Foreigner Can't Slow Down Atlantic Rhino / WalMart
R2 521324
· Produced By: Marti Frederiksen/Mick Jones

· Running Time:

· Release Date: Out Now

· Released:

· Musical Style: Melodic Rock

· Links: Foreigner
Songs: 92%
Sound: 98%
This is not the record I expected from the band. After the release of Too Late a year or two back, the band's first new tune in years and one that sounded as if it came straight out of the 70s, and after several years of solid touring, I figured a new Foreigner album would be pretty hard rocking and reminiscent of their earlier works.
Not so! But that isn't a bad thing; it is just not what I expected.
Instead, the new album is an ultra-smooth collection of slow and mid-tempo numbers that features an immaculate production and some fine performances.
Some 15 years on from one of my Foreigner records ever, I see this album as a natural successor to Mr. Moonlight.

Track By Track:
It's evident from the first 10 seconds of the new album that this is a high-tech affair and not just Foreigner sticking to a retro theme.
The rocker Can't Slow Down is a blast of energetic melodic rock with an anthemic 80s feel, yet delivered with today's best production effects and layers of instrumentation.
The guitar stands high in the mix, yet not so much as a hard edged tool, but rather as a lush layer of melodies.
But the true highlight here – as it is throughout the album – is the vocals of singer Kelly Hansen. He has fronted the band for several years now, touring continuously and sounds amazing here – bringing his own style, but the familiarity of a close Lou Gramm tone to the album.
In Pieces is a moody slow to mid tempo ballad with a sultry verse and an emotional chorus with an immaculate vocal.
When It Comes to Love is another ballad – and the first single from the album. It especially reminds me of the acoustic driven style of the Mr. Moonlight album and a little of the tempo of Say You Will off Inside Information.
This is another great tune and one you can't help but sing along to. Nice to hear the Foreigner horns in play – they also feature prominently through the record.
Living In A Dream is my pick of the album. A more guitar driven tune, the song has a sultry base, and a great guitar tone. Kelly sounds amazing as he lifts the song into orbit for the bridge and verse. A high-tech rocker with horns, guitars, harmonies. Perfect stuff!
Yet another ballad kills the flow of the album a little here. 3 ballads in the opening 5 tracks knocks the album off balance a little. Definitely a little too laid back.
Still, I Can't Give Up is a different kind of ballad. We've had moody, light and breezy and now we have the big, emotional piano ballad. Another strong and really well produced song with amazing vocals and a nice guitar solo riding under the last part of the song.
Thankfully the tempo heads into high gear for the tech-rocker Ready. Mick Jones has an interesting tone and style throughout this album – not as riff based as previously has been the case. Case in point the solo during this track.
Again Kelly makes his presence well known with some effect filled vocals in the verse giving way to a burst of high range melody.
Give Me a Sign is a mid-tempo guitar fuelled rock track that again sounds like Mr. Moonlight in places. The laid back verse bursts to life with a jazzy rock feel and horns blazing through the chorus. I'll Be Home Tonight is another ballad and perhaps one of the album's best. This is a slow to mid-tempo number that features a slow verse but more rousing chorus. This is a real 80s style rock ballad.
The song Too Late has been around for a while now and has been routinely played in the band's live set. This classic 70s rocker in vintage Foreigner style was how I expected the album to sound like, but rather the guys took a more contemporary approach. For that reason, this now sounds a little out of place, but there is no denying the class of the track and Kelly's ability to hone in 70s Lou Gramm.
Lonely is another one of my favourites from the album. Kicking off like a lost track from the 80s, the song glides along until the chorus kicks into high gear. Not a huge hook, but something that simply can't be erased from your mind.
As Long As I Live is yet another ballad – this album really is dominated by the slower pace. But of course…another classy song. I just wish this rocked a little more than it does. Still, the tempo of this ballad is above that of the others and the passionate vocals of Kelly are a joy.
Angel Tonight stars relatively laid back, but has a wonderful more rocking chorus with a higher vocal and instantly memorable hook. The song picks up as it goes along and features one of the better guitar solos of the album. Another highlight for me.
Fool For You Anyway is – like Too Late – a little out of place stylistically. The only studio remake to make this set is a more laid back, blues and jazz kinda remake. Kelly sounds amazing of course and the production is perfect, but to me it closes out the album on the wrong note.
The Bottom Line
I won't comment on the remixes disc as those classic songs – while sounding fresh and energetic – are no real different from the originals with lead vocal clarity, backing vocals and drums being the standout differences. The real business here is the new material. How it is packaged is a side issue, although I will say that the cheap cardboard jewel case doesn't even feature a booklet, lyrics or a plastic backing for the CDs to sit in. I hate the packaging.

The music though – that's top notch stuff. Foreigner fans have to be happy with this album. Some will complain about the lack of rock on here – me included – but the performances and immaculate production are nothing short of sensational. I could say it is the band's best album in years, but it is their only album in years! Welcome back guys.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Foreigner
· Double Vision
· Head Games
· 4
· Agent Provocateur
· Inside Information
· Unusual Heat
· Mr. Moonlight
· Can't Slow Down

Line Up:
· Kelly Hansen: Vocals
· Mick Jones: Guitars
· Brian Tichy: Drums
· Jeff Pilson: Bass
· Michael Bluestein: Keyboards

Essential For Fans Of:
· Foreigner - Mr. Moonlight
· Kelly Hansen
· Hurricane
Track Listing
· Can't Slow Down *
· In Pieces
· When It Comes to Love *
· Living In A Dream *
· I Can't Give Up *
· Ready *
· Give Me A Sign
· I'll Be Home Tonight *
· Too Late
· Lonely *
· As Long As I Live
· Angel Tonight *
· Fool For You Anyway

--*Best Tracks

01/03/10: Scott -
Rating: 55
I'm sorry, I just didn't get this one, it's not just because of Lou Gramm not being on it because I really like Kelly Hansen, seems like some of the spirit is missing. It does sound up to date and solid, production is incredible. I just felt it was a let down....after waiting all these years after Mr. Moonlight. I listened to it twice and I doubt I ever will again.

23/02/10: Brad -
Rating: 95
Like some others, I wanted to grade this album down a bit because of its lack of harder-edged rock; but after listening to it several times it just continues to grow on me. How can I mark down an album where I like just about every song? Kelly Hansen is a brilliant replacement for the (I thought) irreplacable Lou Gramm.

The remixed classics also sound great, and the DVD is defintely worth a spin with some phenominal performaces of classics by the current lineup. But the new material alone makes this worth the purchase. "When it Comes to Love", "Livng in a Dream", and "Angel Tonight" are among the many mid-tempo melodic highlights. I also love "Too Late", which I had never heard before unlike many others.

Like with Mr. Moonlight some 15 years ago, I wanted to mark this down a bit because of the limited hard rockers. However, I just can't. The songs are simply just too good.

08/02/10: Mark Donnelly -
Rating: 95
I have been looking forward to this album for several years since Kelly Hansen joined Foreigner. Anyone who has heard him sing with Foreigner will know that he does real justice to their back catalogue of classic hits. The biggest compliment I can pay is that you can imagine Lou Gramm singing all these songs on this album. That is not to say that Kelly has simply mimicked Lou as he has his own brilliant style.

This album is superbly produced perfect AOR and a lot lighter than Lou Gramm’s solo album but highlights the strength of Mick Jones’ songwriting qualities.

Title track Can’t Slow Down starts the album off in fine style and is the heaviest track on the album.

In Pieces is more atmospheric and is my personal favorite and really highlights Kelly Hansen’s vocal qualities.

When It Comes To Love starts with signature Foreigner saxophone and is super-smooth AOR ballad. Another outstanding vocal performance from Kelly Hansen on this one.

Living In A Dream is one of those tracks you could really imagine Lou Gramm singing.

A great piano intro starts another great ballad I Can’t Give Up.

Ready and Give Me A Sign return the album to a more rocking vibe.

I’ll Be Home Tonight is yet another super smooth AOR track with a great chorus.

Too Late has a Maroon 5 feel to it and is yet another quality track.

As Long As I Live and Angel Tonight are typical classic Foreigner.

Fool For You Anyway has a Hall & Oates feel to it and is a great album track but perhaps not the best to close the album.

This is a quality AOR release with consistently great songs throughout and arguably the second best album release by Foreigner since the seminal 4 way back in 1981. The one minor flaw is the lack of any out and out rockers like Urgent, Juke-Box Hero or Dirty White Boy. Also surprisingly there are no power ballads like I Wanna Know What Love Is or Waiting For A Girl Like You. Credit must be given, however, for not simply trying to cash in on past glories. Kelly Hansen is the real star of this album, however, he owes a major debt of gratitude to Mick Jones for providing him with such excellent songs to sing. The bonus disc of Foreigner classics highlights how well Kelly Hansen covers these tunes.

If you like tour rock hard and heavy then I would steer clear of this album, however, if you have a penchant for classic AOR then I would highly recommend this album. One of the albums of the year.

08/01/10: Kevin Betts -
Rating: 70
Excellently played, performed and produced wallpaper music. Apart from 'In Pieces' (which speaks to me because of my emotional situation) the album just washes over me without a single song sticking in my memory. Even 'Unusual Heat' and 'Mr Moonlight' had stand out tracks that made me want to listen to the albums again. The only time I'm likely to listen to thus again will be in the car on a long trip. Even then the remixed collection on the second CD will go in the player first.

15/12/09: Paul -
Rating: 82
This is a cd that starts strong and fades at the end. The first 8 tracks are worth the money, with standouts CAN'T SLOW DOWN & I'LL BE HOME TONIGHT bookending this great start. And then... well... it all just goes downhill. 8 songs is too short for a cd, but 13 aren't necessary when the quality lacks. Cutting the horrid LONELY & FOOL FOR YOU ANYWAY would have really elevated the overall experience of this cd. Recommended for those first 8 cuts, forget the rest.

12/12/09: John K -
Rating: 90
For the most part I agree with Andrew’s comments and ratings of “Can’t slow down”.
Overall, I like the vibe and flow of this album. I’ll give this release a 90.
I would put this as one of the 2009 best releases. It’s consistent, engaging, and solid overall which is sorely lacking from many releases today.
My only complaint would be where are the guitars Mick?
Even Mr. Moonlight had a few of those. Can’t slow down could have used 2 flat out rockers to bring this album in the upper 90’s rating.
The title track kicks off the album and is probably the hardest hitting song on the album and that is not saying much.
I’ve always enjoyed Kelly Hansen work and was pleasantly surprised when Mick Jones pulled him into the ranks.
In playing some of these tracks to others, they swore up and down it was Lou Gramm singing them. Kelly comes that close.
“In Pieces” is a stellar track and won’t disappoint.
“When it comes to love” is an addictive track that I found prior to this release on You Tube and kept coming back to over and over.
It’s a standout track on this release.
“I'll Be Home Tonight” is a monstrous power ballad. I can’t get this track out of my head. Brilliant, brilliant and more brilliant
Too Late which was included in a previous release just feels out of place on this record. I don’t believe it should have been included.
As for “Fool for you anyway”, it doesn’t do anything for me. I enjoy the attempt at remaking it with Mark Ronson producing and all, but I still prefer the original in all its glory.
A highly recommended release…

10/12/09: Richard -
Rating: 90
Can't tell you how much I respect this record. Kelly sounds out of sight. Pilson's influence is noticable as well. Besides bass, he's an awesome talent as a back up singer and songwriter. Probably the best production I've heard in a long time. Track sequence is perfect. I would easily award Foreigner the other 10 points if not for the under par album graphics.

Rating: 98

02/12/09: DJ -
Rating: 85
Foreigner has always delivered great albums and this is no exception.Kelly Hansen has been on the scene since the early 80's and finally he's getting the recognition he so absolutely deserves.What a voice,he sounds more like Lou Gramm than Lou Gramm currently sounds like.I know Lou has been through a great deal God Bless him and he's working it the best he could.A finer replacement could never be found and the current band never sounded better.The songs......Oh the songs...........There is some good ear candy on here but not as much as i would have liked.Besides the opening Title Track ,"When It Comes To Love" & couple others ......the songs are just ok to me.maybe I haven't set with me long enough to appreciate them yet but I know when I used to by Foreigner albums there would be at least 6 - 7 songs for sure that would be all over the just not feeling that here with this release.The modern twists and AAA radio type vibe seep through most of these songs and the vintage Foreigner seems to be trying to find a place among chart luminaries such as John Mayer,Daughtry,3 Doors Down and the like.The future still looks bright for a band in the twilight of their careers.With the new blood I'm sure they're yet to have their finest hour.I can't wait to run out and buy the next studio release they come out with.

01/12/09: Gary -
Rating: 95
A wonderful surprise, veer good.

04/11/09: Matt -
Rating: 0
"Can't Slow Down"?? Is this really the title of an album that can be taken seriously? Sounds like something I'd find in the bargain bin of a shopping mall cd store. You put all that effort into writing great tunes and slap an all-time cliche on the cover.

02/11/09: Kelly Lackey -
Rating: 99
I saw them live on a morning show and thought they were incredible. I remember thinking I was going to buy the cd when it came out. Boy was I glad I did. It is awesome!! The DVD is unbelievable too. I love the new music, and think they are better than ever. Kelly Hansen's voice is phenomenal and he can sure hit those Lou Gramm notes. I'm a Foreigner fan again!

01/11/09: ROSEVILLE -
Rating: 60
Boring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you see them playing more than 1 of these songs live? The crowd will just sit down when they play anything from this. Kelly Hanson sounds great singing like Lou Gramm.... Pass on this....

25/10/09: Johnny Z -
Rating: 90
When I first played the CD, I like most others was expecting a slightly heavier, more rockin' affair...However, with each new spin, I REALLY grew to enjoy this CD more and more....Although it's not as guitar heavy as I'd hoped for, You just can't deny that this is some QUALITY music!...The songs, the production and the performances are all top notch...Quite simply a GREAT disc all the way through!....90 out of 100 for me.

25/10/09: Hotzi -
Rating: 93
Best Foreigner Album since a long time.Kelly makes a brilliant Job.

22/10/09: Peter -
Rating: 96
Can't Slow Down is absolutely a "real" Foreigner album, and is a darned good one at that. It's a much better album than the lackluster 1996 reunion album Mr. Moonlight, and manages to capture that classic Foreigner sound while maintaining a slightly modern feel. AMAZING !! Sure , Lou Gramm is no longer the lead singer for Foreigner and you can't replace and singer such as Lou , but Kelly Hansen is wonderful. Kelly Hansen sounds incredible here. He comes extremely close to Lou Gramm's signature style while maintaining his own individual voice. Background vocals from Jeff Pilson(Dokken) - a great frontman in his own right - only add to the great vocal performances on Can't Slow Down.
The new musicians in Foreigner that leader Mick Jones has assembled are stellar. Foreigner has new life (much like Journey) and this cd proves that from start to finish. Just listen to songs like "In Pieces" , When It Comes To Love" , Can't Give Up" , "Living In A Dream", "Ready" and the title track are definitive Foreigner. This is hands down thier best album since "Inside Information". I love this record and I know everyone else will if you give it a try , you will be blown away !! I still can't believe Foreigner is not in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. What a joke! Welcome back Foreigner :D

22/10/09: Shane -
Rating: 95
Never been a huge Foreigner fan except for a couple of classic rock songs 'Hot Blooded' 'Cold as Ice' ect.
Kelly Hansen is the real deal,he has the perfect rock voice, so did Lou, but the thing that Kelly has over Lou is his stage presence. The guy owns the stage, reminds me a bit of Steven Tyler really cool frontman. Lou was great but lets be honest not the coolest guy to move around a stage.
Can't slow down will grow on you. i usually like my music a little harder than this, the first time I heard this album I thought at the time that it would be the last. There is probably too many ballads, but at the end of the day they are truly classy songs very well written. The other thing I like is the lyrics. They're not 50 year old guys singing about 20 year old girls, they're 50 year old guys looking back and telling the story of there lives, there mistakes and what and what they have learned so far. This album is for the true lovers of classic rock, even though a few more rock songs would have been better. Kelly Hansen, you rock!

22/10/09: Brian Pataluna -
Rating: 50
yawn!!!!is it over crap from a band who ruled the world in the late 70's & early 80's....Time to hit the old folks home guys.....

22/10/09: Craig Chapman -
Rating: 99
Not only is this my favourite Foreigner album, its well on its way to being one my fav albums ever. Absolute quality throughout. 99/100 could be 100/100 if Tommy Gimbel had let rip with his saxophone for us - there's a few places it would fit and take us through the stratosphere. If you see me driving my car with a silly smile across my face - you'll now know why. Thank God someone still makes music like this.

15/10/09: David Kaiser -
Rating: 70
not bad if it were an reo record but foreigner?pretty disapointed as it does not rock at all.I liked the last cd they did without Lou Gramm unusual heat much better.that said there is nothing wrong with the singer it's just the songs are to laid back.

15/10/09: leo -
Rating: 90
Wow! Not much into Foreigner. They have a good tune every now and then. Cd was one of the best I've heard this year. Only a few weak spots.Almost every song could of been a hit back in the late 80's. I liked hurricane. But who knew Kelly could sing this great? A must buy!

13/10/09: crazystix -
Rating: 90
Very solid effort by Foreigner. To me, it sounds like a good JSS album with a little Chris Daughtry thrown in, but only better. After listening to it 3 or 4 times now, I'd say that this is one of the strongest releases this year.

13/10/09: Henry Steele -
Rating: 95
Great, melodic record! New singer has a distinctive voice but covers Lou Grahm with ease. They kick ass as a live band and this CD shows great song writing ability!

13/10/09: Michael -
Rating: 90
A nice surprise. I've been a fan of Kelly's vocals since fronting Hurricane. It's amazing to hear how similar he sounds to Lou Gramm, yet he does have his own identity too. The production on the CD is top notch and the song writing is pretty solid. My main issues are (1)To many slow tempo tracks. The boys can rock but don't really do that much on this collection. (2)The guitar tones are a little on the soft side. Mr. Jones used to play with plenty of distortion and grit but there is not much here. Because of that even the harder stuff sounds a little light. A lot of the tracks sound like they were trying to make theme tracks for CW TV shows, which in all isn't a bad thing, just not what I expected. Overall aside from the little nit picks, this is a great CD and is my player in my truck already. On the bonus features, the remixed classics is sharp but not really that big a deal. The concert DVD was done pretty well. The sound mix was good and the video quality was near HD level, so good marks for that.

13/10/09: Terry K. -
Rating: 99
First off--I'm a huge fan of Lou Gramm's vocals. He's one of the very best ever in the biz. But I also respect Kelly Hanson as a vocalist. So I won't go into any diatribe about 'This Ain't Foreigner' w/o Gramm. Mick Jones has had a very long time to write for this new cd,and it's paid off in spades! What we have in 'Can't Slow Down' is a remarkable batch of new tunes that most definately reflect the musical identity that is Foreigner. Every single one of these tracks is a melodic gem,and with any justice,could be a potential hit if there was such a market in radio anymore. Some say melrock is dead--this cd is a shining example of just how wrong those naysayers/skeptics are. As Andrew stated--no comment on the remix cd (but it's a nice little bonus even if unnecessary). The live dvd is true testament as to just how good the new band is! Just check out the unplugged 'Say You Will' and realize how well these guys all sing! Guest back up singers or dubbed in vocals? Fuhgeddabouddit! These guys are the real deal,and this new cd needs to be heard /appreciated by the entire melrock community worldwide. Yup--it's THAT good!! Enjoy! T

13/10/09: Mark -
Rating: 95
This is a great album, hands down. Maybe not the best Foreigner album, but definately stands on its own two legs. I would have to agree 100% with what Andrew stated, Production is TOP notch, bar-none. Kelly's vocals are utterly fantastic. I had the pleasure seeing them a few years ago with Jason Bonham, and Kelly shocked me as to how much he sounded like Lou, but with better range. Mick was a lucky man to find such a exceptional vocalist to front this new version of Foreigner. Again to agree with Andrew, too many ballads/slow songs, and not enough meat and potatoes. Also I'd like to hear more guitar solo's/ fills that were reminiscent of days ago. Maybe a second guitarist would be the answer ? Just a thought ! ! But this album does shine, and a major plus to any Foreigner fan.

12/10/09: Chris Kaiser -
Rating: 95
I was very anxious for this CD and it is fantastic! Kelly Hanson really does a nice job of taking over for a vocal legend. The songs are what I expected from a Foreigner album and now I can't wait for their next one!!

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