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Full Throttle Rock

Album Review: FM - Atomic Generation

Posted on March 28, 2018 at 12:30 AM

FM – Atomic Generation

Written by Juliano Mallon


Since they resumed their career in 2007, FM have been busy, really busy. The band has been releasing material almost annually since then (sometimes it's two releases, as happened in 2010 and 2013) and their participation in festivals throughout Europe is constant, not to mention their own tours. Now, the quintet is back with "Atomic Generation", an album that will surely please the fans of the band given the high musical quality that it presents. And much of that quality rests on the great interpretations of the flawless Steve Overland, one of the best known and most respected voices in the AOR/Melodic Rock universe.

The album opens with "Black Magic", a well-paced rocker with a simple front-line bass and drums (but an efficient one, I must say), with carefully spread out backing vocals in the verses and in the explosive choruses. "Too Much Of A Good Thing" is another handsome rocker and it reminds me of Shadowman (remember that project?), while "Killed By Love" shows that FM still knows how to do quality AOR with engaging melodies and an easy and sticky chorus. Why the band doesn’t go deeper in this AOR vein is a mystery ... In short, three excellent songs and all highlights of the album.

We continue with the great "In It For The Money" (and this one seems to have been taken from the great "Takin 'It To The Streets"), engaging and bass rocker and guitar sharing space in the front line along the verses, plus packing a killer chorus. Meanwhile, the excellent "Golden Days" comes in offering another high-quality radio friendly AOR with engrossing lyrics and a catchy chorus, just like "Playing Tricks On Me", a punchy rocker with an obvious bluesy aura and neat arrangement with brass and everything else, offering a song that reminds me – almost too much, actually - of what FM began to do in the magnificent "Aphrodisiac", however, not with that intensity. Three more beautiful songs, three more highlights.

Then comes "Make The Best Of What You Got", a great rocker in the vein of a very traditional, simple, very effective arrangement with an engrossing chorus, while "Follow Your Heart" comes with a radio friendly chorus that once again sends me back to the good sounds of Shadowman. But not everything is just a reference: the beautiful "Do You Love Me Enough?" is an updated version of the song originally recorded in 2004 by the project The Ladder, which had Steve Overland and Pete Jupp in the lineup. And although this re-recording has little change compared to the original, for some reason it sounds better to me. And here we have, once again, three great moments that deserve your total and unrestricted attention.

And in the final stretch we have "Stronger", a rocker that has a similar structure (attention: not equal) to the first song of the album and that excites and captivates in the same way and with the same intensity, adjectives that could well be used to describe "Love Is The Law", a massively beautiful ballad with acoustic structure and an inspired interpretation of the always excellent Mr. Overland. If you're in that loving mood, get yourself some tissues before checking this one out.

In summary, I confess that "Atomic Generation" didn’t impressed me from the start, but as tracks went by the songs gained different perspectives and their details and particularities began to surface, and now I can state without fear that this is the best FM work in years. Very well produced, cohesive, full of great songs performed on the verge of perfection and with an unparalleled vocalist, "Atomic Generation" shows FM in a big way, categorically denying those who bet on a forgotten future for the band. I am very pleased with the variations on the musical direction of the album, which brings to the table different musical perspectives without losing the identity. A beautiful FM album, which not only lives up to the good name that the band has, but also stands out as one of the coolest albums of the year.

Categories: Album Reviews

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