Label: Escape Music 2011
Review by Alan Holloway
With the pedigree of F.M and Heartland behind them, it was always clear that the two Steves, Overland and Morris, would come up trumps with their Shadowman project, and thankfully haven’t dropped the ball with this, their fourth album.
With the reliable paws of Tommy Denander once more at the desk, and aided and abetted by Thunder alumni Chris Childs and Harry James, Shadowman are everything you could really want from a British melodic rock act. The obvious attraction here are the ever incredible vocals of Steve Overland, who croons his way through the pleasantly upbeat album, sounding as good as he did way back in the stone age when F.M were starting out. Whereas Steve Morris is undeniably a talented player, he doesn’t throw too many imposing shapes here, just keeping things going and pulling off solos as required, rather than shoving them down the listeners throat.
Although at times guilty of treading water, when “Watching Over You” hits high gear it delivers some amazing songs that will stay on your personal play list for years to come. My favourite track has to be “Suzanne”, which is a very upbeat, insanely catchy track, and there’s a top class semi ballad in the shape of “Stop Breaking This Heart Of Mine” that really allows Overland to shine. “Are You Ready” and the title track also contain killer hooks, with Overland bringing that extra bit of class to proceedings, turning good tracks into great ones.
Ultimately, this album should be utterly adored by fans of FM, and to a lesser degree Heartland. No barriers are broken, but it’s such a clean, catchy, bouncy piece of work that it’s impossible to dislike it. For me, this is certainly the best Shadowman album so far, and a must have for British AOR fans.