Ollie Wride

REVIEW: ‘Thanks In Advance’ – Ollie Wride

Ollie Wride – “Thanks In Advance”

Ollie Wride – lead singer with retro-synth group FM-84 – has released his debut solo album “Thanks In Advance”, having previously released the singles “The Driver”, “Overcome” and “Never Live Without You”, all of which are featured here. FM-84 already have a loyal following through the NewRetroWave movement with their popular tracks “Running In The Night”, “Never Stop” and “Bend And Break“, which have many millions of views on YouTube, along with their debut album “Atlas”, released three years ago.

“Thanks In Advance” is exactly what you expect from a NewRetroWave album, it’s 80’s synth-pop all the way with Ollie’s distinctive and soaring vocal and we ease in with the already familiar “Never Live Without You” and “Overcome”, both of which could of been pulled from the movie soundtrack of pretty much any film of 1984. “Back To Life” is more of the same with enough keys and synth’s to accompany any blistering hot day at the beach, ghetto blaster cranked high and sipping Coca Cola from a massive ice bucket! “The Rising Tide”, at over six minutes in length, is the longest track on the album, but nevertheless, effortless cool and calm, reminiscent of those tender love scenes that had to come during any 80’s teen flick.

“Miracle Mile” brings the pace back up and gives us something to dance and move to, whole “Luna” comes back to earth with a smooch and a cuddle for that most romantic of moments…or perhaps the movie scene where they always seemed to be sitting on a rock, staring out to sea in deep thought! “I’m A Believer” is typical NewRetroWave fare and definitely a standard bearer for all 80’s music geeks and freaks (it also bears more than a passing resemblance to the TV cartoon The Racoons in sound – feels like I’m in Evergreen forest already!). For “Hold On”, Ollie strips it right back for a heartfelt ballad with only the smallest amount of synth, perfectly demonstrating both the power and seduction he is capable of producing from his voice.

The album finishes all too soon with the single “The Driver”, a moody journey into 80’s electronica fantasia and Ollie Wride delivers yet another superb collection of retro synth tunes that anyone growing up in the 1980’s will want to remember and reminisce over and over. Ollie, like Michael Oakley, is one of the shining stars of the NewRetroWave synth-pop movement and together with FM-84 and as a solo artist, capable of producing outstanding new music reflecting past glories and a decade where electronics took over from conventional instrumentation, an era where the arcade game, the coming of age teen rom-com and the over-the-top, big budget TV series ruled. “Thanks In Advance” is everything you could possibly want from 80’s music, today whether you’re a fan of retro-synth or a child of the 80’s who just can’t or won’t accept anything that exists beyond 1989!

Stay in touch with Ollie through his WEBSITE and his FACEBOOK page

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!