FM – Indiscreet 30 (2016) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

FM – Indiscreet 30 (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:17:40 minutes | 973 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © Frontiers Music s.r.l

30 years on from it’s original release, British Rock band FM have decided to record a modern-day version of their now classic debut album, Indiscreet The band was asked many times to consider re-recording some of these tracks using today’s modern technology and recording techniques to give the songs a makeover and now that wish has finally been granted. In addition to the re-recording of the original album, Indiscreet 30 also features seven bonus tracks including brand new song Running On Empty and a new recording of Let Love Be The Leader.

Indiscreet was originally released in 1986 and is one of the finest AOR albums you’ll find from a British band of the period. Unsurprisingly then, it has come to be something of a sacred classic among fans of the genre, making it extremely risky business for FM to decide to release a full re-recorded version to celebrate its thirtieth birthday.

Of course, the band are acutely aware of the significance of the record and have trodden carefully. A few minor tweaks aside, it’s essentially a carbon copy of the original in terms of the arrangements. Every riff, orchestra hit and dive-bomb is unchanged and in its rightful place, so you diehards can breathe easy: no major crimes have been committed. Sonically though, the album is supercharged: the guitars are crunchier, the keyboards are chunkier and the drums pound harder. This won’t be to everyone’s taste of course – part of the charm of the mid-eighties rock is in the thin, reverb-drenched production of the time – but the result is a record that’s brimming with energy, clarity and punch. This is no mean feat, as there is plenty of pep in the original release but this modern sound, while arguably less nuanced, suits the digital listening age and sees the material conforming to more current production trends.

One of the most striking things to note is in the lead vocals: Steve Overland’s voice has weathered phenomenally well. Although many of the tracks here are in a lower key – which contributes to a darker, tougher sound – it’s practically impossible to make a distinction between the Overland of 1986 and 2016. This is a boast that almost none of the frontman’s contemporaries can make.

The seven bonus tracks are a really mixed bag: there’s a noodly acoustic rendition of ‘That Girl’; a new ‘original’ version of the huge Ozzy Osbourne hit ‘Shot In The Dark’ (taken from 2012’s Only Foolin’ EP) which is of historical importance to the band (Steve and Chris Overland have never received credit for the track despite having co-written the song with Phil Soussan way back in their pre-FM days in the band Wildlife) and ‘Let Love Be The Leader’, a new recording of an archive track, likewise in keeping with the Indiscreet era. The band have chosen to add more recent material too, I guess to introduce fans of yore to the sound of present-day FM. So, also included is the brand new song ‘Running On Empty’; hard rocking ‘Love & Hate’; the feelgood ‘Bad That’s Good In You’ (from the 2014 Futurama EP) and the Bryan Adams-influenced ‘Rainbow’s End’ which blends the band’s melodic sense with the soul/blues sound they cultivated in the early 90s.

Indiscreet was only recently given the smart Rock Candy reissue treatment but some new liner notes for this release would have been really nice. Just a little something more than the perfunctory track listing and writing/production credits would seem in order, given the calibre of the music FM made then and have lovingly recreated now. That, and the slightly random nature of the bonus tracks, is my only real complaint. Indiscreet was a very big deal in 1986 (it secured them a support on the UK leg of Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet tour after all) and FM have brought it up to date, thirty years on, in a most respectful and quite delectable way.

01 – That Girl
02 – Other Side Of Midnight
03 – Love Lies Dying
04 – I Belong To The Night
05 – American Girls
06 – Hot Wired
07 – Face To Face
08 – Frozen Heart
09 – Heart Of The Matter
10 – Let Love Be The Leader [Bonus Track]
11 – Running On Empty [Bonus Track]
12 – Rainbow’s End [Bonus Track]
13 – Shot In The Dark [Bonus Track]
14 – Bad That’s Good In You [Bonus Track]
15 – Love And Hate [Bonus Track]
16 – That Girl (Acoustic Version) [Bonus Track]