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Articles Home » 2016 Articles » Poley, Ted - 2016 Beyond The Fade
Poley, Ted - 2016 Beyond The Fade

ARTIST: Poley, Ted
ALBUM: Beyond The Fade
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2016


LINEUP: Ted Poley - vocals * Mario Percudani - guitars * Anna Portalupi - bass * Alessandro Del Vecchio - keyboards, drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Let's Start Something * 02 Everything We Are * 03 Hands Of Love * 04 The Perfect Crime * 05 Stars * 06 Higher * 07 Where I Lost You * 08 You Won't See Me Cryin' * 09 We Are Young * 10 Sirens * 11 Beneath The Stars



For a guy who has been pretty active in the studio since the 80's, Ted Poley has been off the radar for the past few years. Of course, he's best known for being the original and current frontman for Danger Danger, but he filled in the gap between that gig with several other projects. This includes two solo albums in 2006 and 2007 (yet to be reviewed here as of this writing - I should get to them.). But we haven't had any new material featuring his distinctive voice since the last Danger Danger album in 2009. Performing a few gigs in the past couple of years drummed up interest in getting a new disc out, and here we are in 2016 with 'Beyond The Fade'.

The Songs
What we have here is a Frontiers album with Alessandro Del Vecchio performing (keyboards and drums) and producing, but not writing any of the songs. That is mostly handled by Tom and James Martin, the brothers in Vega, who wrote ten of the eleven songs. To their credit, these are pretty much tailor-made for what we'd expect from Ted. Not to be outdone, Poley was heavily involved in this album too, so it's not just a case of him throwing down some vocals. The end result is an album with a very polished sound that leans more towards AOR than melodic rock. Neither heavy nor pink & fluffy. If you're expecting Danger Danger , well, you can think of this as Danger Danger Lite. Similar style, with less bombast and (thankfully) less sleaze. Rhythm guitars are pretty far down in the mix, but Percudani does spin some tasty lead work and solos throughout the album. I always love what bassist Anna Portalupi brings to the party, and Del Vecchio always provides good atmosphere with his keys. And his drumming is quite solid too. Yep, the backing band is top-notch. But make no mistake - Poley's vocals are front and center, and he sounds great on this album. That wasn't always the case on some of this projects in the early 2000's, but I'll blame that on smaller budgets and more primitive recording techniques. In this day and age, this is a major album for the genre, so it obviously got a lot of support from Frontiers.

As for the songs, you get some solid anthems like opener 'Let's Start Something', 'Hands Of Love', 'Higher', and 'We Are Young'. 'Hands Of Love' is the only song not written by the brothers Martin. It's actually a cover by a rather obscure band called Blonz from their 1990 album, and it is written by the hardly obscure Joe Lynn Turner and Tony Bruno. I'd probably have picked it out as the 'one of these is not like the others', but it certainly doesn't stand out as being different in sound or effect. The big ballad is a duet with Issa, 'The Perfect Crime'. Her voice works great with Poley's on this track. 'You Won't See Me Cryin' is pure AOR bliss. Songs like 'Everything We Are', Where I Lost You', and 'Sirens' are enjoyable tunes with plenty of melody, with the latter one featuring some fine guitar work. 'Stars' and 'Beneath The Stars' are on the slower end, with the latter closing the album in fine form. I must give a slight demerit for the repetition of the star theme in the back-to-back 'Stars' and 'Higher'. At least 'Beneath The Stars' is separated from those two by several songs. But they're all good songs, so I can overlook that.

In Summary
I think many of us would consider this to be a pretty 'safe' album, as Poley definitely leans towards what he's done well in the past. But that's OK, as the end result ends up being a very consistent album that is an easy and enjoyable listen. It fits in well with many of the Frontiers albums of the past couple of years, with the benefit of songs that have more variations in style and tempo than several other releases from Frontiers. I also think this stands up well to many of the albums from the 80's that we love, capturing that spirit nicely. Well done Ted.

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#1 | jeffrey343 on July 21 2016 15:23:48
I've noticed with several recent releases that there are often a couple of songs that have basically the same intro section, to the point you could easily get confused if you heard them in random order (that new First Signal album, as good as it is, being a good example of it). I somehow didn't catch on this album that tracks 4 (The Perfect Crime) and 9 (We Are Young) are also remarkable similar. Same general sound, plus same key and same tempo, the only real difference being that Poley's vocals come in really early in the former. I'm not sure how stuff like this doesn't get caught, because I sure don't remember it being an issue 30 years ago. It usually jumps out at me. For this album, it took me listening to it for the first time in a week starting at track 9 (I had made it only through track 8 on this device) thinking it was track 4 when it started. Can't take away anything on either song - they're both very good. But this issue does add fuel to the fire to those who claim today's music is too samey.
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