CD Reviews

Winger - 'Better Days Comin'' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 20, 2014    
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A musician's album of pure quality.

If you're expecting a return to Winger's glorious 1980s heyday then move along. However, if you're interested in what one of the big players from our favourite era has to offer in 2014, then pull up a chair and listen in. Forget the naysayers who pronounce that Winger are no longer relevant, what Kip Winger and the boys have produced here is simply astounding on two different levels. Firstly, the musicianship is stunning, and secondly, its sheer diversity is what gives it strength.

'Midnight Driver Of A Love Machine' is a cool way to get the listeners attention – driving riffs over a dirty, sleazy feel ("She runs on sex and gasoline") that motors along in a hummable fashion and gets in your head whilst Reb Beach pulls off an exquisite solo. The follow-up 'Queen Babylon' with its nice punctuated riffs and quirky, innovative playing over a standard beat has a nice melodious chorus that is prime Winger.

Moving into single territory the band deliver the pacy Rocker 'Rat Race' which could easily be a re-worked 1980s number, but if you're thinking Winger are starting to get into a 1980s groove, think again as the breezy Funked up chorus of the title track gets those hips swinging after a nagging low-key swagger opening. It's a real feel good number and allows K. Winger to stretch his bass playing as John Roth gets in on the act with some cool licks as Beach widdles away.

'Tin Soldier' is really interesting with K. Winger's vocals ethereal-like in places, Beach doing his best Steve Vai impressions, Roth coming up with some Jazzy rhythms and Rod Morgenstein some syncopated drum patterns – Dream Theater eat your heart out!

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If there's a better ballad out there this year than 'Ever Wonder' then I've yet to hear it! It's quite simply sumptuous. K. Winger sings with such restrained feeling whilst Beach offers a lovely tonal quality over beautiful, echoed keyboard effects that create this wonderful feeling of euphoria. Stunning!

'So Long China' suddenly gets you bouncing again before Beach's driving riffs and K. Winger's familiar vocal lines lead us into a super-smooth melodic chorus with Beach, Roth and Morgenstein anchoring the whole proceedings, much like 'Storm In Me' with its slightly modern sound. 'Be Who You Are' is experimental with rudimentary elements and subtle changes in scope and clarity alongside Beatles Psychedelia and Led Zeppelin flavourings that is completely left-field. The album finishes with 'Out Of This World' which offers a breathy, slow start and building to familiar Winger territory.

Ignore any poor reviews or negativity surrounding this album, buy it and crank it up on your stereo at home. A musician's album of pure quality!

Carl Buxton

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