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The Ladder Future Mircales Escape Music
Produced By: Steve Morris

Running Time: 44.01

Release Date: Out Now

Released: EU JP

Musical Style: AOR

Links: Escape Music
93%
Songs: 90%
Sound: 96%
Steve Overland has had a busy year. Earlier on he starred on a very fine AOR record called Shadowman a project with Heartland's Steve Morris and the Thunder duo of Harry James and Chris Childs.
This time around Steve is partnered with his former FM buddy Pete Jupp (drums), Dare and Ten guitarist Vinny Burns and bassist Bob Skeat.
Additional guitar and keyboard parts are again supplied by Steve Morris, who also produces.
This release is the perfect companion to the Shadowman release which was warmly received by fans. This is also an essential addition to any FM collection, as the songs of The Ladder are all former FM songs that were never used back in the day.
Some may argue that they weren't used at the time because they weren't good enough but one listen to this will demonstrate that clearly isn't the case. I am not overly worried by the origins of any song just as long as the song holds it's own in the present and as long as it still has a great hook.
That's definitely the case here these are some fine pure AOR tracks all freshly recorded and arranged in 2004 for this release.
Musically speaking, the sound is almost identical to that of Shadowman. But I did raise the issue of pacing with that album. The Ladder is a superior release as not only is it perfectly produced and mixed, but it also varies the pace and tempo throughout, offering a selection of songs that work well together and provide a very smooth listen.
Track By Track:
Like Lovers Do is an uplifting way to start any album. This uptempo pop/AOR track features a great guitar hook and a relaxed vocal guide the listener to a catchy and memorable chorus.
Closer to Your Heart is a moodier track, featuring a more urgent vocal and another good chorus. Some delicate guitar parts open the song, but that builds to an enjoyable solo and a bigger finish.
Do You Love Me Enough is the first ballad for the album and won't disappoint fans of Overland's soulful rock voice. Some well placed harmony vocals add extra texture.
Dangerous is a harder edged song of some 6 minutes in length. The mid-to-uptempo rocker features a subtly but effective chorus which adds extra keyboard melodies.
Baby Blue is another mid-tempo track, but is has a different feel than Dangerous this being a more soulful AOR number.
All I Ever Wanted is a breezy mid-tempo pop song that could have had a stronger chorus, but it fits the album perfectly.
Time For Changes is a great acoustic driven track that is joined by electric guitar and features another soulful vocal and song hook.
Say It Like It Is changes the album tempo again to a more uptempo melodic rock feel.
When Tomorrow Comes is another ballad, but different than Do You Love Me Enough. This is a moody mid-tempo ballad with some fine acoustic guitars and a soulful heart.
Too Bad closes the album by rocking out a little. Another good uptempo number, this rocker has a simple, but effective chorus and features more of the very fine backing vocals used throughout much of the album.
The Bottom Line
This is a very fine album indeed and features a very soulful performance by Steve Overland and a beautiful production. It's a very smooth album and definitely has an 80s feel to it but the fresh sound keeps it contemporary. This is one of those albums that will delight lovers of fine, pure traditional AOR, delivered in a classy package that encompasses great vocals, understated guitar work, subtle keyboards and above all else, some fine songs.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
Future Miracles

Line Up
Steve Overland: Vocals
Vinny Burns: Guitar
Pete Jupp: Drums
Bob Skeat: Bass
Steve Morris: Additional Guitars & Keyboards

Essential for fans of:
Shadowman
FM
Heartland - Heartland
Track Listing
Like Lovers Do*
Closer to Your Heart*
Do You Love Me Enough*
Dangerous
Baby Blue
All I Ever Wanted
Time For Changes*
Say It Like It Is
When Tomorrow Comes*
Too Bad
--*Best Tracks


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07/10/05: daz perry - dazp777@hotmail.co.uk
Rating: 95
not heard the ladder cd yet but expecting it to be in the same league as shaddowman cd awesome

10/06/05: DeKozzen - hans.cosyns@vt4.net
Rating: 80
Love FM, love Overland's voice, good cd. But no real killers on it for me. (but will play it again surely once or twice)
Cheers.

19/05/05: Eduardo Rocha - edurocha73@ig.com.br
Rating: 75
I agree with Russ. This is an OK CD. Nothing special. No killer songs (except the very first one), no killer chorus.Essencial only for FM fans.

19/04/05: Russ - travellingintime@aol.com
Rating: 70
I really wanted to like this album. But sadly it doesn't really do it for me at all. There is nothing wrong with performance, production or musicianship. But the songs are just dull and predictable and far weaker than FM's albums. As said before, it does come across as AOR by numbers and is really the sort of average, run of the mill album that gets the genre a bad name. There's nothing overly BAD about it - but it just totally lacks killer songs.

13/04/05: John Daynes - john@daynes49.wanadoo.co.uk
Rating: 100
Steve continues to have the voice in a million,saw him live at University of East Anglia & the Oval Norwich Knocked my socks off! Terrific sounds
can't stop playing it They should be up there with - Toto -Foreigner - Styx - Thin Lizzy - Montrose - Stray Dog, Terrific mixture of blues/rock .......I want more!!!

18/03/05: Keith McKay - keith@mckay124.fsnet.co.uk
Rating: 70
Despite the depth & quality of talent involved in this release, this album unfortunately comes across as AOR by numbers. What's worse is that the entire album seems to be infected with a degree of sterility and this lack of passion really cripples a number of tracks which had potential to be so much more. I'm afraid that this is a case of musicians living off their former glories.

14/02/05: HarryB - Harryb1234@hotmail.com
Rating: 85
You really have to love Overland to like this album, and I do love his voice! I find a few songs a bit weaker than the FM stuff, but still a good album because of those vocals and solid songs.

11/02/05: ton - o.herwijnen@chello.nl
Rating: 90
I bought this immediatly by George (AOR Heaven). Shadowman is allriht (70 %). This one comes close to the first two FM records (these albums are nearly 100%). Future Miracles: he isn't that FM? is very good album. NICE, nice, nice. Tell it to everyone and enjoy the beautiful warm vocals and nice songs.

09/02/05: Freddy De Keyzer - freddydekeyzer@hotmail.com
Rating: 85
Another very good AOR CD ! Not as good as the FM releases (certainly if you look at their first releases), but well worth having in your collection if you love quality music !

03/02/05: GetAxe - axe@kill.com
Rating: 40
Before starting i want to say that i bought an album not even on this site of PAUL SABU - BETWEEN THE LIGHT , he was the singer of a band called ONLY CHILD (my fave band)...it makes the singer OVERLAND seem like an amateur.

said this....i like THE LADDER ..although his voice is extremely annoying, i prefer vocals like PAUL SABU, HARRY HESS, SAMMY HAGAR , NEWMAN.....Raspy, Deep and powerful.

musically it's OK, but after i heard it 2 times i don't wanna see even the CD infront of me.

FM was very good, THE LADDER isn't that good.

i love AOR music done well, not just because it's OVERLAND or FM then i must submit to it....sorry, won't work.

TRY BEFORE YOU BUY!!

10/01/05: Ian - Watsoni@aol.com
Rating: 90
As near to an F.M.album as you can get.These are old tunes spruced up a bit with the keys turned down and leaning more to the blues feel of Shadowman.You can almost feel them want to break out into full A.O.R,but they show restraint and deliver an enjoyable album.

01/01/05: Panagiotis - panline9@yahoo.gr
Rating: 98
Apart from two songs, i love this album!!! I love FM and i wish for a full reunion!!

27/12/04: X-for-X - xforx@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
This is a very nice album, production value is awesome, but....

OVERLAND voice is getting on my nerves, he cant wait to end a line to shoot is AAAAAA.....for example....

"put your heart....on the LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE".....

"I'll dream of you with open EEEEEEEEEEYES"....

you know....those long words ,every single time a sentence ends...

OVERLAND.....stop it......your albums are excellent....DON'T RUIN IT.

90% is my score though, because i love this album.

THANK YOU.

25/12/04: Axe Machine - info@hugomusic.net
Rating: 92
Unbelievably good! Should have been the follow up to FM's 'Tough It Out' as opposed to that 'Takin It To The Streets' nonsense. Also kicks the socks off Aphrodisiac. Top Notch AOR, and is made all the sweeter by the fact that not too many bands are playing "Strictly 80's" AOR anymore.

25/12/04: Paul Ryan - paul-ryan@ntlworld.com
Rating: 95
I've been a fan of FM since Indiscreet. Loved all the albums and saw them tons of time on tour. Was really disappointed with Dead Man's Shoes and they seemed to go out with a whimper not a bang. That has changed now as this album pisses all over Dead Man's Shoes. Within 30 seconds of the opening track, you know that this is going to be good. It's also great to hear Dangerous again. Had a live version of this song on the B side of the, (I think) That Girl single. It's a strong set of songs and doesn't sound like a bunch of leftovers that were not good enough. You can see the similarity between other songs so that's why they couldn't make it onto any of the earlier albums. Do You Love Me Enough is a ballad in the vein of Only The Strong Survive and is just as tasty. Guitar wise, there's no heroics, just sticking to the plot and adding a little flash when necessary. Just the right amount of keyboards as well. Steve Overland, Wow! Where do you start with him. Another stellar performance from him here, can't find any faults with him. Also great to hear Pete Jupp giving it some again after the restrained So album. Excellent CD and definitely recommended to any FM fan and any fan of melodic rock in general. Hope there's more to come....Where's Captured?


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