|Tommy Funderburk Anything For You||Frontiers Records|
Vocalist Tommy Funderburk may not have the most recognizable name, but to die-hard devotees of the AOR scene, he is somewhat of a vocalist God. His work in Westcoast favourites King Of Hearts is some of his best loved work – that project also featured Kelly Keagy (Night Ranger) and Bruce Gaitsch (Richard Marx).|
He also sang lead vocals on the Boston album Walk On. And I should add some of his studio credits with artists such as Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Richard Marx, Rick Springfield, Starship, REO Speedwagon, Coverdale/Page, among others.
Tommy has one of those angelic AOR voices that you could listen to for hours. His slightly higher range and blissfully melodic tone is perfection for this genre. It's only a shame he doesn't make more records as a frontman. His session work keeps him busy enough, but he also runs his own record label Sovereign Artists, which is making inroads in the USA.
In getting the great man onto a new record, Frontiers Records has again used the formula of the Fabrizio V.Zee Grossi recording team – having them supply the music, production and organization, while Tommy is left with the ease of just supplying the vocals an din this case, the original songs too.
Anything For You is the result, which features some slightly rockier material than what Tommy has released himself in the past – largely due to Fabrizio's influence over the material. It's a record that will please new and long time fans alike – any record with Tommy on vocals is going to be a good one.
Without the Fabrizio team, this record wouldn't have been possible. Yet with him comes the album's only flaw – the listener gets the same production (especially guitar) sound of previous releases featuring the Fabrizio tem - From The Inside, Vertigo, Over The Edge, Perfect World and especially James Christian's Meet The Man album.
I've been a big fan of most of these releases, but I am tiring of this guitar sound and the repetition of the same production style.
As with the James Christian release – I don't think Tommy's voice and high-tech American AOR style quite matches that of Fabrizio's. Had both records been made in house by the singers themselves with their own bands, a more natural sound might have been forthcoming.
Thankfully though, Tommy has provided all but 2 of the songs on the album, so it's a very natural range of material for his voice.
It's also his most diverse release – starting with the tougher, hard edged Learning How To Love, flowing into the perfect AOR of Remember Our Love to the sultry title track Anything For You.
Only You Can Give Me sounds like a tougher King Of Hearts style track, while the big ballad To Say You Love Me turns back to pure AOR.
The moody You Got The Love and The Garden have a certain swagger, while Skin starts slowly before a poppy chorus kicks in.
Second Chance and Say A Little Prayer are ok, but lack the punch of earlier tracks.
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