By Charlie Englar
Fear of the Unknown is laced with strong examples of the many things musicians strive for when making an album. Fortier’s writing and lyrics are excellent; his theme remains hefty throughout; he uses an array of sturdy backing musicians; and he has enough catchy tunes within the thirteen-song disc to connect to a large audience.
The Americana/rock/singer-songwriter sound is something Fortier seems to be supremely comfortable with.
It all starts with the writing. The composition and lyrical delivery really stand out as Fortier’s bread and butter. The album is stuffed with potent, vivid verses; with one of my favorites coming from the song “What Do You Want To Fear More” – “As we’re plugged into walls, attached to wires and chords/Chords that snake through our living rooms and out our kitchen doors.”
The album maintains a strong “what’s wrong with humanity?” theme, with large amounts of biblical references and allegories. Songs like “Bad Men” create haunting images of people who can’t live with the amount of insanity in the world, with the feeling amplified by a hollow, steady drumbeat.
I commend Fortier for keeping this theme fluid and flowing; it helps to create a strong and introspective story. If there is a downfall, it would be Fortier’s sometimes forced and raspy voice. It doesn’t take away from the album, but it’s noticeable at times.
At the end of the day, Fear Of The Unknown sucks you in with its storytelling and cohesiveness, keeping the listener hooked with sturdy, solid musicianship.