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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Winger - Karma CD review

Winger – 'Karma' album review

Released on: Frontiers Records
Release date: October 2009

OK, here I go ... "Karma ...." This album was an absolute stunner from the very first time I played it and I continue to feel exactly the same about it now. There I said it!

Winger of course everyone remembers from the tail end of the Eighties, with songs like “Seventeen,” “Miles Away,” “Easy Come, Easy Go” and “Heading For a Heartbreak,” which were all great songs with the genre at the time and then Winger seemed to drift off most people radar for some time, then Kip Winger himself took the solo path before reforming the band in 2006 and releasing the album “IV”.

Three years on and “Karma” gets released in late Fall of 2009, here’s what I think!

Opener “Deal With The Devil,” rings out with an instantly contagious hook, kind of reminded me of Steel Dragon the band Mark Wahlberg fronted in the movie "Rock Star." The track totally rocks, it really blew me away!

With “Stone Cold Killer” next, wow! This is probably the best song all 80’s hard rock bands wish they had written! It’s so strong and Kip Wingers voice on this album, Reb Beach’s guitar and … WOW! So much more! The whole band here is so on their game, it’s awesome!

At first “Big World Away” with the rock semi-rap verse made me think, hold on what the …?! No worries though, it clicks and each chorus and also the bridge after the second chorus is just immense and Winger himself sounds so intense. This album is so edgy yet full of so many memorable hooks, how can you not be impressed?!

“Come A Little Closer” kind of creeps up on you like a stalker and the “woo hoo” after each chorus … what is that about?! It’s a track that kind of gives me a feeling Kip Winger’s been taking in some of Glenn Hughes’ rock albums.

Next up is “Pull Me Under” which riffs like no other with the intro and again Winger’s phrasing here can certainly match if not better the work of Glenn Hughes in where he’s reaching.
This song has really so much going for it, so many layers and that solo, Reb! You go boy, go!
He is playing out of his skin on this release! Hope to see Winger play this stuff live this year, guys you have GOT to play Detroit! Play the whole album too!

“Supernova” is literally as it’s title implies, a song of epic proportions and the word karma is referenced in here to, so perhaps it’s the sub-title track. It’s dark and moody, with an almost Led Zeppelin like swagger about it. Killer!

Now, I really love the haunting “Always Within Me,” which starts gently then punches you briefly and then has an interesting time signature to it as it picks up. When it does pick up the sound is so richly layered and is, well put simply …, beautiful. I’ll bet Neal Schon was well impressed and perhaps nervous when he heard the solo too! Love it!

Alright, “Feeding Frenzy” chugs along through the verse, sub-metal like, but the chorus is still strong and the harmony vocal, piggy backing the lead on the chorus makes it something else.

Winger plays the blues with the soulful “After All This Time,” to take things down a little. Nice.

OK, you know I’ll probably get slammed for my comparisons but in “Witness,” Kip Winger has probably got the best song Journey never wrote but wish they did!

This is total AOR in it’s prime, no question. What a song, beautifully done and Reb Beach’s solo is wow! Who can touch his playing on this track?! Top notch is not enough praise.

A really impressive album, that has now been out for a few months, but it is so current, so strong and I cannot putting this back in the player! Buy this album! It IS great!

Rating: 5 out of 5, yeah I really like it!

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