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Loverboy - 2012 Rock N Roll Revival

ARTIST: Loverboy
ALBUM: Rock N Roll Revival
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2012
SPONSOR: Frontiers (Haulix)


LINEUP: Mike Reno - vocals * Paul Dean - guitars * Doug Johnson - keyboards * Ken 'Spider' Sinnaeve - bass * Matt Frenette - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Rock N Roll Revival * 02 No Tomorrow * 03 Heartbreaker * 04 Turn Me Loose * 05 Working For The Weekend * 06 Lovin' Every Minute Of It * 07 The Kid Is Hot Tonight * 08 Lucky Ones * 09 Always On My Mind * 10 Queen Of The Broken Heart * 11 When It's Over * 12 Hot Girls In Love



This Canadian institution have been hanging onto the coattails of melodic rock for some years now, with a pinch of determination it must be said. I remember the howls of disagreement when I reviewed their 2007 album 'Just Getting Started'. For the life of me I couldn't see what all the fuss was about. Still can't. Which leads us onto Loverboy's latest, a hybrid of new material (three new songs) and a recast of old classics. Though I'm sure the guys in Loverboy are glad to be back, and so too a whole swag of supporters from west of the Rockies and across the Canadian Prairies, I'm not sure we're getting value for money here. To make matters worse, the rebuilt versions of their older songs sounds like they've been mixed in a garage using everything from a kitchen sink to a concrete mixer! Harsh words you might say. Even though the band have declared that the rebuilt songs have been recorded 'live in the studio', you would at least think they could've handled it with care. It's not all doom and gloom, but if Journey had the nouse to record their material on 2008's 'Revelation' and sound like a million bucks in the process (and so too Foreigner on their 3CD package from 2009), then there is no excuse for Loverboy not to do likewise.

The Songs
The three brand new songs are earmarked at the front of the CD. A good move. The band lead off with the title track 'Rock 'N' Roll Revival', which is a good introduction to their 2012 approach. It's a big brash sound, an anthem for sure, a hard driving chorus with parping synths operating in the background. 'No Tomorrow' is a modern rocker with that familiar structure you'll find on albums from Daughtry to Train. 'Heartbreaker' is the pick of the three for me; energetic, good chorus and fun sounding. Not bad for three new tracks. Now we get to the not so good part of the CD; the re-recorded classics, if you can call it that. They're all here: 'Turn Me Loose', 'Working For The Weekend', 'Lovin' Every Minute Of It', 'The Kid Is Hot Tonight' etc. Some versions work, some sound poor. The worst of the lot is 'Always On My Mind', Paul Dean's guitar is still stuck in first gear and sounds utterly horrible. 'When It's Over' just plods while 'Hot Girls In Love' is one of the better sounding re-recordings, and it's given an extended run time of nearly 8 minutes; the band heading into jam territory, though the reggae improvisation through the mid-section is ill-advised despite Matt Frenette's super drum-work.

In Summary
For a band struggling to get back into the center-lane and quite clearly wanting to get as much mileage as possible, a CD release like this is not the way to go about it. 3 new and 8 re-recorded songs is not value for money, and with a slew of good CD's on offer elsewhere, this will come in as very low priority. The re-recorded songs are a hit and miss affair, but on the whole, it's like they've gone into the studio and bashed these out in a bit of a hurry. Overall, I come away very disappointed and would not go recommending this CD to all and sundry. Best stick with a Greatest Hits collection, or their back catalog.

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#1 | airborne on September 02 2012 23:11:32
Would be nice, if reno and co, read this review. Spot on.

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