Fernando Saunders

Cashmere Dreams

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If Steve Porcaro producing the hip sideman to Marianne Faithul during her A Child's Adventure phase, and Lou Reed during his Legendary Hearts/New Sensations period, sounds like a paradox, it is a joyful one. Feeling more like a Joan Armatrading disc than one of the aforementioned legends (who both have classy essays on the album jacket singing the journeyman bassist's praises), Fernando Saunders has a highly listenable disc which contains flavors of Prince without a testosterone overdose. Very subdued pop. Great album cover has Saunders in a dream state flowing into some otherworld. This is very radio-friendly stuff, from "Stallion" running wild and free (a bit reminiscent of the sentiment of "Little Red Corvette") to the catchy pop of "Hook in My Heart," the entire production (most by Saunders himself, except for the contributions by Porcaro) is a delight from start to finish. The two songs produced by Toto keyboard player Steve Porcaro actually have Jeff Porcaro on drums and Steve Lukather on guitar. On paper, Toto backing a musician from Lou Reed's band is a punk rock fan's worst nightmare, but it works.This is amazing stuff, and unlike other artists who have famous friends chipping in, everyone takes a back seat to the guy who has provided a rhythmic undertone to so many. Fernando Saunders has a great voice, his own style, and one of those records radio should be chastised for not seeking out and playing on its merits. Hearing a song co-written by Lou Reed that Michael Jackson could have a huge hit with is, in itself, monumental. Perhaps this is where Paula Abdul got the idea for her hit of the same name, "Opposites Attract," which appeared just a year later.

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