May 27th, 2011 will be a day of rejoicing for AOR/Westcoast fans regarding this upcoming release. Swedish guitarist/composer/produce
r Peter Friestedt has been very successful in gathering the cream of the crop as far as talent for his projects. His two solo albums (which have been previously reviewed by IMC) are evidence of that. During a tour through Scandinavia in the fall 2010, Peter and current TOTO singer Joseph Williams once more joined forces with a plan to the release of a brand new CD. The popular combination has found fans all over the world and is absolutely hitting the nail on the head.
The opener “Swear You Love” (not to be confused with Luke’s homonymous song) is starting up full steam ahead in the best TOTO tradition. This track composed by Friestedt along with Robert Sall (Work Of Art) and Tommy Denander is worth the price, especially as it includes the backing vocal arrangements featuring Lars Säfsund (Work Of Art’s lead singer) along with Joe who is definitely providing one of his best efforts. For the record every participant has put their shoulder to the wheel for this beautiful project. The line-up includes long standing acquaintances like the highly sought after Swedish composer/guitarist Tommy Denander (with 2000 projects in his personal discography), John JR Robinson on drums, Bill Champlin, Randy Goodrum on piano, the versatile Stefan Gunnarsson, Janne Peltoniemi, Ingemar Aberg, Johan Granström, Anton Malmberg, drummer Rasmus Kihlberg, Johan Franzon, Anders Öjebo, Henrik Rongedal, Tobias Marberger and vocalist/keyboardist Bill Cantos (Phil Collins) in addition to the string orchestra Scandinavian Strings. Peter Friestedt completely delivers with his elegant guitar lines and arrangements. Friestedt appears as producer along with Joseph Williams’ long time colleague, executive producer Joey Carbone. The “Williams/ Friestedt” CD is packed with fantastic songs and fancy surprises like the soulful Randy Goodrum/Jay Graydon ballad “Sometimes You Win”, the mid-tempo composition “Say Goodbye” (a Peter Friestedt, Brian Hobbs & Tommy Denander track that had been already released as a single CD earlier this year) and the Friestedt/Peltoniemi instrumental “Going Home’” (not the TOTO track) that is like an amalgam of TOTO’s DUNE soundtrack and David Foster’s “The Symphony Sessions”. This CD is a great offer to all AOR/Westcoast aficionados who are searching voraciously for the classic ‘80s sound.
Ronni Lahti (Talisman) and Björn Engelmann (Roxette) polished the tracks highlighting a glistening soundmix and well-balanced mastering. The album deserves high marks and is beyond a doubt one of the most juicy releases in 2011. As for me I’m hooked. It is available thru www.ginza.se
in Sweden, www.nehrecords.com
in the States and AOR CD distributor www.aorheaven.com