Fortune - 'II'

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Fortune - 'II'

This is already in the running as a contender for Album Of The Year.

After first hearing the self-titled Fortune album in the mid-eighties, I would never have believed that I would be writing a review of their sophomore record some thirty-four years later. The debut contained everything I loved about Melodic Rock; huge melodic choruses, keyboard hooks, monster guitar riffs and timeless songs. Along with the self-titled Touch album, it was one of the best releases of its time.

Issues with the record company going bankrupt, recordings not being released and all the related fall-out ensured that what could have been one of the greatest Melodic Pomp bands faded into near obscurity. In 2016 the group reformed ostensibly to play the Rockingham festival and with such a warm reception they were invited to return in 2017. The popularity of the band got the attention of Frontiers which has resulted in the recording of this long-awaited follow-up. The current group line-up consists of Larry Greene on vocals, Richard Fortune on guitar, Mick Fortune on drums, Ricky Rat on bass and Mark Nilan on keyboards.

Opening number 'Don't Say You Love Me' kicks off with a simple yet massive keyboard riff which reprises for the chorus. 'Freedom Road' and 'Shelter Of The Night' pick up the pace with the latter sporting a dual guitar/keyboard riff intro before concentrating mostly on the guitar and vocals while using the keyboards more sparingly. 'A Little Drop Of Poison' is a huge ballad with a great chorus, while 'What A Fool I've Been' and 'Overload' both have big keyboard-based riffs and plenty of keyboards/guitar interplay.

'Heart Of Stone' is a slow-burning ballad, 'The Night' ups the pace again with a heavy but catchy chorus, 'New Orleans' is introduced with an acoustic guitar intro before breaking into full electric and album closer 'All The Right Moves' bounces along as it disperses guitar/keyboard riffs along the way – the latter sounds not unlike Foreigner.

The big question for me was given the level of anticipation and expectation, would the band be able to deliver? The answer is a definite yes; the inclusion of huge keyboard riffs, guitar interplay and soaring harmonies ensure its success. Any of the ten new tracks can easily stand the scrutiny of being placed against the original release.

This is already in the running as a contender for Album Of The Year. Look to highlights like 'Don't Say You Love Me' and 'The Night' to get your new fix of Melodic Pomp Rock.

Chris Mee

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