Forgotten series: Fortunato – Journey (2011)

Hooked on music at a very young age, Fortunato Isgro was weaned on a diverse diet of pop, rock, and traditional Italian fare. Residing in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, the singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist has recorded several positively received solo albums and also performs with the Initiative, whose impressive self-titled debut disc duly left listeners begging for more.

Fortunato’s Journey (www.fortunatomusic.com) was so superb that every track ripples and radiates with hit-single power. All the material was original, with ample input from members of the Initiative. Peter Rechter of Tol-Puddle Martyrs and the Secrets fame contributed his talents to the disc as well, as he co-authored “Good Times Bad Times” that shakes and struts with pop rocking boogie fever.

Liquid clear vocals and harmonies, tiled tightly with flowing keyboard passages, striking riffs, shapely melodies, and orderly arrangements are the foundation Journey perched on. Pinching classic pop rock codes from the likes of Billy Joel, Squeeze and Crowded House, along with the satin-stitched sounds of Motown and the blue-eyed soul of the Rascals, Fortunato produced songs that were both lyrically and sonically attractive. Flowering with romantic verse and silky and shiny textures, “Keep Thinking Of You,” “My Heart Belongs,” “Look Into My Eyes,” and “Right Here Inside My Heart” were alight with passion and presence, where “I Just Can’t Wait” rocked and popped to a stabbing beat.

There’s no fooling around here, as Fortunato says what he has to say in a streamlined manner and expresses his thoughts and feelings with eloquence and honesty. Diligently designed songs, executed with taste, substance, and energy propel Journey to tip-top elevations. Fortunato is a mighty gifted musician, and I can hardly wait to hear his next album!

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 on the national charts with "Stand By Me" - which is ironically one of her favorite songs, especially the version by John Lennon. She has also contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as associate editor of Rock Beat International. Paterson's own publications have included Inside Out, and Twist And Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.