“Happiness Is The Road”
Frontiers Records (FR CD 531)
By Michael Popke
Toto may be inactive, but two of that band’s former vocalists recently released new albums. Bobby Kimball (of “Toto IV” fame) teamed up with ex-Survivor singer Jimi Jamison, while Fergie Frederiksen (from the “Isolation” era) took a break from his multiple collaborations to make a second solo album, “Happiness Is the Road.”
Unlike Kimball, Frederiksen’s voice is not immediately recognizable from his Toto years. Deeper and more reserved, it’s still a powerful weapon and belies the fact that the singer has struggled for years with Hepatitis C and in 2010 was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer. He came close to retiring from music.
But out of that suffering came renewed strength and this album’s title track, a feel-good tour de force of timeless AOR penned by Frederiksen and Jim Peterik. Other highlights include the upbeat Toto-like rockers “Angel (Mirror to Your Soul),” “Elaine” and “First to Cry.”
It’s hard not to root for this guy.