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Articles Home » 1987 Articles » What If - 1987 What If
What If - 1987 What If

ALBUM: What If
SERIAL: 5909-1-R (LP), 5909-2-R (CD)
YEAR: 1987
CD REISSUE: 2000, BMG (Japan), BVCM-37165


LINEUP: Tommy Funderburk - vocals * Larry Williams - keyboards, saxophone * Bob Wilson - drums * Larry Klein - bass * Dann Huff - guitars

TRACK LISTING: 01 What If * 02 If This Is Love * 03 Perfect World * 04 One Look * 05 Ride the Hurricane * 06 She Rocked My World * 07 Love Is A Fire * 08 When Right Is Wrong * 09 Turn And Walk Away

Another LA based project combining the skills of some of the best hired guns in the business. The makeup of What If stems from the working base that is session vocal god Tommy Funderburk and drummer Bob Wilson. These guys were last seen playing together a few years earlier in Christian band The Front, who released a self titled album on the Benson label in 1985. That album featured the talent of Dann Huff. What If sees the core trio named above plus a bevy of session muso's, with guitar supremo Mike Landau carrying the majority of guitar duties. This can only be best described as heavied up West Coast, somewhere between Mr Mister, Tim Feehan and latter-day Richard Marx. The fluid guitar of Landau and the impressive vocals of Funderburk tips the scales in my favour though the overly laden brass parps from Larry Williams keyboards do tend to get slightly overbearing at times. However, for the most part it's stylish AOR/melodic rock.

The Songs
The opening track is 'What If' (what else!), and features John Parr type keyboards played underneath Landau's sonic guitar flurries. Next track 'If This Is Love' is stirring AOR complete with strong choruses. We get another version of Glen Burtnick's 'Perfect World', though this one's not as captivating as the versions we've heard from Alias, Freddy Curci or Burtnick. It's just that the arrangement seems to fall flat. The Tim Feehan comparison shines through on 'One Look', while the urgency increases on 'Ride The Hurricane'. 'She Rocked My World' is a great funk based track, and then there's 'Love Is A Fire' which moves close to Planet 3 territory, as does the Clif Magness styled vocal effort on 'When Right Is Wrong'. One of the best is left to the last with 'Turn And Walk Away', containing a tasty guitar solo from Landau.

In Summary
As with most of these projects, they tend to be one-off and the guys go off and do other projects. Sometimes I wonder why they bother. Then I go and track the album down years after the event and the picture becomes suddenly clearer. It's all for the love of AOR/melodic rock.

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Tags: What If 
#1 | reyno-roxx on April 15 2008 11:35:57
Dragged this one out this morning. Sounds better than it did when I first bought it. Or is that because the stuff produced these days just can;t hold a candle to the old school???
#2 | richardb on April 16 2008 14:02:52
Your right Dave it has some great moments and certainly Tommy Funderbunk's recent output pales by comparison IMHO (King of hearts were rather ordinary).

My fave cuts are the overblown 'If this is love' and 'She rocked my world' (great guitar work from Landau). I could have done without yet another version of 'Perfect world'.

May have to crank this one up on the stereo when I get home. That'll annoy the missus- LOL!

Richard B
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