"Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough"

By Lord Randall

THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA’s "Amber Galactic" unexpectedly snuck itself into my Top Ten of 2018 with its heartfelt mix of true power ballads and stadium-ready rockers, but to say I was eager for the follow-up isn’t exactly true. These days, I’m all about the trepidation and hedged bet, so I was more concerned that "Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough' wouldn’t measure up, or (even worse) would be simply “good” or “alright, if you like that sort of thing”. 

 Thankfully, my reservations were unfounded, as ‘This Time’ bursts from the speakers, reminiscent of those two good ALCATRAZZ albums, less the guitar histrionics, hopeful and uber-positive in this age of negativity. For those WITCHERY and MERCYFUL FATE fans who keep wishing bassist Sharlee D’ Angelo would drop some funky bass groove in those hymns to the darkness, we have ‘Paralyzed’, but, aside from the quirkiness, I’m not sure I’m on board. Shades of those ‘80s Loverboy hits abound, and that’s rarely ever a good thing. The title finds the sextet returning to AOR mode, working that subdued verse/big arena chorus bit for all it’s worth, and I’d be remiss in pointing out just how similar it sounds to the end title theme of pretty much any Swayze/Schwarzenegger-helmed action vehicle from the time period TNFO’s sound most readily recalls. Pure gold is mined within ‘Moments Of Thunder’, again cementing that, whatever’s in the water in Sweden (ABBA, EUROPE’s first three albums), the country’s current reputation as a melodic rock/pop hit factory is deserved, for better or worse, while ‘Pretty Thing Closing In’ is ultra-modern – glossy yet slinky, turgid and throbbing. From the first minute, the balladry of ‘The Last Of The Independent Romantics’ confused, a strange choice with which to end an album like this, but soon enough the boys kicked it into gear, the spaceship departing on a high note.

How does my second experience with The Night Flight Orchestra compare to the first? Well, there weren’t as many “Wow!” moments, but as I knew what to expect, I can’t fault Strid & co. for that. And, sometimes the world ain’t enough, that’s sure…but this album is.