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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Night Ranger

Somewhere In California

Review by Larry Toering

This is a band that clearly decided it was going to rock like they  used to, to rock like they mean it, to rock with the best. Night Ranger are back with a vengeance on this great new release from Frontier Records. Everyone turns out a top performance on what I feel to be a triumphant return to form. There is no mistaking the mad talent of all of them. Someone once said, you're only as good as your last record. Well, then Night Ranger is very good.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Growing Up In California

A chunky riff kicks in and things are on the way. This is classic Night Ranger with a cutting edge of perfection. Somehow they're heavier and stronger, yet nothing is lost. It’s a great opener.

Lay It On Me

Things don't let up for one second. This is a perfect follower with more crunchy guitar, a great chorus and excellent keyboards.

Bye Bye Baby (not tonight)

This is a more AOR feel but at the same weight level as the first two numbers. The guitar work, once again, is spectacular.

Follow Your Heart

Raunchy grooves are featured all the way on this. The best track, so far, this is killer! It  features a great retro/modern vibe with more great vocal harmonies and guitar hooks.

Time Of Our Lives

A ballad kicks in with precision timing, and a fine one, it is. It’s another winner with a huge chorus that harkens back to the best Night Ranger ever, without losing its cutting edge.

No Time To Lose Ya

This one competes with anything else here. It’s got another excellent chorus in classic fashion.

Live For Today

A marching groove pulsates throughout this one. What an infectious  layer of cosmic candy, this is. It's simply here to remind you that there is plenty more to do. This is awesome!

It's Not Over

 Tom toms set this one up with nice guitar interplay before things go into another classic, hook, line and sinker. Beefy licks galore are featured here, with the same vocal qualities found everywhere on the disc. By this time, it's clear that Night Ranger have outdone themselves.

End Of The Day

A softer intro turns into another big fat riff and chorus, reminiscent once again of days gone by, but that's not a bad thing. It's done with complete allegiance to their trademark sound. Fantastic guitars once are featured here, too.

Rock N' Roll Tonite

A swirling keyboard goes into a great guitar riff without getting lost before the vocals come in, then the keys comes back when the guitar helps them complete the riff. This is another favorite with that familiar flavor that is all over Somewhere In California. “Let the Music Do The Talking,” is the motto here, as they preach that "no bad situation" is going to let them down.

Say It With Love

The closing moments are as exciting as the opening moments. There is simply not one bad track here, and the keyboards come out in this one as well. It's just one of the best albums they've ever made. It really does take you back without being too obvious about it.

 
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