In early 2021 Ronnie Atkins released his up close and personal solo album called One Shot. The album took a more personal direction, detailing some of struggles Ronnie has faced recently with his battles with cancer and acknowledging one’s mortality.
2022 has blessed us with another personal album from Ronnie. This one is called Make it Count and seems to pick up right where One Shot left off. Having battled cancer, myself in the recent past both albums have a deep meaning and inspirational message inside them. Make it Count includes song that can inspire any of us each and every day.
As Make it Count starts it quickly dives into “I’ve Hurt Myself (By Hurting You).” The song has an inspirational beat with well-placed keyboards that add to it. Additionally, the backing vocals in the chorus give it a uplifting sound. “Unsung Heroes” was the first song I heard from the new album and I instantly loved the larger-than-life sound of the intro. A sound that rivals some of Broadway’s best. That grand sound continues into the chorus. I close my eyes and picture Ronnie on a well-lit stage in a theater with his arms spread to the audience with a choir behind him inspiring all in attendance. The sound of the song only details half of the brilliance. Lyrically it is a tribute to all of those who have fought to protect our way of life. From the soldiers in Normandy to the Nurses on the frontline of the pandemic putting their lives at risk to save ours. By now I am guessing that you can infer this is one of my favorite songs on Make it Count.
“Rising Tide” is a song that should ring close to home to all of us. As we ponder our existence on our planet, at some point we will have to face the fact that we must change our habits, or we will eventually face a fate similar to that of the dinosaurs.
“Remain To Remind Me” is a beautiful power ballade that we can all relegate to. The backing vocals give the song a very passionate sounds as it comes out of the guitar solo. If you were worried the album was going to be too soft for your eardrums, you will be happy to hear “The Tracks We Leave Behind.” It has a bit of a Pretty Maids sound to it along with a stellar vocal performance by Ronnie. “All I Ask Of You” also has a rocking sound with a great up beat guitars for added effect. “Grace” keeps the beat moving straight into “Let Love Lead the Way.” A simple ballade with inspirational lyrics that can give us all hope as we look inside ourselves. As I reviewed the album I found myself drawn back to this track over and over. I am torn between calling it a classic rock ballad or an inspiring look into one’s soul.
The heaviest song on the album is “Blood Cries Out.” A song Ronnie wrote based on the Netflix show called “How to Become a Tyrant.” A heavy fast beat tells the story of tyranny and how it can destroy the world and capsize a sound society overnight.
“Easier To Leave (Than Being Left Behind)” is a bit of a true story. The song has a great chorus and lovely lyrics. “Fallen” has a midtempo beat with a catchy lyrics and when the song gets to the chorus it really shines with an almost free falling sound.
The title track “Make It Count” rounds out the album with a truly spectacular finish. It opens up with a Phil Collins piano like opening. Soon after the familiar voice of Ronnie shines down upon the song with his meaningful and inspiring vocals that everyone should hear:
“Еvеrу lіttlе mоmеnt mаkе іt соunt
Еvеrу рrесіоuѕ ѕmіlе уоu ѕее аrоund
Еvеrу wіѕhful drеаm thаt mау соmе truе
Yоu gоttа rеmеmbеr
Еvеrу trаvеlеd mіlе јuѕt mаkе іt соunt
Еvеrу dау іn lіfе thаt уоur аllоwеd
Еvеrу rау оf lіght thаt ѕhіnеѕ оn уоu”
As the song progresses it cascades into an almost disco like beat. This sound was intentional and when I talked with Ronnie about the song, he explained it was a moment for him to “Make it Count” as he was able to work with one of his idols. Many of the generation X era grew up listening to ABBA as they were a mainstay in many households. Ronnie was able to have legendary ABBA Guitarist Lasse Wellander play on the song and give it a guitar sound that only ABBA fans would recognize. The combination of Wellander’s guitar and Ronnie’s lyrics make this song one of my favorites of the year.
Once again Ronnie Atkins has delivered an album with sincerity lyrically as well as musically. Make It Count should not only be an album you listen to but an album you live by. As Ronnie and myself have witnessed you never know when your last day may arrive so you need to make everyday count. If you need any more reason to pick up this album when it arrives on March 18, 2002, check your pulse because you don’t want to miss hearing this album before your time on this earth is behind you.