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Articles Home » 2010 Articles » Ransom - 2010 Better Days
Ransom - 2010 Better Days

ARTIST: Ransom
ALBUM: Better Days
LABEL: Yesterrock/NL Distribution
YEAR: 2010


LINEUP: Tommy Girvin - vocals, guitars * Don Cromwell - bass, keyboards * Rock Hampton - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Better Days * 02 Stay With Me Tonight * 03 Learn To Be Alone * 04 Heaven Knows * 05 Oh Life * 06 Best Is Yet To Come * 07 Party Life * 08 Calm Before The Storm * 09 High And The Mighty * 10 Love In Vain * 11 In My Dreams



Finding out that the principal duo of Tommy Girvin and Don Cromwell were due to make an unexpected return as Ransom during 2010 was indeed - a surprise! I was one of many who thought their 1997 debut 'Trouble In Paradise' was a great little album. I made the point during that album's review, of how the duo had the late Van Stephenson stuck in their back-pocket as a reference point among others. Both Tommy and Don have been around the last decade or so, but haven't really stuck their heads out with notable releases on their own bat.. until now. These days, Don runs his own production company, and is a notable songwriter for other mainstream artists. 'Better Days' is released on the NL Distribution label (associated with Yesterrock, and loosely, with the old MTM Music empire), this album being a throwback to the classic rock genre. It has a rootsy earthy feel in places, not quite Americana, but certainly doses of mid-west. Closest comparisons could be latterday Bryan Adams or even Norwegian favourites Stage Dolls.

The Songs
The first part of the album focuses on Ransom's penchant for melodic mid-west classic rock. Tracks like 'Learn To Be Alone', 'Oh Life' and 'The Best Is Yet To Come' showcase this easily. There are a couple of highlights.. I love the Stage Dolls like 'Stay With Me Tonight', with its swaying vibe and Tommy's sweet lead vocal on top of a multitude of guitar melodies. 'Party Life' and 'High And Mighty' both shift into the pure hard rock zone, with beefy guitars and a typical rock oriented choruses. Still shows these boys know how to rock when it counts. Ransom lift for the soaring closer 'In My Dreams', majestic mostly, layered keys and nice guitar solos to round it out.

In Summary
'Better Days' will appeal to many of you here, though not strictly AOR, the abundance of melody and the easy-going mid-west styled approach that is on offer - will strike a chord for most. A very likeable CD, which makes a great addition to your 2010 collection. Don also advises that 'Trouble In Paradise' is also being reissued again through NL Distribution/Yesterrock, so look out for that in the months to come!

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#1 | trillion1999 on November 10 2011 17:39:43
I like this cover very much.For some inexplicable reason it reminds me of Stealers Wheel.
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