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KELLY KEAGY
TIME PASSES

Frontiers Records FRCD 063
Produced by: Kelly Keagy

Released: APRIL 23 / Website
Closest Relative: Night Ranger, Survivor
GENRE: Hard Rock
OVERALL: 97%

  1. Anything Goes
  2. Acid Rain
  3. Time Passes
  4. Before Anyone Knows
  5. Too Much To Ask
  6. Bottled up
  7. Too Close To The Sun
  8. Wrong Again
  9. Where There's A Woman
  10. The Journey
  11. The Moon
  12. I'm Still Here*

Kelly Keagy's career spans 20 years now, from his first recording with Night Ranger on their breakthrough debut release Dawn Patrol, to his more recent outings with King Of Hearts, to his solo guest spots on Jim Peterik's World Stage and the Hollywood Underground record.
This though, is his first full solo album, giving him for the first time, a whole album of lead vocals and total artistic control.
But he's a drummer! You don't give drummers total control of anything!!?
Kelly, however, is no ordinary drummer. He's a lead vocalist who has been singing lead since that first Night ranger record, he's also a part time guitarist and one of the melodic rock world's finest song writers.
On Time Passes, Kelly gets to let his full array of talents shine in the fitting manner they deserve.
He has written or co-written every track but one, sings lead on all but one (where he shares with Gary Moon) and absolutely spanks the drums as expected throughout!
Time Passes is a record for every Night Ranger fan. Having purchased any album from Seven to Big Life, this album demands buying.
But this record will have a wider appeal than just the Night Ranger fans out there. Much wider.
With the likes of Bruce Gaitsch, Jim Peterik, Kevin Chalfant and Todd Meagher co-writing, plus Gary Moon and newcomer Joe Vana providing backing vocals, the sound of this album is a far more universal hard rock record then just a Night Ranger off shoot.
Track by track will give you a better idea of what is in store.
The album opens with the thoroughly rocking Anything Goes, a track previewed on the last Union Compilation Vol. 3 and live at last year's Gods.
It's an uptempo stadium rocker in the true American sense. Production is immaculate and the guitar sound is somewhat more in your face than you might expect.
Acid Rain follows quickly on, continuing the hard edged guitar assault in a more contemporary modern hard rock style. The darker and heavy guitar style added to a more aggressive vocal from Kelly mean this track could find itself at home on US radio. The tougher vocal and guitar shredding is a highlight.
One of the first tracks written specifically for this solo album was Time Passes.
It has evolved from it's original demo form and I am pleased to say that the form it takes on this album is it's best yet.
This is classic Kelly Keagy / Night Ranger in medium tempo stadium anthem territory. The track has an awesome intro highlighting Kelly's vocal over a soft electric guitar right through the first verse until the chorus kicks in. And what a chorus - a somewhat laid back, but harmony filled, pure AOR anthem, with a killer drum sound. This reminds me of later day Night Ranger.
Before Anyone Knows is another great commercial hard rocker. This is another stadium pleaser, with cranked guitars, some spanking drumming (complete with the odd min-solo) and more great vocals from Kelly.
Trust me - this one will be huge on the freeway and reminds me of early Night Ranger. The last 90 seconds of the song is all over the place - squealing guitars and crashing drums - Kelly refers to it as the 'Train Wreck' portion of the album. Love it!
Too Much To Ask is a track co-written with the great Jim Peterik and is the album's first big ballad. It's a very 80's style commercial ballad, in the best sense of the genre and sees the outside writing influence conjure up the best all these guys can offer. The intro again reminds me of a big Night Ranger power ballad, before the chorus deviates.
Bottled Up is another track that made up the original set of demo's for this album. This was co-written by Kelly with Bruce Gaitsch.
This is one seriously rocking song and one seriously screwed up set of lyrics. There is enough angst in this track alone, to keep a room fool of psychiatrists busy for a week. The musical aspect of the song is interesting. It's modern, it's very aggressive and it's in your face, but it's more the toned down approach and the delivery of the vocal that gives it it's dark feel. The chorus reaches a new high and features a very strong vocal. Also interesting is the songs use of keyboards and acoustic guitar. It's a very cool and intelligent track.
Too Close To The Sun slows things down just a little, with another mid-tempo track co-written with Jim Peterik that starts slowly with some Night Ranger-ish guitar and heads into a moody mid-tempo guitar rocker. I love the moody and slow intro, it really helps the song build atmosphere.
Wrong Again is a killer uptempo rock anthem. Written around the time of the Feeding Off The Mojo album, the track was deemed unsuitable for that album and has been finally completed for this album. Gary Moon and Brad Gillis feature on the song, with the Moonman and Kelly sharing the lead vocal in brilliant tandem. The song is definitely in the Feeding Off The Mojo vibe.
Where There's A Woman is the only song that Kelly didn't write or have a hand in writing. It's a Jim Peterik song that Kelly loved so much he wanted to include it in the album. The song rocks, but is primarily a ballad with a great sentimental edge to it. As expected from the master song writer, the song is all class and has touches of Survivor and World Stage with the obligatory bridge-to-chorus refrain. It's basically Jim Peterik all over and Kelly sings it perfectly.
The Journey is another Peterik / Keagy composition and is the AOR anthem highlight of the album. This pure Survivor rock track is another freeway anthem and is one of my favorite tracks from any artist in recent times. This is a classy song and I love the lead vocal and the extra harmony and backing vocals through the chorus. It adds another dimension to the album and to Kelly's resume.
Rounding out the album is the very sentimental closer The Moon. The lyrics are hauntingly personal and poignant.
The song itself is sparse - just a soft lead vocal over an acoustic guitar and bass/synth backing with the occasional electric guitar riff mixed through.
What has been added since the original demo is a perfectly placed 'orchestral' break. Superb song and another album highlight.

I'm Still Here is the Japanese bonus track that in all honesty should have made the general release of the album. This uptempo sentimental rocker is a very commercial, very Night Ranger stadium anthem in every sense of the word and sees Kelly in fine form. Recommended to checkout somewhere if not from the Japanese version of the album.
BOTTOM LINE: This solo album is everything I thought and hoped it could be. It shows all sides of Kelly's personality, both on a familiar path from his work with Night Ranger, but also with some new styles and examples of a singer and songwriter always growing.
A must buy for all Night Ranger fans, plus a necessary album for all melodic stadium rock fans and commercial American hard rock fans. A killer album that will be up there with the best of the year.
PRODUCTION: 95% SONGS: 98% VIBE: 98%ATTITUDE: 97%
ESSENTIAL FOR: Every Night Ranger fan, all fans of American commercial stadium hard rock.
DISCOGRAPHY:Night Ranger, King Of Hearts, World Stage, Hollywood Underground; Solo - Time Passes


06/04/07: StevenB - steven_bee@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
This album is incredible. Kelly's voice continues to improve with age. When it seems so many melodic rock singers are changing styles or losing range, Kelly just remains consistent. Well written and composed these songs will stand, at least for this NR fan, the test of time. If your favorite band, like mine, is Night Ranger, you have to have Time Passes.

02/05/06: Gerri - geriomadigan@hotmail.com
Rating: 100
Truely amazing,awesome,love it

04/04/05: Peter Dent - Robyn-Peter@thedents.net
Rating: 10
This is the album I had been waiting for! An ENTIRE album of my favourite Rock Vocalist's songs! And since I'm a Drummer too, Kelly's been a HUGE influence on me. But forget about the hype and the anticipation of it...it's actually an AMAZING album! The songs are arguably stronger than anything on a Night Ranger CD (with the exception of "Sister Christian"!), and the production is top notch and up to date. Well done Kelly! I look forward to the next one...

30/05/04: Chewsmoka - chewsmoka@yahoo.com
Rating: 100
Man, Kelly put some smoke on this one and let it rip! Hasn't gotten old since I got it 3 years agao, as I just dusted it off, put it in the car CD deck and pushed play. "Bottled Up" should be a blueprint for a how to do a bad ass song period. I hope he gets back to the studio and does at least one more solo record like this one.If you don't have it, why are you waiting??Skip his NR buddy Jack's 2004 solo release with a quickness, you qill be glad you did.

27/05/02: Rogue - OMjolnir@aol.com
Rating: 90
This was a pleasant journey from beginning to end. Kelly stays somewhat current yet harkens back to his Night Ranger roots. Something the last two NR albums failed to do. Also very nice to hear some vocals from the MoonMan!

12/12/01: Art Colum - redeemed@hit.net
Rating: 98
Solid from begining to end. Each song is very enjoyable...no duds here. One of the best CDs of the year - a must for any NR fan. This project deserves more exposure - solid writting,musicianship,production etc. .

21/08/01: Scott - scottw@mfx.net
Rating: 98
A great release. Just enough touches of modern influences to make it a little different than Night Ranger. Still is a must have for any Night Ranger fan. Would have rated a 100 with one more rocker.

24/07/01: beast - centsf@aol.com
Rating: 98
Wow, What a CD. Reminded me of why I like Night Ranger so much. Kelly's vocals are outstanding and a great mix of Semi-ballads and hard rockin' songs, like Anything Goes, Acid Rain, and Wrong Again. Highly recommend this. Would love to hear the next Night Ranger CD mimic Kelly's.

From a 20 year night ranger fan...in a day when most groupos change their tune with the times, it's nice to hear you haven't forgot us and the music that attracted your core fans. Keep the great stuff!

17/07/01: Craig - craig.conley@ey.com
Rating: 8
Overall a very good album. Highlights are the flawless "The Journey" which is vintage Night Ranger. Why can't there be more similar type songs like this on the album though? And why can't the talented group of Night Ranger release songs like this now? I was very disappointed in the last couple of Night Ranger albums, but this definitely restored my faith. Kelly is a top notch vocalist and my favorite of the duo from Night Ranger. How about some more melodic classics like Sing Me Away and Faces for the next solo album.

02/05/01: rockdog6 - greenman@ntlworld.com
Rating: 90
Brilliant album,much rockier than expected,the first 2 tracks SHRED!!,Overall I prefer
this to the last couple of NightRanger releases,Only 2 minor niggles,the solo on Time Passes
sounds a bit dodgy,and Too Much To Ask sounds too much like Chicago!!,but Overall Way Cool!!

26/04/01: Harry B - HarryB1234@Hotmail.com
Rating: 92
What a great album! The song "The journey" is reason enough to buy this CD. The guitar work in "Wrong again" is outstanding. This is the album Night Ranger should have made. This is a must for any AOR fan.

19/04/01: KAOS FAN - celticcroat@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
This is a pretty awesome album able to easily sit alongside the better releases of last year - The Sign, Kharma, Heartland etc. It has a more contemporary bent than earlier Night Ranger albums - the guitar playing is quite heavy and dark as evidenced on Acid Rain.All the songs are great with Wrong Again being a particular highlight. This album confirms the talent that Kelly has in abundance and is a natural progression from his input on the excellent Feeding Off the Mojo album.Go and buy!Cheers.KAOS FAN!

03/04/01: Lynchbox - euphoricaz@yahoo.com
Rating: 9
This album was indeed a pleasant suprise. I forgot how much I really loved Kelly's vocals, and this album has the tunes to showcase his talent while not alienating any of the Night Ranger following. In my opinion, it is better than the last several NR albums. I am really not a big fan of Jack Blades writing with Tommy Shaw for songs that end up on NR albums, when they are more or less Shaw/Blades tunes. To me, the sound of NR has sounded less and less like the days of old. However, this album restores faith in the sound of Night Ranger, even though it's a Kelly Keagy solo album. You can tell that these days(if not before)that Kelly is the heart and soul of NR. Kind of the same way that people consider Paul Stanley the heart and soul of KISS.

The tunes are undeniably catchy, if not just plain great cool and worthy of dozens of listens. I don't have a particular favorite as I really dig the entire album. "Acid Rain" is really cool and reminds me a bit of the harder sound as found on 'Dawn Patrol'. "The Moon" is a very cool and deeply moving tune somewhat reminiscent of "Let Him Run" on 'Midnight Madness'. Overall, any Night Ranger fans should pick this one up...you won't be disappointed. It will earn a spot in your CD collection for keeps. Definitely my favorite CD of the year thus far...


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