I get tons of albums via the Swedish distributor Hemifrån and occasionally I find small gems! FLAV MARTIN (vocals, guitar) and JERRY MAROTTA (drums, percussion) apparently released this CD in 2017 but I received it quite recently. Marotta is well-known from his contributions with PETER GABRIEL and numerous studio sessions with many great artists. I don’t know much about Flav other that he seems to live (originate from?) the Isle Of Rhodes (Greece).
Here we get rather soft melodic rock with a pop touch, and I even dare adding “genius pop” when describing this. Some songs are not far from what RICHARD PAGE has given us on his recent releases, mixed with some soft STING vibes and – of course – occasional journeys closing in on the very soft side of PETER GABRIEL (like in “I knew it was you”). That song also has a slight latin vibe, which comes back in some of the other tunes as well. As a matter of fact if gets way too latin or oriental for my taste like in the song “Tell me to my face”.
However, the major part of this album is really good. The production by Marotta himself is really good and the musicians are of course flawless. The list of musicians includes TONY LEVIN (bass; known for numerous works with Peter Gabriel and many other artists), PETER PRIMAMORE (piano), THOR JENSEN (guitar), MARK SHULMAN (guitar) and GARY SHREINER (harmonica, accordion).
Even though the album is very laidback, the guys have created a sound that includes quite a lot. Levin’s bass sound is lovely and brings an extera dimension somehow.
Any other things on the downside then? Well, yes. First of all the CD ticks in on 37 minutes and 24 seconds, which can almost be considered as a single by 2018 standards. OK, I am exaggerating a bit but still – the playing time is way too short. Secondly I checked their web site and was a bit disappointed to find out that the album is only out digitally and on CD, but not on vinyl. Flav Martin has written all songs except two, and he proves to be a highly interesting songwriter, not to mention that he is a good singer as well.
Imagine this music with a less acoustic vibe and a little more punch. It could be amazing. But nevertheless the CD is really good. A warm recommendation.