CD Review: Tony Harnell And The Mercury Train – Round Trip

Tony Harnell & The Mercury TrainTony Harnell was the voice of TNT for 22 years when he left the band in 2006. Round Trip is the first full length album to bear his name on the cover. The album is an acoustic look at the music of TNT and Westwood, with a couple of unreleased songs and an Alanis Morissette cover thrown in for good measure. My first thought was that this would be another acoustic rehash of former glories like all the MTV Unplugged releases, but instead, Round Trip is an exciting representation and modern take on some great songs. The album is refreshing, upbeat at just the right moments and showcases the voice that made TNT such a great band.

Somebody Told You, originally from the TNT album Firefly, kicks off the album and what follows is a series of variations on the acoustic vibe, including a stunning version of "Satellite" (originally by TNT from the album Give Me a Sign EP, 2003) which was played on a ukulele. Northern Lights and 10K Lovers also stand out with great grooves and a powerful voice, while the cover of Alanis’ Uninvited makes me wonder what might have been if Alanis and Tony recorded it together – that would have been amazing. Sandi Saraya, of the 80s band Saraya, joins Tony on the Westwood song Shame joining two great melodic rock voices in one song.

Although the acoustic Somebody To Love is worth the price of the CD alone, older TNT fans will most likely embrace all of it with open arms. For others, the CD is an introduction to a true master of melodic rock – the acoustic forum on which it is presented allows listeners to hear just how good Tony’s voice really is. The CD is already available in Europe and gets a North American release on July 27.