Fortune – II (Frontiers)
Fortune favours the brave. Brave melodies, even braver harmonies and the kind of brilliantly bold, saccharine-sweet arrangements AOR was made for. Almost 35 years since the Fortune brothers dropped their lavish self-titled debut – a long lost classic buried by the demise of Camel/MCA – this sparkling return encapsulates a genre built on emblematic excess and the ethos of pure melody at all costs.
Vocalist Larry Greene has lost none of the appeal that secured a coveted spot on the mega-selling Top Gun soundtrack and it’s his enduring authenticity that underpins the very best of II. Every note is worth savouring.
Setting the bar impossibly high with opener Don’t Say You Love Me (even Journey will be jealous) the biggest challenge facing Fortune is ensuring everything else passes muster. But this is a band schooled in the craft of radio-friendly songwriting and the AOR highlights come thick and fast. A Little Drop Of Poison is pure guilty pleasure and Heart Of Stone mirrors Boston funk rockers Extreme at their melodic peak.
The aptly titled Overload is an unforgiving AOR assault on the senses with sweeping synths and more utterly absorbing vocals. Greene is red hot from start to finish but here the veteran frontman truly excels. On this kind of form it’s easy to understand why Fortune were so feted and revered in the mid 80s – before the label problems kicked in and the band’s founding members went their separate ways.
Thanks to 2016’s Rockingham Music Festival reunion – the first time the full band had reconvened in decades – a much-loved and legendary AOR staple is back. And back with a bang.