The fact that Winger continues after 35 years of recording with the same line-up (after the return of Paul Taylor and the stay of John Roth who has been there since 1993) is an impressive fact in itself. But more importantly, after all these decades they come back with one of the best hard rock albums of recent years that easily puts it in contention for album of the year (unless Extreme or Heaven’s Edge have a surprise in store for us). The first samples with “Proud Desperado” and “It All Comes Back Around” caused excitement in the ranks of hard rock fans everywhere and we all awaited Winger’s first album after 9 years of recording drought with great anticipation.
Reading the above words one could possibly imagine that Winger caught up with the levels of the first three albums. Look, this for many reasons – which we will not discuss right now- is not possible. So, no…don’t expect an atmosphere and style of songs reminiscent of the 1988-1993 period. But what you should definitely expect is the classic hard rock meets prog style of Winger as it was consolidated from “IV” onwards. In fact, to my ears, “Seven” sounds like a mix of “Karma” and “Better Days Comin'” as the straightforward hard rock perfectly blends with the prog style that Kip is so fond of. And while we’re on the subject of Winger’s evergreen frontman, we have to point out that his voice remains unchanged and we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that once again his lyrics are inspired. I guess I don’t need to make any special mention of Beach/Morgenstein/Taylor/Roth since we all know that they are musicians of unparalleled imagination and unique talent. And, in particular, Beach’s solo on “It All Comes Back Around” is unreal.
If all of the above didn’t convince you, I recommend listening to “Tears of Blood” and “Resurrect Me” for a more or less accurate representation of “Seven”. Winger is back with the best album since the reunion. And that’s saying a lot considering “Karma” was a very, very good album. We hope there will be a sequel because hard rock needs albums like “Seven” and basically it needs bands like Winger!
Highlight: If the cover and the title of the album were more inspiring, we would all be much happier. But let’s not be whiners…