Monday, January 14, 2013

Album Review #2 - Craig Fuller Eric Kaz

What do all great albums need? While this can't ever have an exact answer, most will agree it will require a strong leader singing voice, memorable song writing, powerful lyrics, and a good sense of instruments. The "Fuller Kaz" album perfectly met these demands. After the failure of American Flyer's second album, "Spirit of a Woman", former members Craig Fuller and Eric Kaz took off and the band split. The two would go on to make the best, but lowest charted, portion of their career. Anyone that has had the pleasure of hearing this album will understand the greatness. Craig's powerhouse vocals being sung to the lyrics of Eric will truly bring joy to anyone. While it is a duo project, Fuller got the nod when it came to singing, with his voice on 7 tracks and Eric's on two. The songwriting was the exact opposite with Eric getting the lead. The album opens up with a Craig Fuller written track called "Feel That Way Again". It perfectly suits his vocal quality, and by the 2nd listening, you'll be singing along with the harmony vocals. The next track is the Kaz classic "Cry Like A Rainstorm". Which has been recorded by other great artists such as Bonnie Raitt and Linda Ronstadt (Who actually went to Craig for help on recording the track on her 1988 album "Cry like A Rainstorm, Howl Like The Wind!") The song is an extremely powerful track, and one of the highlights of the album. The next track is one of two tracks Kaz sang, "You Take A Heart". It's a nice soft one, weaker than most of the tracks, but nothing lower than the "Okay" range. Following is "Let The Fire Burn All Night". Probably  one of the less memorable songs, it has a campy feeling, but it doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the album. "Till You Come Back" follows and it gets the ball rolling, it has a bit of a generic 70s feel to it, but none the less it's impossible to go wrong with Eric's writing and Craig's singing. The next track is the only single spawned from the album, "Annabella", written by both Fuller and Kaz, was the song that received the most attention. It's a lovely little piece, and Craig's vocals are smooth all the way through. Proceeding ahead, Eric's vocals appear on the record for the last time, and he wouldn't have his singing on a album for another 24 years. He sings "The Ways Of A Woman", most defiantly the weakest track, the fire from Kaz's first tracks seems to have dimmed some, but sparks were still visible. "Fool For You", as track 8, has a nice rock and roll feeling, and follows a bit of the patterns of the opening track of the album. Restless Sea is the highest point of the album, the peak of the cliff, it's my favorite song that's been recorded. Eric's lyrics were to die for, as well as Craig's voices. The album then ends with a string reprise of Annabella. The reprise idea was originally cooked up by George Martin for the first collaboration of Fuller and Kaz, but didn't succeed as well as it did here. Overall, the Craig Fuller Eric Kaz album is one of my favorite albums of all time. But why did it never receive the attention? Well, I can name a few reasons:

-Extremely Poor Advertising Campaign
-Released In The Center Of The Disco Era
-Hardly Any Copies (It's never good when there's more promotional copies than public release copies)
-Eric's vocals slightly weakened the album

Even though the album failed and put a end to the careers of two wonderful men in the music (Craig surfacing 14 years later in Little Feat) it showed what the two were capable of, and had it been given a chance, my guesses are it would have been extremely well acclaimed.


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