Foreigner ‘Can’t Slow Down’

FOREIGNER ‘Can’t Slow Down’ Ear Music/Edel (2010) http://www.ear-music.net

Following this album’s US release last autumn, Foreigner’s first album in over fifteen years finally gets a UK/European release. Like the US release there are various formats including a triple disc set that has the new album, a live DVD and a CD of re-recorded Foreigner classics. This album also marks the full studio album debut of ex-Hurricane vocalist Kelly Hansen. Only Mick Jones remains from the band’s late 70’s and early 80’s glory years, alhough this album is the band’s best since ‘Inside Information’. Joining Jones and Hansen are some seasoned musicians namely Dokken bassist Jeff Pilson, drummer Brian Tichy (Ozzy/Billy Idol), Michael Bluestein (keyboards) and Aerosmith’s live show backing musician Tom Gimbel, who brings back the sax to the band’s sound.

On stage Kelly Hansen comes across like Steven Tyler’s younger brother with his stage moves and swagger but on the album he has a little of Lou Gramm’s vocal style. The title track gets things off to a great start and throughout the album the band mix and match an upbeat number with a slower song. Those who like the band’s ballads won’t be disappointed as you have ‘I’ll Be Home Tonight’, the piano led ‘I Can’t Give Up’ and ‘In Pieces’.

‘Living In A Dream’ in another life would have been a hit single for the band with its instantly memorable chorus. ‘Ready’ and its light hearted lyric reminded me of Cheap Trick and is another instant song. ‘Too Late’ has been available before on one of the band’s seemingly endless ‘best of’s’ and live compilations. This song sounds like the band at the time of ‘4’ or ‘Head Games’ and although a good song you keep thinking ‘ah that bit reminds me of…’. Good to see the sax back in the band, none more so on the groovy ‘Give Me A Sign’.

An album that takes no chances, giving the fans an album that they’d expect. Kelly Hansen has really come into his own in the band now and many of the songs on here will doubtless become live set staples which is no mean feat when you consider how many classic songs this band have in their locker.

****1/2
Jason Ritchie

Fancy a second opinion? Read David Randall’s review here –http://www.getreadytorock.com/reviews2009/foreigner3.htm

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