In 1987 I was a senior in High School and at that time was well entrenched in the hard rock and metal scene that was the rage of the decade. With arena rock exploding, MTV in its prime was a place to catch not only the Whitesnake, Def Leppard and Bon Jovi videos, but also some of the bands that were obscure to the American masses. That is when I heard a band from Denmark that changed my life forever, that was Pretty Maids and that song was “Future World.” The dramatic opening with the keys and the simplicity of the infamous 5 note riff driving into the images of the 1970 Cuda tearing through the futuristic landscape. “In The Distance, Far Away….” is sung at ease before the massive growls kick in as my introduction to the great Ronnie Atkins. Now, 34 years later, 2021, the past is present, opened again, as Ronnie Atkins brings a new experience with his first solo album “One Shot.” It’s an album that brings subtle diversities to Ronnie’s Pretty Maids history, but also packs everything that you would expect from this great talent; powerful hooks, superb melodies and purpose. Life experiences are why songs are written. They capture the emotion of the artist, translated by the listener to grasp the feeling into their own emotions.
The album opens with “Real,” a simple melodic rock track that kicks off the true emotion of Ronnie’s battle with cancer and how he still has the flame inside that still burns. There is no give up in this guy and this album is a statement for everyone who has had or been effected by a life-changing illness; there is hope in spirit and the power of mind is all encompassing.
The 2nd track, “Scorpio” is another classic melodic hard rocker; powerful with a snappy, driving chorus. The album is full of hooks and emotion of many levels and no song more so than the title track, “One Shot.” The track opens with some very moving piano and Ronnie’s vocal’s as powerful as ever. This track, as Ronnie told me, was about doing it now because “What If Tomorrow is too late?” He was fighting the emotion of finality, but he overcame it with help of family and friends and his own drive to live. This track is one of Ronnie’s finest and shows that this guy is here and his legacy has many pages left to be written.
This album just has so much to love with change of pace rock like “Subjugated” and a pure, mid tempo, treat like “Frequency Of Love” tying the middle of the 11 tracks together with perfection.
Track 6, “Before The Rise Of An Empire” drives in and this is vintage Ronnie Atkins. Massive hook and crunchy guitar that cements this album as a must have. Not only is this 11 truly great songs, but this is also an amazing sounding record Produced by Ronnie’s Pretty Maids counterpart and Keyboardist, Chris Laney and mixed with precision by Jacob Hansen.
Track 7, “Miles Away,” is a massive ballad that triggers much emotion and feeling. Driving and melodic and written in true Ronnie Atkins style.
The rockers roll back in with “Picture Yourself” and one of my favorites “Prophesize” which has the great growls and melodic power of a vintage Pretty Maids tune combined with the infamous, crunchy guitar that highlights this track. That system is more of the same with “One By One;” great groove, massive guitar and Ronnie delivering another killer vocal.
My listening comes to conclusion with “When Dreams Are Not Enough,” a smooth rocker with more of the inspiring vocals and amazing melodies that define this album.
In 1987 I became a fan of one band called Pretty Maids that changed my life forever and now in 2021, Ronnie Atkins launches his first solo album which transcends time and changes my outlook on life yet again. This album is 11 tracks that inspire an appreciation for how precious life really is and how we should never take it for granted. “One Shot” is an amazing, melodic hard rock album from one of Hard Rocks true masters in Ronnie Atkins; an artist that is an inspiration to us all.
Frequency Of Love
Before The Rise Of An Empire
One By One
When Dreams Are Not Enough
Ronnie Atkins: Lead and backing vocals
Chris Laney: Rhythm guitars, keyboards and backing vocals
Allan Sørensen: Drums
Morten Sandager: Keyboards
Pontus Egberg: Bass
Acoustic guitars: Anders Ringman
Lead guitars/solos: Pontus Norgren, Kee Marcello, Olliver Hartmann, John Berg, Chris Laney
Additional backing vocals: Chris Laney, Linnea Vikström Egg, Olliver Hartmann, Bjørn Strid
Produced by: Chris Laney
Mixed by Jacob Hansen