Ted Poley, initially the drummer in Prophet, gained great acclaim in the 1980s as the vocalist of Danger Danger. With the group he released a number of well received records featuring hit singles and videos, becoming fairly popular and successful as a result. But he has continued on over the years both with a solo career and records with other bands/projects. And he is certainly not done yet. In the past two decades, he has done everything from Danger Danger reunions, to music for the Sonic the Hedgehog video game series!
Beyond the Fade is the latest solo album from Poley, following Collateral Damage (2006) and Smile (2007). Like many of his contemporaries from this era, Poley has joined forces with Frontiers Records and producer/musician Alessandro Del Vecchio, who contributes drums and keyboards to the new album. Other musicians on the album include Anna Portalupi on bass and Mario Percudani on guitars.
I am definitely a fan of Poley’s music, though I would be lying if I said I owned or have heard every single thing he has ever played on. That said, I was certainly excited to hear what he was up to these days. It is interesting to see how many classic rockers are teaming up with Frontiers Records; the results are often staggering, and show us that these musicians are more than capable of holding their own in times that have not exactly been the kindest to classic hard rock/melodic rock/AOR artists. Frontiers has become a stable for these artists, and in many ways, resurrected their careers.
Having been out of the loop when it comes to Poley’s career for a while, I was eager to listen to a new release from him. Would this be something similar to the Danger Danger classics, or something totally different? Danger Danger released some great raunchy hard rock hits back in the day and their share of power ballads, but Beyond the Fade takes a turn in a completely opposite direction, much more of a melodic/AOR release than sleaze/glam rock. Poley proves to be a master songsmith when it comes to these musical styles. Fans who want something harder and heavier may be disenfranchised by what they hear here, but those with an open mind who are curious to see what the Danger Danger frontman has been up to lately may find themselves pleasantly surprised by the end results here! You get a nice mix of guitar-driven AOR and slower, more melodic ballads on this release; the songs are diverse enough to keep your attention, yet work as a cohesive whole.
One thing worth mentioning is Poley’s vocals; this guy sounds just as good here as he did back in his 80s prime. Many singers from his era have voices that have not aged so well, but I can gladly say that he has apparently taken good care of his vocal chords, proving to everyone that he is no mere one trick pony. The backing band is superb as well, including Alessandro Del Vecchio, who you have heard on countless releases from Frontiers artists.
A surprising but impressive release, Beyond the Fade is a fantastic collection of melodic AOR-style rock, completely the opposite end of the spectrum from the sleaze Mr. Poley once made with Danger Danger. Longtime fans of Poley are strongly encouraged to check out this new release and see what he has been up to. Recommended!