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Night Ranger - 'High Road'

posted 3 Jun 2014, 13:26 by Paul Woodward

(Frontiers Records)

Review by Woody

I have to admit Night Ranger are one of those bands that turn me into a rabid fan boy and the mere mention of them could result in me getting naked and dousing myself in honey. Their last album Somewhere In California was a fantastic slab of melodic rock and quickly washed away memories of the rather dire Hole In The Sun that came before it. As much as I love Night Ranger they do have a tendency to be inconsistent but I was hoping the excitement surrounding their recent output would propel them on to make this album another Ranger classic.

High Road does indeed hit all the right notes or at least it does with me, of course this isn’t Night Ranger circa 1985, it’s Night Ranger evolved, it’s got a modern sway to it but they have stayed true to the essence of melodic rock. It’s all high energy; feel good summertime fun with huge choruses and delicious melody overload all tied up in a contemporary bow. It’s not a perfect album and it may take a few spins for it to hit some genre fans but there is something delightfully exciting about High Road and while it may not have the instant impact of its predecessor it does make me want to crank it up and smile a big ass smile!

It’s got lots of energy and choruses that will be knocking around in your brain for days, it’s hard not to get addicted to ‘Knock Knock Never Stop’, ‘High Road’ and ‘I’m Coming Home’. They also strike gold with the emotion drenched ballad ‘Only For You Only’ and the laid back mid-tempo ballad ‘Brothers’. There are some truly infectious guitar riffs on this album and the awesome guitar work on ‘Hang On’ and ‘I’m Coming Home’ make them really stand out every time you listen.

I think the fact it’s not a traditional sounding album is what makes it not hit me instantly but with every spin I love it more and with every spin I find myself finding a new favourite. The thing I love about this album the most is it’s just so damn good at making you feel good, there is so much music out there which is so serious or depressing you just want to find something to rock to that puts you in serious danger of getting caught doing some embarrassing dancing with a Cheshire cat grin stretched across your face!

High Road definitely sees the band as a whole firing on all cylinders and for a fan of modern melodic rock this album has to be an essential purchase. It’s a perfect accompaniment for our forthcoming summer months, so grab you’re sun tan lotion and sunglasses, High Road will make sure you are wearing a smile too!

Track Listing: High Road / Knock Knock Never Stop / Rollin’ On / Don’t Live Here Anymore / I’m Coming Home / X Generation / Only For You Only / Hang On / St Bartholomew’s / Brothers / LA No Name

Album Rating: 8/10

Woody’s Essential Track: I’m Coming Home

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