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TNT - 2008 Atlantis




ARTIST: TNT
ALBUM: Atlantis
LABEL: Metal Heaven
SERIAL: MHV00059
YEAR: 2008

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Tony Mills - lead & backing vocals * Ronni Le Tekro - guitars, backing vocals * Diesel Dahl - drums * Victor Borge - bass, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hello, Hello * 02 Peter Sellers Blues * 03 Babys Got Rhythm * 04 Tango Girl * 05 Me And Dad * 06 Atlantis * 07 The Taste Of Honey * 08 Bottle Of Wine * 09 Missing Kind * 10 Love Of My Life * 11 Had It, Lost It, Found It * 12 Substitute (Live 2007)

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.tnttheband.com


Background
I have always played it safe with TNT, only picked up on their classic AOR, melodic outputs like 'Tell No Tales' and 'Intuition' while avoided the more challenging 'Firefly' and 'Transistor'. Didn't even come close to buying any of Ronni's solo CD's although always took an interest in the Vagabond releases, but as they came at a high price, (which I could never match) I have been unable to purchase them. Surely due for a re-issue, especially with the interest in Jorn Lande. Returning to this 2008 release I am not sure how many takers will have this, especially as I picked it up for a relevantly low price on an auction site recently, well it is a shame if you don't, because it shows a group at the top of their game, even though it's not playing in a formation you would expect. With 'Atlantis', TNT has opened themselves up to a whole new market, I just hope previous supporters accept the change. At least TNT fans are a 'hardy' bunch and change is nothing they aren't used to considering previous TNT releases. This follows the 2007 album, 'The New Territory' which was the first introduction of Tony Mills, even though 'Atlantis' is a quick follow up, it is not a hastily put together collection of songs.


The Songs
'Hello, Hello' even without hearing the track, with a title like that, you automatically think of New England, well you would not be far wrong in a comparison to those guys, especially with the backing vocals in the chorus, it is a very clever opening track. It does give an excellent synopsis of what the new TNT album is like.

'Peter Sellers Blues', well here is my account of my first impression: they are taking a very big risk with this as the second track. There is a fine line for a track like this to be excellent or irritating, I have only heard the great Big Money being able to pull this off in the past. The chorus is good, but I am unclear in the longevity of the song.. However, on second thoughts, after a number of plays, it is totally genius, it would be my first choice on a TNT compilation.

'Baby's Got Rhythm' this is immensely catchy with the riff being repeated over and over again but you do not get bored with it. Even contains some 'sitar', would you believe two reviews on the trot I find myself mentioning this instrument.

'Tango Girl' another example of meticulous songwriting from TNT, flawless. The first part has the feel of the movie soundtrack from 'The Third Man'. I found this had some way filtered into my head, while I was taking my morning shower. This like many of the songs seems to be put together with a 'pop' single in mind and it works. You get the feeling that they have recorded it with the view of no constraints, a strategy of 'let's just do it' or 'I've had this in my mind for years'. They have just recorded it with no preconceptions of what TNT should sound like!.

'Me and Dad' this is a delightful ballad, I am sure if this was recorded by the likes of Keane or Razorlight it would be all over conservative radio stations like a plague. Tony's voice is in a lower register, a real Brian May guitar break and in some way this would not sound strange alongside a choice cut from the 'Sheer Heart Attack' era of Queen. This ballad turns into an epic, which grows in stature and TNT have grown with it and in my estimations. It is my favourite song of the album, this is 10,000 light years away from '10,000 Lovers', that is not a criticism, just an outline of what you can expect from this song.

'Atlantis' begins with a great melodic riff and Tony Mills gets a chance to cut free, back to his Shy days, I wonder if my free 'Brave The Storm' t-shirt still fits? (probably not). This is the first time the guys are in hard rock (new) territory and actually I find myself missing the 'pop' sound coming from the majority of the album.

'The Taste Of Honey' puts you back to the 70's with clear blue skies, walking through fields of barley, a very simple song.

'Bottle Of Wine' is an instant good time tune that sounds very close to the English band, The Feeling. Very much heading for the summer and dare I say it, a real Eurovision feel to it, especially with the lyrical content, could they be following in the footsteps of Wig Wam and Lordi?

'The Missing Kind' another easy going tune from the realms of early Mikael Erlandsson and even the underrated Stefan Andersson. It sparkles with a glistening guitar solo, professionally performed, a melodic pop classic.

'Love Of My Life' begins with strumming acoustic guitar, it sometimes even touches on The LA's, 'There She Goes'. Another splendid example of a catchy and well constructed song, rather than the driving rock anthems from the late 80's. TNT have matured into consummate professionals (not to say they were not before) but the energy and vibrance is very much evident to become the masters of songwriting.


In Summary
Not since Big Money's epic 'Moonraker' CD have I heard an album that is different to anything I have recently had the good fortune to hear. It is clever and intelligent, but heavens above don't do a risk assessment on this album because you wouldn't be able to secure the relevant insurance on it. While some tracks on first listen are just too damn strange - for example, 'Peter Sellers..' and 'Tango Girl', but after repeated listens they become excellent highlights. TNT have put together a modern melodic rock CD with each song sounding complete and very much stands alone as a bit of individualism. Tony Mills has flourished on this release, at the same time I have read in the past that some feel Ronni has got over-complicated and took a journey up his own backside, well all I can say is that, at least he has come out smelling of roses.


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Comments

#1 | gdazegod on January 28 2009 13:00:40
TNT have really polarized hard rock listeners with their last two releases. Not sure what they're trying to do actually. hmm!
#2 | roadrunner158 on January 28 2009 17:46:26
They probably don't know either. To me, it seems they're trying out every style known to man except the one they're (semi-)famous for. Which doesn't mean that this is a bad release, just very inconsistent.
#3 | rkbluez on January 31 2009 18:34:46
I really like the Atlantis album and I know I'm not alone on this...a little change in direction and taking some chances once in a while keeps a band from growing stale...I really like the slightly quirky direction they took on this album...Tony Mills did a great job as well as Ronnie writting some nice riffs...the production is also superb making it even easier to enjoy.

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