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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Night Ranger Takes The High Road
Night Ranger's 11th studio album, High Road, has just come out. But is it any good? I'm happy to report that Night Ranger fans, and those who enjoy great rock music, will love this album. In addition to having a gorgeous album cover, High Road is full of upbeat, guitar-driven rock songs, along with a few ballads and an instrumental track for good measure.

If...
Published 7 months ago by Michael Cavacini

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Night Ranger Takes A High Road...
If you're looking for Midnight Madness, Dawn Patrol, or Seven Wishes, this isn't that kind of Night Ranger album. It's got a good mix of songs ranging from the heavy to the rock ballad and everything in between.

There's only one track I don't like, and that's the very last song. "L.A. No Name" is an acoustic guitar instrumental piece featuring some...
Published 6 months ago by David Owens


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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Night Ranger Takes The High Road, June 10, 2014
By 
Michael Cavacini (Philadelphia, PA, United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: High Road (MP3 Music)
Night Ranger's 11th studio album, High Road, has just come out. But is it any good? I'm happy to report that Night Ranger fans, and those who enjoy great rock music, will love this album. In addition to having a gorgeous album cover, High Road is full of upbeat, guitar-driven rock songs, along with a few ballads and an instrumental track for good measure.

If you buy the Deluxe Version, you'll receive a bonus track, "The Mountain Song," and a DVD with two music videos and a behind-the-scenes video about how the album was made. And the Best Buy-exclusive Deluxe Version features a second bonus track, "Don't Even Know Your Name."

Below is my track-by-track review of High Road:

"High Road"

This might be my favorite rocker on the album. It's a country-infused rock song that makes you want to drive down a highway in a convertible with the wind blowing through your hair. It's such a positive song, you can't help but feel good after listening to it.

"Knock Knock Never Stop"

A killer guitar riff? Check. A ferocious vocal? Check. An infectious melody? Check. This song has it all and it serves as a great follow-up to "High Road."

"Rollin' On"

"Rollin' On" has a harder edge to it than the first two tracks, as well as a dark, funky groove. It's a fun guitar-driven number that would be great to hear live.

"Don't Live Here Anymore"

This is hands-down the best ballad on the album. Kelly's vocal is phenomenal, the lyrics are tremendous and the piano is beautifully haunting. It's a gorgeous song about overcoming addiction and arguably the best track on the album.

"I'm Coming Home"

Yet another great guitar riff. This, along with the strong harmonies, makes for a fun song that's worth listening to over and over again.

"X Generation"

While this isn't as strong as the first five tracks, it's still an enjoyable rocker with great guitar work.

"Only For You Only"

This is Jack Blades' ballad on the album and it's a winner. Vocally, he's in great form and the chorus has a terrific hook. I also love the arrangement, which features impressive harmonies, beautiful piano and a blistering guitar solo. It's one of the most infectious songs on High Road.

"Hang On"

Similar to "X Generation," this song is good but not great, especially when it has to follow a song as superb as "Only For You Only."

"St. Bartholomew"

Featuring a great guitar solo and harmonies, "St. Bartholomew" kicks the album into a new gear and gets things back on track. It's a fun rocker through and through.

"Brothers"

This song is one of the best on the album. I especially love the last minute where Kelly's raspy vocals are featured over top a gospel-inspired chorus, replete with Brad and Joel's wailing guitars and Eric plucking away at the piano. It sounds like they had a lot of fun laying down this track.

"LA No Name"

As Night Ranger made abundantly clear in their acoustic album, 24 Strings and a Drummer, they are excellent musicians. So it's fitting that they should end High Road with an instrumental that shows off their technical skills. With a a Spanish flair, it's an impressive number that ends a strong album on a high note.

High Road is a great album that continues what the band started on Somewhere in California. If you're a big Night Ranger fan, or just enjoy well-played classic rock, pick up High Road. It's an exceptional collection of music by an incredibly underappreciated band.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 out of 11, August 11, 2014
By 
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This review is from: High Road (Audio CD)
Dawn Patrol through 7 Wishes are in my record collection.

Did not follow them since (insert any reason here).

This is easily their best.

New music is important.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Night Ranger album since the 80's, July 28, 2014
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This review is from: High Road (Audio CD)
The best Night Ranger album since the 80's! I'll go as far as saying this might be their best album so far. My favorite tracks are "Don't Live Here Anymore", "High Road", "Brothers" & "St. Bartholomew" followed closely by the remaining tracks (that may change over time).

Don't Live Here Anymore - This might just be one of the best classic rock songs to come out this year. There are not many groups putting out this quality of music right now. I can listen to this one over and over and hear different things every single time. All by itself, this song makes the album worth it! Throw in 10 more well crafted songs and you have a great album! Go to the 3:56 mark and give it a listen..wow!

High Road - What a vision this song provides. You can just see the entire song in your head while listening to it! It would make a great video.

Brothers - This song really builds as it goes. Each time I hear it, I like it more and more.

St. Bartholomew - One of the heavier songs on the album. The guitar work is classic Night Ranger. If you can't fall in love with this one, you shouldn't call yourself a fan.

If you followed Night Ranger back in the 80's and loved their music then do yourself a favor and purchase this album. You will not be sorry!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Night Ranger still rocks in America!, September 3, 2014
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This review is from: High Road (Audio CD)
High Road is classic Night Ranger! This album is as good as any of their others. Some tracks grab you right away, like High Road, I'm Coming Home, and St. Bartholomew, while others take a little longer to sink in but none of the tracks feel forced or mailed in. As usual, guitar licks and riffs are outstanding, with great vocals and songwriting. Night Ranger is one of the most underrated rock bands ever. I've been listening to NR since the beginning (age 47) and the guys still have it. Looking forward to more!
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I could give it 6 stars!, June 12, 2014
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This review is from: High Road (CD/DVD Deluxe Edition) (Audio CD)
Well the boys are back. After a few weeks of releases (High Road, I'm Coming Home, and Knock Knock Never Stop) we finally got the new CD landed on Tuesday! I've listened several times and I have to say this is an instant classic in my book. The overall sound is classic Night Ranger, with modern touches, a very mature approach to the composition, and even some throw back elements. Overall, I'd give this 6 stars!

The tracks:

High Road - Classic feel in the vein of When You Close Your Eyes. Jack is in great voice on this one, the guitar solo is killer, and this is very well written, composed and performed track. I feel that rock radio could love this if they'd give it a chance. I know classic rock stations are spinning it, and the response has to be outstanding. I have to say this is probably one of the best new tracks since the band reformed in 1996.

Knock Knock Never Stop - Great rocker with an anthem feel to it. Just typical straight ahead amazing music from beginning to end. Jack once again is in great voice, as is Kelly on this dual lead vocal track. Hard to believe that Jack just turned 60 years old. The guitar work on this track is very intricate, and the keyboards are ever present. Eric Levy has an Alan Fitzgerald way of holding the song together without you even realizing he is there. Again great solo on guitar. One small criticism, I almost feel this should have been the closing track, I think it would have book ended this CD perfectly with High Road.

Rollin' On - How these guys can continue to find a ways to make quality straight ahead rockers like this one are beyond me. Just looking at the last 3 albums including this one they've had so many quality straight ahead rockers its unfathomable. I would love to hear all of them live. This one has a great live feel to it, and Jack's vocals take a bit of a different approach on the verse. The chorus is huge with the hey-hey-yeah backing vocals, and gives this one an anthem feel as well. Again so much intricate guitar work here. Modern bands need to take notice! Good music is more than chords!! Oh and a keyboard solo! TOO AWESOME!

Don't Live Here Anymore - One of the things I've noticed on this CD is the Biblical references. This one includes several, but also has an overall redemptive theme. It almost makes me wonder if Brad, Jack or Kelly found religion since Somewhere In California. This song is more serious than the first 3 tracks, and I love how they've blended verse and chorus in this one to mix up composition from the normal verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo, bridge, chorus, chorus, chorus format. Not that it isn't a winning formula but it is nice to see it changed up and this one does. Plus the combination of keyboards, piano, and acoustic guitar make for a wonderful feel to this track. Kelly's voice shows no signs of his 62 year old self! Man he can still blow! This one also has the throwback keyboards in the middle, great solo, and Jack singing the bridge. The tempo change near the end with the musical outro leading to Kelly's closing lyrics gives this one a Rain That's Crashing Down/Night Ranger (the song) feel. This is just a solid track that should get some airplay. A song like this (and Rain from Big Life and Night Ranger (the song) from Dawn Patrol) deserves a bigger audience. One of my favorites on this CD!

I'm Coming Home - Just when you thought the rockers couldn't continue with high quality, this one blows you away! The guitar intro seems a bit out of place, but I am sure it was a riff that Brad had to find a place for, because it is a great riff. But then this track kicks in with energy, great chord changes, and Kelly singing his butt off again. This is classic Night Ranger, with great vocal arrangements, perfectly placed guitar finger technique, and the dual guitars sound incredible. I am running out of accolades but each of these tracks so far just stands on its own so well. Jack sings the bridge again on this one. And the solo is killer. Quintessential Night Ranger!

X Generation - This one is a bit different, but still a good straight ahead rocker. Some of the best lyrics on the record, they just fit together so well. Of course, that is a Jack specialty and why he is highly sought for song writing. Probably one of the more modern sounding tracks on the CD. Kind of in the theme of Rockstar from Hole In The Sun, yet so many classic elements too, all blended with a genius touch. Dual lead vocals again. Oh and the guitar! I dare you to find a more virtuoso band in existence right now. This track, and the entire CD, are just a guitar clinic. Brad Gillis and Joel Hoekstra deserve so many accolades that they don't receive, so underrated. Eric again with a great under current here. 6 tracks in and you are wondering what else they could do!

Only For You Only - Notice anything missing so far? Even Don't Live Hear Anymore is less a ballad as it is a mid-tempo rocker. (You could argue it has ballad tendencies.) But what Night Ranger CD would be complete without a full on ballad? Every release from Dawn Patrol forward has had one. Well here is High Road's, and it is a good one. Jack's vocals are some of his best since the 80s! Seriously, he nails this one. and shows a range that will surprise some people. Great verse leads to a mid-tempo chorus that is awesome! Then comes back down for verse 2, with Jack continuing the great vocal range, leading into the chorus. Then to a great bridge, and an incredible solo that has a Queen quality to it (that is a good thing). Just a great power ballad. Gives Forever All Over Again a run for its money as best since the mid-90s reunion.

Hang On - Right back into a mid-tempo rocker. This is another solid track! Kelly is in great form, classic Night Ranger backing vocals. This one has a really classic Night Ranger sound and feel to it. This one would fit in on any of their first 5 albums. Seriously, this is just an incredible track. The guitar solo may be my favorite on the whole album. Guys, I know I sound like a broken record, but seriously, each of these tracks are really really good.

St. Bartholomew - Let me start by saying this is heaviest track on the album. The guitar sound here is very heavy. And I love the intro to the song. First vocals don't start until 47 seconds in! And it has a really cool duet vocal that fits perfectly with the heavy verse, the chorus actually lightens up, and is really big with intricate vocal arrangements. Once again, there are biblical themes here "everyone has a cross to bear". The chorus has an incredible quality to it, I could see that blasting as I ride down the road with the windows down. Another great dual guitar solo. Brad and Joel continue to outdo themselves. Solid track from beginning to end.

Brothers - The most different track on the album. Kind of a Shaw Blades feel to it with Kelly on vocals, though Jack shares lead vocals. Almost a Beatle like quality, which isn't surprising considering their affinity for The Beatles. Very religious in theme: "roll away the stone". "Turn the water to wine." "Is it wrong to feel this way?" Not to mention the religious aspects of brotherhood and sisterhood. That's three tracks with overtly religious themes. However, this song is very well put together. Like I said it has that Shaw Blades feel could have fit right in on My Hallucination. The tempo change at the end is outstanding. Understated musically, but solid in its own right.

L.A. No Name - Instrumental. That's right Night Ranger finally did an all instrumental track. Very good catchy, kind of a Brad Gillis on Alligator feel to it. Glad I have this track! (It kind of hearkens to the instrumental track near the end of Napoleon Dynamite!)

Overall, an amazing effort from one the best, most underrated, incredibly talented rock bands in history! A natural next step from the incredible Somewhere In California album. The fact this won't get the exposure it so deserves is sad, but for diehards like myself, and maybe some new fans through the limited airplay they will get, this is a must have CD! And you have to wonder how many more we will get with some of the guys cresting 60 years of age, and a couple others on the cusp. So enjoy for all its good ol' American rock n roll awesomeness!

*****
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars high road to 80's rock and roll, July 23, 2014
This review is from: High Road (CD/DVD Deluxe Edition) (Audio CD)
this deluxe edition cd is fantastic not only do I have the awesome tunes but video's and in the studio live recording songs for the album. Night ranger has always came through with great song writing and high road is definitely no exception. they even took a new approach to their usual style and still deliver that classic rock sound with brad gillis solos and Kelly kegey doing other lyrics this is yet another winner for the ranger camp
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD from a Classic 80s Band, August 29, 2014
By 
Stephen Mathis (Roswell, Georgia United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: High Road (CD/DVD Deluxe Edition) (Audio CD)
I've been following this band pretty much since day one, and while the line-up has changed a bit, the music is still right on the money. It always disappoints and frustrates me when bands change styles after establishing themselves in one genre, so it's gratifying to see a band still sticking with what they're good at doing and doing it well! I hope to see more like this from this band.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! If you like Night Ranger and you like ..., September 6, 2014
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This review is from: High Road (Vinyl)
Amazing! If you like Night Ranger and you like old school rock this album will not disappoint. The first track "High Road" grabs you right from the beginning! Only 500 vinyl copies being sold worldwide so if you like Night Ranger and you like vinyl I would not hesitate to order this release. Best album I bought this year by far!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best buy version is the best value., September 13, 2014
This review is from: High Road (Audio CD)
This band is so killer, I am glad they are still around making music of the highest quality. I discovered them around a year ago and am now a fan. I appreciate all the care they put into their work. This album is so kick ass!!!! Night Ranger is rocking hard and making an impact. The Best Buy version has more bonus tracks and a dvd.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic album! I hope they put out another one in a year or two!, October 7, 2014
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This review is from: High Road (Audio CD)
With the new "High Road" and "Somewhere In California" from a couple of years ago, Night Ranger show that they are still making vital music that contains the best elements of modern sounds and their original sounds from the 1980s.

I liked "Somewhere In California" more immediately than "High Road". "High Road" had to grow on me a bit. But once it grew on me, I think I like "High Road" better than "Somewhere In California". I might even estimate that "High Road" is the best Night Ranger album ever - in their 30 some-odd years of making music - which is a tall statement.

This album has everything: Loud guitar songs with brilliant guitars; Mid-tempo songs; and a couple of gorgeous ballads.

While they no longer grace the Top 40 in the United States, with the quality of the songs from these last two albums, I can't help but wonder if some of these songs aren't charting Top 10 or Top 20 somewhere in Europe, South America, or Japan?

I think Night Ranger has been highly under-rated in the USA for about the last 20 or 25 years. Sure Classic Rock Radio still plays "Sister Christian" and "You Can Still Rock In America". But this is a band that if they never recorded another song, could put out a 50 to 60 song box-set where every song sounds like hit!
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High Road (CD/DVD Deluxe Edition)
High Road (CD/DVD Deluxe Edition) by Night Ranger (Audio CD - 2014)
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