Something I wasn’t so sure we’d see… a new TED POLEY album is upon us and it certainly was worth the anticipatory wait. Ted Poley said a while back he wasn’t so sure he’d record another solo album but when the preeminent classic melodic rock label, Frontiers Records, came calling he couldn’t say no and I for one am really glad he didn’t.
Ted has always had a classic melodic rock/AOR voice and the new album “Beyond The Fade” reinforces that and coupling that with help from some serious melodic rock aficionados in the likes of Tom and James Martin of VEGA fame, Joe Lynn Turner and producer (and multi-instrumentalist) Alessandro Del Vecchio you can only have a winning formula.
“Beyond The Fade” really is a perfect summer record and after a brief intro the lead track “Let’s Start Something” smacks you square on your sun-tanned back! It’s instant and as feel-good as they come. The song is reminiscent of Ted’s other band DANGER DANGER and even JOURNEY in that its got the sing-along anthemic feel of songs like “Crazy Nites”, “Hearts On The Highway” or “Only The Young”. Continuing on we next get “Everything We Are” and you have another sing-along and infectious anthem with Ted’s smooth vocals being the icing on the cake. The song actually reminds me a bit of the Michelle Branch song “Breathe” that Ted covered back in 2011 as it has a similar vibe and vocal delivery from Ted. As the old saying goes, Ted could sing the phone book and make it sound good!
“Hands of Love” is an older song penned by the great Joe Lynn Turner (with help from Tony Bruno of Saraya fame) and Ted makes the song his own with his signature vocal style while the stabbing keys of Del Vecchio make the song just a classic sounding AOR track. “The Perfect Crime” slows things down and is a duet with female singer Issa, who has her own history with the Martin brothers and Del Vecchio on her last couple albums. The song is a classic sounding love ballad and Poley & Issa’s vocals work well together.
“Stars” is another anthemic sounding track with stabbing keys, killer guitar soloing and infectious groove while “Higher” is more of the same. That song starts with a mid-paced AOR feel before catapulting into a huge chorus that will have you singing along instantly. This song would be perfect fodder for driving down the boulevard with the top down in the summer! If anyone has the voice for such songs it would be Ted Poley.
“Where I Lost You” is not quit a ballad but has melancholic feel with its lyrics… “one day you will see/everything that I am/is all I wanna be”. Even though the track is a Martin brothers-penned tune (with help of Mikey Thomas) Ted makes it his own with his sentimental vocal delivery. Great tune!
“You Won’t See Me Cryin’” harkens back to a DANGER DANGER feel in a way with a melodic delivery with just the right amount of edginess and guitar flair. It’s a driving melodic rock number with strong playing all around and another great track like so many others on the album. “We Are Young” is a power ballad of sorts and the song is very reminiscent of VEGA as I could almost envision them tackling this track themselves. It has some serious layered vocals and a little bit of attitude that drives it all home. I need to mention the guitar work of Mario Percudani at this point because he has some fine moments on the record and his tone on this track is perfect for the song.
“Sirens” is a fast-paced rocker but doesn’t feature the traditional chorus that would normally put a melodic rock song like it over the top yet it still works and retains the driving guitar work that is synonymous with Ted Poley’s musical style.
Ending the record is “Beneath The Stars” and it’s an epic sounding track with its smoldering piano building the track as it goes along but its ebbs and flows make the song a perfect ending track for the record kind of like some epic outro music to a tear-jerker of a movie! Another great track!
“Beyond The Fade” is a great record from Ted Poley and company and hopefully he and Frontiers will see their way to keep this union going, as you can never really tire of hearing Ted Poley and his magical vocal. Great job by all involved here and make sure you pick this one up for all your summer driving needs, as it’s a perfect soundtrack for it!