|ZERO CORPORATION XRCN-1297||1. New York Time 2. As Always I Remain 3. Neverland 4. Slap Like Being Born 5. Someday I Will 6. I Don't Call This Love 7. Sunday Morning 8. Anything For You 9. My Elsusive Mind 10. Forever All Over Again 11. Rock In America '97||
|Total Score 95%||Production 95%||Songs 95%||Vibe 95%||Packaging 90%|
I am not sure what I was ready for when I put this on yesturday, and I was open to surprises. But I still got one with the first listen to Neverland. The production is much more in your face compared with the other N.R. albums. Thanks to Mr Ron Nevison, this is a 'crisper', sharper and tighter band.|
The songs are traditional N.R. as far as they all have great melodies, vocals and that big stadium sound. But that is pretty well where it leaves off. Neverland contains songs with a far less predictable structure. There are progressive chord changes and varied melodies which leave you craving more. The songs I guess are more intricate.
The vocals also are considerably different. Jack and Kelly's vocals have never sounded like this! They are singing with varied tones and pitches and basically sound like two new men!
The choruses are not as big and over the top as previous albums, but upon a few listens they become move evident, and imbedded in your brain. As for Brad and Jeff, there is much to say about how tight the two guys still are after all these years. They were born to play together. The guitars again sound different, but it's all class and for he die-hard's, don't worry - there is plenty of soloing and picking for you to get off on.
There are two ballads (Someday I Will, Forever All Over Again), one mid pacer (As Always I Remain), two big anthems (Sunday Morning, My Elusive Mind) ans the rest are big time rockers.
First single New York Time is bound to be a classic, and there are more than enough hits on this album, hopefully you will be hearing them on a radio nar you soon.
Night Ranger have always changed their sound with each album, while retaining the sum of parts that make up what we love about them. Overall, this is a bold new step for a classic band. The vocals sound great, the guitars sound great, the bass is louder than ever, and it is more a grower that an instant classic. But in my experience, the growers always end up on top.
NOTE: The US release was even better, adding the essential Japanese B-Side My Elusive Mind and re-working the track running order.