"Black Friday " (Album, 2010)
Ever since I first stumbled across Faderhead live, I was impressed. Beyond the initial impression of hard edged electro with attitude, it was apparent that there was a more complex intellect at work. Having established a reputation for simultaneously impacting and entertaining live performances, the FH1-3 trilogy albums quickly and firmly established Faderhead as a serious player on the global electro scene. With praise being heaped on those first three long players from all quarters, coming up with something equally compelling was a tough challenge for the band to throw down to themselves. These were followed by last year's Horizon Born EP that focused exclusively on Faderheads equally accomplished ballad writing. On Black Friday they’ve not just risen to that self-imposed challenge but they’ve nailed it with perhaps their most rounded suite of songs yet.
On Destroy, Improve, Rebuild which demands “Faderhead, turn this shit up”, main man Sami Mark Yahya makes his manifesto clear: “I’m not an old school conservationist” and across this diverse album proves he’s a serious artist to be reckoned with. Thankfully, thought that doesn’t mean he’s thrown out all his trademarks. Black Friday was devised as a concept album, complete with a short film starring And One’s Steve Naghavi, supposedly representing the events taking place to an individual over a long Friday night. That may be so, though there isn't an overtly explcit narrative, but that hardly matters when what is delviered is such a solid suite of songs spanning the Faderhead style range.
For each mellow track where Yahya takes the welcome opportunity to demonstrate his vocal range and character there’s a hard edge dance floor counterpart. Always the sign of maturity or natural talent, these potentially uncomfortable bed fellows of extremes sit comfortably along side each other and, across some sixteen tracks, come together as complete whole. For some, the less serious, harsh trash electro ‘pop’ elements may detract, seemingly holding back an artist from achieving his full potential, but for me they simply reflect the rounded personality of their creator. 8/10
Rob Dyer (November 2010)