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TNT XIII

By Jay Roberts, Massachusetts Contributor
Tuesday, September 4, 2018 @ 8:49 AM


- advertisement -
TNT
XIII

Frontiers Music Srl - 2018
http://www.tnttheband.com




I'd venture to guess that it is a good thing that when I listen to albums for the purposes of reviewing them that I tend to listen to them more than once. I say this because if I'd reviewed the new TNT album XIII after the first time spinning the disc, I'd be crafting a review that pretty much dumped all over it. Thankfully, after doing some more run-throughs of the album, I have a far better grasp on the music to give a more fitting review of it.

For those who don't follow the comings and goings of the Norwegian rockers, their longtime vocalist Tony Harnell is once again out of the band. This in and out relationship between Harnell and the band borders on the comical. It also makes XIII a bit of a weird collection of songs because Harnell is credited as a co-writer on six of the album's twelve tracks and sings backup vocals on "Can't Breathe Anymore".

With Harnell out, the band has added singer Baol Bardot Bulsara to their ranks. In the end, he does a pretty solid job of establishing himself as the band's new vocalist. But it was by no means an easy task. The first half of the album is a real slog to get through. Looking back, it is almost like you can witness the evolution of the band with Bulsara from the beginning to the end of this particular album. In the album's first six songs, I found that aside from a strong solo from guitarist (and band leader) Ronnie Le Tekro on the track "Where You Belong" and the song "Fair Warning", there was really not all that much to warrant mentioning. The remainder of those six tracks left me wanting to not continue on with the rest of the album. The material was just weak and left my ears wanting something more substantial.

Thankfully for me the last six songs on XIII were substantially stronger overall. I do have to say that the closing song "Sunshine", which started out as a soft and spare sounding ballad for the first two minutes of its run time was the weakest addition to the album, but the other five songs were fast paced uptempo rockers that burned with far more intensity than I would've expected. You can almost hear how much more confident the music and vocal become with the increased quality of the songwriting. There's the anthemic nature of "Get Ready For Some Hard Rock" and a very aggressive musical backdrop for "People, Come Together". Straight up rockers "Tears In My Eyes", "17th of May" and "Catch A Wave" help the album reach a crescendo that made me happy to have continued on listening.

TNT has always been a bit of a curiousity for me. I've owned a couple of their earliest albums but never really considered myself much of a fan of theirs. There just seemed to be something of a disconnect for me with their music. They've never seemed to have that "it factor" for me when it came to the consistent quality in their songwriting. That said, while I may only be half sold on XIII, I'm glad to have finally made any kind of a real connection with their music.

3.3 Out Of 5.0


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