Escape Music [Release date 23.03.18]
‘Real Life’ was originally released back in 2003 by Drive, She Said the band who featured vocalist/guitarist/bassist Al Fritsch and keyboards wizard Mark Mangold. This album has been re-mixed in 2017 by Brian Anthony and Mark Mangold.
Why? Well as Mark Mangold explains “One of the favorite records we ever did is “Real Life” but the original release never sounded the way we wanted it to. It has the walls of vocals, and musicianship, and hopefully anthemic, and sometimes progressive, songs we enjoyed doing and I am ecstatic that we were now able to remix and release it the way it was meant to be. I am also happy that Al’s legacy is preserved as to listen to this record is to be surrounded by Al Fritch’s voice, playing and energy.”
If you are looking for pomp rock with some stunning vocals and keyboards ‘Real Life’ is an album you need in your collection, and if you already own a copy then this re-mix/re-master is well worth having as well. You get rock with ‘Overdrive’ where the vocals and guitars race along almost competing with each other, whilst ‘We Live For Love’ would have been all over MTV/radio has it been out in the mid-late ’80′s.
Listening to Al Fritsch’s vocals on ‘Silverwhite’, they still sound amazing all these years later and the new mix gives his singing a clearer sound. Simply stunning and then some. Then get out your air keyboards for the pomp rock of ‘Hold Me’, as the keys of Mark Mangold come crashing out of your speakers, wondrous sounds and music. The interplay between the guitar and harmony vocals on the outro of the song are blissful.
I loved this album when it first came out in 2003, back in the early days of Get Ready To Rock! and well done Escape Music and Mark Mangold for this re-mastered version. Essential for lovers of pomp/melodic rock. It is also a fitting tribute to Al Fritsch who died last year. ****1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
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