|TNT All The Way To The Sun||MTM Music|
I loved TNT's last album My Religion from the word go and it only got better. I still rate it as an absolute classic. But in some ways I have really struggled with All The Way To The Sun. It has taken a lot more time to really appreciate this album and while I still rate it as another great TNT release, for me it doesn't quite match the warmth or the brilliance of My Religion.|
After much thought and contemplation I must put my reservations down to the songs themselves, as the style is not far removed from the last album.
All The Way To The Sun is a little more contemporary than My Religion, but it does carry the sound and production style of that record over – especially in the guitar sound, which is emphasized further.
The songs of this album are definitely harder to digest on initial playback. It's not until you really get to know the record that they fully reveal themselves and even then, I think a few choruses are a little weak. What I really loved about My Religion was being hammered over the head with classic chorus after classic chorus, with each track really driven by a big hook.
All The Way To The Sun features songs that are more complex without being overly intricate. The album is also a little more aggressive in nature, which some will definitely find appealing.
That said – this album still features some classic songs and I'm sure TNT fans will all walk away happy with the result. It was always going to be near impossible to follow up the classic My Religion and please everyone, so I think all in all, the guys have done a very credible job.
TNT has moved on without abandoning the style and culture of My Religion, but has managed to avoid repeating themselves or standing still.
The guitars and vocals are the most prominent element of the album's sound with the rhythm section featuring a little lower in the mix. It has to be said that Tony's vocal performance is among his best ever and caps a year that included the amazing Starbreaker release.
Track By Track:
All The Way To The Sun kicks off in a more aggressive fashion than My Religion with the rocker A Fix. Double kick drum fuels the track which features a commanding lead vocal, but a less domineering guitar riff. The chorus is very simple and for most of the song features only the lead vocal. A prominent feature of this album is simpler choruses.
Too Late features a stronger guitar riff and a smoother more restrained vocal. The chorus is fairly simple again, maintaining the even flow of the song. Ronnie let's fly with a nice solo mid-song.
Driving comes to life with a more intricate and melodic guitar riff, with Tony's vocals matching the mood. The chorus is upon you before you realize and is gone just as quickly. It is a catchy and intelligent little number with a definite pop vibe. I love the guitar riff and the chorus becomes easier to like each listen.
Me and I is a very cool track. Something a little different is on offer from TNT here. A moody vocal is backed by a heard edged guitar riff and the chorus is huge. All the while the tempo stays pretty relaxed. It features a nice guitar solo and a great lead vocal and takes some listening to, but is one of the album's gems.
Sometimes is the lead single and a clear pick at that. Another gem from the album, with another great chorus - this is one of TNT's most commercial and catchy songs in a long time and given the chance could fit into radio playlists. But what are the chances of that happening?
All The Way To The Sun is a heavier, darker and more aggressive song that follows the lighter more melodic tones of the last two tracks perfectly. This track has a monster guitar riff and a groove to match. Tony's vocals are right in your face and very aggressive. Great to hear more guitar solos in music and Ronnie again lays it on. The song's chorus is short, but memorable and matches the style of the album as a whole.
Next up a somewhat bizarre selection. A cover of the Louis Armstrong classic What A Wonderful World. While the song features what is an amazing vocal - smooth, soulful and controlled – it remains out of place amongst the more aggressive material here.
The Letter returns to the style and sound of the opening two tracks. Short sharp guitar riffs and a prominent vocal. The song misses a bigger chorus though. The simple change in flow to accommodate a brief chorus could have been more pronounced. I will say that Tony's vocal on this track is incredible.
Mastic Pines is a short instrumental piece which for me ends a mid-album run of tracks that could have been stronger.
The short, but effective Black Butterfly gets things back on track. This is an aggressive and hard hitting little rocker that features some cool guitar work but again could have been even better with a bigger chorus.
Save Your Love is a little more relaxed and more melodic, even with a forceful vocal. The chorus is definitely a more instant hook and the song balances the aggression of the past few tracks.
Closing the new album is Ready to Fly – a highlight for the album and once again, something a little different for the band. The song features a strong chorus, without being immediate and has a contemporary feel but remains true to the overall TNT sound.
The album is a change from My Religion and I think the nature of it will see some fans claiming it to be an even better release than the last album, with other fans possibly disappointed in the end result.
It takes time to get to know and appreciate, so give it that time before casting judgment. I think it is another great TNT album, but in my opinion not quite the classic My Religion was.
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