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Ted Poley
Smile
Frontier Records
2007
AOR
Dave Felix
www.tedpoley.com
www.myspace.com/tedpoley
Rating:
4.5 stars

Ya know, between Ted Poley and Joe Lynn Turner releases I am really starting to get pissed! Neither one of these guys are giving me much to grow on as far as my reviews go because they just keep putting out quality releases! I should have started off giving 2’s or 3’s so I would have something to build on! So, here we are again and the new Ted Poley release “Smile” is no different. This is just another great, great release by one of the best in the business, Ted Poley.

The album wastes no time kicking it into high gear with “Waiting Line.” This melodic masterpiece is just a thrill to the ears with its high-powered harmonies, compelling rhythm and solid chorus all in typical Poley fashion, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

The next track, “Going Blind,” is Poley at his absolute best. The arrangement is a harmonic jewel as Poley belts out one of his finest vocals ever. Plain and simple, a perfect song worthy of a place in the all-time melodic-rock archives.

The title track “Smile” is up next. With its almost epic-like chorus, potent melody and sharp, eloquent guitar features, it won’t take the listener long to realize that his writing partner and friend Vic Rivera had more than a hand in this one. If this song is any indication of what the Poley/ Rivera release is going to be like, you may just squeeze that perfect 5 out of me yet!

“What If She Knew” is another up-beat rocker featuring some impressive guitar work and solos compliments of the multi-talented Mr. JK Northrup. Then “More Than Goodbye” is an 80’s-ish sounding power ballad which builds to another competent guitar solo before finally softly fading out with some nice, gentle acoustic guitar compliments.

“Luv on Me” is one of the heavier tracks on the release that really turns the whole tempo up a couple of notches while “If I Can’t Change Your Heart (Then Let Me Blow Your Mind) still keeps your blood pumping with some nice harmonies and a chorus that soars through your speakers in almost anthem-like proportion.

“Why Can’t We Pretend That It’s Over” almost has the feel of a mid-80’s summer time rocker with its up-beat, high-energy rhythm you can imagine cranking from your cars stereo as you’re cruising down a beach somewhere. Shifting gears, “Life Keeps Spinning Me Round” shows Poley’s harsher side and provides Ted the opportunity to shed his normal, powerful, melodic voice for a more grungier, almost angry vocal. Why Ted? Why? Stoppit!… you’re scaring me!

Getting back to normal, “Where It Ends” is “Smile’s” ballad and delivers another spectacular vocal. Without warning, Poley once again captivates you and tugs at your heart-strings with all the soul and passion he can muster as the smooth, soothing guitar work enhances all the feeling and emotion behind the lyric.

Another powerful chorus and edgier melody are the bench marks of “Will Ya” and… you guessed it, this track just screams Vic Rivera and/ or that ADRIANGALE style. And finally rounding off “Smile” is an impassioned reprise of “If I Can’t Change Your Heart.” Only this time, Ted’s vocals are backed by some soft, intelligent piano enhanced by a moving keyboard accompaniment giving this arrangement (compliments of Eric Ragno) almost the feel of a small orchestra backing him up.

Ted Poley’s first release on Frontiers Records is simply another gem in the crown of this amazing artist. Shortly after I received “Smile,” Ted himself asked me what I thought of the record. At the time, I said that I liked “Collateral Damage” better but now, after the umpteenth listen, it’s really a tough call… and I gave “Collateral Damage” 4.5 out of 5 stars! So at this point, since our rating system doesn’t allow for fractions, I would have to say that “Smile” would have to be somewhere in the ballpark of a 4.35 and STILL a MUST HAVE for any AOR or Ted Poley fan.


Band Lineup:
  • Ted Poley – Lead & Backing Vocals, Keyboards on “Where It Ends”
  • JK Northrup – Guitars, Bass
  • Danzoid – Drums & Percussion
  • Eric Ragno – Keyboards
  • Vic Rivera – Additional Guitar & Backing Vocals on “Smile” and “Will Ya”
  • Gary Corbet – Keyboards on “More Than Goodbye”

 

Track Listing:
  1. Waiting Line
  2. Going Blind
  3. Smile
  4. What If She Knew
  5. More Than Goodbye
  6. Luv On Me
  7. If I Can’t Change Your Heart (Then Let Me Blow Your Mind)
  8. Why Can’t We Pretend That It’s Over
  9. Life Keeps Spinning Me Round
  10. Where It Ends
  11. Will Ya
  12. Reprise (If I Can’t Change Your Heart)

 

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