Well this has to be the most talked about album for sometime, the 50/50 split between the lovers and haters of this album have all made their comments somewhere along the line so why the split? Well half of them are besotted with Tony Harnell and stuck in a time warp and don’t get out much into the real world and the other half are real music lovers who are in the real world and not the cocoon that the whole melodic rock brigade has been stuck in since '82 and refuses to break the chains and listen to anything but Melodic Rock, SAD SO SAD.
After all the negative vibes that the so called TNT fans have put out about this album it’s a wonder that Tony Mills isn’t sleeping with a gun beneath his pillow just in case of reprisals about him replacing said Harnell as frontman.
So here’s my opinion of the album. Well with any new singer in a band comes the anticipation of what is to come. LeTekro and Co. could have gone for a total unknown vocalist, a Harnell sound-a-like if they wanted to carry on as before, but no they opted for the fine vocal talent that is Tony Mills, a man whose vocal pedigree is second to none and who isn’t afraid of change and has taken this criticism of the new album on the chin and stuck by it all the way.
Now on to the album itself, things get under way with ‘A Constitution’ and instantly the LeTrekro guitars take hold of the album then it’s the first slice of the Mills effect and well quite simply I like it. The guitars are superb as always from LeTekro, a little mixed up, but still 110% LeTekro because that’s what he does.
Things continue with ‘Substitute’ and once again it's down to LeTekro to gets the ball rolling with Mills breaking free with some of those powerful vocals we know he more that capable of producing. The spellbinding fret work of LeTekro is always a pleasure to listen to as he mixes it up like no other guitarist I know and with Diesel Dahl thrashing out the back beat and Victor Borge providing the thumping bass, this goes down as one of my favourites of the album.
‘Are You Blind’ is once again opened up with LeTekro’s immaculate guitar work and Mills vocal harmonies on this track are just superb and shows why he was chosen to take TNT to the next level. Mills’s vocal fortitude is carried on into the next one the excellent ‘Golden Opportunity’. This riff filled masterpiece shows the rockier side of the album with is streaming guitars and monster chorus, you can't beat a bit of NAH NA NAH.
Another favourite track of mine is the aptly titled ‘Something Special’, this is where Mills really shines with one of his finest vocal performances to date and with LeTekro simply outstanding.
With Mills outlandish sense of humour if you were wondering how it might manifest itself on this new album, well he puts on his best Phil Daniels impression on the heavily Beatles influenced 'Now We’re Talkin’ with its great use of the Beatles songs and albums, with a few licks stolen from the McCartney school.
After the fun stuff it's back to the business end of the album with the superb ‘Wild Life’, the first track that is could be described as classic TNT, but even this stab at nostalgia couldn’t please some people. The album continues with the moving ‘Fountain of Love’ with Mills once again laying down some fine harmonies and LeTrekro once again simply superb.
The album takes a definite 50's feel with ‘June’, a song that wouldn’t be a miss on some old black and white Humphrey Bogart film with the band playing this in the background as he gets it on with Lauren Bacall. After that short step back in time it's back to the now with the rocking tones of ‘Can't Go On Without’, another shining example of why Mills vocals fit in so well with the whole TNT sound. The rocking continues with another of my favourites off the album the excellent ‘2 Seconds Away’ on which LeTrekro shows his sometimes eccentric approach to guitar playing as he gets some quite unique sounds out of his six string.
But all out track of the album has to be the simply mind blowing ballad ‘Milestone River’, this is where Mills lays down his most dark vocals and with the added atmospherics of orchestral strings and piano, all go to make this a superb way to end the album proper and takes me back to the very first TNT album. I say proper as there is a 13th track which is called ‘Let's Party Mills’, where Tony gives us breakdown of who appeared on the album and once again shows the humour that Mills undoubtedly brings to TNT. The king is dead, long live the king!
1. A Constitution
3. Are You Blind?
4. Golden Opportunity
5. Something Special
6. Now We're Talkin'
7. Wild Life
8. Fountain Of Love
10. Can't Go On Without
11. 2 Seconds Away
12. Milestone River
13. Let's Party Mills
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