|Attraction 65 Attraction 65||Atenzia Records|
I've been looking forward to reviewing this album, as I have a definite soft spot for it and frontman Gregg Fulkerson. It's been an anticipated project for me and I'm thoroughly impressed with the results.|
Stepping out of the shadow of the popular Blue Tears album, Gregg makes his return to active recording with Attraction 65 essentially Blue Tears 2003.
The underlying vibe is the same, even if the band members are a little different and the sound is very firmly planted in 2003 modern rock territory.
That said, the sense of melody in the songs and the style in which they are written is a throw back to Blue Tears and the whole 80's melodic genre.
This may be catchy modern rock, but the vibe is classic melodic rock.
Also part of Attraction 65 is Gregg's former Blue Tears partner Michael Spears, who most recently also worked with Billy Falcon on his new album.
The sound of Attraction 65 matches anything on FM radio anywhere in the world today and is every bit as good. The album contains a diverse range of styles, comparing to U2, Nickelback, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and even a little Creed. And to be honest, there are at least 4 or 5 songs on here that have every chance at major radio airplay.
Three tracks here have been brought in from the post-Blue Tears years, which will please fans of that band. These three songs help bridge the gap between then and now, even though all songs and styles on the album are held together with great consistency.
Track By Track:
Believe opens the album like all good rock albums should be with a bang. The song is an uptempo melodic modern rocker, with the emphasis on melodic. Unlike most modern rock acts, this track has a big chorus and a real groove to it.
Roll On is one of the big radio tracks. Starting softly, the semi-acoustic track builds to the chorus and continues as a full band track, with a guitar riff reminiscent of U2, but a delivery in line with that of Nickelback or Creed. The chorus is inspiring, memorable and definitely a sing-along possibility.
In Another Life is my pick for a break out hit. Catchier, more uplifting and instantly likable, this feel good rock track builds from its acoustic base, to a powerful and heavy finale. The songs contains a huge bridge, tempo changes and hooks everywhere all wrapped up in a modern package.
I believe Train is another classic in waiting. This is a dark and moody track that features another stripped back verse that builds to an instantly memorable chorus and back again. And once again the song builds towards a heavier and more dramatic finale. Tell me this can't be played on radio!
Stand starts as a totally acoustic track, building with a U2 vibe, into a stadium friendly mid-tempo rocker. Nice to hear an instrumental break mid tune, giving way to a vocal choir that takes the song right over the top. The song has a big epic finish that again highlights the strength of the songwriting on this album. Eden is next up and changes the pace and style of the album again. This is classic Joshua Tree era U2. Gregg does a great soft Bono style vocal to lead the epic ballad off.
Once again, the song leaves the listener with 'warm fuzzy feeling' and will definitely appeal to U2 fans out there.
Call My Name is another former Blue Tears track, dramatically resurrected for Attraction 65. This track is the closest to the old Blue Tears sound on this record. It's a big Bon Jovi/New Jersey style feel good rocker, which while updated, has a classic melodic rock heart.
Strong is another post-Blue Tears era track. This is another semi-acoustic mid-tempo track with a big melodic heart. The chorus is as catchy as any other track on the album and features that vocal choir in the background again. A simple track that somehow has an epic feel to it.
It's time to rock again! Rise Above is much like the opening track a big pounding rocker with a cool groove and another catchy and powerful chorus.
Storm In My Heart is another post-Blue Tears track and is one of my favourites on the album. Starting out slow, this rock ballad builds to a barnstorming and passionate conclusion. A massive chorus sets the strong melodic tone of the song.
The track runs strength into the other big epic ballad of the album Swept Away. This track has a huge feel good chorus and closes the album on a perfect note. If a ballad like this can't get onto mainstream radio, then nothing can.
Listening to this album takes your energy, as it's a powerful and emotional set of songs that sucks you right in. Its definitely a mood record too .largely mid-tempo, the album best suits when the listener is looking for something with an intelligent heart to act as something more than just background music.
Regardless of the style of the music, the songs are powerful, melodic and brilliantly written. It will be down to personal taste what you take from the record, but I for one rate it as one of the best modern melodic releases and a prime example of how to update one's sound to compete with the best, while never once forgetting how to write a memorable hook, melody or chorus.
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