Track Listing
Real Life (1)
We Live For Love
What's It Gonna Take? (2)
Silver White
Find Your Place
All Your Heart
Hold Me
When Will It Be Love?
How Can I Be Sure?
Always And Forever (Godz)
Believe (3)

(*) Best Tracks

Drive She Said
Drivin' Wheel
Road To Paradise
Real Life

Buy it if you like:
Terry Brock - Back To Eden
The Sign
Drive She Said
Real Life
Frontiers Records FRCD 140
Produced By: Mark Mangold & Al Fritsch
Running Time: 63.07 Release Date: March 24
Released: EU Genre: AOR
WebLink: Indigo LabelLink: Frontiers

Keyboard maestro Mark Mandold has reunited with his partner in crime Al Fritsch for a new Drive She Said record.
This is the guy's first in several years, if you leave out the Road To Paradise Best Of, which was one of Frontiers Records' first releases.
Drive She Said have always been a very 80's keyboard/AOR based act, with their music drenched in Mangold's masterful piano/keyboard and organ tones and Fritsch's naturally melodic vocals.
A re-union of the duo for a new album should therefore capture the legacy of what the band were previously loved for. And that is exactly why Real Life is a very good record. The guys pick up exactly where they left of, producing another album of 80's styled, keyboard driven power rock ballads, mixed with uptempo AOR.
But DSS were never a simple band - so many AOR acts keep things pretty simple. But with a songwriter like Mark Mangold even the simplest tune can take on another dimension. That's what gives the music of DSS extra impact. It's foundation lies in that well known formula for commercial 80's keyboard driven AOR, but the additional layers and hidden melodies that reveal themselves with each additional listen give the album a bigger impact and sense of originality.
They certainly have their own style. For that reason, any established fans of the band will love this comeback.
The opening track Real Life is a stunning mid-tempo AOR track. The opening vocals of Al Fritsch and the subtle keyboard riff make it an instantly memorable anthem, taking the listener back to the glory days.
Stronger is just as good. The song has a more uptempo and familiar feel, but those added dimensions keep you coming back for more.
We Live For Love is a classic power ballad and What's It Gonna Take lifts the tempo with a fine pomp filled feel good rock track.
The second half of the album is a little more diverse, which sees the band occasionally step a little outside their established boundaries.
Example of this can be found in Overdrive, which is a very rough and raw retro rocker; Hold Me, which is a very moody mid-tempo track and How Can I Be Sure and Always And Forever, which are both fairly epic and pompous in feel, relying on a more retro 70's feel than the 80's sound of much of the rest of the album.
The closing track Believe (a mid tempo feel good pop/rock ballad) sound like it could have been recorded for Chicago 18 - a great tribute the classic AOR sound many of us love.
It's a fairly long album for the genre it represents. A few songs clock in at over 5 minutes, which might just be pushing the musical limits of those tracks.

The Bottom Line
Above all things, the songs contained on Real Life are all very well written, contain all the necessary hooks, plus additional melodies that make repeat listening a pleasure.
The style may not appeal to all, especially as this isn't 1988, but on the basis of being familiar with what readers of this site like, I doubt anyone will be disappointed to hear that this is a classic AOR album, with a style from the past, but a heart from today.
Anyone who knows the band would have expectations and the band deliver on those in fine style.

Line Up
Al Fritsch: Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Mark Mangold: Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Jonathan Mover: Drums

Additional Ratings

AOR Heaven NEH Records Z-Roxx Loud 1 Hot Tracks Target Wishing Well Loud Metal Perris Rock Rarities

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