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Romero, Ronnie: Raised on Radio

Ronnie Romero is becoming an established name in the hard rock and metal world as a front man for Michael Schenker Group, Rainbow, etc. He entered the music scene in 2010 and comes from Chile. On April 15th, his debut solo album, Raised on Radio was released. It is an album of covers, including tracks from bands like Led Zeppelin, Queen, Survivor, Bob Dylan, Uriah Heep, Bad Company, etc. While I think Romero is a talented vocalist, I am not a fan of this album at all. Most of the covers are bland and uninspired, and the backing band is quite boring. I also think some of the covers on here are genuinely bad. The album feels like an overlong American Idol performance rather than creative art.

As I said, I think that Romero is a talented singer. His nails the vocal tones of the original songs, and he has quite a wide range. That’s about as far as I can go with praising this album. The production was underwhelming, the band was bland, and the arrangements of some of the songs were very obnoxious. The best covers on here for me were probably “Carolina Country Ball” (Elf) and “Backstreet Love Affair” (Survivor). Neither were astonishing, but they didn’t annoy me like some of the others. I thought the Elf cover was a bit too saccharine near the end, and the Survivor song’s arrangement was uninteresting, but they were a little catchy. Some of the worst covers on here were “I Was Born to Love You” (Freddie Mercury/Queen), “Gypsy” (Uriah Heep), and “All Along the Watchtower” (Bob Dylan). The Queen track was originally a Freddie solo song, and it was later reworked for the posthumous album Made in Heaven. It was never that good of a song, and it’s basically unlistenable on this album. The production is cheesy and way over done, and Romero’s vocal performance sounds like mimicry rather than adding anything to the existing song. “Gypsy” is one of my favorite Uriah Heep songs, and I was initially excited to hear what Romero would do with it. By the end, all I could say about it is that it was boring. The music is neutered, the vocals don’t capture the haunting tone of Byron’s brilliant original performance, and they played everything way too safe. The Bob Dylan cover was puzzling to me. First off, the music had nothing that was interesting about it. It was very bland and derivative, and the attempt to sound modern on a classic failed. It’s hard to think of anyone covering this song better than Hendrix, but the band could’ve tried a little harder. I also didn’t think Romero’s voice fit this song much at all. The final track was a cover of “Since I’ve Been Loving You” by Led Zeppelin. Ronnie gave a good vocal performance, but both the vocals and the music were just a bland sounding carbon copy of the original. The lack of creativity was astounding, especially as the intro guitar solo was played note for note. The only difference is that the performance had none of the soul or grit of Page’s playing.

Overall, I feel like this album was a mistake. Romero has a lot of talent, but I wish that he would’ve been given a more interesting band and some original content to sing. This album lacked any character, it was weakly produced, and none of these covers felt necessary to me at all. I wish Romero all the luck with further solo projects, but I can’t say I’m impressed so far.

Lineup is:
Ronnie Romero: Vocals
Srdjan Brankovic: Guitars
Javi Garcia: Bass
Andy C: Drums
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards

Track Listing:

  1. Sin’s A Good Man’s Brother
  2. Backstreet Love Affair
  3. No Smoke Without a Fire
  4. I Was Born to Love You
  5. Play The Game Tonight
  6. Carolina County Ball
  7. Girl on the Moon
  8. Gypsy
  9. Voices
  10. All Along the Watchtower
  11. Since I’ve Been Loving You

Added: May 2nd 2022
Reviewer: Ryan Gavalier
Related Link: Artist Facebook Page
Hits: 629
Language: english

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