Shafer, Fred: Resistor
Fred Shafer is an American musician who has been compared with the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Joe Cocker. He has been around for a while, having toured extensively and has shared the stage with the likes of Journey, Kid Rock, Chuck Berry, Collective Soul, Goo Goo Dolls and others. There is no doubting Shafer is a hard working musician as he puts in 250 shows a year in the US alone. Resistor is his first full length album and was released on Oct. 5. His previous release was The Fred Shafer EP which I have not yet heard.
The music on Resistor is straight forward rock, pop and blues, seemingly a perfect match for AOR and his first single "Letting You Go" has garnered some commercial success. Joining the singer/guitarist are Derek Murphy on drums and Pete Iannacone on bass. Mixing was provided by Rob Burrell and production duties were held by Shafer and Jamey Perrenot.
Resistor has a total of twelve tracks, most of which deal with real life situations like lost love and everything else that life has in store for us, which many people will be able to relate to. There is a certain sincerity here as nothing seems contrived or fake. It's clear Shafer's heart is in the right place just don't expect anything groundbreaking. The songs are mostly slow to mid tempo pop/rock tunes and there are some pretty good melodies found throughout. Shafer has a pleasing enough voice, a little on the gritty side and I suppose comparisons could be made to Bruce Springsteen.
The album begins with a string of mid tempo love songs; "Letting Go", "Wish You Were Here" and "Why You're Gone", all featuring heartfelt lyrics with the latter adding strings which brings some warmth to the sound. You can expect more of the same throughout the CD although things get a little more interesting with the darker edged "Going Blind", the bluesy "Mama Said" and the gritty "Into The Ground". The album's second half is a little harder hitting with a more blues rock approach.
Whether or not these songs have any staying power will be up for you to decide. This is a pretty good disc of well-constructed bluesy melodic pop/rock that will mostly appeal to listeners of more radio friendly fare.
1. Letting You Go
2. Wish You Were Here
3. Why You're Gone
4. Stand Up
8. Going Blind
9. Into The Ground
10. Mama Said
12. Holdin' On
Added: October 11th 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
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