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FM - Thirteen Award winner

by Sarah Tijan at 25 May 2022, 7:42 PM

FM are back with their appropriately titled thirteenth album Thirteen. Since 1984 the band has been creating, performing and releasing music while touring with some of the world's biggest stars. No strangers to the melodic rock sound, 2022’s release is no surprise a well-rounded solid melodic rock album. With the wide range of influences to the wide range of sound you hear on any one FM album, you can always find exactly what you are looking for within an album from the long-standing British band.

Thirteen is no different, for FM that is a complement and a positive, each album they release remains true to their style, sound and melodic rock standing remains on top. Take “Shaking the Tree” which starts off the latest album, taking off from the starting line with great keyboard rhythm and slowly easing into the guitar and vocals, it’s a match made perfectly.  The track isn't overpowering but is powerful in its message, takes the time to build the energy and track into a five-minute powerhouse of an opening track.

“Talk is Cheap” is a rhythm and tempo driven track, full of top-of-the-line guitar riffs and a beat that is easy to get into and lost in, one of the history books of what is an anthem. Rhythm, guitar riffs and vocals that go unmatched. Steve Overland takes the track and brings it to life with his vocal range.

Mid-album FM takes the sound and spins it to a whole new direction with “Long Road Home” which isn't out of the norm for the band, with a bluesy ballad and adds in the soulful sound of the acoustic guitar, what remains the same for this track, as with the others is the chorus that drives the track and keeps the focus on the music and the lyrics. Allowing the singing along to continue and the music to keep you moving.

Heavy isn't a word I would use to describe FM, maybe heavy influenced but not heavy, that said “Just Got Started” is balancing on that description, the darker track on the album. FM take you on a ride of keyboard driven rhythm and pop beats throughout this track, with the drum work from Pete Jupp a main focus, throughout but definitely a strong focus during the chorus keeping the track upbeat and toe tapping.

“Be True to Yourself” rounds out the album with a positive fun message in the lyrics and rocking beat that is full of guitar and keyboard blending together to make a fun tempo rock track, that both gets you up and toe-tapping as well as brings out the best in whoever is listening, stronger on the gritty guitar than the others, it’s a solid rock track that brings us back to the time of rock being top and the message just as important.

Listening to this album from FM, it's no surprise they have a 40-year career with many great achievements and thirteen albums released, and steady touring. They understand what melodic rock is supposed to be, they have a gift and a talent and they create lyrics that work so well with the music, that it sounds natural whether it be when they started in 1984, or here in 2022, every track on the album is well put together and easy to listen to, and each track is unique. They keep a certain sound and don’t try to outdo the previous album, which clearly works with Thirteen being another great melodic rock album with something for everyone on it.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Shaking The Tree
2. Waiting On Love
3. Talk Is Cheap
4. Turn This Car Around
5. Love And War
6. Long Road Home
7. Be Lucky
8. Every Man Needs A Woman
9. Just Got Started
10. Fight Fire With Fire
11. Be True to Yourself
Steve Overland - Vocals, Guitar
Jim Kirkpatrick - Guitar
Jem Davis - Keyboard
Merv Goldsworthy - Bass
Pete Jupp - Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Music SRL


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