Frederiksen/Denander - Baptism By Fire
Shouldn't that be 'Baptism Of Fire'?
Whatever, the band name's a bit of a giveaway here. Yes, it's Fergie Frederiksen, who will forever be known by the suffix, "ex Toto", and the ubiquitous Tommy Denander, clearly going for some kind of world record in album appearances.
As you might expect, there are a few high profile guests. Michael Thompson and Steve Porcaro on guitar and keyboards respectively, while the mighty Thomas Vikstrom bolsters the backing vocals.

Sadly, 'BBF' is all surface gloss, with little substance below the dazzling veneer of eighties' styled melodic rock.
Denander's Radioactive comes to mind, but only in the sense that Radioactive had everything that 'BBF' doesn't, like an emotional connection and a convincing depth. With 'BBF' it's track 5, 'Written In Stone' (sounds like Jim Peterik had a hand in this one) before we reach any kind of genuine melodic rock eloquence, and any kind of pulse quickening thrill.

That said, third track, 'Silver Lining' carries some inviting Queen / Beach Boy harmonies and Journey-esque song structuring. Not quite enough to lift it all the way out of the ordinary though.
Elsewhere, 'Saving Grace' and 'Never Try To Love Again' take a leaf out of Final Frontier's book of melodic rock reinvention - keep it simple, keep it lightweight and focus on the hooks and the harmonies.

A strong sense of sameness starts to creep in halfway through 'BBF'. The duo may well think of all these songs as their babies, each one unique, but it is very difficult to discern any differentiating characteristics as you move from track to track on the second half of the album.
Call me old fashioned, but if you're not going to attempt a move into the twenty first century, then you have to have a genuine feeling for eighties' music, and not just turn out parodies.

On a positive note, the sound is crystal clear, but even then, the production lacks imagination, seemingly recycling eighties ideas and norms. If that's what people want, then fine. But frankly, I think people want more.

'Baptism By Fire' - a clear example of where the voice, the sound and the songs don't always add up to a winning score.

Written by Brian
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
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Brian: 5/10

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RevelationZ Comments

Comment by ThraX (Member) - Tuesday, June 19, 2007
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Comments: 135
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I agree with you that this disc is very 80's sounding , yet for some reason I cannot stop listening to it!........Great melodic vocals and the guitar playing is top notch.....I give it a 7/10

Posted by ThraX
Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Comment by mde (Anonymous) - Friday, September 14, 2007
Awesome vocals and harmony, blistering guitar, and irresistable hooks is what I was hoping for -- and you get it in spades with this record. I have it stuck in my MP3 playlist as well. Of course it's fluff; expecting 'emotional depth' is missing the point.

Review by Brian

Released by
Frontiers Records - 2007

Let Him Go
Right Heart Wrong Time
Silver Lining
Crossing Over
Written In Stone
My Saving Grace
Baptism By Fire
Can't Get Enough
Never Try To Love Again
Dead End
Keep A Light On
Left With nothing

Melodic rock

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Baptism By Fire - (Alanna)

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