Monday, March 27, 2017

RECORD REVIEW: Night Ranger - "Don’t Let Up"

Night Ranger
Don’t Let Up
(Frontiers Music)

Calling all classic-style arena
rock enthusiastsSan-Fran's
chart-busting powerhouse is
back with a brand new record.
And it's gonna fit ya like your
favorite ripped pair of 501's.

Simply put, the self-produced 2017 studio slab from Night Ranger will easily scratch the itch of even their most casual fans. Kicking off with a super-friendly and familiar-sounding double whammy   the lead-off single, "Somehow Someway" and "Running Out of Time" are both straight-up, melodic, premium-blend rockers. But the good times don't let up there, as this sizzlin' 11-song set oozes highlights, such as the Camaro-style "Day and Night" and the Midnight Madness-flavored "Say What You Want."

With 11 previous studio records and 35 years now in the rear view,  it's amazing (to me) that Don't Let Up actually boasts (arguably) some the band's ALL-TIME best material. Possessing engaging lyrics enveloped in a delightful melody, "Truth" is an irresistible, mid-tempo rocker — while "Comfort Me" is a soaring, arena-caliber, pop-tinged treasure.

If young people still liked music, there would tremendous potential for "We Can Work it Out." In fact, if passed off to one of those modern-day fake country guys, it would likely be a monster-sized Top Ten smash  impeccable songwriting craftsmanship, to be sure.

With it's infectious melody, less-than-cerebral lyrics and chunkin' guitar riffs, "Jamie" is a true gem that points directly to the band's golden Dawn Patrol days. In short, it's a glorious, show-stopping shredfest.

And then there's "Nothing Left of Yesterday." This compelling record-closing epic smacks of Damn Yankees with a splash of Hoobastank making for my personal pick of the litter.

Yes, Virginia — apparently you can still rock in America. Bravo! (A-)

-Christopher Long
(March 2017)

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