There’s a sense of a welcoming, that an invitation has been extended to the opening track of the long awaited CD by the FORTUNATE ONES. “Solitary Sparks” builds to a full-throttle and introduces the listener to the key qualities explored, developed and achieved on “THE BLISS”. Themes of hope, reflection, desire and discovery are delved into with a positive conclusion often waiting somewhat knowingly at the path’s end.
“Wherever You Go” well represents the core message addressed throughout this pure pop/folk collection, a ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’/be true to yourself theme.
Late edition to the album, “Lay Me Down” might leave you thinking you’ve been swept back to Buckingham/Nicks debut with Fleetwood Mac with its hippie-blues element. It also provides a jolt to what is essentially a melancholy album.
“Without A Name” is one of the album’s finest tracks. The strings fill the melody with a nice balance of the lush and the delicate. Catherine Allan’s piano part is sweetly reminiscent of Neil Drinkwater’s work with Van Morrison; sounding like raindrops on a pond on a warm summer day.
“A Light Will Come” delivers one of those melodies so comfortable and sublime it sounds familiar… as if you’ve known it your whole life. Andrew James O’Brien gives us one of his finest vocal performances to date, nuanced and incredibly moving in a subtle manner, creating all the more impact as a result.
“I’d Wait For Anyone Who Would Wait For Me” is a catchy number penned by Mick Davis and serves up a pleasant tempo-shift before a pair of dirge-like tunes direct the listener to a more ponderous and reflective frame of mind. Catherine Allan’s ‘late vocals’ on this number is attractive and a technique often employed by THE BAND on some vintage classics.
A suitably pensive rendering of “Picture In A Frame”(Tom Waits) highlights the duos close harmonies.
In the true literary sense, “Oaks And Willows” is the most romantic of the album’s songs. Permeations of sadness adorn its theme, relatable and effective.
“Someday Love” is certainly one the strongest tracks; a shuffling mid-tempo number with a McCartney-esque change, jaw-dropping in its beauty and weightlessness while the title track, “The Bliss” is another highlight piece; a Paul Simon like percussive-driven tune, beautifully arranged and a message particularly potent and resonant for the young at the journeys start.
The blue note laden “Carry On” is a poignant song, a gentle cathartic-anthem that fittingly closes this most promising album.
FORTUNATE ONES are one of the key acts to hear, watch and follow from Newfoundland And Labrador.