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RADIOACTIVE
CEREMONY OF INNOCENCE

MTM Music 0681-32
Produced by: Tommy Denander

Released: July 16 / Website
Closest Relative: Toto, Prisoner
GENRE: AOR
OVERALL: 90%

  1. The Story Of Love
  2. Crimes Of Passion
  3. On My Own
  4. Grace
  5. Waiting For A Miracle
  6. LA Movies
  7. Ceremony Of Innocence
  8. Liquid
  9. Haunt Me Tonight
  10. A Case Of Right Or Wrong
  11. Silent Cries
  12. When You're In Love

Radioactive is the project name given to Swedish guitarist, producer and songwriter Tommy Denander's latest project.
But to call it his latest project doesn't do justice to the work put into this, nor the line up or the effort in getting it released. This is top class music in every way.
The project came about after Tommy was signed to Sony and headed to LA to record an album with the guys he knew in Toto. Those sessions took place, but were not ready for release by the time Sony had a change of heart. Tommy vowed to finish the record in his own time and release it only when he was ready and comfortable with the results. Here it is!
Tommy should be well pleased with the results, as with other fans of his work and new coverts alike. Those that have no warmed to his other projects may well find a lot to like in Radioactive, as the production and song quality is somewhat different and very strong.
In the liner notes, Tommy says that this album might be heavier than some expect. Compared to recent albums, it is. But I have heard Tommy rock out and this isn't far removed from what any follower of Tommy's music would expect. This is definitely more AOR than his more recent Westcoast dominated records.
There are some rocking numbers and plenty of flashy guitar parts, but the smooth sounds of Westcoast at it's finest is what will make the biggest impression with listeners when enjoying this.
Tommy also says in the excellent liner notes, that this album features some of the finest talent available in this genre - absolutely! Spot on.
Please note - there are almost drum machines on this record! The majority of the percussion was recorded by the great Jeff Porcaro before his untimely death.
The Story Of Love features lead vocals by Geir Gronning. The track matches the pair's previous work on Prisoner, although the song itself it a step up from their recent album.
Crimes Of Passion features the great Bobby Kimball on vocals. The track rocks along nicely, boy, can the boy sing! Nice to hear Bobby stretch himself out on a more rock edged number.
One of my favorite vocalists in rock is the featured lead on On My Own. Fergie Frederiksen adds his own flare to this uptempo AOR pop rocker with a great hook and a definite Toto Isolation feel to it.
Grace is a very softly atmospheric ballad. Featuring Kristoffer Largerstrom on lead and Geir Ronning on back ground vocals, the song also features the amazing line up of Michael Thompson, Randy Goodrum and David Foster. Westcoast heaven is found.
Waiting For A Miracle features another musical giant on vocals - Chicago's Jason Scheff. This is another first class Westcoast track, with a very smooth production and a sound similar again to Sayit & Rainmaker, just a lot more polished.
And if you think it sounds remarkably like Toto at their soft pop best, you would be right. Players on this track include Jeff, Mike & Steve Porcaro, plus David Paich and Bruce Gaitsch.
LA Movies features Jason up front again and another Toto great - Joseph Williams on backing vocals. Another first rate, A1 Westcoast track as smooth as anything Chicago or Toto have ever recorded in this vein.
The title track sees Fergie back. Ceremony Of Innocence swings away from the soft Westcoast sounds of the last few tracks, to return to a tougher rock sound. Fergie's perfectly suited of course. This is a somewhat complex track, with a dark, moody feel and a changing tempo.
Liquid is a jazzy / funky instrumental track featuring an all start line up of Jeff & Mike Porcaro, Vince DiCola, Dean Parks & more...
Haunt Me Tonight is straight back to soft Westcoast mode. No wonder, it features Geir Ronning on vocals and Westcoast king Bruce Gaitsch on all instruments, except for Tommy's guitar playing. And yes, if you were wondering, it is the same song that Bruce released as a solo single a year or so ago. A wonderful soft romantic song, with a very soulful vocal.
A Case Of Right Or Wrong features the legendary Fee Waybill on vocals. The great survivor of rock n roll sounds in fine form on this fired up rock number. In fact I had to check the credits twice, as I swear it sounded like Steve Lukather on guitar. No, just Tommy Denander playing his ass off. A good rock song to up the tempo of the album at a good point.
Silent Cries keeps the tempo up and rolling along. This is a softer Westcoast/AOR number featuring vocalist Jim Jidhed.
When You're In Love features a return performance from Bobby Kimball. This classy guy is all over this track - another uptempo AOR number.
The last few songs of the album really have things on a roll. This is the tempo that maybe could have been more beneficial running near the top of the album. But to have a strong finish is important also and this album sure does.
Track 13 is...well, track 13 is a surprise bonus track, so I will leave something for you to find out!
BOTTOM LINE: Plain and simple this is Tommy Denander's finest work in a catalogue of many different projects. For fans of Tommy's sound, this will be a favourite for a long time, as it really does gather all of his passions into one record.
Those that haven't found his distinctive musical sound favorable, but like the artists mentioned here and have a penchant for the music of Toto would be advised to check this out, as it is a great body of work.
PRODUCTION: 90% SONGS: 92% VIBE: 85%ATTITUDE: 93%
ESSENTIAL FOR: All fans of Denander's previous projects, fans of Toto and high-tech AOR and Westcoast fans.
DISCOGRAPHY:Prisoner; Sayit; Talk Of The Town; Rainmaker; Radioactive


06/08/09: Andrei - andi76@rdslink.ro
Rating: 99
Why not 100? Because Lukather doesn't play on the album!
That's a joke, people! It'a a fantastic album that I redescovered afetr finding a rare video on youtube, with scenes from the making of this record. The whole album is awesome! I only regret that there are not much musicians like these left...
Jeff's drumming is astonishing as always and Tommy is a real kick ass guitar player. I miss this kind of albums...

02/10/05: Simon P. Beyer - simonbeyer@hotmail.com
Rating: 80
Being a fan of TOTO, of course I dig this album alot.
Since it features David Paich, Mike, Steve and Jeff Porcaro, Joseph Williams and Fergie Frederiksen one should expect this album to be rather TOTO-ish. And so it is. And on the other hand it isn't. It's quite unique in my opinion.

There are some very good songs on it and also some very weak songs. Therefore I don't rate it higher than 80.

A few of the songs are really awesome! My favourites are "Waiting For A Miracle" which has SO much energy thanks to Denander's guitar playing and Jeff Porcaro's AWESOME drumming. This track has so much Jeff on it - I love that!
"L.A. Movies" is another really nice song with a great chorus and some nice vocal parts.
"Grace" is also one of the highlights. Such an emotional ballad. The guitarsolo in the end of the song is fantastic and fits the song like a glove.
Also the bonus cut "Remember My Conscience" is really cool with a very recognizable guitar riff. A shame it wasn't included on the European release.

Other songs, however, are quite boring and ordinary. This goes for "On My Own", Silent Cries", "When You're In Love" and "A Case Of Right Or Wrong". I usually skip those tracks as I find them very uninteresting.
The rest of the album is good, but nothing earth shattering.

"Waiting For A Miracle", "Grace" and "L.A. Movies" make this album special and worth a listen in my opinion.

13/08/02: holland - dutch@yahoo.nl
Rating: 98
Great songs, great music
Can't wait for the new CD Oh, yeah
I've heard rumours that there will be a dvd?????
Should be in everyone's CD collection

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK

10/06/02: Bart - b_holwerda@lycos.nl
Rating: 96
A great album! I first bought it because of the connection with the band I'm a huge fan of: TOTO, and I didn't love it. But the more I listened to it, the more I started loving it.
The musicians are great, with great singers as Bobby, Geir, and Fergie. And it contains some of the last recordings of the lately mr.Jeffrey Porcaro (drums, TOTO. died 5 August 1992).
This record is a mix of AOR and Westcoast, featuring some great rockers and a copple fantastic ballads. The one thing I can't agree with is the musical connection with TOTO. Many say RADIOACTIVE sounds a lot like TOTO and that it's a TOTO-imitating project, but that's bullshit!! The only song that could maybe be a TOTO song is ON MY OWN, and it's only because of Fergie's vocals. But that doesn't make it a less great album.
The songs: Story Of Love, a great uptempo song with an awesome chorus; Crimes Of Passion, fantastic! Awesome vocals and guitarplay, not to mention the kick-ass chorus; On My Own is one of my faves. Again, with great vocals and an awesome guitarsolo; Grace, a great ballad with awesome guitarplay and fantastic vocals; Waiting For A Miracle is one of my less faves. Boring song; LA Movies has got the best backing-vox by Joseph Williams. Great song, and in my eyes the diamond on this release; Ceremony Of Innocence is a good rockballad. Very dark, moody athmosphere on this one, with probably the best guitar-solo on the album; Liquid, the only instrumental song on the album. Great track, but a little too much horns and too less guitars; Haunt Me Tonight goes on in the style of Grace. Great dark moody song; A Case Of Right Or Wrong is sang by Tubes' leadingman Fee Waybill and is probably my least favorite song and together with Waiting For A Miracle the reason this album doesn't get 100% from me. Silent Cries again is a dark moody song with nice music; When You're In Love is a great song. Bobby again singing fantastic and great backing vox; Is This Love, the 'surprise' bonus-track I didn't know nothing about. Not everyone seems to get this track on the album, but I got it and it's nice. Not great, but for an extra track it's nice.
My faves on this release are LA MOVIES, CRIMES OF PASSION, GRACE and ON MY OWN.

07/03/02: Richard Hall - drhall01@hotmail.com
Rating: 87
Hats off to the artists that played on this c.d.,the music has been performed well.The only let down on this album is the vocals,considering the fact that such an array of fine singers at the top of their game did the work on this project.The best songs ironically were done by the lesser known artists such as Geir Ronning,Kristoffer Largerstrom and Jim Jidhed.Bobby Kimball was obviously not at home on his songs as was Jason Scheff(Joseph Williams should have done the lead on his songs,especially on "L.A.Movies").Fee Waybill's offering is instantly forgetable.Thank goodness for Fergie Fredriksen and Alex Ligertwood to help strenghthen this release.Tommy Denander's efforts are always worth checking out.This is one of his best releases.Good Stuff

07/09/01: Robin McGhie - Robin@mcghiefamily.freeserve.co.uk
Rating: 95
Quite simply STUNNING !!!. Ive lost count of the releases over the last 10 years that have had superlatives placed on them by the reviewer. Then to be let down when you buy the said release and discover that at very best, it is mediocre. How often have you heard the term..."Consumate AOR" "West Coast Rock at its best" ? Very often I'd bet. Well this release really is the real McCoy. You've seen who features on the CD and to say they all produce top notch performances to complement the high standard of songwriting, would only be scratching the surface.
To sum up, if you are a fan of Quality Melodic Rock this really is an essential purchase for your collection. I rather doubt that there will be such a collection of quality rock musicians on one release, ever again.

29/08/01: Nicolas Duclos - duclos.nico@wanadoo.fr
Rating: 95
I'm a french fan of Toto. When I found "Radioactive" and I saw the cast of guests, I couldn't believe it. David Paich, the Porcaro Brothers, Bobby Kimball... It's the record of my dreams! My fave tunes are : "Liquid", because of his jazz-funk mood; "In case of right or wrong", with Fee Waybill, cause it really rocks; "Ceremony of innocence" with great vocalist Fergie Frederiksen, a ballad with very cool melody line; the bonus track "Remember my conscience" seems to be a great jam. I guess musicians had a good time to play this one. I didn't know Tommy Denander (cause his albums are not released in France) but his style sonds like Malmsteen meets Lukather. Most of all, "Radioactive" gives us the opportunity to hear again the Jeff Porcaro's superb groove. You know, it's like a dream...

27/08/01: Susumu - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 82
Tommy Denandar what a man. Jim Peterik is not the only one who can make such grand consortium of AOR rock successful. It is a paradise for Toto fans and Equilibrium appreciators. Fergie Fredericksen is really great on On my own reminicent a bit of Equilibrium. It is more centered for TOTO than Equilibrium but it has similar flavor. Haunt Me Tonight, written by Richard Marx and his songwriting team is a nice fit for this album. AOR fans awaiting for Mecca release may get the kick out of it.

21/08/01: Landér family - marita.martinsen@electrolux.se
Rating: 100
Absolutely the best record from Tommy so far... We have heard nearly all of his records and we love the lyrics, songs and melodies on this one. Radioactive will (also) become a true success! With love from Reidar, Marita and Maria.

13/08/01: Brent - bl5150@bigpond.net.au
Rating: 95
Great album with no real fillers,although there are a couple of tracks where the standard drops slightly. Really tasteful guitar playing from Tommy is the highlight for me......some beautiful melodies in there. The other guys have summed it up well I think,although it was mentioned below Tommy and Lukather are good friends......they are the exact opposite....maybe former friends. It's no coincidence all of Toto except Steve are on this album.

04/08/01: Mark Ridout - mridout1@home.com
Rating: 100
I must say that my favourite band is Toto followed by Chicago. This cd from start to finish is absoloutely outstanding and reminds me so much of the above noted bands and why shouldnt it most of TOTO(Lukather is the only exception) play on this and it shows. The bonus track is a kicks ass song called Remember my conscience and ranks in the top 4 songs of the cd so if you are gonna get the cd you want the one with the bonus track as the vocals and guitar work kick ass! My other favourite songs ranking in order 1)Crimes of Passion-Bobby Kimball. This is worth buying the cd on its own. With most of TOTO backing this song absoloutely kick ass, one of the best AOR songs in years.....2)When your in Love-Bobby Kimball, Another fantastic tune with great vocal range by Bobby and excellent guitar work by Tommy Denander. I also really like the melody with fantastic backing vocals by Geir Ronning, this is a very very smooth TOTO sounding song, Jeff,s drum work is great, I must add that his drum work on this cd rules and just shows how talented he was.....3)LA Movies-Jason Scheff and Joseph Williams sound great together on this upbeat smooth west coast tune....4)Remember my conscience-Jim Jedhed(I think as its not listed in the credits) This is a wicked rock tune with great vocals and Tommy shines on guitars and Jeff Porcaro is amazing and i mean amazing on drums..... 5)On My Own-Fergie Frederiksen- Man another ex TOTO singer who also has great vocal range and this is another very TOTO sounding tune right out of TOTO'S Isolation era...6)Ceremony of Innocence-Fergie Frederiksen-This is a different track that is all over the place, but that is a good thing, Love Fergie and Tommy, this has great guitar riffs and a rocky beat, again Jeff sounds smoooth. 7)Fee Waybill-A Case of Right or Wrong, This is an interesting song with a very uptemp TOTO sounding sound with definete tubes sound. I love Fees vocals on this song and Tommy's sizzling solo. The rest of the songs on this are really good as well including the two slow ones Grace & Haunt me tonight and I would reccomend this cd to everyone as it is simply put the best AOR/Westcoast cd in many many years!

01/08/01: Johan - aorsweden@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
A true masterpiece from Mr. Tommy Denander! This record took about 10! years to be released, but finally it´s out. The musicstyle reminds me of Toto and his earlier release, Prisoner (which also is a great record). This is a solorecord from Tommy involving many great musicians such as David Foster, Fergie Frederiksen, Jason Scheff, Bobby Kimball, Geir Rönning, Abe Laboriel, Mike Porcaro, Steve Porcaro, the GREAT Jeff Porcaro and many more. There are a few "goodies" on this record; On my own (with Fergie on vocals), The story of love (Geir on vocals), Ceremony of innocence (Fergie again), the great ballad When you´re in love (Bobby Kimball) and my favourite L.A. Movies (with vocalgod Jason Scheff). There are also a great instrumental song; Liquid. Tommy plays (of course) guitar on all tracks and keyboards on a few and does it really great, his playingstyle reminds me of Steve Lukather (a good friend of Tommy). This record is surely a top 10 contender on the Aor-list at the end of this year. Do Tommy and especially yourself a favour and buy this great album! you won´t be disappointed.


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