LOVERBOY - Unfinished Business (Review)

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I’ve heard suggestions of more to come, but I think if you can’t string 10 fantastic archive tracks together the first time around, the chances are that the next batch aren’t going to be any more impressive to warrant another volume.
I hope next time the band delivers an all-new studio album of fresh material. After all, there’s plenty of life left in this band, they defy their age on stage and on record.
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Fire Me Up
Countin' The Nights
Ain't Such A Bad Thing
Come Undone
What Makes You So Special
War Bride
Doin' It the Hard
You Play The Star
Crack of the Whip
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Melodic Rock
Loverboy Music
Monday, July 21, 2014
Loverboy have decided to turn back time and raid the vaults for their latest studio release. Describing this release as ‘old unfinished tracks dusted off and completed in 2014’, the band has in essence, compiled an album of off-cuts from their classic 80s releases.
I can’t blame them for choosing this route – it’s certainly a more economical solution than getting a new album written, recorded and released and it also covers the ‘fans only want to hear the classic sound’ base.
The only thing is – after the fecking marvelous Just Getting Started masterpiece and two of the three new tracks from Rock N Roll Revival being killer; this does seem as a backwards step.
But, if it’s classic Loverboy the fans want, then feast upon this 10 track release.
There’s everything a fan could want here – aside from a killer production. The songs bask in the band’s glorious sound of the 80s, but the production quality is really pretty bad in places.
The song quality and the production quality vary throughout as the songs are taken from various recording sessions and time frames, meaning that you’ll get snippets of the debut, Keep It Up, Get Lucky and even Lovin’ Every Minute Of It among these songs.
There’s some good stuff on offer here – Fire Me Up is a typically stomping Loverboy rocker, while the song Countin’ The Nights must consider itself unlucky not to have found its way onto an album back in the day.
Ain’t Such A Bad Thing has a good chorus, but a truly dodgy sound, including hiss and crackles from the original recordings. This certainly isn’t a case of the band re-recording old material 100% fresh such as other rock bands have done in recent years.
The only ballad on offer is the crooning Come Undone, which I think is pretty obvious why it hasn’t surfaced before now.
The pounding double time rocker Slave is as heavy as this band get, sounding more like cut from Paul Dean’s solo album Hard Core than a Loverboy track.
What Makes You So Special is driving rock song bathed in keyboards and sounding like really early 80s Loverboy.
The moody War Bride features a good vocal from Mike, but the song fades without any real impact.
Doin’ It The Hard Way is a classic Loverboy bar room bogie number. Clear enough why it wasn’t featured on any album, but it’s a bit of fun.
You Play The Star could have been lifted from the band’s debut album such is its sound and style. Interesting track to hear for someone like myself that’s been a fan since day 1.
Crack Of The Whip is on ok closer, but nothing too special.
As a compilation it works. As an all-new studio album it doesn’t. But there’s some cool tracks on here that show the behind the scenes workings of the band over their long history.
The band has rarely disappointed and die-hards will find some gems here without doubt.
On reflection, I think these songs showcase a grittier side of the band that the powers that be perhaps chose to abandon in the past as the songs weren’t commercial enough in their appeal.
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