Since their last studio album Aura, Fair Warning with their 23 years of releases and touring are totally at home in what they deliver. Bassist Ule Ritgen was quoted as saying, “We make a point of avoiding any particular stylistic agenda; we’re open to influences from all directions. After all, it doesn’t matter what inspires an idea, it’ll always end up a typical Fair Warning song.” With that said, Sundancer sounds like a band that are comfortable and it does indeed retain an ebb and flow from start to finish.
Fans may recognise similar echoes with the album title and artwork for the album cover of Rainmaker, released back in 1995. “Now as then, the new songs and the record’s artwork reflect modern life in an increasingly virtual world where we find ourselves wondering how real our own lives actually are” comments Ritgen.
The opening four songs really do the business, with Troubled Love and Keep it in The Dark both providing hooks and maintaining an up-tempo exuberance. Real Love carries the lighter aloft with its power ballad quality and Man in The Mirror does the melodic rock genre justice with a swagger and some complimentary lead guitar work.
Tommy Heart is a reliable and strong lead vocalist who doesn’t disappoint on Sundancer and goes from soulful displays to belting out a strong chorus in the blink of an eye. Send Me a Dream and Living on The Street being prime examples.
The only question mark on what is a good album relates to the production which feels like it might be lacking some sort of punch. Guitars are well represented but seem a little too light weight along with the drums. In direct contrast, the vocals, keyboard and bass get a good sound. Elements like this in a recording are always subjective, and it’s worth noting that the band themselves produced Sundancer.
If you’re a fan of top shelf melodic rock, then you won’t go far wrong with Sundancer, an album lovingly assembled by a band who have the experience and insight within the genre they have explored for a remarkably long time.
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