Rock Eyez Webzine
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Rock Eyez Webzine

Ted Poley - Collateral Damage
Ted Poley
Kivel Records
Collateral Damage
4.5 stars

This one’s been a LONG time comin’! Early this year, one of THE best AOR albums I have heard in years was released… and that album is Ted Poley’s “Collateral Damage.” The brain child of his partner Vic Rivera and, of course, Ted himself, “Collateral Damage” took over a year and a half in the making… but definitely worth the wait as this album delivers a powerful AOR punch that NO AOR fan should be without.

From start to finish, “Collateral Damage” is an absolute triumph and Ted’s vocals never sounded better. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… it is so refreshing to actually see an artist mature over the years and this is very true of Ted Poley. From his glory days back in DANGER DANGER (when the music was simple and the typical lyrical content was the familiar “80’s” theme of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll) till the more intricate, well-written and brilliantly arranged music he is putting out today, Poley has definitely come a long way. Not to say that the old themes don’t come out from time to time, but it’s delivered now in a way that really makes him shine like never before.

Joined by long-time friend and fellow DANGER DANGER band mate Andy Timmons on guitar for this one, “Collateral Damage” kicks right into high gear with a very DANGER DANGER-ish sounding “Yeah, You Want It.” This upbeat rocker is the perfect opener to this incredible release… followed closely by another solid toe-tapper entitled “Breathing Doll.”

“Curtain Call” is an absolute AOR classic! Mixing a solid rhythm and powerful, melodic chorus, “Curtain Call” actually gave me chills listening to it for the first time and provides one of Poley’s vocals on the release. It almost reminds me of HAREM SCAREM’s “Distant Memory”… if you’re familiar with that one. And if you’re not familiar with it, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???!!!??? This is hands down one of the best Ted Poley tracks I’ve ever heard… so far!

This brings us to the heaviest track on the CD, “Endgame.” This track is a bit harsher and edgier than the other tracks on the release but still maintains that solid, melodic chorus Poley is known for as well as some awesome guitar work and a very impressive guitar solo.

Next we come to “Maybe” which is very comparable to that of “Curtain Call.” Not that they sound similar, but this is just another AOR classic featuring another amazing vocal on Poley’s part and a phenomenal solo compliments of FIREHOUSE’s Bill Leverty. I can’t get over the fact that this song isn’t being cranked out on radio stations from coast to coast. It almost reminds me a little bit of DEF LEPPARD in a way… and I mean that as a HUGE compliment. Next to “Curtain Call,” “Maybe” is definitely one of my favorite tracks on the CD and again, one of Poley’s best performances to date.

“Good Enough” reverts a bit back to that DANGER DANGER sound but includes some strong, keyboard over-tones which almost remind me of a mid-80’s John Waite sound and chorus. “Hero Falling” follows this up with its upbeat melody and just a hint of a “blues” groove to it… almost comparable to that of some early VAN HALEN.

“Let Go” is “Collateral Damage’s” true ballad. It has some very sweet, sentimental lyrics combined with a nice, melodic rhythm but it’s Poley’s vocals, which captivate you and really push this song to a whole other level.

Finally rounding off and wrapping up the release are “Heads Up (Look Out Below)” and “Rise.” Two more solid AOR hits featuring some nice vocal harmonies and have that HAREM SCAREM feel to them… but then again, why shouldn’t they? As Vic Rivera shares his guitar duties with none other than HAREM SCAREM’s own Pete Lesperance on these couple of tracks.

What a release! “Collateral Damage” is Ted Poley and AOR at its best! If you are a fan of AOR or melodic rock, you NEED this CD in your collection and the best place to get it is straight from the source at Ted Poley’s homepage where, upon request, Ted will personally autograph it for you. Now that’s a bargain!

Congratulations Ted, Vic and everyone else who helped make this album what it is… PURE AOR GOLD! Can’t WAIT to hear the next POLEY/ RIVERA project due out in the spring!

Band Lineup:
  • Ted Poley  - Lead Vocals, guitar
  • Vic Rivera - Guitars, bass, drums
  • Mike Ledesma - Backing vocals
  • Bill Leverty - additional guitar
  • Andy Timmons - additional guitar
  • Pete Lesperance - additional guitar
  • Xavier Paladin - additional guitar
  • Kenneth Kristiansen - additional guitar


Track Listing:
  1. Yeah, You Want It
  2. Breathing Doll
  3. Curtain Call
  4. Endgame
  5. Maybe
  6. Good Enough
  7. Hero Falling
  8. Let Go
  9. Heads Up (Look Out Below)
  10. Rise


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