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Q*Ball – Fortune Favors the Bald

Q*Ball - Fortune Favors the Bald

CD, Bald Freak Music, 2004

Q*Ball’s music is basically mainstream-friendly Pop. Rocking and very 90’s in feel but also markedly influenced by 80’s Synthpop with some winks to Funk and Disco from the 70’s. Maybe this doesn’t seem like a recipe for something very innovative but the end product sounds optimistically refreshing.
“Fortune Favors the Bald”, the second album from this NYC-based electro-pop musician, is one of those occasional gems of good music that proves that there is good, interesting pop music being made. Pop music that isn’t pretentious shallow tripe but that actually has some depth and feeling, as well as being uncompromising party music.
Despite the music being essentially electronic-based it is not “mechanical” at all and Q*Ball could well pass as a “normal” pop band. Not forgetting the importance of good mixing/mastering, there is obviously real talent here as far as programming and sequencing go. The music is further enriched by Bumblefoot’s guitar and bass guitar work.
From ballads to party tracks, Q*Ball’s conviction and enthusiasm permeate every track in this album. Lyrically, it is simple and direct without being simplistic, whether the songs deal with deep emotions or are “just” party tracks. An interesting feature of the lyrics is the very tongue-in-cheek “cult of the personality”, as there are a few songs markedly focusing on Q*Ball himself as a character and not just his opinions.
The vocals may not be exceptional but are quite adequate to the songs, making them extremely catchy (an important point in any Pop song) and surely don’t lack any feeling.
Picking individual tracks is a bit hard but there are a few that do stand out. “El Disco” comes to mind as the club anthem in this album closely followed by the title track. “Brock Thurmon, P.I” comes across as a bit of an oddball track (pun intended) but is somewhat interesting and very 90’s. Not immediate hits, completely Pop tracks tracks like “John Hughes” and “Showcase” are lso worthy of mention.
In a way, in addition to being good music, the whole ensemble of “Fortune Favors The Bald” has a certain teenage high-school “coolness” naiveté (if there ever was such a thing), a feeling and attitude like that of the 90’s cult TV series “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose” but with a bit more kick. “Coolness!”


— Miguel de Sousa

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