NIGHT RANGER – SOMEWHERE IN CALIFORNIA

Out now on Frontiers

Ever since 1988’s “Man In Motion”, Night Ranger have been somewhat lost, trying to find their place in a music industry in motion. This new album demonstrates they never should have moved…

Opening track “Growing Up In California” sets the scene : a cheery tune, with a catchy chorus and plenty of twin guitars. No longer courtesy of the Gillis/Watson tandem, alas. Gillis is now joined by Joel Hoekstra. Who does a rather good job, for that matter. Tracks like “Bye Bye Baby (Not Tonight)” and “Rock And Roll Tonight” rock hard, and are chock full of great guitar playing.  “Time Of Our Lives” is a big ballad. Not quite as big as “Sister Christian” but a damn fine song in its own right.

Gone is the plodding approach of more recent Night Ranger albums. Even if overall this album doesn’t sound as carefree as the band’s classic output, it’s as upbeat as you can expect in this day and age. Some might even prefer the slightly toned down and harder edged attitude over the abundance of yesteryear. Especially since the band have managed to retain everything that set them apart in the first place.

Great songs, great playing… What’s not to like? One of the year’s better melodic rock albums and one of the better guitar albums to boot!

Rating – 93%
Review by Sancho

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