You might not recognize the name Michael Thompson, but it’s a good guess that you’ve probably heard his guitar work. As a session guitarist, he has performed on a who’s who of the music business since the 1980s, including albums from Michael Jackson to Michael Bolton and Michael Buble to Shania Twain. His discography is endless and full of hits, so it’s no surprise that this second Michael Thompson Band album comes 23 years after the first one.
Released on the amazing Italian label Frontiers, Future Past is a great release to complement and already strong line-up of melodic rock masterworks. On Future Past, Thompson gives an album that is more about songs than it is about guitar work. With strong melodies and some catchy choruses, Future Past sounds like a modern take on the music we loved in the late 80s and early 90s.
High Times is a catchy rockin’ tune that sounds like something Night Ranger would have recorded a their peak. Vocalist Larry King has a sweet voice that adds just the right amount of gruff to the smooth harmonies. He reminds me a bit of Foreigner’s Kelly Hansen and in turn has some of the elements of Lou Gramm in there as well.
It’s a great album that reminisces from melodic rock’s glorious past, but also brings things to a modern age – hence the title Future Past. The best example of how this future meets its past is on the track Here I Am, which could easily fit on the latest Bon Jovi album.
In general, the album has a Toto/Foreigner feel to it with the perfect amount of keyboards to give the songs some life and not over power them with drones. That Foreigner sound really shines on the ballad When You Love Someone.
Future Past is a great addition to any rock collection and would work well as a summer album with the windows down as you’re driving that old rusty T-Bird.