Stefan Berggren
These are the Times

Label: Grandjam Production
Three similar bands: Snakes in Paradise/Uriah Heep/Berggren Kerslake Band

Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
01 Wild Flowers
02 All Or Nothing
03 Burning Burning (The Last Band On Earth)
04 Little Angel
05 Superman
06 These Are the Times
07 Happy (Shine Your Love Light On Me)
08 Lost At Sea
09 New York
10 Blue Skies

Stefan Berggren – Vocals, Bvs Guitars, Organ, Piano & Moog. Bass Songs 9 & 10
Johannes Nordell – Drums & BV
Tomas Thorberg – Bass & BV

Stranger In A Strangeland ‎(2016)

Don Airey – Organ & Moog Song 1 Wild Flowers
Stephen Bentley Klein – String Arr. Songs 8 & 9
Joakim Svalberg – Organ & Piano Songs 4-7

Recorded in Grandjam Studios Stockholm by Stefan Berggren
Mixed By Stefan Berggren
Producer Stefan Berggren
Pete Lyman Infrasonic Sound Nashville Mastering Song 1
Ryan Smith Sterling Sound Mastering Nashville Songs 2-6
Claes Persson CRP Mastering Stockholm Songs 7-10
Photos: Johan Bergmark
Art Designer: John the fisherman design

Released 2021-06-04
Reviewed 2021-06-28


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Stefan calls his new album These are the Times, a fitting title of course. It is an album with some reflections on these corona times, and these times are of course not easy for musicians, so it is probably wise to make an album as touring hasn’t been very possible and there are of course other difficulties as well. Stefan has been heard with bands like Uriah Heep, Snakes in Paradise, we favourably reviewed the album where he collaborated with Lee Kerslake in 2014, and more. So, he is a respected artist with good skills, so what about his new album that is the second under his own name?

It is blues rock inspired by heroes of the past, like something from the seventies. It is rock’n’roll firmly rooted in the past, with strong vocals and a sensible playing time. The variation is a bit sparse, as is the originality, the production itself also sounds a little old, and not fresh and modern. It lacks the fresh ideas and feels a little bit predictable, almost like Stefan is looking to give the album a retro sound.

It is not the worst thing with albums that miss fresh ideas, if the songs are good the album can still be good. But the songs aren’t that great and that makes this album a bit dull, I don’t think that any of the songs really stand out as great or even good. With fresh ideas it would have made a stronger impression, recycling is good when you talk about most things but movies and music are better if you come up with something fresh and new – this album doesn’t do that. Unfortunately I think that These are the Times is a fairly boring album, and that Stefan needs to look forward rather than backwards if he wants to make music that makes an impression.

If you like the blues rock style it is probably an album that you will find appealing, and it is probably a good bet for all of you looking in the rear-view mirror as well. But things weren’t better in the past, so why make something that sounds like it comes from there? Still, I cannot completely dismiss this album, but if Stefan wants to make an impression in the oversaturated music scene, he needs to do something a bit more exciting than this.