Right off the bat, I’ve Hurt Myself by Loving You hits you with the Album Oriented Rock (AOR) style linked so heavily to the 80s. I think the style itself can be misunderstood. You see, people look for the next Karate Kid theme song everywhere in this format. Wax on, wax off, waxing nostalgia, these were still great times. But the only people who can really take you there are the people who’ve been there. Ronnie Atkins and his experiences with Pretty Maids has certainly been there. No one really captures this style and makes it their own like Atkins.
Atkins came into the scene with Pretty Maids back in 1982. I was a junior in high school and just coming to understand this type of rock, and rock in general. Til this time in my life, I didn’t venture far from pop radio. Well, aside from various ventures into yacht rock but that’s another story.
I won’t go into the background on Pretty Maids, you can look at their wiki page for information. Of course, you can find them on all major outlets as well. His career with the band speaks for itself but my focus now is his solo effort, Make it Count. Which brings me back to I’ve Hurt Myself by Loving You.
Needless to say, the sound and feel does carry forth in this release. We roll right into Unsung Heros and well, I simply feel “at home” in his music. Certainly AOR in focus, but with the experience to change it up to be different. However, it still feels “at home”.
As usual, I won’t break down each and every song. I prefer to leave some meat on the bone for you to hear and decide for yourself. I’ve covered the first 2 however, and lets jamming and see what stands out to me.
Now, in my mind AOR isn’t AOR without the ballad. Enter Let Love Lead the Way. If this doesn’t make you reminisce in the best of ways, you were not alive in the 80s. That said, you can still feel Atkins style come through and let your imagination tell you all about it.
Last 2 to talk about are Easier to Leave (Than Being Left Behind) and the title track, Make it Count. Easier to Leave is in my mind one of the stronger songs on the entire release. It has that classic feeling 40 years of experience by Atkins together in 1 song. The chorus comes across a bit more melodic and the guitars take over then fade back to his vocals.
Make it Count, the title cut, is a fantastic way to close out this release. It blends the haunting style that AOR can produce with a story in the lyrics. There isn’t a hidden message here, just a soulful reminder we only have so much time. Only so many things we’ll get to do in life. Make it count.
If you’re a fan of AOR at all or curious about that style today, you won’t find many better examples than this release. You certainly see 4 decades of experience in the overall tone of Make it Count from Atkins, from start to finish.
Got some on our New Rock Spotify list (available on our front page) and in our 24×7 rotation. From there, go hit up his social pages and check out his work. Hit play and he’ll take care of the rest.