Tonio K.

Romeo Unchained

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    6
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Heralded by many as Tonio K.'s greatest release, this record does not age well, being rich in many trendy 1980s gimmicks (electric drums and glossy synthesizer work). It is also the least representative of his intellectual style, nearly all the songs being centered around the subject of relationships. Not a bad idea for a concept album but for the over-abundance of similar subject matter. Released in the wake of the PMRC, when the mainstream CCM market had little to offer in the way of challenging music, this release is good, but is far from up to par with most of his other work; the key phrase here is "safe territory." Try the long-delayed release Olé for a more well-rounded post-conversion release for Tonio K.. "Living Doll" is downright embarrassing given a post-'80s take on the lyrics. There is hidden gold to be found in the last two tracks: "You Don't Belong Here" and the T-Bone Burnett-produced "You Will Go Free."

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