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Articles Home » 1990 Articles » Norman And Sexton - 1990 Facing Destiny
Norman And Sexton - 1990 Facing Destiny

ARTIST: Norman And Sexton
ALBUM: Facing Destiny
LABEL: GNP Crescendo
YEAR: 1990


LINEUP: Neil Norman - guitars, vocals, vision, drum programming * Bobby Sexton - keyboards, lead vocals, keyboard bass

Guests: Tim Aller - sequence and drum programming * Todd Yvega - synclavier and synthesizer programming * Steve Klong - drums, drum programming * Brant Biles - harmony guitar, backing vocals * Paul Warren, Robert Martin, J Palmer - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Facing Destiny * 02 Fantasy * 03 Winner Takes All * 04 If He Loved You * 05 I Know * 06 Sky * 07 Holding On * 08 Transporter * 09 Riding To The Future * 10 I'll Come Back For You

If bombastic pomp is the order of the day, then Norman And Sexton are the duo for you. Caught somewhere between a Jeff Cannata pomp maelstrom and an Asia stormwind is where this Californian pairing are musically stranded. Not that they need any help, as their talent alone will help them out of a bind, along with the assistance of those named above. The lead vocals of Bobby Sexton deserve a mention, an amalgam of John Wetton and Michael Furlong - straddling that border between pomp and hard rock. The keyboard playing of Sexton is fairly impressive. The fact that he grew up with LA session king Mike Boddicker in the heartland of Iowa says a lot. I can see it now, these two blaring their B3 Hammond's and Prophet 5's across the Prairies as kids! Umm yeah.. The collaboration between guitarist Neil Norman and keyboard whiz Sexton is a strong one, and apparently these two played gigs with a series of sequencers and computers as their rhythm section. At face value it might appear to be a mechanized and robotic approach, but you'd hardly notice the difference on their sole album 'Facing Destiny'. The songs are undeniably catchy, and there's many a moment to get the feet tapping and the vocal chords humming. Primarily it's guitar driven pomp with the keyboards adding the fancy frills.

The Songs
The album starts out with the melodic title-track, complete with an insistent back-beat and strident rhythm guitars to help warm us up for the treats to come. 'Fantasy' follows shortly after, containing keyboard surges and punctuated rhythms - not forgetting the mind-altering keyboard solo from Sexton. 'Winner Takes All' has all the necessary ingredients out of the 'pomp recipe-book', as does 'If He Loved You', though this one is more restrained, like a subtle cross between Thrills and Arcangel. The hi-tech sounding 'I Know' (where Bobby does his best John Wetton impersonation) is particularly effective, followed by the luscious keyboard instrumental 'Sky' - as expansive as the name would suggest. Spiky keyboard blasts kick in on the hi-tech boogie of 'Holding On', Neil's guitar getting a solid workout - especially that wah-wah pedal! We get a mix of hi-tech wizardry among the guitar bravado on the tracks 'Transporter' and 'Riding To The Future' while the closer 'I'll Come Back For You' is straight-ahead eighties hard rock, with the guitar solos going off the scale.

In Summary
This album should be easy enough to find, and for those not familiar with this pair, you will be after reading this. Since then, Neil Norman has been involved in producing music for Sci-Fi soundtracks, while both he and Bobby Sexton have appeared on many other projects (Sexton with the 1997 project Icebreaker), some of which have been affiliated with the GNP Crescendo label.

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#1 | swazi on November 03 2013 08:48:11
Surprising that there is no comment yet. This is a very good one! Absolutely worth adding to your collection.
#2 | AOR Lee on November 04 2013 05:04:30
Agree Bernd, I just heard it this weekend and it's a cracking album. Winner Takes All reminded me of Charlie, maybe something from In Pursuit Of Romance with Terry Thomas on vocals. A bit of a hidden gem that shouldn't really be hidden
#3 | jeffrey343 on November 04 2013 16:13:05
It is on Rhapsody, so I gave it a listen last night. Pretty good - hope I can make the effort to play it more. Good music for hanging out on the PC late at night.
#4 | gdazegod on November 04 2013 21:44:31
Probably good music to play during your daily wall to wall work meetings Jeff! music
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