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    Album Review: Ronnie Atkins “Make It Count” (2022)

    Ronnie Atkins returns with a new installment of his solo project, his new album “Make It Count”

    It’s been barely a year since Ronnie Atkins released “One Shot”, Dane’s first solo album outside of his parent band Pretty Maids, and now he delights us with a second album by the name, “Make It count”.
    As all fans know, Ronnie was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago and although he is still battling it, at the moment, the disease is giving him a break, allowing him to dedicate himself to composing and recording.

    It seems that he is immersed in a highly creative moment. In addition to this album, he is finalizing a new work with Erik Martensson in Nordic Union.

    And we suppose that, in his case, there is no better medicine for the soul than music, to which he is dedicating himself with intensity.

    “Make It Count” is the logical continuation of “One Shot”. Ronnie has continued to compose intermittently, and in fact, he has followed the same procedure as with his previous album. The germ of each track is worked out by Ronnie himself, who prepares the melody and main lines on piano and guitar and sends them to Chris Laney, a fellow Pretty Maids member, with whom he collaborates smoothly and efficiently. Chris records the tracks, makes the arrangements, and introduces the backing vocals.

    Unlike the previous album, this time the musician was physically better and as the covid restrictions allowed him, he was able to join in the recording with some of the musicians. He has some interesting guests like John Berg, Olliver Hartmann, Pontus Norgren, and Anders Ringman on guitars, backing vocals by Linnea Vikström Egg, who had already sung on the previous one as well.

    This is what the artist himself tells us about “Make It Count”: “Finally, the best thing about doing this is that I don’t have to argue with anyone if it’s too pop or too light, etc. I do what I do because that’s what I like and I’m my boss for these solo albums and, therefore, also the only one who takes responsibility, if it doesn’t live up to people’s expectations. But, this is what I want to do at this stage of my life…”.

    And what do we think about the album, well, I will say that it happens to me with Ronnie Atkins the same as with Pretty Maids, I don’t find a bad album. It can be more or less brilliant, but never an album that lacks interest.

    The result is an album similar to “One Shot”, as for musical line, where the half-times and the ballads predominate. A place where Atkins is like a fish in the water. For some, it may be a somewhat syrupy album, but if you are not prejudiced with the ballads, you will enjoy it. Atkins can handle himself in heavier terrains, it is undoubtedly the ballad, his Rosetta stone, and he composes and executes them with total success.

    The album begins well with “I’ve Hurt Myself (By Hurting You)” with powerful and very catchy melodies.

    “Unsung Heroes” was the first single, a good sample of what’s in store for us, it’s about all those unsung heroes who risk their lives for others.

    “Rising Tide Me” is a bit more dynamic, where he plays with his famous vocal dichotomy, so characteristic of him, that register that goes from the high voice to the radical contrast of the low voice.

    We start with the ballads, and this album has several “Remain To Remind”, the first ballad with a genuinely charming melody in the chorus.

    “The Tracks We Leave Behind” is mid-tempo, although it starts with a thunderous guitar riff that throws you off.

    The semi-ballad “Grace” or “Easier To Leave (Than Being Left Behind)” is the latter spectacular. “Fallen” includes a generous violin line.

    “Let Love Lead The Way” is a power ballad where the piano imposes the rhythm, melancholic and tender, only a passionate guitar solo breaks this serenity.

    “Blood Cries Out” sounds a little bit more roguish, in a more orderly way.

    It closes the album, the most captivating song of the album, with lyrics that transmit the message that we live a borrowed time and that every moment in life counts, every smile, every ray of light… “Make It Count” begins as a ballad to become more vigorous, giving it the definitive impulse, a chorus of seventies pop. Unbeatable exercise of Morten Sandager at the piano and Ronnie on vocals with an enviable fluency and that very high vocal level that he keeps intact.

    This album once again reflects the moment and the personal situation Atkins is going through, a highly creative and emotional moment for our protagonist, who continues to maintain the genius that has made him shine for more than three decades.

    Ronnie Atkins is back, the legend continues!

    The line-up for the album “Make it Count”:

    • Ronnie Atkins: lead vocals and backing vocals.
    • Chris Laney: rhythm guitar and keyboards
    • Alla Sørensen: Drums
    • Pontus Egberg: Bass
    • Morten Sandager: Keyboards

    Review by Alice

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