Michael Thompson Band
Future Past

01. Never Give Up
02. Emotional Fire
03. Lay Down Your Arms
04. You Wouldn't Know Love
05. Wish You Were Here
06. Torn In Half
07. Gina
08. The Higher You Rise
09. Emily
10. Follow Your Heart
11. All I Am

Michael Thompson Guitars & Keys
Larry King Vocals
Khari Parker Drums
Alan Berliant Bass

How Long (1989)

John Blasucci – Keys
Dave Hiltebrand – Bass – When You Love Someone, Beautiful Mystery, Future Past, Here I Am & Break Me Down
Matt Walker – Drums – High Times
Sahara Thompson – Background Vocals – Can’t Miss
J.P. Delaire – Keys, Background Vocals, Sax – Can’t Miss

Produced By : Larry King & Michael Thompson

Released 24/2-2011
Reviewed 7/2-2012


American guitarist and composer, producer and whatever he is, Michael Thompson is releasing his second album under the Michael Thompson band moniker. A guy who according to Frontiers is one of the finest guitarists, in the world. They also list a big number of artists and bands with whom Thompson has collaborated in some way or another, judging only from that it would appear that the guy has a pretty good income from royalties. According to the label the first MTB album is something of a classic in the eyes of the fans of the AOR genre, guess I am not a fan of that genre. Not the most interesting of cover artwork on this album but it looks okay I guess, so what about this the second MTB album that has a 2012 version of the band’s biggest hit from the debut? That track is called Can’t Miss and reached as high as the 33rd position on the Billboard charts.

This album is not musically that much of a surprise I would say, the style is easily recognisable as the style of melodic rock music that is usually called AOR. With its melodic style, catchy melodies and catchy choruses it is music that is easily accessible and can easily stick in the mind of the listener. The singer called Larry King known from the band Soleil Moon has a quite high pitched voice that tends to crack slightly in the the high pitched energetic parts, the production and sound are spotless and clean. The songs are decently varied in style but not overly so but little variations on a theme you could say. Many songs start up slowly before gaining a little speed into a catchy chorus. The album has eleven track and if you play the entire thing it will take you 51 minutes to play it.

I think that you can say that this is a good album, it is not the future classic that Frontiers are suggesting it would be but it is quite good. Especially the opening three tracks are good, I like the way the singer show energy in the first track where his voice are slightly cracking up while singing some high pitched stuff also the two following are really good and Beautiful Mystery is another good track. Some of the songs, especially on the second half of the album feels a bit on the sleepy side. Overall I would say that this is a good album but it feels a bit like most other AOR albums, there is nothing that really sets this album apart from the other similar styled AOR albums in the genre and in many regards the feeling of “just another AOR album” comes up. I really enjoy AOR but at the same time I hear a lot of it and therefore it has to be something quite special to stand out and really catch my interest.

So with some really good stuff I would still say that this is a decent album, no denying that. But at the same there are quite many albums out there right now that sounds just like it, have a look in the Frontiers catalogue and you will know what I am talking about. I would say that there is no real need to look into this album, it is good but there is much more interesting albums that this out there in the genre. Sure if you are a fan of Michael or must have everything in the melodic rock genre then you probably will buy this anyway and I am sure you won’t be disappointed either and if you are this fan who only look for the special albums and buy this album I am sure you will not be that disappointed either.

In the end it is a good but still a stylistically quite typical album which makes it feel quite ordinary towards the end of it. The enjoyment lies in the first few songs, after that it is an okay album, nothing more. So another good typical AOR album, if someone gave me 100 kronor for every time I got one of those I would be rather rich by now.



Label: Frontiers Records
Three similar bands: Soleil Moon/Toto/Giant
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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