• Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

WINGER – SEVEN album review

ByTaylor T Carlson

May 16, 2023

SEVEN is the seventh studio album from Winger, released in 2023.

Winger came on the scene at the tail end of the 1980s, following founder Kip Winger and Paul Taylor’s stint in Alice Cooper’s band. Teaming up with Rod Morgenstein and Reb Beach, the group put out their first two albums to mass success and MTV stardom, with anthems like “Seventeen,” “Headed for a Heartbreak,” and “Easy Come Easy Go.” Despite receiving their share of (unjustified) ridicule, there’s no denying that what the band created together was truly special. The band initially disbanded following the release of their 1992 album PULL, but have since reunited. Kip Winger has also recorded solo material in the interim and pursued other projects. Reb Beach even played with both Dokken and Whitesnake.

SEVEN is Winger’s, well, seventh album. For this album, Winger, Beach, and Morgenstern are rejoined by keyboardist Paul Taylor for the first time since 1990’s IN THE HEART OF THE YOUNG. It’s the first album from the band since 2014’s BETTER DAYS COMIN’. How does the latest from Kip and the boys measure up?

It’s been nearly a decade since we got a studio album from Winger, and recent world events certainly haven’t helped in that regard. Still, any opportunity to get new music from Kip and company is certainly welcomed with open arms. I’ve been consistently impressed with the band’s post-reunion efforts; it seems like these guys can be away on a lengthy hiatus from releasing material, only to boomerang back with a powerful record that reminds us why we love their stuff so much in the first place.

It’s also good to note that Winger isn’t content to remain a nostalgia act; there are any number of bands from the Decade of Decadence who could simply go out there and play the same old songs over and over again to enthusiastic crowds, and be content with doing so. But Winger has continued to record new songs, and while undeniably their own, the band hasn’t settled for simply rehashing the same old sound repeatedly. SEVEN feels like the logical progression forward from the previous few records; these releases have been heavier, with more punch to them than what was released in the band’s commercial heyday, but the evolution of their sound is a welcomed change. Paul Taylor’s return is long overdue and welcomed as well; his keyboard work is as strong as ever, but it appropriately doesn’t dominate every track either.

The songs themselves are some of the best the band has released to date. The band doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel here (it’s still a Winger album through and through), but this fan was impressed by the heaviness and intensity to be had on the album, with the group finding the happy medium between their classic sound and some slightly more modern and heavier. It can go from the slower and more melodic moments to straight up rockers in the blink of an eye, yet it still feels coherent and consistent. In a 2023 where we’ve already gotten several excellent rock albums, Winger has added theirs to the pile. I have a feeing this will be showing up on my Best of the Year list when the time comes.

Winger’s seventh studio work is a fantastic effort and one that’s sure to impress fans. SEVEN gives rockers everything they could want and more, and it’s great to see the band put out another new record of original material that’s surprisingly solid. Very high recommendations!

By Taylor T Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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