Review: The Furious Seasons Release Full Length "My Love Is Strong"
65%Overall Score

The Furious Seasons’ new record “My Love is Strong” is a thirteen track folk and Americana-themed release. David Steinhart and his brother, bassist Jeff, join drummer/producer Bob Gannon and new addition Eric Marin (keys/piano) to complete The Furious Seasons lineup. With “My Love Is Strong”, David Steinhart works with a large cast of Los Angeles-based veteran musicians to create what has been called his “most varied set in his over twenty albums”. Guest appearances include Stuart Pearson (Through the Woods), Tyra Juliette (Jeff Lynne, Demi Lovato) and Lee Thornburg (Tower of Power, Supertramp). The album was recorded at Pacifica Studios and produced by drummer Bob Gannon. Enjoy our review of “My Love Is Strong” by The Furious Seasons in full below.

‘Southern Night’ opens The Furious Seasons’ thirteen track record “My Love Is Strong” with multipart vocal harmonies. From its inception, ‘Southern Night’ is fine-tuned, with fast-moving verses punctuated by breaks in instrumentation. The vocals are performed excellently and the bass movement in the choruses works extremely well. This is an excellent, enjoyable interpretation with an old-time feel, likable lyrics and an all-around pleasant chorus. The instrument performances are impressive and the song structuring is intelligent, with each of the different tones of the included instruments purposeful. 10926217_10153267785631412_4802589227034003903_nThere are harmonies all the way through, too; the song builds and builds till its close, with the phrase ‘Southern Nights’ being reinforced over and out. ‘Understood’ again features group vocals and is welcoming and familiar, almost calming at moments. The feel-good verse contains a bit of intrigue and mystery and has a relaxed, folky-feel. Additionally, the instruments really do a good job of connecting in the choruses, and expertly performed vocals play out over an ever-developing storyline. The bass play in the choruses is stellar, too. The second verse develops and expands on the first verse with outstanding performances; all the vocal parts work very well together and the song is produced well. The sound is full and huge, yet subdued in a way vocally. It really feels like this song is straight out of another time, something from the past. ‘Perfectly’ is an acoustic-led song with lots of room reverb and a very raw feel. The lyrical content is extremely deep and revelatory within the first minute of the song; there is a ton of open space here as well. The song is basic in that it doesn’t develop all too much, yet it is pleasantly peaceful and unchanging. ‘Fooled By The Bottle’ is a full band number, faster, with a Vivace groove and basic introduction. Steinhart’s vocal tone is the highlight early on; the song is symbolic, lyrically, and the first two verses are especially very well-written. The chorus lyrics also work well; the song is solid, and while it doesn’t astound, it delivers a consistent, predictable result. ‘Summer Rain’ immediately draws listeners in with an outstanding intro that creates a ton of feeling and intrigue from the get-go. The song is wintry, forest-like and natural in tone and vibe; its beautiful introduction opens like a blank canvas, offering so many places for the song to go. There are so many things working here: the background vocals are on point and have great feeling and the piano play is beautiful. There is, though, the inclusion of a second set of drums intermittently, drums which are mixed differently and don’t fit very well with the present drum beat and theme. This is in addition to a somewhat lackluster vocal performance which makes it tough to feel the song’s emotion in full. ‘Summer Rain’ is produced extremely well aside from the aforementioned oddity and contains a nice, smart ending which could’ve almost been implemented as a transition between sections within the song; at its current stage it leaves more to be desired.

Steinhart’s bass slides in on ‘Bad Man’ and continues to walk around during the introduction. A better vocal performance is given here overtop further basic instrumental performances; the song’s chorus, where Steinhart speaks about a woman who has wronged him, and for her, against his own desires, he will be bad, makes things interesting within this relaxed recording. ‘Full Disclosure’ has a totally new, up-tempo reggae-like feel complimented by outstanding horns parts throughout. Steinhart is again revelatory within the first minute; the song is closed wonderfully with beautifully-performed, enthusiastic vocal repetitions. Steinhart’s doubling of the riffs towards the end phrases of each chorus was also tasteful. However, the drums sounded robotic (tone-wise) and the electric guitar’s tone was much too saturated and tough to distinguish within the mix. ‘Valentine’, Steinhart’s ode to the holiday, follows. 

Mildly captivating is the storyline, which continues to develop and deepen over the song’s runtime. While Steinhart’s vocals are performed well here, the song doesn’t go anywhere (musically-speaking). The title track enters with the full band in from the beginning, a piano hammering away the melody, the bass bouncing along with the drums and beginning to run into the verse. Lead vocals are echoed out at the close of the phrases with great amounts of emphasis. Each instrument is performed well; Steinhart’s bass play here is especially fantasticThis is the track that I’ve been waiting to hear all album. The groove is here, the production is here, and the performance of the instruments is here. This recording was mixed more finitely and has a more active, higher quality sound. The guitar solo works perfectly for the song, as do the group harmonizing vocal parts toward its close. ‘Here’ then enters with piano and strings. An acoustic guitar is present, but very quiet; this allows the band to create interesting background instrumentation and elements of production behind the vocals. The song begins to build after two minutes in, suspense created as different instruments and parts fight to hold back, before a voicemail plays during a lyrical break. The songs returns to its former stage, dynamically, before an unaccompanied piano plays the song out.

‘Want Me Too’ is bouncy, with an island-y vibe, though it lacks tightness between the instruments, and as a result the feel isn’t there. As we’ve come to expect on this album, the chorus vocals here are again accompanied beautifully; in addition, the guitar parts in choruses are outstanding. ‘Wind Blown’ follows, and a slower, softer groove is set by Gannon. The vocal parts are performed very well in the first verse and again wonderful accompanying vocals are included in the choruses. Steinhart’s vocal parts even have a sense of frailty to them before female vocalists close the song soulfully. ‘Soft Landing’, the closing number, was the second-most impressive track on the album behind the title track; set at a great tempo, the song is very likable overall and features outstanding production. Intelligent guitar parts tease listeners in the verses and Steinhart’s vocal parts are performed well. The song continues The Furious Seasons’ trend of group vocal parts, too. The song is extremely appealing, somewhat familiar and a promising way to close the album, an album which had an immense amount of potential that was unfortunately not fully developed on. These songs are aptly named; Steinhart doesn’t hold back much from listeners, lyrically or performance-wise. Most of the songs are basic, musically, without too much movement or diversion from verse to verse and chorus to chorus. Even so, the band, at times, isn’t as tight (especially on ‘Bad Man’), rhythm and time-wise, as they should be. Structurally, the vast majority of the songs featured on “My Love Is Strong” adhere to a strict process, one that is stuck to almost religiously throughout the album. As a result, many of the songs featured on “My Love Is Strong” are somewhat predictable. Oppositely, though, the vocal harmonies and group vocal parts included throughout the album are without-question the highlights of the songs. Songs like ‘Southern Night’, the title track and the closing number are phenomenal, fully-realized examples of what the group is capable of and showcase dexterity and development. The other songs, while prime examples of Steinhart’s songwriting ability, do little to overtly impress performance-wise and overall leave more to be imagined and expected.

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