FM - Heroes & Villains (Review)

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Melodic Rock / AOR
Friday, April 24, 2015
While you wait for Def Leppard to eventually release their new album and (probably not) return to their classic sound, melodic rock fans can feast in the delights of the new FM album, which sees the reborn British AOR legends crank the guitars further up in the mix and really hone in on that multi-layered, harmony filled, big production Def Leppard FM sound of the 80s.
FM have been going long enough now that they have a big, dedicated fan base that has followed them through the 80s, into the less notable 90s and back into the light of the last several years, which has seen a true renaissance for the band.
The pinnacle of their activity since reforming has to be this album.
Production is huge, mix is crisp, balanced and clean and if the songs are anything go by; long standing fans are going to need extra lotion to handle the glorious melodies.
And it’s hard to say such a thing for a band that’s been around 30 years, if you’ve never taken FM out for a test drive this will be the album to get you started.
Digging In The Dirt is a stop-start groovy rocker; You’re The Best Thing About Me is a glorious anthemic AOR monster, which has to be one of the band’s best ever songs. Vocalist Steve Overland just gets better with age.
Life Is A Highway is a simpler driving kinda tune, while Fire & Rain returns to a sultry groove.
Incredible is a brilliant ballad. A…well, incredible ballad!
Call On Me is another album highlight, a smooth, feel good, foot tapping melodic rocker with a huge chorus; Cold Hearted is a heavier Def Leppard style rocker; Shape I’m In switches back to the feel good layered harmonies; Big Brother is a moodier, brooding rocker; while Somedays I Only Want To Rock N Roll is my one skip of the album. I just don’t dig the lyrics or the vibe.
I Want You is more Leppard harmonizing and the album closes with the immensely personal and enjoyable soulful ballad Walking With Angels.

Another year, another new FM album and yes, another triumph! Essential for those that have the 3 albums since reforming and for long time fans it goes without saying.
Filled with finely produced and performed pomp and AOR, this British stalwart of the melodic scene continues to deliver without any signs of aging.