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Final Frontier Freelight Escape Music
ESM141
· Produced By: Final Frontier

· Running Time: 56.14

· Release Date: Out Now

· Released:

· Musical Style: AOR

· Links: Escape Music Final Frontier
91%
Songs: 92%
Sound: 90%
Canadian saviours of pure, unadulterated 80s AOR, Final Frontier return for album number 4. It's the band's third label for their 4 albums, something I find a little perplexing. Granted the label involved for the first 2 albums was Z Records, but a band that delivers a high quality classic style AOR album at regular intervals, all of which are appreciated by fans, should not have to worry about what label they will be on from release to release.
I hope that the guys find some comfort and satisfaction with current label Escape Music.
In a sense this is a perfect album for Escape, a label built from a consistency on concentrating on AOR releases of a classic 80s nature.
Final Frontier does not reinvent the wheel. They don't reinvent anything in fact. This is AOR by the numbers – no surprises here, but no disappointments either.
Fans of the band's first 3 albums get more of the same here.
Freelight is perhaps a little tougher than the first three – it features a more pronounced rhythm section and some impressive riffing from guitarists Mladen (Von Groove) and Lawrence Falconer. Mladen also provides bass and keyboards – the latter of which is, as usual, all over the record.
Rob Moratti as usual delivers his flawless high pitch vocals, really going over the top in a few places! He has one seriously high voice at times.
The album really gets off to a flying start, with the first 4 tracks flying along at good pace.
The title track Freelight and the moodier Foolish Pride work best of these tracks for me, but it is the classic AOR ballad of I Hope You Don't Mind that really delivers.
Bringing back memories of mid-80s soundtrack hits, the sentimental ballad should be a fan favorite.
Someone's Watching You is very close to the 80s sound of Survivor, as is the poppy feel-good All The Way.
Nothing Is Easy is another very familiar sounding ballad, but the formula is fail-safe.
I also rate the darker and more aggressive The Witches Mask and the second bonus track – the emotional, stripped back ballad Delia.
The Bottom Line
I don't think this is a classic AOR album for the ages, but I do think it is a classy album for this age. It is a walk down memory lane and a look at what made us fans of this music in the first place in the 80s.
If you haven't warmed to Rob Moratti's voice and the Final Frontier style through listening to their first three albums, then nothing Freelight offers will convince you to change your mind. But, if you have found a spot in your heart for these guys, the Freelight will definitely impress.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· The First Wave
· The Second Wave
· High Tension Wire
· Freelight

Line Up:
· Rob Moratti: Vocals
· Mladen: Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Bass Guitar, Keyboards
· Lawrence Falcomer: Lead Guitars
· Kevin Howley: Drums

Essential For Fans Of:
· Final Frontier
· Survivor
· 80s AOR
Track Listing
· Freelight *
· Dynamo
· Foolish Pride *
· Only The Lonely
· I Hope You Don't Mind *
· Someone's Watching You *
· All The Way
· Nothing Is Easy
· Lion's Den
· The Witches Mask
· Half Way Home
· Delia *

--*Best Tracks


03/01/07: Zok - micke_016@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
I must admit that I never was a big Final Frontier fan before High Tension Wire. I don´t realy like the earlier records. But with HTW something happened. They get the class songs with this one. And with the new Freelight they go on with the same class. Most of the songs is awsome. But I must say that its two songs that take away the great feelings, or should I say the chorouses in this songs. The songs is Freelight and Only the lonely, but the rest of the record is great, also the bonus songs.

30/12/06: Paul - paul@pagrebo.com
Rating: 80
This is a great cd, but not everyone is going to enjoy it. It's a bit misleading for people to recommend this to fans of Journey, Survivor, etc. While the song styles and production are consistent with those 80's groups, one must be able to appreciate(or at least tolerate) Rob Moratti's high pitched vocals. While not as offensive as The Darkness, Moratti is an acquired taste. With that said, I loved this cd, and it is one of my top 10 personal favorites for 2006. For my own tastes, I score this cd as a 90. But because so many out there will cringe at Moratti's vocals, I had to knock off 10 points for a general review. If you like FF's previous works, this is a MUST BUY! And if you don't, it's still a very good album with at least 3 tracks that I believe Moratti's vocals actually enhance the overall quality of the songs... even to more mainstream ears. Song by song:
FREELIGHT- A perverse mix of Styx, Rush, Triumph, and '70's social consciousness... and I love it.
DYNAMO- Okay, a bit sophmoric in terms of songwriting here, and simplistic delivery. Rob Moratti's vocals might just cause grass to break and dogs to howl on this one. If you can survive this, you're a FF fan!(Um, I'm a fan)
FOOLISH PRIDE- Gotta disagree with Andrew on this one. Mid-tempo filler, IMO.
ONLY THE LONELY- Returns to that wonderfully cheesy 80's pop/rock feel. Love it!
I HOPE YOU DON'T MIND- Sucker for ballads that I am, what's not to like with this... and I don't care if you do mind! Should be in Andrew's top 10 ballads of 2006.
SOMEONE'S WATCHING YOU- Survivor's "High On You" redux. At this point, you realize that this cd is going to be something special for FF.
ALL THE WAY- If this doesn't make you bop your head back and forth... check your pulse.
NOTHING IS EASY- Great mid-tempo ballad.
LION'S DEN- Another well arranged & produced track. Not one of the better songs on the album, but the musical arrangement provides the real hook.
THE WITCHES MASK- A change of pace that doesn't completely work with the overall direction of the cd. Upon additional listenings, I realize that the song is stronger than I originally credited it. Perhaps Moratti's vocals just aren't right for this tune.
HALF WAY HOME- Pure pop perfection, even haters of Moratti's vocals might like this... it just seems perfect for his high pitch. Not a great song, but a great delivery by all.
DELIA- A nice, sparse ballad. Rob's vocals are downright mainstream here.

15/12/06: Mike - mike@msbdesign.net
Rating: 99
I have to say I'm a bit disappointed in this release, mainly because after 12 awesome songs and 56+ minutes it was over all too soon. Final Frontier is a band that grabbed me the first time I heard them and just has not let go. I think they're awesome.

I've listened to each album countless times and really love most every song. My young kids know most all the lyrics and love them, too. I'm very grateful for these guys sticking to their guns, doing what they love, and turning out such great music album after album.

Keep it going guys, maybe the world will catch a clue someday.

14/12/06: David - ayotte2506@yahoo.ca
Rating: 80
Second Wave was in my humble opinion as close to perfect release as one can get. Freelight is great, but still a few notches below Second Wave. Another great Canadian band that isn't known in its own country. No local record shops carry bands like Final Frontier nor Harem Scarem. Thank God for the internet and websites like MelodicRock.com.

14/12/06: Alliedforces - vonryan@comcast.net
Rating: 50
Their are a couple of good songs here but after the disaster of high tension wire I guess anything would be a step up. Nowhere in the same league as The Second Wave I would give it a chance.

12/12/06: L FRASER - KIAMOON22@YAHOO.COM
Rating: 95
AWESOME AOR ALBUM !. IM NOT NORMALLY A FAN OF THE SINGERS HIGH PITCH VOICE BUT THE ALBUMS WON ME OVER, MAYBE ITS THE FACT I CAN HEAR BITS OF SOME OF MY OLD AOR BANDS. LIKE THE WITCHES MASK GUITAR REMINDS ME OF EARLY ASIA AND HALF WAY HOMES GOT A BOSTON FEEL 2 IT . THESE R 2 OF MY FAV SONGS ALONG WITH LIONS DEN BUT THE HOLE ALBUM ITS THE RITE BUTTONS 4 ME. IF UR A AOR FAN THEN THIS IS A MUST HAVE

10/12/06: Matt Ennis - hydraturnback@hotmail.com
Rating: 94
Fantastic!! Freelight surpasses High Tension Wire in all aspects. The quality of the songs combined with the overall sound make this a winner. Standout tracks are: Freelight, Foolish Pride, I Hope you dont mind, All the way and the moody Witches Mask! Can't wait for the next cd already!! Highly recommended for fans of Journey, Survivor and the like!!

09/12/06: koogles - endangeredcds@hotmail.com
Rating: 93
In this rough-throated age (Nickelback, Hinder), it's great to hear a voice that literally soars above the low grumbles that pass for vocals in today's mainstream. Rob Moratti's pipes are high-pitched, highly polished, and yes, occasionally, a cat will show up at your window. The songs here are all instantly-catchy... no waiting times required to let them "grow" on you. Better than "High Tension Wires" and almost as good as their first two, highlights include the Kharma-esque "Foolish Pride" and "Freelight", the sing-songy goodness of "Dynamo", the Survivor "High on You" rewrite, "Someone's Watching You" etc. In a year with some heavy competition in the "pure" AOR dept. and plenty of high quality releases (Sunstorm, Survivor "Reach", Slamer, Chicago "XXX", Shooting Star "Circles"), Final Frontier definitely holds its own.

08/12/06: RockMan - purjfo@msn.com
Rating: 90
Another great slice of what AOR was in the past but still relevent today. I still like HTW best but this is fantastic. Rob, your range is "unique" to say the least but I've never heard harmonies layered with your precision EVER.

07/12/06: Axe-Machine - info@hugomusic.net
Rating: 92
Brilliant! No, this band aren't re-inventing AOR, but they are playing it with the class that very few bands have at the moment. Survivor and Journey-esque songs with the incredible voice of Rob Moratti. The first four tracks, and Nothing Is Easy make up the real highlights, but the band don't slip below at least third gear for the whole thing. Overall, and excellent album, and easily surpasses High Tension Wire. Highly Recommended.


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