Rock 'N' Roll Revival

Loverboy

With 10 million albums sold and their nearly patented red leather pants and bandanas, what band was more synonymous with MTV videos and big rockin' radio hits of the 80s than Canada's own Loverboy? The band is still going strong with original vocalist Mike Reno, guitarist Paul Dean, keyboardist Doug Johnson and drummer Matt Frenette joined by new member, bassist Ken "Spider" Sinnaeve. For 2012, they've come up with a new CD called Rock 'N' Roll Revival, with nine Loverboy classics re-recorded and three new songs.

One of the new ones is the title track with a straight ahead rhythm and Reno in fine voice. Dean's signature fine single-note placement begins "No Tomorrow," a new ballad, while "Heartbreaker" is frantic fun. The re-recorded version of "Turn Me Loose" features an extended opening from Dean. The band really pulls it off very much like they did decades ago, complete with Reno's scream in the first verse. "Working For The Weekend" is pretty much the song we know, complete with those low tom hits. The same can be said of "Lovin' Every Minute Of It," "The Kid Is Hot Tonight" and "Lucky Ones," all sounding pretty much how you'll remember them.

I do appreciate the retreading of even lesser-known tunes like "Always On My Mind" from their self-titled debut album, as well as "Queen Of The Broken Hearts" with Johnson's deceptively well-played keys. "When It's Over" showcases a truly inspired vocal from Reno, which I think is better than the original. And Dean, who rocks harder than usual, brings it home on "Hot Girls In Love." Rock 'N' Roll Revival may not be the big comeback album fans would like to see from Loverboy, but it's a strong indication of how good the band is sounding, playing the hits and testing the waters with new material.

~ Shawn Perry

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