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On disc: Tony Harnell

Round Trip - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars

Round Trip

Round Trip
(Frontiers - 2010)

It's been awhile since ex-TNT singer Tony Harnell stepped into the spotlight, even if he did some small shows in NYC. And there the idea popped up to re-record some of his hits with friends who aren't part of the hard rock / metal scene and to strip down the songs. And so this album came to life. Harnell asked some friends to help him, gave him the original recordings and gave them carte blanche to re-arrange the songs, to change key, etc. And so the songs are presented in an acoustic way and they sound quite different - partly coz Tony Harnell sings deeper. So TNT classics like Intuition and 10,000 Lovers got a new identity. Westworld tune Shame is enchanting! Tony Harnell get joined by Sandi Saraya and together they deliver an emotional performance. And I hope this won't be the last time they sing together! Northern Lights will give you shivers! The acoustic version is touching and I understand why they did a video for this one! Satellite is a kind of country tune now, based on banjo - I think -, a happy track which make you move. 10K Lovers is one of the highlights for me. And I know that some won't like this jazzy, lounge music version, but it just shows that a good song can be presented in different outfits and so might convince people to be more open... Westworld did cover Alanis Morrisette's Uninvited which is now a slow, melancholy tune. Song For Dianne is a beautiful ballad which gets a folkish touch due to the flute, but it's Harnell's vocals which will hook you up!
The only new tune is called Anywhere But Here and is a bit Beatles-que. The song shows another Tony Harnell, and I hope we'll hear more of him, coz it shows that he can still write good songs. Beside the new tune Anywhere But Here there is a bonus track - When I'm Away -, a happy rocker.
Actually I think it's a good idea to go a different way, not presenting a typical acoustic album. Changing the mood, the identity of a song needs courage as fans might reject the new versions. But if someone does reject this album without giving it a listen, is just dumb. Let Tony Harnell & The Mercury Train enchant you with this revived versions of his career highlights!

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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