Fiction Family - Fiction Family Reunion as reviewed in Phantom TollboothThis collection is well written, performed, engineered and worth many a listen.

Fiction Family Reunion
Artist: Fiction Family
Label:  Rock Ridge Music
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Duration:  10 tracks, 36:39
Fiction Family Reunion, the second offering by Fiction Family, shows consistency and growth. With co-founders Jon Foreman of Switchfoot and Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek taking turns at song writing and vocals the album takes emotional turns by the song without losing direction or the listener’s attention. Again, the LP’s collection has something to offer to all in that Foreman and Watkins bring their backgrounds of folk and pop in this self-produced, close-to-the-heart work.

With a Beatles-like beat, “Avalon” gives us the meaning of the word in music – ‘a paradise to which Arthur is carried after his death’. Solid lyrics and a great segue to an acoustic guitar lead prove “Guilt” is one of the better relationship songs on vinyl today. “Up Against the Wall” holds heartache’s turn with lyrics ‘Love is a puzzle which can’t be solved…up against the wall’.

“Give Me Back My Girl” is upbeat with hot ‘clapping’ percussion; the song snaps and boils against Foreman’s ever-smooth vocals. With ‘I am damaged and I don’t want you to know’, “Damaged” tells of the singer’s secret to their lover with dream-like lyrics and solid lead guitar. In “God Badge “ a toy-like piano gives way to deep, passionate bass and lyrics, ‘Put your God badge down, and love someone.’

From slow and mellow with “Never Call”, to fast and hillbilly country-like with “Just Rob Me”, or from light and comical with “Reality Calls” to a sorrowful story of a friend lost to poor lifestyle choices in “Fools Gold”, Reunion shines with diversity.

As a collection, the ten offerings stand on their own. The first six offer something unique with energy and emotion. The final four offer a little comedy with a smile or sadness with tear. All told this collection is well written, performed, engineered and worth many a listen.

Scott S Mertens


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