NIGHT RANGER – Somewhere In California [Japan Edition + iTunes + Amazon exclusive bonus]
The release of “Somewhere In California” marked NIGHT RANGER‘s 30th Anniversary and it was some kind of a the culmination of the group’s work all over these years. It packs everything the fans could ask for; melodic cuts and hard rocking numbers, pretty much returning to their classic ’80s sound yet with an updated production.
This Japanese Edition includes a bonus track, but there’s also the exclusive extra tracks from the iTunes and Amazon releases, 1 track each.
“Somewhere In California” makes justice to its title; after listening to it I have to say it’s the perfect soundtrack for making a roadtrip in your convertible under the sun.
The disc starts at full speed with the autobiographic and fresh sounding title track “Growing Up In California”. This is a typical Night Ranger tune with lots of melody, screaming guitars and a contagious refrain.
You can keep your foot on the pedal with “Lay It On Me”, a song in the style of their Nineties material. A catchy melodic hard rocker with furious guitar riffs. For Night Ranger standards a very aggressive and powerful kick ass song.
“Bye Bye Baby (Not Tonight)” has sentimental feel wrapped up in a strong vocal arrangement and the hook of a big chorus. A track that reminds you the very earlier, anthemic Night Ranger. “Follow Your Heart” offers a steady pace, a hard bluesy classic rocker in the Damn Yankees style, full of guitars and very, very american.
“Time Of Our Lives” is one of the highlights. It’s one of ‘those’ lovely Ranger’s tunes. Starts off as a piano ballad before building up to a big chorus and some solid, melodic guitar work kicking in. If this was 1989 this would be an instant huge summer hit.
“No Time To Lose Ya” is another winner. A pure AOR / Melodic Rock screaming for radio airplay. The chorus is SO Eighties, so classy Night Ranger. You will love this. This is Night Ranger in its purest form.
Then there’s the brilliant “End Of The Day”, a great melodic rocker with a tasty chorus and tight guitar lead, with great vocals by Kelly Keagy. “Rock N’ Roll Tonite” is exactly what you would expect: a fun anthem to rock; it’s a rowdy hard rocker and gives the band a chance to put pedal to the metal, surely a winner in the live shows.
On the Japanese bonus track “L.A. No Name”, Brad Gillis finds space to show his virtuosity on the six-strings with taste and emotion.
The iTunes exclusive track is a fun, cool version of AC/DC classic ‘Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap)’, done in a classy Night Ranger melodic hard rock style of course, while the Amazon exclusive a sharper reworking on Damn Yankees’ ‘Coming Of Age’, featuring Ted Nugent as guest in a guitar solo duel with Gillis.
Long time Night Ranger fans resulted a bit disappointed with the so-called modern style of the previous ‘Hole In The Sun’. “Somewhere in California” runs towards that anthem arena-ready sound that made them famous in the Eighties.
This is solid, well-crafted classic melodic rock, infectious and entertaining. The clear, crisp production showcases the band’s musical talents and they build up a layered sound complemented with hot riffs and multi-part sing along harmonies that will stick in your head after the first spin.
King Records Japan ～ 【KICP-1560】
Ｎ Ｉ Ｇ Ｈ Ｔ Ｒ Ａ Ｎ Ｇ Ｅ Ｒ
01 – Growin’ Up In California
02 – Lay It On Me
03 – Bye Bye Baby (Not Tonight)
04 – Follow Your Heart
05 – Time Of Our Lives
06 – No Time To Lose Ya
07 – Live For Today
08 – It’s Not Over
09 – End Of The Day
10 – Rock N’ Roll Tonite
11 – Say It With Love
12 – L.A. No Name [Japan bonus track]
13 – Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap) [iTunes edition exclusive]
14 – Coming Of Age (feat. Ted Nugent) [Amazon exclusive track]
Jack Blades – Bass, Lead & Backing Vocals
Kelly Keagy – Drums, Percussion, Lead & Backing Vocals
Brad Gillis – Lead & Rhythm guitars, Backing Vocals
Joel Hoekstra – Lead & Rhythm guitars, Backing Vocals
Eric Levy – Keyboards, Piano, Backing Vocals
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