So many bands from our past are regrouping and recording again. The list includes new music from Europe, REO Speedwagon, and Hanoi Rocks just to name a few. This puts a fan and a music reviewer in a bad spot. Call it, 'between a rock and hard place.' We loved their past stuff and we wonder what they will bring to the table in this new century. Will it be more of the same, the music we loved so much, or will it be something more modern, so modern we grimmace in pain? Honestly, sometimes I wish these bands would rest on their past laurels because I don't want to criticize their new work. However, this scenario is not the case with the new Loverboy album. These guys have not lost a beat since their glory days of the 1980's. Really, Loverboy sounds great, even better than ever. 'Just Getting Started' is not just a cliche. Rather it heralds a rebirth of promise and excitement.
Mike Reno and the band have never sounded better on this work. Sure his waist size may be larger than his inseam, but Mr. Reno's vocals are mature and controlled. (And, I believe he still has the red leather pants!) The title cut proves this exponentially. This is pure Loverboy in composition and vocals. Frankly, I don't think there's a bad song on this album. The second song, 'Fade To Black,' may start slow, yet in the end it rocks with clarity and enthusiasm. Another song, 'Lost With You' verges on melodic metal and has blaring guitar work. Age has nothing to do with producing intense melodic rock. 'I Would Die For You' is another track that reveals pure Loverboy compositional cleverness (is that good grammer?). This song is instensely emotional and strong: there's a cetain Bon Jovi or Bryan Adams sensibility to this song. Not everything is pearls and roses on this album. I was not impressed with 'The Real Thing,' but it is still an enjoyable song. It's a 'sort of' ballad, but "The One That Got Away' is much better. Loverboy redeems themselves on 'As Good As It Gets,' a simple hard rocker with a quirky chorus. 'Just Getting Started' ends with 'Stranded,' a song with strong lyrics, vocals and arrangement that delivers great melodic hard rock.'
I'm entirely impressed with Loverboy 2008. This is great melodic rock. Loverboy stays true to form without compromise to their character and with significant creativity for the future. Time and maturity have produced a great work. For fans, this a definite 'must buy.' For youngsters who wish to do melodic hard rock, I say, 'listen carefully' this how thing should be done. Highly recommended!
- Craig Hartranft
This is the Loverboy you know and love. Title track returns you to the glory days of 'Working For The Weekend.' This is as fine a return that anyone could expect from these arena rockers. 'Just Getting Started' may be Loverboy's best work to date.
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