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Articles Home » 2015 Articles » Bill Champlin, Joseph Williams, Peter Friestedt - 2015 CWF
Bill Champlin, Joseph Williams, Peter Friestedt - 2015 CWF

ARTIST: Bill Champlin, Joseph Williams, Peter Friestedt
YEAR: 2015


LINEUP: Joseph Williams - lead & backing vocals * Bill Champlin - lead & backing vocals, keyboards * Peter Friestedt - guitars, bass, keyboards * Steve Porcaro - keyboards, synth bass * Randy Goodrum - keyboards, backing vocals * Will Champlin - harmony vocals * Tamara Champlin - backing vocals * Per Mathisen - bass * Herman Matthews - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Runaway * 02 Aria * 03 Still Around * 04 All That I Want * 05 Carry On * 06 Nightfly * 07 Hearts At War * 08 After The Love Has Gone * 09 Rivers Of Fear * 10 Evermore


This one has been out for awhile now. Released during the early-mid part of 2015 by AOR Heaven. The reviews for it have been very good, so as late as I am getting around to it, I think it would be worth our while taking a listen to it. With three very well established blokes in the west coast sub-genre, this album has the makings of being a hybrid of the bands these blokes were involved with previously; namely Chicago and Toto. And on that front, 'CWF' does not disappoint. The rubber band which holds it all together is the guitar work of Swede Peter Friestedt, who pulls some stunning solos in the vein of Dann Huff and Dawayne Bailey. Mostly though, it's a walk-through Chicago-city and Toto-township, and if this is the location you want to be in, then rest up in central square.

The Songs
No, it's not a Dakota rehash. This version of 'Runaway' pulls together some exquisite west-coast threads regardless, and if the rest of the album is good as this opener, then I'm bracing myself. Toto is embraced totally on 'Aria', as if we're listening to 'The Seventh One', whereas 'Still Around' with Bill on vocals is a deadringer for Chicago, circa their '19' era. 'All That I Want' works its magic in a methodical way, up till chorus time when the power of this trio is let loose. 'Carry On' drifts into 'Mushunga' territory with its Toto like shuffle beat. The trio give Earth Wind And Fire's hit 'After The Love Has Gone' a go, it sounds pretty tame admittedly. 'Two Hearts At War sounds a bit better, drama filled even, especially on the chorus. 'Rivers Of Fear' is a mostly vocal affair, which seems to be over-mixed with the Autotune very handy in the studio it would appear. 'Evermore' is a piano and guitar ballad, the type of song which could feature on a David Foster album. A nice way to end the album.

In Summary
After being blitzed by the opening number, I was hoping to hear more in this style. Unfortunately, this was not the case. The album drifting on a series of gentle California clouds, rather than a tumble-dryer of fresh sea breezes with a salty tang to tease the senses. As they say, it is what it is, and as an example of primetime west-coast, 'CWF' delivers the goods. [word count 397]

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#1 | Murgleis on January 22 2016 17:26:13
Good record, but marred IMO by Bill Champlin's presence. Guy can't even carry a melody in his lower register half the time...sigh.
#2 | Jez on February 02 2016 12:42:13
Top quality Westcoast AOR, with more of a slant towards the traditional Westcoast sound, especially in the second half of the album. Half of the songs featured could all have come of any 80's Toto album, such is the quality on offer. Maybe a little too 'lite' for some tastes, but this really is a very very good album indeed.
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