Dan Reed Network - Fight Another Day

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Frontiers Records
Produced by Dan Reed & Ron Daiker

After a 25 year wait, the Dan Reed Network are releasing a new album. Although there has been solo music coming from Dan Reed himself, there has been nothing quite as rocky and funky as the original outfit for a good number of years.

As always the worry is will a reformation actually work? Can they recapture the magic that made them popular enough to support the Rolling Stones and Bon Jovi way back then? Well, half the time they can. Some of these songs could have conceivably made the cut on earlier albums and fitted in, but there are quite a few tracks which are decent enough songs, but would be more at home on one of Reed's solo albums. They're all a bit mid-tempo with not enough rock or funk to really be a DRN song, which ultimately lets the album down.

It opens pretty well. Divided and The Brave capture the DRN vibe really well. The opener has a bit of a Bon Jovi feel, but lyrically it seems a statement of intent. It could be directly about the band or the state of the world at this moment, with lyrics asking "are we born divided or born to be one". The Brave then comes out of the blocks a bit like Ritual, with the chanting and bass up front. Even the third track hits a good groove, with lyrics asking if this world has gone too far to be healed, and a tasty guitar solo.

Champion is nice enough with the chorus over guitar section near the end a high point but it's not very memorable. The short interlude piece Ignition is an interesting idea that could have been explored a bit more - very tribal sounding based around drums and keyboards - but because of the shortness it doesn't go anywhere. Give It Love is extremely catchy and could easily be promoted as a single and do well, with the little bass line and guitar solo enhancing the track this is really a classic DRN song and is probably the best track on the album.

The disc dips on the ballad B There With You, which although not a terrible song, is just not as good as previous ballads, but picks up again on Save The World - a stripped down funky track with a plea asking who is going to help save us from the hate, the war, and the terror. He asks which religion or which country or which other being can step in and make the real difference, but leaves it without an answer.

Sadly the album drops after this. It becomes very keyboard orientated, with not enough rock or funk. The songs are OK, but nothing really kicks, which is a shame. Out of 13 songs, only five or six would fit in or improve the previous albums. It seems half is Network and half is solo material played by the band. They sound at their best when let loose and cranking up the funk mixed with rock, but not enough of the album does that. Perhaps if they continue the next outing will truly recapture what made them sound unique in this field.

Tracklist: Divided / The Brave / Infected / Champion / Ignition / Give It Love / B There With U / Save The World / Eye of The Storm / Reunite / Heaven / Sharp Turn / Stand Still

Written by Tom Cornell
More: 2016, Albums, Hard/Heavy Rock, ,

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