2018 release, independent.
Ted Poley – Vocals. Daniel Johansson – Guitars. Robin Eriksson – Bass, backing vocals, co-lead vocals on track 11. Mikael Jansson – Keyboards, programming, beat. Mats Eriksson – Drums, percussion, beats.
Artist location: USA (Poley), Sweden (Degreed).
4.5 out of 5 stars rating.
Reviewed by David.
- New World.
- Gypsy At Heart.
- Bury Me.
- Out Of Control.
- Running For The Light.
- What Kind Of Love.
- Devil To My Angel.
- I Know A Liar.
- Find Another Man.
One of the most genuinely nice guys in melodic rock is back and when I heard that Ted Poley was going to be releasing a new record I was ecstatic! I love the guy and could listen to him sing all day, and his last solo record, 2016’s ‘Beyond The Fade’, was my favorite thing he had ever done outside of Danger Danger. That record was followed up by the absolutely stellar Tokyo Motor Fist album. So I was pretty psyched to hear he had yet another record coming out so soon.
And then I heard it was more of a passion project for him that had been in the works for the last three years. My excitement plummeted because in my experience a lot of passion project albums tend to stem from the artist having a hair up their ass to really step outside of their known genre and style and try something really different. Ted also said that this was not his next official solo album, that will be releasing next year in 2019 from Frontiers Records.
However finding out it was going to be Ted and all of the guys from Degreed (Daniel Johansson, Robin Eriksson, Mikael Jansson and Mats Eriksson), I figured how far out there could the record actually be.
It was always an automatic buy for me regardless, it was Ted Poley and I will purchase his music without ever hearing a single note, so I placed an order for my copy.
Ted said that this is not really a solo album because it has been a group effort from everyone involved, so whether that was going to make this a Degreed record with Ted Poley fronting the band or a Ted Poley album with Degreed backing him or a new supergroup of sorts, I was not sure, but whatever it was, was it going to work?
Having no idea what to really expect, and frankly ready to be disappointed by a record that I thought was going to be a different style then we were used to from Poley, I popped the CD in the player and began to listen to it.
Immediately I realized I had been wrong in my thinking. Sure, there are some differences here and there in the sound and it does not sound like ‘Beyond The Fade’, but in general this sounds a lot like what you would expect from Poley alongside the more modern sensibilities of Degreed.
Oddly enough the record starts with what, in my personal opinion, is the weakest link of the record. ‘New World’ is hardly a bad song, but for me it just does not quite have the same strength that the rest of the songs on the album do.
‘Gypsy At Heart’, according to Poley, will soon have an accompanying music video releasing for it and they picked a good one for the first single. A great, upbeat track.
‘Bury Me’ is a great rocker and ‘Out Of Control’ is a nice, more mid-tempo track that take us to ‘Running For The Light’. The intro to this song has got to be the best musical piece on this album. I love it. One of my favorites of the record for sure.
The beat of ‘What Kind Of Love’ has a bit of a reggae flavoring to it, in fact the whole track has a little of that feel, but don’t let that throw you off because it a great song and it takes us into another of my favorites with ‘Time’ which has one of the catchiest choruses of the album, just an excellent song.
‘Devil To My Angel’ is a good rocker and next up is ‘I Know A Liar’ and it is probably the best song of the record, in my opinion. I love the chorus on this one! Just a great, hard rocking tune!
‘Find Another Man’ is a terrific upbeat track that also finds itself alongside my favorites off of the record.
‘Wilderness’ features Robin Eriksson on co-lead vocals with Ted. Obviously we all know Robin has a heck of a voice from his work with Degreed and he and Poley sound fantastic together! This one also features a short, but great, guitar solo.
So what can you really expect here? Well throw together a little Ted Poley, a little Degreed, a little more modern sounds then you typically get with Poley, a little modern melodic rock and mix in a little pop rock and you have ‘Modern Art’, a simply fantastic addition to Poley’s catalogue and to your music library.
Ted sounds as phenomenal as always, I am not sure if his voiced has aged a day over the years! Just an amazing singer and guy all around, and as stated before, absolutely one of the nicest chaps there is.
All of the Degreed guys sound absolutely amazing, no surprise there as we all know what they are capable of, and they have given Poley a heck of a record here.
I won’t lie and say that every song here was an instant love for me, in fact a couple of them were a slow burn and took a little to grow on me, but one of the signs of a great album is its ability to continually grow on you, and this is one that definitely has, and continues to. I love it more with every spin of the disc and it has hardly left my player since I received it.
Ted Poley has very little music is his catalogue that I dislike and, for me, he has just started releasing his strongest non-D2 material recently. In three years we have gotten the sensational ‘Beyond The Fade’, the excellent Tokyo Motor Fist and now the fantastic ‘Modern Art’ and to top that off, yet another new solo album coming in 2019! Poley has been a very busy man of late, rivaling Johnny Gioeli in the number of releases in such a short period of time. If the releases stay at this caliber than bring them on, I say! I love it! I love his voice, I love his attitude and I love his music!
Fans of Poley, Degreed or the more modern side of melodic rock need to get this one right away.
Available exclusively through Ted Poley’s website, so buy yours now before they are gone.
‘Gypsy At Heart’.
‘Running For The Light’.
‘I Know A Liar’.
‘Find Another Man’.