Escape Music www.escape-music.com [Release date 17.04.15]
This is indeed as the title suggests album number four from Radioactive, the first in nearly ten years. Radioactive is the brainchild of guitarist/songwriter Tommy Denander and on each album to date he has had a series of top melodic rock and AOR vocalists and on this album he has the best yet!
Sadly two of the vocalists on here are no longer with us. Survivor vocalist Jimi Jamison is on top form (although to be fair he never gave anything less than 100% when singing?) on ‘Summer Rains’, a perfect melodic tune with a Survivor like musical backing. Love the acapella start that leads nicely into the keyboards. Former Toto/Le Roux vocalist Fergie Frederiksen is on the catchy ‘Back To The Game’, and unsurprisingly sounds like it came of the Frederiksen/Denander album of a few years ago.
Great to hear Jeff Parsi again and he gets two songs, ‘Start All Over’ is one of the best songs on the album, a classic melodic rock song and a familiar lyric of lost love and starting again. Jean Beauvoir (Crown Of Thorns) is on the album’s curveball, ‘You’ll Find The Fire’ that mixes his distinctive vocals to a electro/synth beat. Sounds strange but it works!
James Christian sings up a storm on ‘Give Me Your Love’, the heaviest song on here, whilst his other half, Robin Beck, not to be outdone shines on ‘When Silence Gets To Loud’. Get this tune on radio and you’d have a hit, one of those pop/rock crossovers that builds from a gentle start to a big, memorable chorus.
Long time musical collaborator Bobby Kimball (ex-Toto) appears on ‘Heart Come Alive’, which sounds like a Toto song in style and the keyboard arrangements in particular. The real surprise vocalist on here is former Kansas vocalist Steve Walsh. He sings on ‘The Piper’ and is another album highlight. Shades of Mike Slamer in the guitar and reminded me of Steelhouse Lane.
Often these musical projects can sound disjointed or there are only a few decent singers involved, not in this case as each vocalist is well respected and still have their vocal power. Tommy Denander of course adds in some classy guitar solos when required, the guitarist is quite happy to share the limelight with the singer on here. Not a duff song, a real treat for melodic rock/AOR fans. ****1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
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14:00-16:00 AMBERLY CHALBERG Hi-Line (indie)
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