Frontiers Records (2012)
One of the elite Los Angeles studio guitarists in the business, he’s performed with numerous pop, r+b, rock, country, Latin and metal artists through the 80’s and beyond. Teaming up on this record with Soleil Moon vocalist Larry King, bassist Alan Berliant and drummer Khari Parker, as well as a slew of keyboardist, bass and background vocalist guests, “Future Past” is a studio journey into the heavier side of AOR. Michael’s playing has elements of Neal Schon, Steve Lukather, and Gary Moore- especially in his attention to arrangement and note detail during engaging songs like “High Times”, the softer but still toe-tapping “Beautiful Mystery” and fierce title track.
Larry’s voice is smooth and comforting, very much in line with West Coast AOR a la Richard Marx. “Break Me Down” showcases almost an America side to his phrasing and multi-part harmonies, some of the chorus work remindful of the hit song “You Can Do Magic”. For a man in his late 50’s, Michael Thompson still has creativity, heart and playing ability firmly in his wheelhouse- “Future Past” contains this depth that most AOR records fail to attain.
Could be a dark horse when it comes to end of the year melodic rock/ AOR critic charts.
Rating: 4.5 / 6
Composed by Matt Coe