Williams-Friestedt | Williams-Friestedt

by Nikiforos Skoumas
Staff Writer —

Williams-Friestedt is the collaboration between Toto vocalist Joseph Williams and melodic rock guitarist Peter Friestedt. With AOR/melodic rock duos being very much in the favor of the day, it is hardly surprising that such professionals decided to join forces. In addition, history has proven that you simply can not stop Toto members from being creative whether it comes to the band or solo endeavors.

Williams–Friestedt draws equally upon melodic rock and west-coast AOR, coming fairly close to the radio-friendly sound of Toto. Essentially one finds most elements of Toto’s sound are integrated on this debut including; the discrete piano harmonies, the subtle rhythm section, and the jazzy chords, and never forgetting the melodic guitar lines. Left outside are unconventional grooves, passages and any hint of experimentation that Toto were keen to explore.

Clearly, as one would have guessed by the name of this synergy, the protagonist instrument is Joseph’s vocals and Peter’s guitar with the rhythm section moved backwards in the mix. The songs on this debut fall into two categories; the west-coast/jazzy AOR such as “Say Goodbye,” “Sometimes You Win,” “Stay With Me” and “Gotta Find it.” And the direct melodic rockers “Swear Your Love,” “Where to Touch You” and “One More Night,” possibly the album’s strongest moment, bringing to the fore-front intensity and a really forceful chorus. For that matter, this collection of songs captures Joseph in the best shape he has been of lately delivering the appropriate tone and attitude to each and every song, switching effortlessly between west-coast AOR vocals and melodic rock singing.

Overall, one finds that merely nine tracks are hardly enough for such a project, taking into account that this debut features compositions of standard length (mostly under four minutes). In addition the subtler moments evidently outnumber the rocking songs, so clearly “Williams Firestedt” might seem somewhat incomplete to those expecting pompous melodic rock with ambitious arrangements and thick production. Conclusively if you are a fan of Joseph’s work with Toto or have enjoyed similar AOR projects namely Ramos-Hugo, Marcello-Vestry or Frederiksen-Denander, you should definitely try Joseph and Peter’s new album.

Genre: AOR / Melodic Rock

Line Up:
Joseph Williams – Vocals
Peter Friestedt – Guitars, Keyboards

Track List:
1. Swear Your Love
2. Say Goodbye
3. Sometimes You Win
4. Where To Touch You
5. Going Home
6. Stay With Me
7. One More Night
8. Gotta Find It
9. Letter To God

Label: AOR Heaven

Hardrock Haven rating: 7.5/10