Let's just drop one name to start: Tommy Denander. Yeah, that guy. Songwriter. Guitarist. Producer. Respected musician. Period. He's been involved in thousands of songs and projects with some of the world's best artists and bands for the last 30 years or so. Then sometimes he gets around to doing one his own projects like a solo album, or Radioactive begun back in 1991. Ten years since the last and third album, Denander brings the appropriately titled Four.
Now let's drop other names: like vocalists Jimi Jamison, Bobby Kimball, Fergie Frederiksen, Jeff Paris, Dan Reed, Robin Beck, Steve Walsh and more. Yeah. They're all on this album, and often contributing to the songwriting. The result is some fundamental AOR melodic rock, catchy stuff that also features Denander's significant guitar skills.
It's a good variety of tunes as well. Sometimes the songs are hard with Denander offering heavier riffs and sharper leads to the mix. If Only My Memory Could Lie, Give Me Your Loving and The Piper, by example. The latter has a terrific concluding guitar solos. Other songs have the vocal arrangements beating Denander to the forefront like the harmony of Summer Rains featuring Jimi Jamison or Alibis with David Roberts. The female presence comes with Robin Beck and When The Silence Gets Too Loud. The song builds smoothly with Beck rising with Tommy's guitar in an anthem-like style. Beck also sounds like she's channeling a bit of Kim Carnes. Not everything here gripped me, Back to the Game and You'll Find The Fire never connected with me, seeming never to develop into the catchy ear candy of the other songs. Nevertheless, even when a Denander song doesn't seem to connect, it's probably a hundred times better than most stuff out there. In this sense, every song is a fine and entertaining one. But it makes you wonder, if some songs could have been shaved off. Whatever. Four is still top notch AOR melodic rock from Tommy Denander. Easily recommended.
Four is more top notch AOR melodic rock from the uber-talented songwriter and guitarist Tommy Denander. Easily recommended.
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