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Articles Home » 1990 Articles » Gleason, Michael - 1990 Children Of Choices
Gleason, Michael - 1990 Children Of Choices

ARTIST: Gleason, Michael
ALBUM: Children Of Choices
LABEL: Pakaderm
SERIAL: 7-01-250226-6
YEAR: 1990


LINEUP: Michael Gleason - vocals, keyboards, 'unimportant guitars' * Sonny Lallerstedt - guitars * Scott Meeder - drums * Terry Brock, John Elefante - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Children Of Choices * 02 Western World * 03 Feeding The Fire * 04 One Breath Away * 05 Don't Give In To The Night * 06 True To Myself * 07 Life On The Line * 08 Nature Of The Beast * 09 Front Page News * 10 Heart Of Stone

Michael Gleason is best known for his 1983 association with the band Kansas, and later on, with Kerry Livgren and his melodic rock project AD. His forte is keyboards, but the guy can sing too. In fact, in the band AD, he sang lead vocals alongside designated pinch singer Warren Ham. AD finished up in 1987, and from that point, Atlanta based Michael began song writing, session and production work for other artists. His first solo project was an orchestral album produced while he was still with AD and was stylised in the classical environment. However the reason why he is profiled at GDAZE is because of his first rock solo effort, the magnificent 'Children of Choices', which was released in 1990. Given the spread of the Pakaderm production process courtesy of the Elefante brothers Dino and John, this album absolutely reeks of AOR. Because Gleason is a keyboard player and is melodic to the core, you need no further invitation.

The Songs
We are introduced to Michael's AOR world with the title track 'Children Of Choices', full to the brim of hi-tech arrangements, vocal harmonies and nifty guitar parts from Lallerstedt. 'Western World' an album highlight, is terrific stuff, helped along by the recently departed vocalist from Strangeways Terry Brock, who had by this stage returned to his hometown Atlanta. 'Feeding The Fire' is a bout of White Heart endowed splendor, you could just imagine Rick Florian singing this. The gorgeous keyboard intro of 'One Breath Away' leads into a high-stepping and active track, with it's insistent rhythm and killer choruses. A recipe for success in my book. Toto fans rejoice.. the ballad 'Don't Give Into The Night' is album highlight #2. This is pretty spectacular, the guitars are so smooth while the keyboard layers are like a warm blanket. 'True To Myself' is a punchy workout, with spiky synth blasts, followed by 'Life On The Line' which anchors in the same cruisy West Coast flavoured harbor as a guy like Kurt Howell. As in the songtitle, 'Nature Of The Beast' has a more aggressive side to it.. very upfront guitar wise but still full of keyboard dallies.. like a cross between Toto and Idle Cure. You gotta love the clean lines of 'Heart Of Stone', again zeroing in on the musical ground laid down by the aforementioned bands in this review.

In Summary
'Children Of Choices' as an album enjoyed good success in the CCM scene, with two singles obtaining top-five CCM single spots. Michael is still very active in the recording industry, and has during May 2002, released a new solo effort called 'Every Road' on Kerry Livgren's Numavox Records. It is very much in the singer/songwriter mould, and as you guessed, melodic as can be expected from an artist of this calibre. However, this one is a thoroughly recommended CD to procure. As I said in the previous paragraph, for a melodic rock fan.. 'you need no further invitation'. Search out 'Children Of Choices' now.

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#1 | code4 on August 18 2015 15:18:30
Great review. Haven't listened in a long time but I loved this album when i discovered it about 10 or so years ago. A classic. People who know the band AD (fronted by Kerry Livgren and Michael Gleason) might notice that Michael pretty much re-used the verses arrangement of keyboard/sequencing from his AD song 'Lead Me To The Reason' in his single from this album 'Don't Give In To The Night'. Actually, I remember that this album sounds in general very similar (both production and style) to Gleason's AD written songs. so it is of course much recommendable for fans of AD.
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