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CD Review: Night Ranger – Hits: Acoustic & Rarities

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What’s the 4-1-1?
To help celebrate 25 years in the music business, the melodic rock powerhouse Night Ranger gives their fans a little gem to tide them over until the band’s new studio release in 2006.

Genre
Melodic rock / pop-rock / AOR / arena rock

The Good
Looking back, Night Ranger might have been one of the cheesiest bands from the 80’s pop-rock era, but damn were they huge back them. Twenty years later, the band still proves it can belt ‘em out. Hits is more of a greatest hits re-do. Songs like “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me,” “(You Can Still) Rock In America,” “When You Close Your Eyes” and “Sing Me Away” are just as enjoyable and vibrant as they were back in the day. Granted, Jack Blades and Kelly Keagy can’t exactly hit the high notes like they used to, but they haven’t lost their melody and tone.

I swear that Brad Gillis and Jeff Watson have vastly improved as guitar players. Not that they were bad or anything, but their guitar solos are on fire in this collection. “Sister Christian” appears twice on this collection. The first version is a new studio version and the other is the acoustic version that appeared on Metal Mania: Stripped. If you put them head to head, I’d have to pick the acoustic one as the winner. “Don’t Tell Me Love Me” appears twice as well. The second version is a live one.

The Bad
I’ve never been a big fan of updating old material. If you want to do that, just release a live album. I’d pick the original greatest hits album over this one because that’s how I remember the songs. Oh yeah, there’s only one rare and one acoustic song, yet they get top billing the album’s title. And could the cover art be any worse.

The Verdict
Hey, I like Night Ranger. That’s why I picked this one up. I’m sure a lot of people like Night Ranger and will pick this up for that same reason. However, this ‘hits’ collection only serves to acquaint you with how the band sounds today. They sound great, but a live album would have been better. They could have also added more acoustic & actual rare material. Give me the original studio album or their greatest hits album and I’ll be satisfied.

Did You Know?
Guitarist Brad Gillis was once the lead axman for Ozzy Osbourne.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Originally posted by author at Rock-Is-Life.com

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About George Dionne

  • http://www.pitriff.com Chris Akin

    Wow! I can’t believe how much I disagree with this review…especially the line that the band sounds great now. If you can listen to Kelly Kealy’s voice on Sister Christian on this collection and not cringe, you have a stronger ear than me. I hate this release, and am embarrassed for this once great band over it.