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Nilsson, Tommy - 1990 Follow The Road

ARTIST: Nilsson, Tommy
ALBUM: Follow The Road
LABEL: Alpha
YEAR: 1990
CD REISSUE: 1996, RCA/BMG (Sweden), 74321 35512 2


LINEUP: Tommy Nilsson - vocals * Staffan Astner - guitars * Nalle Pahlsson, Gerhard L - bass * Per Andersson - keyboards * Peter Ljung - keyboards; percussion * Nicci Wallin, Ove Bergwall - drums * Anders Herrlin - programming * Ronnie Lahti - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Looking Through The Eyes Of A Child * 02 Don't Walk Away * 03 Miracle * 04 Too Many Expectations * 05 Stranded In The Shadow * 06 Peace In Our Time * 07 Cathy * 08 Your Love * 09 The Power Within * 10 I Won't Give Up * 11 There's A River * 12 Don't Break It (Bonus)


Former Horizon and Easy Action lead singer Tommy Nilsson takes us on another journey of melodic rock, and he invites us to follow him down his particular road. If my memory serves me correctly, this Tommy's third solo album, and I have to say it's much more appealing than his prior 1988 affair 'It!'. For this set, there are not too many original compositions onboard, instead, quite a few outside contributions are introduced, including a few familiar tunes as well. The overall sound veers to the AOR side of the road, rather than the middle of the road approach taken previously. Yes, it still smacks of commercialism, but this time, the arrangements have an appeal that only AORsters can only appreciate. There are moments where you are reminded of his time with Easy Action, more so than what he did with 'It!'. And that, in a nutshell is what makes 'Follow The Road' quite appealing.

The Songs
Opening up with a Pete Sinfield, Andy Hill and Albert Hammond co-write (wow, what a team!), the delicious 'Looking Through The Eyes Of A Child' is a winner, and great choice for a scene-setter. Sinfield and Hill contribute track 2, the familiar 'Don't Walk Away', better remembered as the final track on the fabuloso debut Bad English the year before. I have to admit, there's not many artists who could better that Bad English version eh? With 'Miracle' it has a nice regimented beat, very Canadian sounding, a la Glass Tiger perhaps. 'Too Many Expectations' has an increased tempo, an awesome chorus, the vibe is foot-tapping all the way. Think of those Easy Action ballads from their classic 'That Makes One' album and you'd swear that 'Stranded In The Shadow' was a track left behind on the cutting room floor. The lyrical melodrama combining with an edgy sound with great results. A world anthem of sorts is the peoples choice 'Peace In Our Time', (another Sinfield/Hill co-write) previously covered by the likes Sir Cliff Richard and Eddie Money. 'Cathy' (which appears to be an ode to Tommy's wife Catherine) is a rather cool and funky groove tune, even Alfie Zappacosta would be at home on this one. Talking of Zappacosta, his running mate Gerry Mosby (a.k.a The Mozz) co-writes the next tune 'The Power Within' (with Dean McTaggart, of The Arrows fame), and again, is typical of the material coming out of Canada during the mid-late eighties. Perhaps one of the strongest tracks here is 'I Won't Give It Up', a story about triumph over adversity. McTaggart wrote this with long time collaborator/producer Dave Tyson (Alannah Myles, Tina Arena). Conversely the weakest track on offer is 'There's A River'. Give that one a wide berth if you may, and skip to the closing bonus track 'Don't Break It (My Heart)' which has some nice moments to finish off on.

In Summary
CD Collectors looking to embellish their collection with a classy bit of Swedish melodic rock with a commercial edge should check around GEMM or Ebay. This is well worth the nominal $ you would be required to part with for this CD. Go to it, you will be pleasantly surprised.

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