"Raised on Radio" (Frontiers Music SRL; 2022)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I'll be honest. The first time I started listening to Ronnie Romero's "Raised on Radio," I had no idea it was a covers album. When I got to Ronnie's cover of Queen's "I Was Born to Love You," I shook my head and said, "Hey! Wait a minute!" And I did some research ... when I discovered it was a covers album. (By they way, nice Freddie Mercury impression here, Mr. Romero).

Now, this is both a good and a bad thing. It's a good thing because Ronnie has chosen some deep cut tracks here, songs you wouldn't necessarily know unless you were a fan of the original artist. That's cool. I am a huge fan of deep tracks. It's a bad thing because, when I hear a cover tune, I want to know what the original sounded like. So, some of the songs on this album that I was unfamiliar with (or had forgotten) I had to hunt down and listen to again.

None of that really matters here. The bottom line is that "Raised on Radio," like most cover albums, has its hits and misses. And, like most cover albums, those hits and misses depend on the listener's point of view.

I will say this: "Raised on Radio" is brilliantly recorded, both clean and powerful. And Ronnie sounds great. His voice is strong and versatile and it's truly amazing how he can tailor his voice to fit each song no matter how different they may be. And he makes each cover tune on "Raised on Radio" his own ... which is what a good covers album should do.

So I recommend "Raised on Radio" if you're a fan of Ronnie Romero or a big fan of any of the artists covered hereon (I've included a list below). If nothing else, it's another look at the talent of an amazing vocalist and worth a listen just for that.

Covered on "Raised on Radio" are:
"Sin's A Good Man's Brother" (Grand Funk Railroad)
"Backstreet Love Affair" (Survivor)
"No Smoke Without A Fire" (Bad Company)
"I Was Born To Love You" (Queen)
"Play The Game Tonight" (Kansas)
"Carolina County Ball" (Elf)
"Girl On The Moon" (Foreigner)
"Gypsy" (Uriah Heep)
"Voices" (Russ Ballard)
"All Along The Watchtower" (Bob Dylan)
"Since I've Been Loving You" (Led Zeppelin)

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2022 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.