTH WIND & FIRE a major hit). This song is a great example of an old westcoast/soul song, that has now been freshened up and actually been given a richer production. It would be wrong to say it´s "heavier", but the tempo is just a little bit higher and synths and guitars are more dominating. JOHN "Jr" ROBINSON adds solid drumming, being surrounded by for example NATHAN EAST (bass), PAUL JACKSON Jr (guitar), backing vocalist such as Champlin himself, FRANK ÅDAHL - and also some new names.
That last phrase needs to be brought to your attention. There is a rather Scandinavian majority among the new names. The whole CD has been produced by TOMI MALM from Finland. And, boy - this could very well be THE production of the year. Malm also plays piano and keyboards on this awesome CD, proving to be a new genius to keep one´s eyes on for the future. Other Scandinavian contributions are JAN GLAESEL´s "The Danish All Star Horns", The Värmland Opera Sinfonietta strings (conducted by another genius, Swedish DAN BORNEMARK), Peter Friestedt, Lenni-Kalle Taipale (keyboards, piano) and some other guys too.
As if this wasn´t enough, back to FRANK ÅDAHL. He´s the only singer of all involved who´s actually singing lead vocals on two songs - plus the involving in "When Will The World Be Like Lovers" shared with five of the other singers. What Frank gives us in "The Colour Of My Love" and "Nothin´ You Can Do About It" (maybe THE westcoast tune of all; AIRPLAY) is better than I´ve ever heard him do. Actually way up in the WARREN WIEBE division, but maybe even better than that. The latter tune also has some new arrangements that will give you goosebumps all over, and JAY GRAYDON plays a new guitar solo as well.
Whenever I choose a favorite song, five minutes later I seem to change my mind. I guess you just need to buy the CD for yourself and find your own opinion. Is it the jazzy "The Best Of Me" with the suggestive, sexy vocal of LISA LÖVBRAND? Or is it "Jojo" (BOZ SCAGGS), performed excellently by ARNOLD McCULLER? Maybe it´s "No Explanation" (from the "Pretty Woman" soundtrack, by PETER CETERA), on this CD performed by none other than BILL LA BOUNTY? Talking about La Bounty - he´s singing just as good as ever, and I can´t wait to hear his next CD which should be on its way pretty soon.
Now, here´s what I want you all to do. Don´t even think about buying these songs as mp3´s only. You MUST buy the CD and play it in a real good stereo equipment. If you do not have a good enough stereo, this is the day you chang all that. Why? Simply because this is such a great production, it would be a waste to play it in mp3 quality. I did the mistake by buying a small portable CD player for my 2nd work - I already had a good sounding stereo system at my regular work, and I though I couldn´t buy another one, nor take the effort to move the good one from my regular work to this temporary new site. BOY, bad mistake! Playing this "Fly Away" CD on this ridiculously small and dry sounding "stereo" machine is a joke. We´re talking one of the best productions in the past 15 years here. Buy it, and play it on good stuff only. Sure, I would have wanted these guys to add a ot of never-before-heard DAVID FOSTER songs from his vaults, but this is more than enough. For now. Wow! And - yes - David Foster himself is also participating on piano, on "Prelude" and "Look What You´ve Done To Me".
More info: www.zinkmusic.com and www.contanteysonante.com