The last time we reviewed Morning Fame for their 2nd album release, “Back and Forth,” we claimed that they manage to combine the best of power pop, alt-rock and college rock (ala REM) to come up with a winning, adult orientated radio friendly sound. We were also enthralled by Vik Kapur’s powerful high-range voice that can be as equally endearing as it is haunting, Rob Giberti’s solid basslines and Al Dennis’ pounding percussion, as well as Joe Liranzo’s chiming guitar work.
We thought that the collection of songs on “Back and Forth,” was really what rock is all about. Heart and passion, filled with jangly guitars, catchy hooks and deep lyrics. Musically, the album was magnificent, with not a weak song in the 9-track batch. Presenting immediately catchy music, yet simultaneously deep and satisfying on so many levels.
Right now Morning Fame has released their brand new single, “Cast Away,” and the craftsmanship that Kapur, Carret, Dennis and Liranzo produced here is amazing. Comparisons to their previous releases really don’t make any sense to me, other that it’s the same guys playing with the exception of bass player Dan Carret who has replaced Rob Giberti on the “Cast Away” recording. The sound of this song is clearly 21st century Morning Fame.
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“Cast Away” is highlighted by strong vocals, harmonies and some great hooks. This is so catchy that it could be a hit in just about any radio environment. This is without any doubt the best Morning Fame recording thus far. The energy, melodies, hooks and overall positive vibe that was so prevalent on the previous album are more than present here. In one fell swoop, the band has kicked its sound into a whole new league.
Alternative rock would be an almost alienating term here, as Morning Fame moves their mix into progressive/melodic rock and power-pop; somewhere between a more modern sounding Asia and Yes. They have acquired that super group sound. Epic and arena-ready!
Vik Kapur’s vocals and six-string are as strong as ever, Joe Liranzo’s guitar playing is clean, tight and spot on, Dan Carret’s bass work is top notch and more prominent in the mix than before, while Al Dennis plays some intelligent and tasteful rolls, holding down the back beat with his rock-steady drumming. I’ve seen many groups fall flat after their third release, but Morning Fame’s “Cast Away” may just change the logic of this.
This single simply works so well because all the necessary elements are here; great vocals, a sweeping melody, a catchy chorus and extraordinary musicianship. I consider Morning Fame’s past efforts – “A Lasting Place” and “Back And Forth” to be pretty strong, but the new single takes things up a notch and the band manages to conjure up a fuller dose of the blistering energy and melodic cohesiveness that made their last album so memorable. Quality music from a great band in total evolution.
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