Before cable and non-traditional outlets did away with “appointment TV” Memorial Day weekend was traditionally the beginning of summer rerun season. As an homage of sorts to that practice, I’m doing a rerun from an artist I reviewed a couple months ago.
The Starman was the single I reviewed from Lord Sonny The Unifier, the unusually named group that I noted at the time had an upcoming album, one where I noted “you might correctly imagine this album would almost have been more at home dropping in 1979 than 2019.” I was correct in noting a mid-April release date for Final Notice! in that it came out April 12, 2019.
Had this album actually come out in 1979, though, there would have been compromises necessary which aren’t needed with today’s technology and music delivery process. For one thing, given Lord Sonny’s track lengths and vinyl record limitations, the 1979 album would have had a maximum of nine songs meaning two from this release would have been on the cutting room floor or saved for a single’s “B” side. (Yet another obsolete reference for anyone under 30; anyway, my candidates would have been Satellite Eye and Love Is On The Line.) This would have left the five four-minute songs for side 1 and the four longer songs for side 2.
Final Notice! is an interesting album in that there isn’t one great good song that sticks out, particularly when you get past the two opening singles Right In Your I and The Starman. Instead, there is a particular vibe which reminded me of a more upbeat Pink Floyd (such as March Forth) or less glam David Bowie, like The Starman. The songs tend to be keyboard-based, with the usual featured toned-down guitar bridge or two tastier on some tracks more than others.
I suppose the only thing that might really detract from the album is that Greg Jiritano’s vocals can get a little grating at times. But more often than not he saves it with careful usage of harmony and backing vocals, which is unusual for a self-produced album. Lord Sonny’s release may never sell as much as Pink Floyd’s The Wall does in one day (as it came out at the tail end of 1979, making me feel ancient to realize that seminal album is almost 40 years old) but if you would only be interested in a copy for yourself, by all means listen for yourself. I think it may bring back good memories or make you want more classic pre-prog, post-psychedelic rock.