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Fortune – Level Ground

Fortune
Level Ground
by Issy Herring at 16 June 2022, 3:44 PM

FORTUNE has become a huge name in the alternative music scene, with their sound fitting into the hard rock genre. Formed in 1978, it is pretty evident that the five piece haven’t really evolved since their heyday. Since the release of their debut self-titled album in the same year, FORTUNE have come a long way from their experimental material of the late seventies. They have recently made a long-awaited return to music with their fourth studio album “Level Ground”, which was released on April 8th, 2022, via Frontiers Music.

The first track on the release is “Silence of the Heart”, which has a very 80’s feel about it from the start. The mixture of punchy synths and a classic hard rock riff help to make this song unique in this modern era. However, the song doesn’t have a lot of lasting power and as a result, it is pretty forgettable. “Judgement Day” begins with a punchy guitar riff before the song continues with their recognisable synth focused melodies. It really seems as though FORTUNE really need to work on their memorability, as one song blends into another quite easily. “Dangerous Things” manages to make things a little more interesting, as a slightly faster guitar riff takes the lead. Even though this song is similar to previous tracks, there is no denying that L.A. Greene’s vocals are very much suited to this style of music.

The sound of “I Will Hold You Up” changes things up a little, with the instruction of slower melodies. The very start of the song has a very emotional feel about it, which carries on throughout the duration of the track. Even though this song is clearly meant to be one of the tear jerkers within the release, there seems to be a real lack of emotion and feeling, which is strange. “Riot in the Heartland” begins with an intriguing melody that makes you wonder where the song is going to lead. Unfortunately, this sense of intrigue doesn’t last long. The track inevitably transforms into another typical hard rock tune, which is poor to say the least. “Orphaned in the Storm” starts off well with a head bop worthy guitar riff. This is probably the best chorus to come from this album, with a pinch of memorability leading the way. “I Should Have Known You’d Be Trouble” is clearly very 80’s inspired, with the riffs sounding similar to FOREIGNER at times. Unfortunately, FORTUNE seem to have already lost their knack for creating infectious lyrics and riffs – they have gone back to square one from this point onwards.

Hand in Hand” is a song that goes back down the emotional path, but has no real substance, sadly. Next up is the self-titled track “Level Ground”. However, this doesn’t seem to make the song any more prominent than the other filler material. “Lunacy of Love” is the final song on “Level Ground” and to say it’s a relief is a bit of an understatement. It does seem as though the album has been given a bit of a facelift at the final hurdle, as this album closer is actually not that bad.

It has to be said that “Level Ground” isn’t that great of an album. I truly feel like FORTUNE could have pushed the boat out further to create a body of work that was diverse and interesting. However, I was left with a 10-track release that had no substance at all, with one song bleeding unknowingly into the next. It would have been amazing to see FORTUNE mix things up a little, with some funk rock influences taking the lead and the classic hard rock sound taking a backseat. Overall, “Level Ground” really isn’t worth a listen unless you like dated, uninspired music.


Songwriting: 2
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 2
Production: 6

1 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Silence of the Heart
2. Judgement Day
3. Dangerous Things
4. I Will Hold You Up
5. Riot in the Heartland
6. Orphaned in the Storm
7. I Should Have Known You’d Be Trouble
8. Hand in Hand
9. Level Ground
10. Lunacy of Love
Lineup:
L.A. Greene – Vocals
Richard Fortune – Backing Vocals/Guitar
Ricky Rat – Backing Vocals/Bass
Mark Nilan - Keyboards
Mick Fortune – Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Music
     


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