NIGHT RANGER: SOMEWHERE IN CALIFORNIA
Many people only remember Night Ranger from the song "Sister Christian," which was their biggest single, peaking at number 5 on the Billboard charts.
Formed in 1980, Night Ranger split in 1989, but since reforming in 1995 has recorded seven studio albums and released a plethora of live albums and compilations since 1995, while touring steadily in spite of several lineup changes. The band has managed to maintain their classic sound while still being able to change with the times.
On Somewhere in Calfornia Night Ranger proves again that they can cover the AOR spectrum from rockers to ballads. These songs are great for a summer day's drive through the California desert on the way to PCH with a little stop in Venice Beach.
The majority of the tracks are light and catchy, with a few anthems and gritty rockers thrown in for good measure. Fortunately, both Jack Blades and Kelly Keagy remain in the lineup and continue to trade vocals and play off of each other while the other members drive the melody home in a blaze of hard guitars and keyboards. The vocals are as good as ever, and the harmonies and other instrumentation is also perfection-a pure, glorious mid-80s rewind, sounding like a follow-up to Midnight Madness.
The thing that separates this album from 2007's Hole In the Sun is the outstanding songwriting. The hooks return here, and this is a revitalized band that has recaptured everything that ever made them good. The lyrics are loaded with cliches, but let's face it-Night Ranger were never likely to challenge Bob Dylan for the title.
Sadly Somewhere In California is not likely to burn up the charts, but an album this good at this stage of the band's career came as a bit of a surprise to me. This album would have ruled the charts had it been released in the 80's, and long time fans should love this high-energy release, if only because it proves that rock and roll can still be fun.
GROWIN' UP IN CALIFORNIA
ELECTRONIC PRESS KIT
TIME OF OUR LIVES