Chart Position #179
01. Growin’ Up In California
02. Lay It On Me
03. Bye Bye Baby (Not Tonight)
04. Follow Your Heart
05. Time Of Our Lives
06. No Time To Lose Ya
07. Live For Today
08. It’s Not Over
09. End Of The Day
10. Rock N’ Roll Tonite
11. Say It With Love
Jack Blades – vocals and bass
Kelly Keagy – vocals and drums
Brad Gillis – lead/rhythm guitar
Joel Hoekstra – lead/rhythm guitar
Eric Levy – keyboards
Produced by Night Ranger. Mixed and mastered by Anthony Focx.
Somewhere In California is Night Ranger‘s first studio album since 2007 and celebrates 30 years of music from the band that is best known for the top 10 singles “Sister Christian” and “Sentimental Street”.
The first track, “Growin’ Up In California”, is a smooth number, akin to the band’s laid-back melodic rock style. Their ability to switch effortlessly between this and a heavier, harder sound is highlighted by “Lay It On Me” which is almost similar to the band Ratt with a darker riff and arrogant guitar licks. I would have liked to hear more of this style on Somewhere In California, but melodic fans will definitely appreciate the guitar work on “Follow Your Heart” and the ballad “Time Of Our Lives”.
There are a couple of structural oddities for me in “Bye Bye Baby (Not Tonight)” and “Live For The Day” that leaves the tracks sounding messy, but nothing overly problematic. I’d say there’s just about enough diversity to keep you listening by the time you reach “It’s Not Over” — if the length of the tracks hasn’t made you skip a couple. It’s worth hanging on though for “End Of The Day”, one of those songs where everything comes together and it’s a pleasure to listen until the end. It’s a honeyed ending to this sugary treat but the album’s none the worse for it.
I feel it says something about Night Ranger that since the band’s reunion in 1996 they’ve continued to embark on popular tours and produce impressive albums — and for the most part Somewhere In California lives up to the band’s legacy.
www.nightranger.com – www.facebook.com/nightranger – www.frontiers.it
Reviewed by JJ Lee for Sleaze Roxx, February 2012