Release date: January 26, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Nightranger was not only a great Melodic Rock band in their early time who left fans with a handful of wonderful albums; no, the musicians continue to release solo albums, and while not every one of them can compete against the releases of the original band, these CDs always are a source for a few excellent tracks, and so for AOR fans buying them is a justified option. Therefore, a solo album by Nightranger drummer and part-time lead singer Kelly Keagy is a good bet for decent, handmade Rock music.

However, I’m Alive, Kelly’s second solo output, is even more than that. This is an album that may very well stand among the top ten Melodic Rock albums of 2007 when the year comes to an end. Written in collaboration with Jim Peterik of Survivor and Pride Of Lions, Kelly created a dozen songs that are among the best that any of the Nightranger guys ever did. The production and the skilled musicians {among them Reb Beach (Winger), Mike Aquino (Pride Of Lions), and Michael Lardie (Nightranger)} do their part to make this record an enjoyable one.

Compared to his first solo output, Time Passes, which was good, but made no lasting impression, I’m Alive is heavier, if that at all can be said about an AOR album. Except for “Everything I Need In A Woman,” there is no real, straight ballad on the whole CD, but rocky and quiet parts alternate nicely and keep the album interesting. Even slow songs like “Back Of Your Mind” or “Re-Imagine” never become too shallow, although it doesn’t hurt if one likes a bit of Bryan Adams once in a while, who comes to mind a few times during the hour Kelly celebrates old fashioned Rock music (for those who don’t know –- there was a time when Bryan Adams did not only sing sticky ballads).

Highlights of the album are difficult to pick, as many songs would be gems on most other AOR releases, but with the quality here they don’t stand out too much: the opener and title track, with its laid back, cool vibe; the incredibly catchy “Stolen” that even lingers in your ear after another song or two; “When Nobody’s Looking,” clearly reminding of Pride of Lions and obviously exhibiting the composing hand of Jim Peterik; driving, rocky “World Before And After;” and the soft, but entertaining, “Half A World Away” would make good picks for you when checking out the album.

So, why does it not get the highest score? Well, first there is one strange two-minute piece of music with gospel choirs and percussion that feels wrong on I’m Alive called “Where Are We Now.” Also, in spite of being a great album, a direct comparison to releases by Pride Of Lions or Seventh Key and classics from Foreigner or Nightranger show that he has not quite reached the Olymp of Melodic Rock yet. But, he is coming close and one should hope he continues down this road.

To pick up where the review started: Nightranger not only gave fans several great albums, currently they are back again on tour and the guys are said to be working on a new studio album. The downside of this is that fans may have to wait another few years for Keagy’s next solo output. For the time being, this is a very fine album to sweeten this year’s spring.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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