The Michael Thompson Band – Future Past

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Review by Lisa Nash

The fact that you don’t know the name is not surprising but I am sure you will have heard some of his guitar work. This is the 2nd incarnation of the band, led by Michael Thompson, session player to the greatest names in music. The first album was released in 1989, “How Long”, and was re-released in 2007, leading the way at last for the follow up.

The band are currently, Alan Berliant (Bass), Khari Parker (drums), Michael Thompson (Guitars/keys) & Larry King on vocals.

For style of music think Toto, Mr Big, 10CC and classic 80’s AOR/soft rock. Guitar laden songs of love, rich in sounds and polished production.  Michael Thompson has worked with a wide range of artists, Cher, Madonna, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Neil Diamond, Michael Bolton, Mariah Carey and Michael Buble to name just a few. His film/Tv scores include Miami Vice and Fame, a session guitarist in demand, no wonder he has only just had time to make a second album. He has worked solidly since 1975, getting a deal with Geffen in 1988 and later moving label to Frontier.

As an album, there is a consistent level of musicianship through out, it is slick and the vocals from Larry King have a great range from soft tones to gravely, full of passion and highs & lows. The guitar work is luxurious, the songs comforting with rich textures and velvety vocals. The songs are uplifting, you could not feel down listening to this album, it’s the musical equivalent of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s night.

Tracks are High Times, Cannot be Right (1st single and a power ballad), Future Past (riff laden), When you Love Someone (which I was sure was a cover), Here I am, Beautiful Mystery, Break Me Down, End Game, Gypsy Road, Can’t Miss you 2012 (re-working of a track from the 1st album) & Fight for Your Life. There was a familiarity with some tracks, that made me wonder if they were actually covers or maybe some re-workings of tracks he had been involved in, but I could not access the liner notes to find out if this was the case. Characterised by deep thoughtful lyrics, this is a great example of the genre, and highly enjoyable.

Rating 8/10

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