Night Ranger, ‘Growing Up in California’ – Single Review
Although it's no longer 1983, Night Ranger's new single 'Growing Up in California' proves that the band's music is just plain made for summertime. One can hardly wait to put the top down and crank this one up loud.
From the opening moments of 'Growing Up,' it's clear that the upcoming album 'Somewhere in California' signifies a most welcome return to the classic Night Ranger sound. Sun-kissed harmonies are stacked high to the sky, surrounded with thick guitars courtesy of original axeman Brad Gillis and newer recruit Joel Hoekstra.
But there are differences too; although 'Growing Up in California' has that much-loved “classic” Night Ranger sound, it also has more of a full-bodied warmth, thanks to the recording technologies of today that simply weren't present in the '80s when the Night Ranger guys were cutting their most classic singles.
There are synths from newest member Eric Levy on the keyboards, but also splashes of organ that really bulk up the sounds from Night Ranger as they rocket through the verses en route to the choruses.
Vocalist Jack Blades jettisons most if not all of the country twang that some fans griped about on the band's initial two reunion albums 'Neverland' and 'Seven.' In fact, his vocals are so gruff that if you hadn't seen the video for 'Growing Up in California' you would probably assume that it is fellow NR vocalist Kelly Keagy behind the mic. The previously unheard edge in Blades' voice is a welcome new touch.
Of the four albums that Night Ranger has made since their mid-'90s reunion, 'Somewhere in California' is easily the best of the bunch. 'Growing Up in California' is a worthy preview that should get fans sufficiently warmed up for both the new album and the band's forthcoming summer tour. As you can read here, Night Ranger will share the stage with '80s arena giants Foreigner and Journey.
Watch the video for 'Growing Up in California' by Night Ranger