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McFadden, Duke - 2001 Complete

Duke McFadden - vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass, programming

Followers of the band 707 will remember Duke McFadden as being one of it's original members. He never hung around for their third effort 'Megaforce', but he still had the inclination to put out his own music in any event. 'Complete' is his third indie effort, but don't look for any direct comparison with his prior band, as this is heading down a completely path. Duke drops the heavy and punchy approach of 707 for the soft AOR tones akin to Air Supply, early Christopher Cross and artists of that ilk. It's very melodic, but it's feather-touch soft, and if that sort of style suits you then great.

The Songs
The album is made up of two parts. The first part being a series of vocal fronted songs, while the second part are all piano based instrumentals. Now, if you are a fan of new-age pianists like George Winston, or even some of Jonathan Cain's Higher Octave releases (piano instrumental albums), then the songs on 'Complete' are a suitable fit. However, for melodic rock fans there's not a lot for you to sink your teeth into I'm afraid. 'Home Again' which starts off the album, has seventies flavours a la The Eagles, Bob Seger, and is rife with melodic piano lines. 'Bring It On Back' is the closest Duke gets to pure AOR, a very nice track. 'Lifetime Lover' displays Duke's love of all things 'Lennon/McCartney', while 'Fantasy Of Mine' and 'She Moves Me' are 'other standout songs. On the latter song, I couldn't help but be reminded of Great White's classic ballad 'Save All Your Love' throughout the verses. Of the piano instrumentals, there are two versions of 'Pool Of Dreams' while 'Song Of The Wind' and 'Street Of Gold' are nice.

In Summary
Personally I would have preferred to hear more dynamics and energy poured into these songs, but as these are Duke's songs I'm not gonna criticise him for that, as he did make the effort to record them for us to listen to in the first place. For that we can be thankful. It's 'softly softly' nature will probably go down well at dinner parties or for late night listening, but don't expect to accelerate the pulse rate when you play it. Regretfully, Duke has since passed away (late 2005) and will be remembered for his contribution, in particular to the 707 history books.

Track Listing:
01 Home Again
02 Bring It On Back
03 Lifetime Lover
04 Fantasy Of Mine
05 She Moves Me
06 Pool Of Dreams
07 Song Of The Wind
08 Street Of Gold
09 Pool Of Dreams (Alt Version)

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#1 | 323 on March 24 2006 20:48:20
Duke's music hasn't all been heard yet. Stay tuned for more.

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