Reviews August/01

Radioactive / Ceremony of Innocence / MTM 0681-32


Tommy Denanders Radioactive project featuring THE musicians! Tracklisting:The Story of Love; Crimes of Passion; On my own; Grace; Waiting for a miracle; LA Movies; Ceremony of Innocence; Liquid (instrumental); Haunt me tonight; A case of right or wrong; Silent Cries; When you're in Love; Remember my Conscience (hidden track).

After more than 10 years in the making Tommy Denander is now ready to launch his Radioactive project - and what a launch!!
The project, in fact, started when Swedish guitar ace Tommy Denander moved to L.A and worked with all the guys from that area at the time - just around 1987. The list of involved musicians is a very impressive, and features the talents of Jeff, Mike and Steve Porcaro, David Paich, David Hungate, Bobby Kimball, Fergie Frederiksen, Joseph Williams, Fee Waybill, Jason Scheff, Davis Foster, Bruce Gaitsch, Janey Clewer, Geir Rönning, Jim Jidhed, Kristoffer Lagerström just to name a few....
And I must say that even 10 years of wait is a very long time, it was all worth it - the songs, the music and the production is 100% quality. "Ceremony of Innocence" doesn't have any fillers at all - but all tracks are classics! I can't help mentioning "The Story of love" sung by Geir Rönning with its facinating guitar intro, "Crimes of Passion" sung by Bobby Kimball with its powerful energy, the great ballad "Haunt me tonight" written by Richard Marx, Bruce Gaitch and Fee Waybill - but my favorite (even it's hard to chose one) must be the epic "Silent Cries" sung by the impressive Jim Jidhed - the intro is superb and the chorus.... not to mention the solo! I'm exited.
I think the album is much more fresh and "airy" than for example Toto's "Isolation" - which has some of the same wibes - the guitar playing and production allows all involved to participate. But I must must say that Tommy Denander's guitar playing is outstanding all over the record - it's soulful, fast, powerful, emotional and just as important it is not all over the record - it's kept like a good piece of chocolate to the coffee after an excellent meal.
I doubt that this release will be overdone this year - this is already a all time favorite of mine!

Pallas / The Cross & The Crucible / IOMCD 079


Pallas - Art Rock from Scotland Tracklisting:The Big Bang; The Cross & The Crucible; For the greater Glory; Who's to blame; The Blinding Darkness; Towers of Babble; Generations; Midas Touch; Celebration.

Pallas was formed in Aberdeen back in 1975 and featured Evan Lawson (vocals) Neil Mathewson (guitar), Ronnie Brown (keyboards), Graeme Murray (bass) and Derek Yorman (drums) - they toured the English pub circuit for a long time, but finally decided to release a couple of demo's. Within two years they had a contract with EMI. The first EP was called "Arrive Alive" and released in 1981. But their fist full length album "The Sentinel" from 1984 was produced very professionally by Eddie Efford, who worked with Yes - this album was/is a classic, also because of the impressive art work by fantasy artist Patrick Woodroofe.
Lawson decided to leave and Alan Reed came in and made the album "The wedge" from 1986, which musically contained very edifying, but sometimes inaccessible pieces. But EMI decided to drop the band after not having the amount of succes of label mates Marillion.
After playing The Netherlands regularly and replaced Yorman with Colin Fraser the Insideout label re-discovered the band and in 1999 they released "Beat the Drum". On this new album "The Cross & the Crucible" Pallas have chosen to tackle another ambitious conceptual theme. It touches upon the history, the endeavours and fate of mankind. Alan Reed says in the press release: "Our new album tries to get to the bottom of the mystery of the human race. We always been intersted in the contradictions of the human individual - on the one hand there's the potential to achieve wonderful amazing things and on the other people are capable of unbelieveable cruelty".
So if you like a good story told by some class act musicians - in a more heavy tone than Marillion - Pallas is an act for you, I liked it!

Jason Gonzalez / On the Edge of the Edge / Independent


Jason Gonzalez - An alternative to alternative Tracklisting:A Shoulder to lean on; Do you know what its like; I will find a Reason; Some one to pass the Time; I need you too; When I look into your Eyes; My own Way; Walkin'; I'll be there; It's just a Feelin'.

According to the press material following this independent release from AOR/Westcoast artist Jason Gonzalez is the answer to the question: "What would happen if Steve Perry or Rick Springfield accidently took a wrong turn in going to a show and wound up fronting Matchbox Twenty, Third Eye Blind or The Goo Goo Dolls"?
Somewhere down the line I must admit that Jason Gonzalez has a very large potential - both as a songwriter and vocalist. Back in 1999 he released the CD "Through My Eyes" under the moniker Just Jay - but then he was slashed for sounding to much like Journey. This time around he once again has produced, written and released "On the Edge of the Edge" himself through JAG Enterprises, Ltd. and the album has a very unique sound - combining the accustic guitar with Jason's high pitched vocals in the vein of Perry and Cetera.
My personal favorites, though, are the more rockier aspect of the albums - and on tracks like "Walkin'" and "Just a Feeling" he reaches notes that other vocalist only can dream of, please notice the excellent vocal work on "My own Way". But the more emotional tracks like "A Shoulder to lean on" and "When I look into your Eyes" has very good arrangements, too.
I think that Jason Gonzalez could get a large audience - if people only knew him (so please pass this message on) - because his musical ability and style is unique and appeals to bot adult AOR/Westcoast listeners and the younger more punk influenced audience. And I must say, that this guy took me by surprise with this independent but very mature release, so maybe with a larger budget and a good production....!

© Steen Peitersen 1999-2001