This is a great sunshine pop recording four years in the making. If you’re like me with a broad musical taste, and have to have some feel good pop along with your avant garde and other genres, then this is for you. Simply timeless 70's inspired wonderful pop with ultra great hooks. Frederick gets in and out of each song quickly and leaves you wanting more. The tunes are shiny perfect pop packages written and played by the collaborating team of Frederick Herrmann and Chris Leggerie. Frederick played in a band called Zendogs (CD was called ‘White Elephant’) back in 1997 that had a 70's hybrid power pop and Tom Petty sound. In fact, Stan Lynch, drummer for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, played drums on three tracks of that recording. On that release, you can clearly hear how great a pop song writer Frederick is. Nothing is wasted, and every note is confirmed. Later in 2007, he put out The Freddy Herrmann Project (self titled) as an EP which was a great bridge between Zendogs and ‘Fairytailmuzik’.
‘Fairytailsmuzik’ is so packed with irresistible music. The details in each song are incredible. There are so many layers of instrumentation and levels of aural pleasure. It’s dripping with nostalgia in the best way possible with lots of Beach Boys, Queen. 10CC, Pilot, and then has more modern touches with fantastic production and execution of the compositions, not far from an occasional Alan Parsons Project nod. In short, you get stunning heavenly lush sunshine soaked music of the 60's and 70's, that makes you feel great. Freddy says he was heavily inspired by Brian Wilson’s ‘Smile’ which you can hear his tribute to this on track 2 (“Shine”) with the ending echoes of the word smile. You’ll note a few spot on Brian May/Ian Bairnson sound a like guitar leads in places too, much to my delight.
The first cut sucks you right into the innocent sparkling summer lush pop of yesterdays. Although this is a short disc at just 30 minutes, it has nine songs that somehow feel like much more. In other words, you do not walk away feeling like you only heard a half hour of music. That’s because Chris and Freddy make every note mean something. Freddy says in his bio that he wanted to make a record that was in the top ranks of experimental pop and one that would be like your best friend. He accomplished this in spades. The subtle touches are what you can easily miss if you are listening any other way but totally focused on this music.
The last cut (track 9) ‘Reach’ has a hook that melts you. “Love Makes Love” is the power phrase that takes this masterpiece to it’s conclusion. Total perfection! Herrmann’s songsmithing is supreme. Everything is flawless from the multi layered vocals to the multitude of instruments used throughout the work (flute, mellotron, harpsichord, strings, horns, organs, acoustic and electric guitars, tubular bells, tympani, finger snaps, drum set, hordes of keyboards, tambourine, effects, claps, lots more percussion and endless layers of other instrumentation). The arrangements are astounding with the blood, sweat and tears it took to orchestrate this project. You truly need to listen to this on great headphones to appreciate and catch all the smart almost elusively placed additions amongst all the tunes. Some are so crafty I had to listen several times to absorb all the amazing things going on in this magical music. Now when I want an instant feel good record, this is it! Brilliant and bright! And yes, it is like a best friend.
I love this recording and it certainly gets my vote for one of the easiest to go back and listen to over and over again in my entire collection. I’d love another one just like this one from Mr. Herrmann but he told me he’s got a more introspective and lower key project in mind for the future. Whatever it is, I’ll be eagerly waiting. He’s a huge talent and I don’t say that lightly. FULLY & FULLY RECOMMENDED.
Reviewed by Lee Henderson on June 18th, 2013