The year was 1982 and I purchased Night Ranger’s Dawn Patrol on cassette. Soon after purchasing that cassette, I found out Night Ranger was going on tour. I was too young to go to that show, but my friends went and came to school the next day with Night Ranger t- shirts. I was so jealous. Thirty-five years later, I am reviewing Night Ranger’s new album Don’t Let Up before it’s even released. Who’s laughing now guys?
Night Ranger is still rocking America, and the world for that matter, with three of their five original members. Jack Blades is still singing vocals and playing bass, Kelly Keagy is playing drums and singing vocals, and Brad Gillis shreds the guitar better than ever. Eric Levy has been on keyboards since 2011 and Keri Kelli holds the lead & rhythm guitars since 2014.
If you were expecting Dawn Patrol or Touch of Madness part two, go listen to those albums. Don’t Let Up is a rocking album with lots of fast paced songs, combined with some slower tempo tracks, and a couple of great ballads. Night Ranger has also mixed in some blues and country influence into the mix. The opening track and first single off the album is “Somehow Someway.” The song mixes a fast pace with the remarkable dual guitar-work for which Night Ranger is known. If there is a track that screams classic Night Ranger, it is this track.
“(Won’t be Your) Fool Again” is a great song that has a country vibe, shown with some “twang.” Jack Blade’s voice paired with a bar room piano sound makes this a catchy classic.
“Say What You Want” is by far my favorite track on the album. This song has a fast tempo and guitar-work you expect from Night Ranger. The lyrics are catchy and Kerry Keagy’s vocals are spot-on in this song.
Okay, I must admit that the Don’t Let Up album shares one big similarity to the band’s debut album Dawn Patrol; it is an album I can listen to through and through; over and over. Each track is as solid as the next.
It is amazing to think that Night Ranger has sold over 17 million albums worldwide and this is their 12th studio album that spans over 35 years. Don’t Let Up is an excellent addition to an already amazing catalog. Don’t Let Up will be released on March 24, 2017.