FM has taken the position of British AOR’s godfathers, and has continued to release solid albums every few years after the comeback in 2007.
Written by: DEMONAOR
ARTIST: FM (UK)
LABEL: Frontiers Records
SERIAL: FRCD 1028
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Steve Overland – vocals, guitar * Jim Kirkpatrick – guitar * Jem Davis – keyboards * Merv Goldsworthy – bass * Pete Jupp – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Synchronized * 02 Superstar * 03 Best Of Times * 04 Ghost Of You And I * 05 Broken * 06 Change For The Better * 07 End Of Days * 08 Pray * 09 Walk Through The Fire 10 Hell Or High Water * 11 Angels Cried
After more than 30 years of faithful service to the genre (albeit with a solid leave in the 1990s), FM has taken the position of British AOR’s godfathers, and has continued to release solid albums every few years after the comeback in 2007. ‘Synchronized’ is their twelfth studio album, and their seventh after the reunion in 2007, and the formula is pretty much the same.
Melodic and a little bluesy rock or AOR if you will, with catchy refrains, guitar riffs and keyboards that immediately draw you into the songs. And last but not least, they have a heavenly vocalist in Steve Overland, a man who is one of the most soulful singers the UK has given us since Paul Rodgers.
The title track strikes the tone with a mid-tempo song that instantly makes it clear which band you’re listening to – it’s classic FM. But the second track ‘Superstar’ sets the bar even a few notches higher, as this is one of the better songs FM has given us over the last decade, with an instant chorus.
I also loved for the ‘Ghosts Of You And I’ ballad, where the band’s newest member, guitarist Jim Kirkpatrick, really gets proven why he got this job – he delivers such gorgeous and tasty guitar playing all over the album that would have made Neal Schon proud.
Last track ‘Angels Cried’ may not be a typical FM-AOR, it’s a piano-driven ballad with a lot of sliding guitar, which could have gone straight into one of the first Bad Company records. Steve Overland gives a goosebumping vocal performance through the over six-minute-long song.
This may be a bit too strict, but FM has always set the bar high on their own, and some of the songs feel like they are a bit on autopilot – but as mentioned, there are several fantastic songs here. FM is apparently completely incapable of making a weak album, and if you are already a fan, you will definitely like this one too.
Change For The Better