Night Ranger - "Somewhere In California" CD Review (Frontiers Records) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Friday, May 27, 2011

Night Ranger - "Somewhere In California" CD Review (Frontiers Records)

Night Ranger - 'Somewhere In California' CD Review (Frontier Records)Night Ranger’s newest disc, Somewhere in California, was a pleasant surprise as all I knew of the band prior to listening was the song “Sister Christian” (which sounds rather dated at this point in time). The new disc is full of arena rock anthems that feature memorable melodies, big radio-friendly hooks and anthemic choruses. This new disc is being billed as the band’s “return to form” after 2008’s Hole In The Sun – I can’t comment on this as I haven’t kept up with Night Ranger in many years, but this disc does prove the band’s continued relevance as they celebrate their 30th anniversary.

Clear production showcases the band’s musical talents and they build up a layered sound across the disc’s eleven tracks that takes elements from both progressive and hard-rock genres. The band complements this with multi-part sing-along harmonies so most of these songs have both a riff and a chorus that will stick in your head after a small number of spins. The lyrics aren’t necessarily deep (i.e.: “Growin’ Up In California” pays tribute to growing up in California and “Rock N’ Roll Tonight” is simply about going out and having a good time) but they are neither dumb nor pandering. This is an infectious “summer” album where even lyrical content of the more ‘serious’ songs (like the kiss off “Bye Bye Baby”) has never sounded so good.

The band doesn’t deviate much from the disc’s overall sound but they utilize each of the eleven tracks to explore different variations around this core. Some examples are “Time of Our Lives” starts off as a piano ballad before building up to a big chorus and some solid guitar work kicking in and “Live for Today” brings in more of a psychedelic prog-rock sound. With each song clocking in over five minutes, each track gets an opportunity to develop on its own.

Night Ranger is on the road this summer with Journey and Foreigner and here are the upcoming area tour dates:

- August 17: Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY (Tickets range between $31 - $135)

- August 24: PNC Bank Arts Center, Holdel, NJ (Tickets range between $20 and $160)

Night Ranger