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Articles Home » 2006 Articles » Vertigo - 2006 II
Vertigo - 2006 II

ARTIST: Vertigo
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2006


LINEUP: Joseph Williams - vocals * Alex Masi - guitars * Fabrizio V. Zee Grossi - bass, keyboards * Virgil Donati - drums * Jason Scheff - backing vocals * Masayoshi Yamasuka - drums * David Harris - piano

TRACK LISTING: 01 In The Blink Of An Eye * 02 All For You * 03 Hold Me * 04 Part Of Me * 05 Holy * 06 I Wanna Live Forever * 07 Save It All Alone * 08 Picking Up The Pieces * 09 Together (Goodbye So Long) * 10 There's A Reason



If you are an AOR follower then you'll know who Joseph Williams is. The son of legendary composer John Williams (refer Star Wars and a ton of other movies), Joseph is of course best known for his time in Toto and throughout the West Coast genre. When not singing, Joe is busy working in film, but lately, his output has increased significantly - particularly 2006. Appearing with the latest version of Toto (refer 'Falling In Between') and now also his sophomore Vertigo album entitled 'II'. The debut Vertigo album appeared three years ago, and took many by surprise, with it's ready-mix Toto meets Euro AOR sound. A product of the Frontiers factory line, Vertigo might appear to have 'cookie-cutter template' written all over it, particularly as Joey Carbone wrote a lot of the material, but overall, the songs stack up ok. We've got a pretty good lineup of individual players here. Quite disparate backgrounds admittedly, but it comes together well enough. I do admit to not being a big fan of Grossi's production work, so I feel the rating for this album is automatically gonna get docked a point before even listening to it. Well see if the proof is in the pudding by the end of the (rather meager) track time of 39 and a half minutes.

The Songs
Opener 'In The Blink Of An Eye' has a great vibe and chorus, though the tin-pot drums made it a hard listen. 'All For You' has the same sort of pop/rock appeal that made Kelly Clarkson a household name, while the trio of 'Hold Me', 'Holy' and 'I Wanna Live Forever' are all aggressive numbers which kick up dust merrily. 'Save It All Alone' is a soppy ballad with no real value, fortunately the next pairing of 'Picking Up The Pieces' and 'Together' are uptempo and jangly. The closer 'There's A Reason' doesn't convince, the arrangement undulates more than resonates.. unfortunately. The overall verdict? The drum sound is awful. Sorry. WTF is going on here? Virgil Donati must be embarrassed by the sound achieved on this album. The snare drums sound as if they've been replaced by tin-cans. Get it right please!

In Summary
Well, the summary goes like this.. great songs, not so hot on the production side of things. There must be a reason that Frontiers persists with a guy like Grossi. Perhaps they should look further afield.. the cookie cutter is starting to get blunt. If these songs were in the hands of a guy like Dann Huff or Richie Zito then we'd be seeing some results. Don't get me wrong, the album isn't bad at all, but could've been so much better too. The upside is that Joseph Williams still has a voice that stacks up after twenty plus years, but nothing will surpass those two Toto albums 'Fahrenheit' and 'The Seventh One' for pure genius.. sorry to say.

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#1 | Jez on June 16 2008 02:52:38
Straight to the point on this one. Great voice, some good songs, but a production job that I could have honestly done better myself (drums sound and the sloppy Bass playing especially). Compared to other stuff of top quality being released, this is just not good enough in this day and age. Don't get me wrong, there are some good/great songs here 'All For You' 'Save Me' & 'Save It All Alone' being good examples. The Die hard AOR'sters will say this is great, unfortunately it isn't! Dissapointing
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