Indie Talk Review of 'I Could Make It Last Forever' by California
Reviewed by Tempesta Ink
In the quest for perfection, contemporary music, more often than not, ends up seeming a tad mechanical. One of the main reasons is quantization (the process of making, or rectifying, a song or track so as to keep it aligned in time as much as aptly possible) – very easy to accomplish in seconds via plugins and algorithms. It is, therefore, very easy to appreciate the talents of years gone by who had to rely on pure talent to make up for the then absence of any algos and plugins. And that was the essential charm and appeal of the music back then, that no plugin on earth could ever substitute for real talent. So it is with great enthusiasm that we discover loads of that other-worldly charm and more in California’s newest release titled, ‘I Could Make It Last Forever’.
Originally recorded in late 1972 for The Left Banke, and first released only 34 years later in 2006, the group California (Les Fradkin and his wife Loretta Piper Fradkin), have only this year re-mastered ‘I Could Make It Last Forever’ with special guest performances from the original members of The Left Banke. They have churned out a joyfully wistful number that is primarily Baroque-pop with new vocal overdubs rendered by the Fradkins. The arrangement and performance of the various instruments incredibly complement the lyrics, whose writing is in a league of its own (“The speed of choice wins out, so choose me please”), followed by the octave jumps in the chorus. Nothing, absolutely nothing, sounds mechanical – California has managed to take a song written in the 1970s and turn it into something that would sit well with its head held high in today’s contemporary material. One would also be pleased to note that despite the contemporary additions and mastering, and the addition of the vocal overdubs, the vocals – stellarly led by Les – and the instrumentation have thankfully not undergone any major plugin correction or automation which naturally explains the retention of that other-worldly charm. It could have easily gone wrong. Not in this case.
And the prelude, a joyful overture in itself, with its guitars and mellotron (both rendered by Les Fradkin) and violin offers a high level of musicality that is easily relatable to the listener and manifests itself at all the right spots. Indeed, while listening to the song, one of the thoughts that occurred to me was how wonderful the world would be if all the songs made nowadays were less quantized like back then! Songs that are released in contemporary times, but written decades ago usually are written and arranged to cater to the current trends. In the case of ‘I Could Make It Last Forever’, the decision to largely retain the original arrangements and mix-remnants works surprisingly well. In essence, the song's emotion is what the listeners hear.
‘I Could Make It Last Forever’ is well worth your 5 minutes and 4 seconds and is accompanied by its own charmingly apt animated video. The song is a nostalgic reminder of the pure talent of the years gone by, and a winner in its own right in today's contemporary music scene.
The group California, featuring Les Fradkin (Vocals, Piano, Mellotron, Guitars, Bass, Producer, and Songwriter) as it’s founding Original Member (and still leading the group to this day), were Laurie Records recording Artists in the 1970’s and 1980’s. California had several hit singles during that time period including “See You In September”, “Jeans On”, “Summer Fun Medley” and “He’s Almost You”. Other California highlights included an appearance on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand TV show singing “Summer Fun Medley” as well as a Top 50 UK Chart placing for “He’s Almost You”. In fact, in 2020, a California B-Side “Paris (1945)” roared to the top of the Dutch and EU Charts.
Now, California thunders back at RRO Entertainment with all new material. California returns with Les Fradkin - Vocals, Mellotron, Piano, Bass, Guitars, Ztar, Songwriter and Co-Production and Loretta Pieper Fradkin - Vocals, Songwriter and Co-Production. Les and Loretta have co authored numerous hits during 2022, including 8 consecutive #1 UK Indie Radio Chart hits for Les Fradkin as a Solo Artist, several #1 hits on Los Angeles, California Indie Radio as well as “Under The Covers” placing at #50 in the Media Base CHR Activator Chart. For 2022 release, California presents its brand new Original Hit Single “I Could Make It last Forever”! and latest album, “California Loves You”. For more great music from California, visit Reverbnation.