Night Ranger – Somewhere In California


In 25 words or less: If all music sounded like this, the world would be a much happier place..

Guess what?  Night Ranger are still around!  Yeah that’s right, the band that brought us ‘Sister Christian’ and ‘When You Close Your Eyes’ back in the 80’s are still and have been making music for many years after their biggest hits.  2011 sees Night Ranger team up with Frontiers Records to release ‘Somewhere In California’, their first album since their 2007 release ‘Hole In The Sun’ which was a departure from the usual melodic rock fans were used to.  Is this new album as good as they once were back in the 80’s?  Look, it’s hard to compare as these are different times, things change, bands evolve and that’s what Night Ranger have done, but with this album it is a welcome return to the AOR / Melodic rock that at one time made them a household name we all know and love, but with an updated sound and it’s amazing.

Lead single ‘Growin’ Up In California’ is a melodic ride through a story about funnily enough, growing up in California, it’s got that signature harmony vocal and hook that makes you love this kind of music .  Powering through more melodic rockers such as ‘Lay It On Me’ and ‘Bye Bye Baby (Not Tonight)’ we hit the first big ballad on the album, a must for a band from this era, ‘Time Of Our Lives’ is what I love about power ballads, well, the fact that it is one is a perfect start, but the feeling is there, the sentiment is there and I believe it.   Just so you know, I’m finding it hard to type one handed with my lighter hoisted up in the air, but I’m managing.  It’ll be hard to top this one as my favourite on the album.  I swear if this hits a key change, I’m not even reviewing the rest of the album because it can get no better… phew, we’re safe.

I have to say that I’m impressed with the blend of melodic rock delivered here, it’s for lack of a better word accessible, it’s the kind of music that makes you smile, that makes you tap your foot to every song and if all music sounded like this the world would be a much happier place.  ‘No Time To Lose Ya’ sounds like it should be on a commercial and had me bopping along like it was.  ‘It’s Not Over’ is melodic goodness and continues to show shades of Night Ranger of old but whoa… ‘End Of The Day’ where have you been hiding?  This is AOR at its best and a killer track this far in to the album is a beautiful bonus. Rounding out this album is ‘Say It With Love’ close to one of my favourite tracks on the album, a stand out rocker is the perfect way to finish off what was an album with more hooks than crochet night at Shady Pines retirement village.

Night Ranger have not only proven that ‘(You Can Still) Rock in America’ but now with this album they should be able to continue to rock not only in America but all over the world.  Welcome Back.

Track listing:
Growin’ Up In California
Lay It On Me
Bye Bye Baby (Not Tonight)
Follow Your Heart
Time Of Our Lives
No Time To Lose Ya
Live For Today
It’s Not Over
End Of The Day
Rock N’ Roll Tonite
Say It With Love

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