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Articles Home » 2009 Articles » Foreigner - 2009 Can't Slow Down
Foreigner - 2009 Can't Slow Down

ARTIST: Foreigner
ALBUM: Can't Slow Down
LABEL: Rhino
SERIAL: R2 521324
YEAR: 2009


LINEUP: Kelly Hansen - lead vocals * Mick Jones - lead guitar, Backing vocals, piano * Thom Gimbel - guitars, saxophone, backing vocals * Michael Bluestein - keyboards * Jeff Pilson - bass * Brian Tichy - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Can't Slow Down * 02 In Pieces * 03 When It Comes To Love * 04 Living In A Dream * 05 I Can't Give Up * 06 Ready * 07 Give Me A Sign * 08 I'll Be Home Tonight * 09 Too Late * 10 Lonely * 11 As Long As I Live * 12 Angel Tonight * 13 Fool For You Anyway

Disc #2 Remixes: 01 Feels Like the First Time * 02 Cold As Ice * 03 Urgent * 04 Jukebox Hero * 05 Blue Morning Blue Day * 06 Dirty White Boy * 07 Double Vision * 08 Head Games * 09 Hot Blooded * 10 I Want To Know What Love Is

Disc #3 Live: 01 Double Vision * 02 Head Games * 03 That Was Yesterday * 04 Say You Will * 05 Starrider * 06 Feels Like the First Time *07 Urgent * 08 Juke Box Hero * 09 I Want To Know What Love Is * 10 Hot Blooded



Let's face it. We're all big Foreigner fans at this site. Finally in 2009, it's good to see Mick Jones getting off his arse and getting this great band back out onto the water. Fifteen long years it has been since the last studio effort 'Mr Moonlight'.. when grunge was in its prime, Steve Perry was still active, and everybody was using Windows 3.11! Aarrghh... Yes, we've seen much water pass under the bridge, but in reality, this lineup of the band has been steady now for a few years, the only exception being Brian Tichy coming in for Jason Bonham, ironically Jason was the man who put the powderkeg under Mick's behind and got things moving in the Foreigner camp once again. No doubting that the team of Jones and Lou Gramm is, and will always be the quintessential 'Foreigner'. But new singer Kelly Hansen (can we call him a 'new' singer now? He's been there for five years..) really has made the frontman's role his own now. Already a legend in the hard rock genre, he has added beef and solidarity to Foreigner, and only God knows where they will head to next. The world is their oyster. One can only wonder at the reasoning behind the Walmart venture for distribution (tell me it's not the moolah!). Perhaps they think that everyday Mums and Dads will pick up at a copy at the checkout instead of the chocolates and chewing gum? Well the 3CD has been out now for about a month, I've had all that time to listen to it, there was no hurry to review it, considering there's a ton of other stuff out there. So, what of this 3 Disc spectacular?

The Songs
Discs 2 and 3 aren't of any interest to me, only the new stuff.. no surprise really. In that regard, Foreigner have safely covered their bases, though the immediate comparison would suggest that 'Double Vision', 'Head Games' and '4' are the closest in attitude to their past work. The fiery 'Can't Slow Down' is a great kickstart, offset by the nu-breed sounding 'In Pieces', which despite my unenthusiastic attitude toward that sub-genre, it kinda works ok here. 'When It Comes to Love' is a classy number, acoustic mainly, breathy vocals by Hansen, and a winning formula. Great song, tailor made for radio. Fans of Jude Cole should get a kick out of 'Living In A Dream', Hansen tuning into Jude's style of singing as if he was a living reincarnation! 'I Can't Give Up' is more in keeping with 91's 'Unusual Heat', less Lou Gramm, perhaps more Johnny Edwards. 'Ready' throws off the Cheap Trick veil, is it Robin Zander singing this? lol! 'Give Me A Sign' is traditional Foreigner at its most familiar, you could throw this on any past album and it would be a good fit. 'I'll Be Home Tonight' is another classy affair, more modern sounding than what we're used to from this band, and it makes a good compendium to the new Blanc Faces CD that has just hit the market. 'Too Late' sounds like an offshoot from the 'Double Vision' LP which is fine by me, whereas 'Lonely' has a whimsical feel to it, Cheap Trick maybe, with a sidedish of Enuff Znuff attitude. 'As Long As I Live' is one of those ballads that you can add to the band's impressive resume, but don't reach for the Kleenex just yet, as this one doesn't quite hit the heartstrings as 'I've Been Waiting For A Girl Like You' did. 'Angel Tonight' is no pushover, this one has a bit of sting to it, and an effective chorus that binds everything together nicely. The most different track of the new set is left till last. 'Fool For You Anyway', which is a re-recording of the track from the first Foreigner LP. On this album, it could be a 60's rehash, think Smokie Robinson's 'Tracks Of My Tears'.. though the original doesn't give you that same impression. Interesting comparison though.

In Summary
My feeling is that Mick Jones has bided his time perfectly to release 'Can't Slow Down'. I doubt he would've recorded anything of substance without a quality singer such as Kelly Hansen in tow. Also, the classic rock circuit must be still lucrative for Foreigner, as this lot have been together for five years now, and have survived without the proceeds of a new album to fall back on (as if any band is making big money through CD sales, as we know so well). The new Disc is really all you need when it comes to purchasing this album. The fact that you get two additional discs along with it makes it good value for money. Walmart have delivered two goodies in the last two months (Kiss being the other), so we wonder, who will be the next cab off the Walmart rank? Perhaps we should lay down a wager or two!

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#1 | george_the_jack on November 12 2009 13:43:18
Yeah yeah! Very good album! I'm starting to 'forget' Lou with these great power vocals by Kelly Hansen! Undoubtedly,it's a strong comeback for the Foregner legacy.
#2 | gdazegod on November 12 2009 13:44:35
Kelly Hansen must surely rank as one of the premier voices in hard rock? Yes? score 10
#3 | jeffrey343 on November 28 2009 19:11:58
This is definitely near the top for 2009 for me. Kelly Hansen fills Lou Gramm's shoes very well. Based on Lou's latest with the Lou Gramm Band (which has some good monents), I'd go with Hansen here. It doesn't always rock as hard as earlier Foreigner, but it does have some good rockin' moments. A lot of earlier Foreigner classic songs were really very simple tunes. These are generally a lot more complex musically and lyrically, which you'd expect from a guy 30 years older than when the band started. 'Too Late' is the closest to their old sound (it was included in a greatest hits package last year, so I've had it for over a year). Overall, as a complete album, I'd probably put this behind only '4' and the underrated 'Inside Information'. And since I listen to a lot of Foreigner anyway, this one is guaranteed to be played a lot.
#4 | Jez on November 04 2010 03:28:03
Song quality is most definitely very high on this, with the ballads being to the fore 'When It Comes To Love' is especially good and probably my fave track on here. The 'Rockers' are good aswell, albeit typical Foreigner fare in places. Even with only Mick Jones remaining from the original lineup, you most definitely know who you are listening to. Kelly Hansen is the spitting image of the mighty Lou Gramm in places and I sometimes had to pinch myself to remind me it wasn't Lou singing he is that close on occassions. Production is very nice, without overdoing the 'Slick' and overall this is another disc that gets a big thumbs up. Special mention to the fantastic Remixes disc that comes with the 3 disc package. Never have the Foreigner 'classics' sounded this good and crisp before
#5 | jeffrey343 on November 04 2010 13:59:18
The remixes CD is indeed very good, but I wish they hadn't mixed the guitars out so much in "Head Games". To me, that really changes the sound of that classic a bit too much.
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