Radioactive Taken MTM Music
· Produced By: Tommy Denander

· Running Time: 50.52

· Release Date: November 11

· Released:

· Musical Style: AOR / Melodic Rock

· Links: MTM Music Tommy Denander
Songs: 95%
Sound: 92%
Tommy Denander – surely the busiest man in melodic rock – is back with his third Radioactive release and his third full album release of 2005, following his production and musical work on the Philip Bardowell and Sha-Boom albums.
As is the case with all Tommy's work, Taken features that very distinct production sound and the expected mixed of guitar chops and AOR keyboards.
You know what to except with a Denander release and established fans won't be disappointed or surprised with this release.
One does not need to talk a lot about the sound, as stated, no surprises here – a pleasant mix of Toto-esque guitars and lush keyboards in a setting that traditional fans of the AOR genre will love.
While the AOR scene has its roots in the 80s, Tommy's updated production techniques help avoid any claims of a dated sound, but at the same time his style appeals to fans of that classic era.
The biggest differences in Tommy's work is the actual songs themselves and the vocalists used to deliver the message.
As is always the case with Radioactive, an all-star cast of melodic rock singers has been used to great effect.
The songs this time around are a little more melodic than the last album Yeah and I will state that Tommy has definitely achieved his desire to make a classic AOR sounding record. The choruses of Taken are some of the best to appear to date on any Denander release.
Track By Track:
The album opens with C.O.W, a snappy little guitar solo which falls away before the first full length track Taken bursts to life.
That distinct, unmistakable guitar/keyboard blend that is Tommy Denander's sound floods the speakers and we are away.
Taken features the great Bobby Kimball at the helm - belting out a loud, aggressive vocal. The vocal suits the urgency of the song, which is one that gets better as time goes on. I love the vocal and the track itself, while perhaps a little busy, is still a winner.
Stronger Than Yesterday is quite the opposite. Sung by Andreas Carlsson, this is a super smooth AOR track with a more restrained sound and a rather excellent verse melody and a very catchy prominent chorus which has all the hallmarks of the Denander sound. Toto alumni Steve Porcaro and Greg Phillinganes guest on keyboards and the late, great Jeff Porcaro supplies the drumming from a session recorded before his untimely death.
Hit Her Where It Hurts is a curious track indeed as it is a pure AOR anthem featuring Gary Barden on lead vocals. I say curious, as Gary is not normally noted for his AOR work – more bluesy and hard rock, yet he sounds right at home here and the song is further boosted by one of the strongest choruses of the album.
Next is another coup for Denander. Easy's Getting Harder features the very first duet between husband and wife duo James Christian and Robin Beck. The songs itself is a very smooth, easy going Westcoast/AOR number and is perfectly suited to the guys, who put in great performances. Why haven't they done this before?!
The greatest Swedish vocalist Mikael Erlandsson makes his first appearance for the big sentimental ballad This I Promise You. His raspy, passionate vocals are made for power ballads and he doesn't disappoint here.
Forgiveness is a very Westcoast/AOR track with a high-tech Rick Springfield/Richard Marx/King Of Hearts feel. Norwegian vocalist Christian Ingebrigtsen takes the lead vocal for this mid-tempo ballad which also features Bruce Gaitsch on acoustic guitars. Now you know why the song has a strong Marx/King Of Hearts feel.
2005 saw Tommy team with Unruly Child vocalist Philip Bardowell for an album and Bardowell reprises that role here.
It is good to hear the album take a slightly tougher, heavier feel at this point, after three relatively soft tracks. The song Shattered features a nice long instrumental break and a typically furious Yngwie Malmsteen solo.
Tommy also spent time in 2005 working on his upcoming album with Fergie Frederiksen. Fergie guests on a lead vocal here, as he has done on all three Radioactive albums. Thomas Vikström also joins with a lead & backing vocal appearance. The guys sound pretty good together and I like the musical direction of this uptempo melodic rocker. Premonition is a musically intense rocker, which features some cool programming and a good strong chorus.
Following on, Carry On is a much more relaxed AOR tune, but featuring an equally intense chorus. It was advertised that Kelly Keagy was the featured lead vocalist, but rather it is Mikael Erlandsson, with Keagy providing a few lead vocals lines during the song and chorus.
The line-up of guests on this track includes Tom Keane (keyboards), Neal Schon (talk box intro) and Michael Landau, Michael Thompson and Frederic Slama (guitars). Although, with so much going on here, it is a little hard to deterine individual parts
Love Is On Your Mind features some cool guitar riffs and a sound reminiscent of Denander's early work. The uptempo melodic rocker features Thomas Vikström on lead & backing vocals and one of the album's best choruses.
The song was written with the Spin Gallery project in mind and does remind me of that, although it is that little bit heavier.
Sinner features a lead vocal by Jaded Heart's new boy Johan Fahlberg. It's an ok track, but perhaps it doesn't stand out enough next to some of the other tracks.
Never Gonna Let Her Go is a soft and slow Westcoast instrumental to close the album. The track features a dream-team Westcoast line up of Michael Landau, Steve Lukather and Peter Friestedt (guitars) and Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), plus David Diggs (keyboards) and a little Sax from Tom Saviano.
The Bottom Line
Of the three Radioactive releases Taken will probably be considered the best yet by the public at large, due to it's more melodic nature. Personally I rate it very highly and just about on par with the Yeah release, but for different reasons.
All three Radioactive albums have a slightly different feel and preferences may depend on personal tastes and day to day moods. Either way, it is a very fine AOR album and yet another notch on Denander's belt. Together with the Philip Bardowell album, Tommy has delivered two highlights for 2005.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Ceremony Of Innocence
· Yeah
· Taken

Line Up:
· Bobby Kimball, Fergie Frederiksen, Mikael Erlandsson, Gary Barden, Thomas Vikström, Johan Fahlberg, Christian Ingebrigtsen: Vocals
· Tommy Denander: Guitar, Keyboards
· Vinny Heter : Drums
· Al V Dohn: Bass
· + Various Guests

Essential For Fans Of:
· Tommy Denander
· Radioactive
Track Listing
· 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
-- *Best Tracks

24/06/07: dyego -
Rating: 99

02/04/06: Susumu -
Rating: 96
Suppose you love TOTO, Chicago and want them to be a bit harder what sort of music would come about?

Tommy Denander from Sweden has the answer.

Indeed, the third album collaborated with classic rock superstars, you name it, Bobby Kimball, Jim Peterik, Ingswei Malmsteen, Neal Schon and a lot such a dream come true. Radioactive previously made super albums such as CEREMONY OF INNOCENCE, YEAH but this third one is a lot better than these.


STRONGER THAN YESTERDAY: Must-add for AAA stations. Reminding me some of prime-time Chicago songs.
TAKEN: Bobby Kimball can have such hard-rock vocal! Unmissable for Toto fans.
PREMONITION: Collaborated with melodic rock legend Jim Peterik, another essential for AAA stations.
LOVE IS ON YOUR MIND: That's what Radioactive is! Catchy and uptempo sing-along song.

Verdict: Impeccable AOR album.
Recommended for: Journey, TOTO, Survivor, Chicago, Fergie Frederiksen, Pride of Lions fans.

(Taken from my amazon review)

15/01/06: René Hansen -
Rating: 92
What can I say that allready has been written. Tommy sounds less and less like luke well yes and no. Luke has also changed his sound over the years.
Tommy understand how to write and produce great songs. Tommy is able to get big stars to perform on each project that must be due to the fact they also know he is the best hard end west coast rocker out there. Having written that look out for the new Toto damn they are back and thats a promise.
Greast work as allways Tommy love you man have a pleasent new year fellow scandinavian.

23/12/05: Simon P. Beyer -
Rating: 80
Like said earlier, I have also always found Tommy Denander's music to lack air and bass. The sound tends to be too "thin".
However, this album is really good and contains some awesome tunes - and also some lousy tunes. I love the fact that Jeff Porcaro plays drums on a track of a 2005 release so many years after his tragic death.
The album's highlights to me are "Stronger Than Yesterday", "Easy's Gettin' Harder", "Carry On" and "Shattered".
A solid record, but not very original. But in today's music world very few good albums are released, so this CD is very needed.
I'm looking forward to the "Making of Radioactive" DVD in early 2006.

21/12/05: DP -
Rating: 40
I'm not a big fan of these 'Super Group' projects and there's nothing on this recording that we haven't heard a million times before. Sure, it's well done but there's not an ounce of originality to be found anywhere. It just sounds so very tired to these old ears.

17/12/05: Kurt -
Rating: 95
Typical Tommy Denander product again... Tommy always stands for great songwriting and excellent production. He's one of the very best in this genre, no doubt about that !! Favourite tunes are Stronger than yesterday, Easy's getting harder, Forgiveness, This I promise you and Hit her where it hurts.

15/12/05: Glen G -
Rating: 92
Yes, the sound is extremely dated and each time I play this my wife rolls her eyes and wonders why I can't escape the 80s. But damn, this is good. Lots of classic tracks including the superb rocker, Shattered. Carry On is also a highlight but all tunes are great. My only complaint is that they could've 'beefed up' th sound a little - the whole production sounds a little thin & tinny. Nevertheless, a solid release.

12/12/05: hydraturnback -
Rating: 94
Ok. So I have had this in my possession for.. um.. 2 hours now, and I CANNOT STOP playing this album. I cant wait until the disc ACTUALLY grows on me!! "Stronger than yesterday" has got to be contender of AOR track of the year.. surely!! Tommy D has done it again - a thought has just crossed my mind... Tommy Denander and Toto producing an album together... ahhh... I can dream I guess!! This is 10 times better than IN THE CUT!! Seriously - this is fantastic stuff. BUY IT NOW!!!

09/12/05: AORAndy69 -
Rating: 95
What a marvellous release ! A colection of stars united for Denander project. I love the title track, Stronger than Yesterday and Forgivness. About the guitar working: absolutely perfect in every song. Mr J. Christian and his wife Mrs R. Beck are great in their duet. Fergie Frederiksen: very good to listen, waiting his new solo album. Finally a Very good production for this "must have" record !

04/12/05: Ross S. -
Rating: 85
I disagree somewhat with the previous reviewer. I think Tommy's guitar tones are fantastic, and the quality of songs and production exceeds the earlier Radioactive projects. In particulary, the groovy guitar riff on Bobby Kimball's song and the gorgeous melodies of the James Christian/Robin Beck tune are impressive. On the down side, I was appalled at the lyric on the Gary Barden song "Hit Her Where It Hurts." Without a trace of irony, this song is just offensive, despite a nice hook. Yngwie's solo and song are interesting, especially since we don't usually hear him play in an AOR context. Good stuff. This is recommded for those who like the heavier end of West Coast music, such as more recent Toto and Steve Lukather albums. That said, Denander sounds less and less like Luke as his style continues to mature.

30/11/05: urban westby -
Rating: 70
Contains some really great tunes and performances. This time, however, not as good tunes as on the first CD. Also some weak lead vocals on some songs. Unfortunately, and as always with TD/Radioactive, rather weak mix and production. Personally, I do not like the use and sound of drum machines/programmed drums (e.g during the Yngwie solo), and I also think that the production lacks air and bass. TD has much to gain by using a real drummer and someone who can help recording, mix and producing. The CD did not reach my high expectations. /

29/11/05: freddy de keyzer -
Rating: 89
One of the best AOR records of the year. Period !
All things released by mr. Denander are worth checkin' out !
And it's great to hear mr. Fergie Frederiksen once again (can't wait to hear is new solo album !).
So, no more words need to be spend, it's time you're going to buy this bloody great record !

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