Fred Abbott “Serious Poke”
The name Fred Abbot may be vaguely familiar, as he was the lead guitarist and keyboard player in Noah & The Whale. If we’re honest, we weren’t initially a huge fan of that band, especially in their early blander, Mumford and Sons esque days. However, their last album, “Last Night On Earth”, with the gorgeous L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N single did catch our ear with its sunshine, more American pop feel.
Thankfully, opening song “Adrenaline Shot” quickly shows that Fred has kept that sound going on this release. Indeed he even calls a songs “Hollywood” to ram home the American flavoured feel to the sound of this album. Those songs are huge pop rock numbers, the sort of tracks that seem destined to be a big hit after they have appeared on a big, glossy, TV show soundtrack.
If ever there was an appropriate title to describe the songs on this album, then it’s “Funny How Good It Feels”. We expect that music snobs will initially have a pop at this album for being too much of a ‘commercial rock’ record. However, those of us who just enjoy great songs, with big choruses, will just want to sing and dance along to it.
A very clear reference point for the album is Tom Petty. Hell, when we heard the opening bars of “Awake” we had to check we hadn’t accidentally skipped to a Petty album! It’s a similar story on “One Hot Night” which shares the similar chugging guitar sound and beautiful melody. Hopefully, fans of his old band will move on with Fred. Certainly, “Honey” represents a natural progression from Noah’s more folk/country sound.
There’s a bit of added funk on “Learn About Love” which gives it an almost Maroon 5 feel. Indeed, “Lucky People” is the kind of big, slower paced number that has turned that band into global superstars (somehow?!?). Along with “Still Told A Lie”, these songs might be a bit mellow for rockers like us. We tend to prefer songs which are at least mid-paced, such as “Don’t Look Like Him”, a song that has the kind of anthemic sound we used to get from INXS in their pop prime.
We’re not sure that this album is ever going to appeal to the ‘cool kids’. However, if the songs did get on to the radio, then you sense that loads of people would love them. You just need to take them for what they are, great, commercial, catchy pop/rock numbers. Chances are that you will be singing along to them, whether you want to or not!!