Reviews June/07

Frederiksen-Denander / Baptism by Fire / FR PR CD 335


Fergie and Tommy - Living in perfect harmony! Tracklisting:Let Him go; Right Heart, wrong Time; Silver Lining; Crossing over; Written in Stone; My saving Grace; Baptism by Fire; Can't get enough; Never try to love again; Dead End; Keep a Light on; Left with nothing.

One of my all time favorite guitarists Tommy Denander has joined forces with one of the most recognizable voices of AOR, Fergie Frederiksen .
The collaboration between those two icons of melodic rockhas resulted in the album “Baptism By Fire”, and this is definitely what it's all about. I'm sure that it will still be on top of my album list at the end of 2007.
It took three years to record this album - so as you can recon there are no fills (only thrills) on this one. Frederiksen & Denander has written and produced "Baptism by Fire" by themselves. Dennis ‘Fergie’ Frederiksen was lead vocalist on classic albums such as Toto’s “Isolation”, Le Roux’ “So Fired Up” and Trillion’s debut album, while Tommy Denander became renowned as an excellent songwriter and producer, have played on an impressive number of at least 1,000 albums. I sure like his westcoast sound and rockier sides in Radioactive. And this prior project was their first common playground.
The work started with the songwriting with the help of Styx’s Ricky Phillips - we all remember the Fredriksen/Phillips album back in 1995, Pride Of Lions’ Jim Peterik and Björn Lindbom (Tommy’s songwriting partner on many albums of the past). But as I said earlier on - there is no fillers on this album: Songs like opener "Let him go", "Crossing over","Never try to love again" and especially "Written in stone" are fabulous. Classics in spe.
On the album the two perfectionists are joined by Michael Thomson on a gust guitar, Steve Porcaro on a wicked Hammond, Eric Z Daniels on drums, Thomas Vikström and Jan Johansen on back ground vocals.
With 12 songs clocking in at 53:40, it is just perfect timed and dozed. It's great to hear that Fredereksen-Denander has taken on the real vitues of "classic" AOR - and added a few updates in the sound and expression. Radioctive's "Yeah" will always be one of my favorite projects with Denander - but this comes very very very close...

Sophia Ramos / Her Majesty / Self Financed


Sophia Ramos - lovely in all senses of the word! Tracklisting:Black Madonna; What I do know; Esperanza; Kill your Pain; Deep in my Bones; Torn down; Girlfriends Ghost; Shining still; Jon's Song; Stay here with you.

Young hopeful singer/songwriter Sophia Ramos is a modern mariage of Janis Joplin and Alanis Morrisette with an attitude... This 29 year old Bronx (New York) beauty Sophia Ramos definitely make an effective entrance on the rock scene. A great CD, with lots of info, great music/songwriting and lot of rockin'.
Way back in 1995 she was offered a deal with Sony - but was dropped when she didn't wanna follow their direction of how a female singer should sound and act like. Sophia has a voice very similar to Alanis/Janis but she also has a rockier and tougher side. So themusic is best described as a mix of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lenny Kravitz and even Soundgarden.
Sophia Ramos released an EP titled "Dupre" back in 2000 and the year after a Mini CD called "Brave" was out and from that album Sophia has taken 4 songs to include on this new full length album: "What I do know","Esperanza","Shining still" and "Stay here with you".
All songs are very personal and Sophia Ramos really sing from her heart and soul - sometimes screaming her lungs out! Just listen to "Torn down" and you will know what I mean.
So jump on Sophia Ramos's website and download the album - its's great!

Francis Soto's / Metalapolis part 1 / Self financed


Francis Soto - German ace vocalist and lots of friends! Tracklisting:The Hollow; Reflection; The Letter; Wasting my Time; Say Goddbye; Ghost of rock & roll; Don't close your eyes; Confessions; Old Photographs.

Francis Soto is back - he says. Francis Soto has made a little name for himself starting with the credits as a singer with ARMIN SABOL (responsible for the PETER SCHILLING-hit `Major Tom´) in the early 90´s. Later on he was able to celebrate international success with SUBWAY and WICKED SENSATION (on tour with Kansas, Asia, Axxis, Sweet etc.).
Behind the METALAPOLIS-project there are in addition Markus Metzger (keyboards and programming), Andy Gaube (guitars) and Kersten Noczinski (drums) and Zeim (bass) who collectively develop this common project. The source of inspirtion for the album is to mask nearly all stiles of rock (from traditional hardrock to modern rock, from gothic to pop-rock) and to manifest, that there is only one root acountable - the rhythm and blues from the beginning of the last century. musically there are no frontiers, consequently there is no suitable tray for METALAPOLIS - there is everything: from drifting, aggressiv guitar-riffs, over mainstream-harmonies up to electronic beats. all this is dominated by the voice of Francis Soto, who provides the songs with definitely catchy vocal-lines. Some titles are equally finished, some others yet in a raw recording-habit. 2007 the work shall come to a general public.

© Steen Elstrup Pejtersen 1999-2007