Night Ranger - Don’t Let Up

Night Ranger Don’t Let Up cover
Night Ranger
Don’t Let Up
Frontiers Music Srl
It’s rather staggering and dizzying to consider that Night Ranger have sold more than 17 million albums sold worldwide and over 3000 live shows performed, in their quite long career. Being accomplished musicians and maintaining a good quality control in terms of songwriting during their career, has aided them to be quite steady and often even catapulted them to the number one position.
With about a dozen album releases and numerous lives, and their still going strong with their latest sort of spell of bad luck – losing Joel Hoekstra to Whitesnake, who’s place is filled up by one Keri Kelly, graduate of a thousand or so American Hard Rock bands, quite capably.
After a bunch of OK, but not fire-setting albums, “Don’t Let Up” sounds surprisingly solid, coming a bit out of the blue, but not really needing a whole lot to convince about its intentions, which is readily reveals from the go with its up-tempo and joyous opener “Somehow Someway” complete with all the right ingredients and trademarks of what made the band sell a bucketload in the past.
“Running out of Time” is another great example with the drums grooving right along the guitars in harmony and really awesome sing along melodies. The sort of track that even at this middle age could have you singing on the top of your lungs, in a silly way while driving down the road! Indispensable.
“Truth” is more introspective, melodic, a bit bluesy, but awesome as anything with a very evocative chorus.
“Day and Night” is a more urban, everyday-madness, themed rocker, with grit that fits the flow quite nicely, but it’s not until the title track “Don't Let Up” that we get a really classic drift away rocker that blooms into a bonafide hit. There’s a general feel-good vibe about it and it feels just alright!
“(Won’t Be Your) Fool Again” has a gut wrenching lick and piano honky-tonkin, while it does all the talking about a relationship on the rocks…
“Say What You Want” maintains a rather similar sound, but goes full speed ahead, almost going “speed” on the formula, thus resulting in a pretty rock n roll but uplifting tune! Right!
Not a Beatles cover, “We Can Work It Out” is a delicate song, akin to a ballad, but not entirely one, a smoother number that releases and relieves some of the tension.
You’d thing that “Comfort Me” is “that” ballad, but it’s a swanky love song, in a poppy formula, with a shouty chorus ala the band themselves or even Bon Jovi.
“Jamie” has an infectious riff and is another love song, but one that really “demands” a stone cold lover, you know, the sort of anthemic – archetypal 80s hair rock number, complete with blistering solo – done a shade lighter overall.
“Nothing Left of Yesterday” begins as a bittersweet urban ballad, but goes pretty Kiss mid-tempo shouty anthem mid-way, never loosing it’s NR character…
Also a bonus (acoustic) version of “We Can Work It Out” is included in there that sounds organic and probably is even a bit better than its electric counterpart.
Overall, an unexpectedly solid and good Night Ranger album, probably the better one of the last more than a few years! Hurrah! Not sounding dated, but rather timeless, this got me saying, that’s the stuff! Highly recommended!