"Don’t Let Up"

by Theron Moore

I know, you see the name Night Ranger and suddenly your head gets filled with visions and flashbacks from the 80’s, but can I be honest with you for a moment?  Get over it, stop being so provincial.  Regardless of the band, ask yourself one simple question – does this music rock, is it good?  Answer?  Hell yeah, Night Ranger rocks.  “Don’t Let Up” gets the job done, no complaints.   But mark my words, this is Night Ranger in 2017, not 1985, and the music on this record reflects that.

Regardless of how long Night Ranger has been around, they know melodic rock, they know how to put songs together and how to do it well.  Truth be told, if this were the 80’s they’d have a hit record here.  But the harsh reality, is, the corporate rock industry that puts together tour packages and programs modern rock radio, won’t push Night Ranger even though “Don’t Let Up” is good, and there’s more than one song on here that’s radio friendly.  

The first two tracks, “Somehow Someway” and “Running out of Time” start the record out, and they’re good choices to boot, full of that freewheeling, 80’s, California swagger Night Ranger was known for.  But that describes “Don’t Let Up” in general.  Track four, “Day and Night” gets a little heavier while track six “(Won’t be your) Fool Again” actually has a honky tonk bent to it with a pronounced rock edge, kind of similar to what Bret Michaels has been doing in his solo career, just better and with less cheese.

Night Ranger are older, granted, but “Don’t Let Up” shows growth and evolution from their “Seven Wishes” era to the present.  The selling point for me, personally, is the maturity you hear in their music, and that’s what makes this record shine, especially on songs “Comfort Me” and “Jamie” which is classic Night Ranger, just updated. If you’ve been looking for good rock N roll, this is it, you found it.  “Don’t Let Up” is the quintessential, summertime, party record you would’ve enjoyed as a kid but can appreciate as an adult.  Add this CD to your collection immediately.