Les Fradkin - 'Together'
Reviewed by Vai Thomas
It's widely known that some songs are recorded years before they're actually released. For instance, Prince's "Moonbeam Levels" was recorded in 1982 but only came out in 2016 after Prince passed away. Similarly, Bob Dylan's "Blind Willie McTell" was recorded in 1983 but didn't see the light of day until 1991. What's less discussed is how well these songs fit into the musical landscape of their respective times. Several factors come into play here. This could include things like re-mixing and re-mastering, the timeless quality of the music itself in terms of its themes, arrangement, and performance, or sometimes just waiting for the perfect moment to release the song. In the case of waiting for the right moment, it often requires a lot of dedication and effort. Artists need to pour their heart and soul into the music, honing their skills to create something that will resonate with audiences well into the future. This brings us to the story of Les Fradkin's latest release titled, 'Together'.
Written and produced by Les and Loretta Fradkin as part of his album ‘Reality – The Rock Opera’, and in the key of D Major, "Together" is pop-rock rendered with gusto and effortless swagger; it could essentially be termed stadium rock. Written and recorded a whopping twenty years ago but released only now, the number is yet again a testament to how, thanks to the lyrical themes in particular, it stood the the test of time. As stated in the title, "Together" is an ode to the all-encompassing benevolence accomplished by humanity being at one: a social anthem. The time between making a song and releasing it really affects how people see it. This is because it can be made better by good sound quality, well-played and arranged instruments, and of course, meaningful lyrics. And when the lyrics are straightforward, like "There’s no winning, beginning, if we’re still sinning" or "Cruising not choosing, everybody’s losing," then the number, free from puzzling metaphors, is more likely to resonate down the road. Les has clearly captured part of humanity's struggle. And the immense attention-retentive capacity the topline possesses (the topline is comprised using the first five notes of the D Major scale) means yet another triumph designed to involve audience participation, à la stadium rock repertoire. Fradkin takes it upon himself to spearhead the song with his relatable vocals infused with an earthy vibrato. Les's has a sense of humility that thankfully ensures that this song never comes across as too woke or preachy. Superbly aided by the sound of the other instruments including a 12-string bass, acoustic guitars, drum, and his signature synth brass sound. And the backing vocals, rendered by Amber Gomez and Keri Smith Salazar, do their part in rendering a contemporary sound to this rock anthem.
At a duration of four minutes and twenty-six seconds, "Together" is a winning example of the timelessness of music married to purpose and the way it can transcend time, thanks to the relevance of its themes and the profound heart it possesses, and – never least of all – the demonstration of brilliant songwriting combined with genuine passion.
Les Fradkin is a highly accomplished artist known for his contributions to the world of music as a Producer, Composer, Midi Guitarist, Multi-Instrumentalist, Vocalist, and One Man Band. With a career that includes a role in the Broadway show "Beatlemania" and collaborations with iconic bands like The Ventures, Les Fradkin continues to be a prominent figure in the music industry. His accolades include multiple awards from Akademia and Indie Music Channel, as well as recognition from the Television Producers Music Production Hall of Fame. Website: Les Fradkin Official Website