CD Review: Jim Peternik "Forces At Play" 10/6/11
|October 6, 2011|
Review By: Darcella Curtis
“Forces at Play” is the follow up album to singer and songwriter, Jim Peterik's “Lifeforce” album. This 13 track album is a jazz compilation with rock, pop and soul undertones. Throughout the album, Peterik demonstrates his musical abilities on the guitar, percussion, keyboards and vocals. There is a lot of action in this album as it seems to change vibes from track to track.
The instrumental title track,“Forces at Play,” featuring Steve Cole (saxophone) and Chieli Minucci (guitar) sets the tone for the entire album, with its upbeat and toe-tapping tempo. Its catchy tune pulls the listener in making it easy to enjoy.
The second track immediately shifts tone to a sultry and soulful number, “S'all Good” with Mindi Abair (saxophone and vocals). As the singer says, “take it easy, take it slow...its all good.” Its very relaxing.
“Already Mine” featuring Sijay (vocals) and Steve Eisen (saxophone), picks up the tempo with this jazzy pop number. This is optimism at its finest, “you dont know it yet, but Baby you're already mine.”
The pace is again slowed down during the next few tracks, “Teach You Tonight” featuring Acoustic Alchemy (guitars) and Lisa McClowry (vocals), “Jazzy Lady” with Jessy J (saxophone) and Peterik (vocals); and, instrumental “Cassandra” with Mike Cichowicz (flugel and trumpet). These are not only more relaxing but are also soul searching in nature.
The most notable track for me from this album is “Homage,” featuring Marzette Griffith and Alex Ligertwood (vocals). “Homage” is a tribute to some of the greatest R&B musicians in history (Jackie Wilson, Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls, Stevie Wonder, Tammy Terrell, Philippé Wynne (Spinners), Smokey Robinson, and Michael Jackson). The lyrics say it all, this song gives “Homage to the footsteps and dance steps that paved the way.”
“Across the Miles”, a passionate song, featuring Lisa McClowry( vocals), Peterik and Jeff Carlisi (guitars).
“Slither,” a deep ballad, features Mindi Abair (saxophone) and Chieli Minucci (guitar)
“Every Way a Man Can Love a Woman” is a sentimental love song, featuring Peterik (vocals) and Nick Colionne (guitar).
Percussion oriented, “Talking Drum,“ with Peterik and Steve Oliver(vocals), is very aptly named as one can almost hear and feel the meaning of the drums.
“Luck is a Lady” features Peterik and Alex Ligertwood (vocals) and Mike Aquino (guitar).
The final track, “Look For Your Life” with Peterik and David Pack (vocals), has a soulful rhythm with an inspirational message. This “feel-good” track is an awesome way to complete any album.
With the exception, of “Homage”, on first listen, “Forces at Play” may not seem like an award winning album. But if you take the time to listen to the tracks and feel the music, I believe you will find that this entire album is heartfelt and just as “real” as they come. The songs have a serious meaning that we all can relate at any moment in time. It is because of this that I feel “Forces at Play” by Jim Peterik has the “staying power” to be quite successful, not just today but for years to come.
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