Le Roux

So Fired Up

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With Fergie Frederiksen (vocals) and Jim Odom (guitar/vocals) respectively replacing Jeff Pollard (electric/acoustic guitars/lead vocals) and Bobby Campo (percussion/vocals), LeRoux hoped to build upon the success of their previous effort Last Safe Place (1981). The infusion of fresh talent and a desire to find an audience among the AOR marketplace took the band in a slightly different direction. Frederiksen immediately stakes his territory as the title track "So Fired Up" commences with a hell-raising wail that leads into the upbeat, synth-dominated outing. "Lifeline" is another energetic, fist-pumping side bearing little resemblance to distinguish it from the likes of Autograph, Fastway or Ratt. "Yours Tonight" is a transformative power ballad that quickly evolves into a generic, if not excessive, hard rock song. Contrary to LeRoux's former long-players, there isn't much in the way of diversity as "Turning Point," "Don't Take It Away," "Look Out" and the autobiographical single "Carrie's Gone" -- written about Carol Burnett's daughter, whom Frederiksen was concurrently courting -- are all pretty much the same hapless hair metal style, which was undeniably popular at the time. A sole momentary diversion is the somewhat predictably pop-ish "Wait One Minute," sounding similar to post-Frontiers (1983) Journey. Gone were the days of LeRoux's great and varied compositions such as "New Orleans Ladies," "Thunder 'N Lightnin'" and "Mystery." It's no wonder the combo dissipated for the remainder of the '80s. When they resurfaced some 20 years later with Ain't Nothing But a Gris Gris (2001) it was with a renewed sense of tradition and emphasis on well-crafted tunes and a return to the group dynamic that dominated LeRoux's first few LPs.

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