Les Fradkin’s initial run as a member of pop rock band California happened during the 1970s-early 80s before leaving the group for inevitable greener pastures. He’s involved himself with successful projects since then, among them the popular and long-running Beatlemania production and solo releases in various styles with his wife Loretta as his musical partner for the last 20+ years.
Their collaboration continues with “Perfect World”. The new single from Fradkin’s revamping of the California name for modern audiences is a continuation. It continues embodying the same aesthetic principles underlying his past work, such as dedication to melody and entertaining listeners. However, it marries that with a modern sound that frames Fradkin’s voice in the best possible light.
He has lost nothing off his fastball, as the saying goes. Fradkin is still throwing strikes down the pipe with a mastery of songwriting fundamentals. Listen to the transitions from verse into chorus and how his vocal melody metamorphosizes throughout the song. There is joy in the way he sings these lyrics; he isn’t manufacturing emotion. He’s communicating with listeners about how the presence of a special person in his life raises his spirits each day and weathers any imperfections he has.
The chorus will likely be the favorite point for virtually any listener. Fradkin brings all of the song’s brewing threads together in a rousing payoff without ever making experienced listeners roll their eyes. It’s no small thing this late in pop music history. How does a songwriter try writing about loving someone in 2022 without repeating everything we’ve heard before? Personalize it. Putting all of yourself into that moment and trusting you are enough to transform that slice of autobiography into something much meatier and universally meaningful.
The vocal harmonies are especially integral to the song’s success. Fradkin and his wife, however, possess an undisputable knack for blending those moments with the arrangement. They sound natural together rather than one superimposed over the top of the other. California feat. Les Fradkin achieves an overall immediate sound for the release without it ever sounding too raw or unpolished; many listeners will likely the song’s seeming spontaneity. It sounds like an avowal of gratitude bursting without warning from Fradkin’s heart.
It isn’t often you can write such words about any song in 2022. Love songs today reflect our increasingly suspicious and weary times; pure and true romance is rarely pure or true anymore. “Perfect World”, however, sweeps aside modern misgivings and soars with unabashed affection. It’s a refreshing listen that illustrates another of the bedrock reasons why Fradkin still makes music.
It's the need to bring joy to the world through his talents. It’s the need to express what the meaningful things in his life and experience are and hope it resonates with others. “Perfect World” may play like a great pop song and, no doubt, it is, but really, it’s so much more and it’s why we have songwriters like this around. Les Fradkin and his wife Loretta, working together as California featuring Les Fradkin, are conjuring a little magic in our everyday lives with the new single “Perfect World”. All of us need this sorcery right now.
We do music reviews for Independent Artists and Publicists.