Wednesday, June 12, 2024

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Winger’s Latest LP Is Another Welcome Addition To 2023’s Field Of New Rock Records

This past Friday, veteran rock band Winger released its latest album, Seven, through Frontiers Records.  The aptly titled record, the band’s seventh album, is its first new music since the release of its sixth album, Better Days Comin’ in 2014.  Why the band went almost a decade between albums is unknown at least to this critic, but what is known is that the band’s most devoted audiences will find something to appreciate about this latest offering, beginning with its featured musical arrangements.  They will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements will find its own appeal among the noted audiences.  It will be discussed a little later.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements and is also worth noting.  It will be discussed a little later, too.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Seven.  All things considered they make Seven a presentation that Winger’s most devoted audiences will appreciate.

Seven, the aptly titled seventh album from Winger, is a work that will find its largest appeal among its most devoted audiences.  That is due in large part to its featured musical arrangements.  Throughout the course of the record’s 55-minute run time, each of its 12 total songs present a very familiar, distinct 80s hair metal sound.  From one song to the next, the arrangements’ sounds do change, but stylistically speaking, each maintains the band’s familiar hair metal leanings.  One of the most notable of the arrangements comes early in its run in the form of its third song, ‘Tears of Blood.’  The heaviness and the almost brooding nature of the song actually lends this arrangement to comparison to early works from the likes of Queensryche, who also rose to fame during the 80s.  ‘Broken Glass,’ which comes later in the album’s run, is that typical hair metal ballad both in terms of its arrangement and its lyrical theme, which is about love lost.  That matter will be discussed later.  Getting back on the subject at hand, another notable example of how the arrangements change just enough in their sounds comes even later in the record’s run in the form of ‘Time Bomb.’  The heavy, blues-based sludge rock sound here brings the song into the modern era while the song’s choruses still display the band’s familiar 80s leanings.  The juxtaposition of those two sounds makes this song one of the most notable of the record alongside ‘Stick The Knife In and Twist.’  That song actually takes influence from the power metal of the late 80s and early 90s a la Judas Priest and pairs it with the band’s hair rock influence to make the song stand on its own merits.  When this work and the other arrangements examined here are considered alongside the rest of the record’s musical arrangements, the whole makes clear just how much the album has to offer its target audiences at least in the way of its musical content.

While the musical arrangements featured throughout Seven clearly do much to make the album worth hearing among Winger’s targeted audiences, they are collectively just one of the aspects that make the album appealing to those noted listeners.  The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical content makes for its own appeal.  The lyrical content is just as diverse as the record’s musical content if not more so.  It touches on quite the variety of topics from one song to the next.  Case in point is the previously addressed song, ‘Broken Glass.’  This all-too-familiar hair rock ballad centers on lost love.  In the case of this song, the man is pleading with the woman who has left him to come back and that he does not want it to be the end of the couple’s relationship.  The mournful, melancholy wording is a familiar presentation.

The album’s opener, ‘Proud Desperado,’ takes audiences in a completely different direction, addressing (seemingly) the gun violence that has plagued this country for such a long time.  This is inferred as front man Kip Winger states in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “The city burns/There’s no return/Never saw it coming/The crimson skies/Smoke blinds your eyes/You took a stand/With a gun in your hand/They sowed your doubt/Then sold you out/Never saw it coming/You’re losing blood/Face down in mud/Nothing is clear/In a river of tears/Proud desperado/Where are your heroes/Proud desperado/Where are your false idols now?”  If in fact this song does center, lyrically, on the matter of the people who have committed such heinous acts against others because of their own distorted view of the world, then it is ironic in its presentation here, what with what recently happened in Texas, with the shooting at a mall that claimed the lives of eight innocent people.  It is one more example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  It is another theme that hits home and in this case, in a hard way.

‘It All Comes Back Around,’ the album’s finale, is yet another example of the importance of Seven’s lyrical content.  As the song’s title states, the song is a reminder to people who want to wrong others that what goes around comes around.  Winger even goes so far here as to come right out and say, “Be sure you’re looking down/As you’re flying through the clouds/Keep your demons safe and sound/’Cause it all comes back around.”  This is straight forward and leaves no room for doubt.  Later in the song, he returns to this statement, adding, “When you’re broken on the ground/Stunned your world’s crashing down/Just remember what you found/That it all comes back/It all comes back around.”  This is a message that is certain to resonate with plenty of audiences considering how many people out there, who are just like the one addressed here.  When this theme is considered along with the others examined here and along with the rest of the album’s lyrical content, the overall diversity and accessibility of said content shows how much Seven has to offer audiences in that avenue.  When the album’s lyrical and musical content are considered together that collective makes for even more reason for Winger’s targeted audiences to hear its new album.

The musical and lyrical content featured throughout Seven does plenty to ensure the band’s targeted audiences will enjoy the record.  It is just part of what makes the album worth hearing among those listeners.  The record’s production puts the finishing touch to its presentation.  The production is of note because of the richness in the sound it ensures in each song.  The instrumentation is well-balanced with the vocals in each work.  The attention to balancing everything brings out the best of each work, and really makes the 80s hair rock sound for which the band has come to be known just as rich as the more modern and other influences.  The result of that clear attention to detail in each song is an overall positive general effect.  That positive general effect, when considered with the record’s content, the whole makes the album in whole a work that will, once again, appeal to the band’s most devoted audiences.

Seven, the latest studio recording from Winger, is a work that is sure to appeal to the band’s most devoted core fans.  That is due in part to its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements are of note because of how they balance the band’s 80s hair rock leanings with other styles of rock throughout the album.  The result of that balance in each arrangement is that each work is distinct from its counterparts, resulting in each being fully immersive for those audiences.  The lyrical themes are just as diverse as the record’s musical arrangements, ranging from the all-too-familiar topic of relationships to more hard-hitting social commentaries and points in-between.  The album’s production puts the finishing touch to its presentation.  That is because of the positive general effect that it generates.  Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered they make Seven a work that Winger’s core audience base will appreciate and that is another welcome addition to this year’s field of new rock albums.

Seven is available now through Frontiers Records.  More information on the album is available along with all of Winger’s latest news at: