• 7/10


Frontiers Music
Release date: August 6, 2021

[spoiler title=’Metal Express Radio – Ratings Scale’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]

10.0:         Cannot be improved! Perfect, instant classic! Essential in any record collection.
9.5 – 9.9:  Fantastic, spectacular and outstanding!
9.0 – 9.4:  Amazing release! It just lacks that little extra spice to make it perfect.
8.5 – 8.9:  Exceptional release! Will likely rank among top ten albums of the year.
8.0 – 8.4:  Great release! It has many different qualities.
7.5 – 7.9:  Above average! It is an enjoyable release.
7.0 – 7.4:  It is not brilliant, but has many strong points.
6.0 – 6.9:  It has its moments, but is not that strong.
5.0 – 5.9:  Slightly above average, does not stand out. Good outweighs bad by just a little.
4.0 – 4.9:  Just below average, bad outweighs good by just a little.
3.0 – 3.9:  Mediocre. There might be a song or a performance that is enjoyable, but that is it.
2.0 – 2.9:  Very weak! There might be a light at the end of the tunnel, too many flaws.
1.0 – 1.9:  This release gives the word “terrible” new meaning.
0.1 – 0.9:  Awful! Avoid at all cost. There is nothing good to say about this release.


User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

The Backstory

ATBPO is the 12th studio album by the multi-platinum selling group Night Ranger. The album’s acronym stands for And The Band Played On, an ode to making music during the covid era. Night Ranger started the writing process in early 2020, but were forced to record it in separate locations throughout the year.

The Album

The album’s opening track “Coming For You” is full of energy and trademark Night Ranger vocal melodies. “Bring It All Home” is a mid-tempo rocker with everyone lending their voice to the chorus. Brad Gillis tears it up on the guitar during the solo. Gillis leads the charge with fiery licks all the way through “Breakout.”

“Hard to Make It Easy” has a bluesy bounce to it, like Grand Funk Railroad’s “Some Kind of Wonderful.” It wouldn’t be a Night Ranger album without an emotional ballad. “Can’t Afford a Hero” is an acoustic track full of passion and layered vocals. Drummer Kelly Keagy employs a “We Will Rock You” style drum beat to kick off “Dance.” The track is as simplistic as you can get, but that’s how Rock ‘n Roll should be.

Night Ranger busts out the acoustics once again again for “The Highest Road.” If you want to relive the piss-and-vinegar days of the group, look no further than “Monkey.” A funky blues riff dominates “Lucky Man,” while “Tomorrow” lifts and raises your confidence with its positive affirmations.

The Verdict

Night Ranger have nothing left to prove. With their long string of hits they could ride the nostalgia wave until the end, but they choose to continue making new music for their fans. It’s unfair to compare ATBPO to classic Night Ranger albums from 1982-1987. It was a different time, a different era for music, and they were a younger band.

However, if you compare ATBPO to the last two Night Ranger albums (Don’t Let Up, High Road), you’ll hear that group is back on par with their impressive Frontiers Music debut Somewhere in California (2011). Night Ranger is nearing their 40th year in music. On ATBPO the band is still telling great stories though catchy lyrics and the multi-part-harmonies that made them famous.


Coming For You
Bring It All Home To Me
Hard To Make It Easy
Can’t Afford A Hero
Cold As December
The Hardest Road
A Lucky Man
Savior (Bonus Track for CD and LP only)

Night Ranger is

Jack Blades – Bass and Vocals
Kelly Keagy – Drums and Vocals
Brad Gillis – Guitars
Eric Levy – Keyboards
Keri Kelli – Guitars


  • George Dionne

    George was a contributor here at Metal Express Radio, reviewing albums and conducting interviews, out of Massachusetts, USA. George has contributed to numerous music related websites and blogs, and even managed his own from 2004-2009. George's first assignment was covering a live show by the mighty GWAR. By contrast his later assignments featured Judas Priest, Van Halen, and Bon Jovi. George was also the front man for the South Eastern Massachusetts cover band Sound Tower from 2009-2015.  Sound Tower played 300+ shows across MA and had two original songs on the Cape Cod radio station PIXY 103. George enjoys a good whiskey, scotch, and/or bourbon and fights crime in his spare time.

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