Night Ranger – Somewhere in California (review)

Night Ranger – Somewhere in California (Frontiers) CD review by Justine Bevan

Night Ranger may be known as an 80’s band but they can still rock it out here in the present! With now 22 releases under their belts, Somewhere In California, proves itself to be both current, yet reminiscent of years past. No, there isn’t a “Sister Christian” on California, but this is fine; it’s okay, really. You should be okay with this too.  This is quite the skill set to have today when all of those bands from years past are swimming to the surface once again with their own releases, re-releases, special editions and things of the like. So how will Night Ranger fit into all of the fanfare: brilliantly!

Somewhere In California has 11 tracks and starts out with  “Growin’ Up In California”. This song is a classic rocker and is entirely recognizable as Night Ranger. This leads right into “Lay It On Me” which is edgier, and is as round and robust as the first track. Ranger maintains the sound that they are synonymous for; thick vocals, and all musicians, all in! It is one of the best tracks on the album in addition to “No Time To Lose” with its teaming guitar intro.  “End Of The Day” is damn good, and sort of has it all, softer beginning, gets harder; good message; yep good song. Songs like these are trademark Kelly Keagy and Jack Blades, as they display their ‘awesomeness’ well.

However, “Follow Your Heart” is too slow to start and never really seems to get going once it does, and the same goes for “Time Of Our Lives”, although the harmonizing is superb on this one.  “It’s Not Over” is fair, but nothing to lose your panties over, as is “Rock N’ Roll Tonite”, which seems to try too hard to be an anthem. The album does end on a high note with “Say It With Love” which is catchy, happy and just makes the listener hit the repeat button one more time. All said and done, Night Ranger is a great band with a good new release. Out of 11 songs, seven are great, four are okay, but even of those four the suspicion is that “Rock N’ Roll Tonite” might fare better live than just hangin’ on the couch. You can catch Night Ranger live on tour with Foreigner and Journey; the trifecta of rock.