At the mention of the band Loverboy, other than one of their hit songs, what comes to mind? Yeah, I know. It's vocalist Mike Reno's trademark red leather pants and permanent bandana. The press material states that he recently lost 50 pounds to keep up the touring pace. Maybe those pants still fit. I don't know if that's an image you want to have in your head for too long.
Canada's Loverboy returns with a 'new' album, Rock 'N' Roll Revival. Here's the skinny on the details: of the 12 tracks here, only three are new songs, right at the front, Rock 'N' Roll Revival, No Tomorrow, and Heartbreaker; the remaining nine songs are re-recordings of their most popular songs. And now you're probably asking yourself, 'What's the point of that?'
Exactly. But let's set that issue aside for now.
The three new songs are simply great. Between the classic Loverboy sound and clever turns of a phrase in the lyrics (there's no tomorrow in yesterday'), these tunes are lively and entertaining, classic melodic hard rock. No Tomorrow if arranged differently could have been a modern country rock song. It wouldn't surprise me if someone in Nashville picked up on this.
But what about the re-recordings of their greatest hits? Frankly, they're quite good. Call them Loverboy 2.0 or more likely what you would hear at one of their shows. My favorite Loverboy songs will always be Working for the Weekend and The Kid Is Hot Tonight. Both are fresh, maybe slightly faster than before. Both have a 'live' feel to them, finishing with a flourishing crescendo. The surprise here may be Hot Girls in Love which clocks in better than twice the original time. You're treated to some fine bass and drum work nearing improvisation, and with the other instruments sounds like rock-fusion version of Loverboy. Who knew?
Rock 'N' Roll Revival is a good Loverboy album, but more likely an album for diehard Loverboy fans who believe they can do no wrong. Others who simply remember the hits, and want to remember them as they were, could go either way on this one. But you certainly don't want to miss the new songs either. I say, scoop it up and rock on. Recommended.