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Radioactive - Taken (CD)

Radioactive
Taken
by Grigoris Chronis at 20 January 2006, 5:14 AM

Take a look at the record label. Then check who's the guitarist on this album. 'Surf' to the 'discography' index of his official website and see his work. Last - but not least - notice the guest artists featured on this release. If nothing of the above criteria applies to your 'taste', skip this review and proceed to the next one in the magazine. See, I can save you time the simplest way.
Radioactive is the brainchild of Swedish guitarist/composer Tommy Denander. A passionate AOR artist, Denander has been involved in hundreds of projects throughout his more-than-ten-years career. A perfect 'match' for MTM's requirements, Taken is Radiocative's third release, the follow-up to 2003's Yeah album, an effort featuring Marcel Jacob (Talisman, Humanimal, Y. Malmsteen) and Tony Franklin (Blue Murder, Whitesnake) among others. Yet, if Yeah showed sufficient power/groove (always filtered through Melodic Rock's 'constraints'), Taken proves to be more in the 'FM' side of things.
C.O.W. - brief instrumental intro - leads to Taken, a beautiful and harmonious tune with Bobby Kimball (Toto) on vocals. Stronger Than Yesterday changes the listener's mood, in a straightforward AOR way. Andreas Carlsson sings on this one, while Toto members Steve Porcaro/Greg Phillinganes guests on keyboards. I read somewhere that fellow Toto member Jeff Porcaro's (R.I.P.) drums were recorded before his death in 1992.
Hit Her Where It Hurts features Gary Barden (MSG, Statetrooper) on vocals and preserves the AOR principles, while Easy's Gettin' Harder sees James Christian (House Of Lords) and (his wife) Robin Beck building up an FM duo in an interesting track. This I Promise You features Mikael Erlandsson on vocals; a 'smooth', slow tune in general.
Forgiveness lies again on the FM side, with Norwegian vocalist Christian Ingebrigtsen handling the duties. An 'attractive' voice, I should say. Shattered is my personal favorite, with amazing guitar work and a wonderful melodic chorus, in the vein of Giant or FM (the band, this time). Premonition sees some programmed keys added, bringing in my mind Canadian heroes Honeymoon Suite. Changing 'skin', Carry On has a 'chill out' pace, while Love Is On Your Mind starts off really 'neutral' (e.g. Starship or that kinda stuff) but features a notable chorus wonderfully sung by Thomas Vikstrφm. Sinner sees Jaded Heart's new frontman Johan Fahlberg behind the mic. A nice tune but nothing impressive. It's Never Gonna Let Her Go wraps up the album, a melodic instrumental tune with ample 'night drive' passion.
There's nothing groundbreaking in this release. For the ones familiar with Denander's 'deeds', Taken should be purchased sooner or later. The rest of the Melodic Rock fans, you can try it first. If you like it, get ready to spend lots of money for the guy's remaining discography.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
C.O.W.
Taken
Stronger Than Yesterday
Hit Her Where It Hurts
Easy's Gettin' Harder
This I Promise You
Forgivness
Shattered
Premonition
Carry On
Love Is On Your Mind
Sinner
Never Gonna Let Her Go
Lineup:
Tommy Denander - Guitar& Keyboards
Vinny Heter 0 Drums
Al V Dohn - Bass

Guest Musicians:
Bobby Kimball, Fergie Frederiksen, Mikael Erlandsson, Gary Barden, Thomas Vikstrφm, Johan Fahlberg, Christian Ingebrigtsen, Jeff Porcaro, Steve Porcaro, Steve Lukather, Neal Schon, Andreas Calrsson, Bruce Kulick, Yngwie Malmsteen, Robin Beck, James Christian, Kelly Keagy, Philip Bardowell, Michael Landau, Michael Thompson, Vinnie Colaiuta, John Robinson, Greg Philinganes, Steve George, Bruce Gaitsch
Record Label: MTM Music
     


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