Stefan Berggren is yet another in a seemingly endless list of quality Swedish rock vocalists with These Are The Times being his second solo release and a most excellent classic rock album it is too. His name may not be that familiar to you but he is another of those singers with an amazing voice who has had a journeyman career fronting several rather well bands. These include the likes of Snakes In Paradise, The Company Of Snakes, the Berggren Kerslake Band, Razorback and Revolution Road and most have that certain distinctly British hard rock that is infused with the blues as best seen in early Whitesnake and perfected by the twin guitar gods Micky Moody and Bernie Marsden.
One listen of this album is enough to see why he is an in demand vocalist as he has a great delivery very much in David Coverdale territory and he has so much power at his disposal which he often tempers with great subtlety and emotion. Now, a singer is only as good as his band and Berggren has recruited very well in Tomas Pomma (Snakes In Paradise) on bass and Johannes Nordell (Flykten) on drums with Berggren also providing guitar and keyboards which he does with great skill. He has even managed to get the legend that is Don Airey to provide keyboards on Wild Flowers, Stephen Bentley-Klien provides string arrangements on the songs Lost At Sea and New York as well as Joakim Svalberg (Opeth) playing organ and piano on four of the songs Little Angel, Superman, These Are The Times and Happy (Shine Your Light On me).
If you are into the Deep Purple that strayed into the blues and early Whitesnake then you will immediately connect with this fine blues rock album. It never gets too heavy of raucous and there are several ballads at which Berggren excels and he even goes a little roots-y on the jaunty New York which features some neat fiddle. Some of the keyboard work is truly thrilling and harks back to those glory years of the ’70s and ’80s.
These Are The Times is a delightful album filled with great songs and all are perfectly played and delivered with style and panache. Stefan Berggren is another of those remarkable singers that you know but most probably did not realise that you did know him, have a listen to this and get to know him a little better.
These Are The Times track list
- Wild Flowers (4:36)
- All Or Nothing (4:21)
- Burning Burning (The Last Band On Earth) (5:02)
- Little Angel (3:35)
- Superman (4:22)
- These Are The Times (5:40)
- Happy (Shine Your Light On me) (5:02)
- Lost At Sea (4:46)
- New York (3:02)
- Blue Skies (5:35)