Tommy Funderburk - Anything For You - 2005 - Frontiers Records
1. Learning How To Love 2. Remember Our Love 3. Anything For You 4. Only You Can Give Me 5. To Say You Love Me 6. You Got the Love 7. Skin 8. The Garden 9. Second Chance 10. Say A Little Prayer
For all of the kids out there in metal land who have been paying attention to my rantings and contradictions, I just knew I had to review this particular disc for you. Part of my multi-theoried doctorate thesis of rock and metal music relies on a system of beliefs known as the "foundation". I have tried to make it easy and clear to grasp onto invaluable edutainment material of the genres but I am aware of my naturaly confusing nature. What I am trying to say is that I am obligated to speak to the world yet must leave room for speculation, doubt and concern or face the consequences of being right all the time. That is either just no fun or simply way too much for the women and children. Hence, without Tommy Funderburk there would have never been a Joseph Williams, a Bobby Kimball, a John Wetton, a Max Bacon, or even a Michael Bolotin (Bolton) etc.
Alrighty then, here we have the legendary and most sought after session/background vocalist in nearly 30 years finally getting his props thanx to the wonderfully tasteful team of Fabrizio V. Zee Grossi and Serafino Perugino over at Frontiers records in Italy. Handpicked by David Foster in the early eighties to front Airplay, then establishing himself as the voice behind many of the voices of the classic rock hall of fame including Brad Delp, David Coverdale, Jon Anderson and many many others over the years, Mr. Tommy Funderburk proudly presents his debut solo album. Honestly, an album almost thirty years in the making as Tommy guides us through a fine collection of solid melodic AOR tracks. Highly recommended for fans of Lou Gramm, Coverdale, a little JLT, Boston, Journey, especially with yet again the genious fingers of Fabrizio Grossi twisting the knobs. The mix and production quality is flawless and sonically superb which is something I have come to expect and appreciate with all Frontiers releases.
Tommy opens his heart during the opening of the album with a smooth mid tempo soft rocker, "Learning How to Love" that immediately sets the spirit of the record. Each song flows into another like Tommy's golden throat flying over his hooky choruses. My personal fav, the title track "Anything For You" displays what I think Tommy is all about. He is a truly natural vocalist with so many years and credits behind his name tis a shame no one knows who the hell I am talking about. Tommy Funderburk is a singers singer. Every note is pleasing to the ear and thankfully he has done justice by releasing a consistent collection of tunes. Think of the smooth high's of Brad Delp mixed with the breathy passion of David Coverdale and throw in some well crafted radio ready rock AOR and you have a contender for best AOR record of the year already. Other stand out tracks include "Remember Our Love", "Only You Can Give Me", "To Say You Love Me", and even the heavier edged "You Got the Love" with its tribute to Zeppelin's Stairway outro falsetto vocal melody.
With his hands involved in the writing of eight out of the ten songs, Tommy assembled a great songwriting team with the support of AOR legends Bruce Gaitsch, Greg Mathieson and Michael Thompson. His approach is effortless and as a vocalist reviewing another vocalist I cannot help to feel unworthy of even critiquing him in any way. For fans of traditional and classic power pop love songs this is the album of the year. For fans of production techniques being utilized the way they should be this is the album to learn from. And for fans that take chances on trusting my taste in quality this is the album that will not leave your rotation for quite awhile. It contains a sonically emotional mood that only Fabrizio Grossi has been able to capture, rising above all others in the rock/metal genre in the last ten years.
I rate this album 10 "finallys" out of 10
--Jonah Haze 06.12.05
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