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Dan Reed Network Fight Another Day Review
DAN REED NETWORK
FIGHT ANOTHER DAY

FRONTIERS RECORDS
Release Date: June 2nd 2016



"Dan Reed Network's brand new record 'Fight Another Day' marks the anticipated return of one of the most infectious and gifted bands to come out in the Melodic Rock World in the second part of the 80's!"

And that extract from the press release isn't far wrong: as far as opening tracks go 'DIVIDED' is probably my single of the year, a great song, with huge chorus and great message, dripping in melody. What a way for the Network to come back after a 25 year hiatus!
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And those 25 years seems to have passed in a flash as you get deeper into the album as 'The Brave' ups the keys and hits a funky note, with a soaring melodic surge and sweet refrain; and 'Infected' glides you through some gentle AOR with cool guitar and funky bass. It's as if The Network picked up exactly where they left off with 'The Heat'.

It may be a couple of years now since Dan Reed Network played their 25th anniversary reunion show on New Year's Eve 2012 in their home town of Portland, Oregon, with all the original band members: Dan Reed, Dan Pred, Brion James, Melvin Brannon II and Blake Sakamoto. And that and the following tour obviously felt good enough to take that logical next step of recording new music.

You'll be glad they did as the gentle delicate sway and cutting solo of the dreamlike 'Champion' takes you places and its neighbor 'Ignition' builds a bridge on drums and keys to explode into 'Give it Love' a smooth silky soulful AOR gem full of light and air and plenty of drive.

It's a journey that only gets better with one of our favorites 'B There with U', all cool breeze and gentle melodies, underlining the quality of the songs on this release, before 'Save the World' underlines it again.

'Eye of the Storm' is another of the very best, a big funky melodic coat draped on a rather cool laid back classic rock skeleton, it's the sort of song that really makes a statement before 'Reunite' takes us back towards Dan's later solo work, it's a heartfelt personal synth-driven number that hits you like a tender dart to the heart.

'Heaven' takes all the pace off to allow the music to breathe along with the voice which just serves to accentuate the lyric before 'Sharp Turn', perhaps my least favourite track in the collection ups the bubbling electronica and despite a sublime piano outro, just misses the mark for me. We close though with 'Stand Tall' another gem which really brings the love, with some crunching guitar and a great funky feel. It's a cool way to close.

Some bands after such a long hiatus lose the essence of what has come before or try too hard to distance themselves from the past. DRN on the other hand, here embrace their past history beautifully and manage to create an album of great dexterity, poise and no little beauty. This is a fine album, a collection of beautiful songs with plenty of soul and spirit. Some things are just worth waiting for.

"The new album will be released right before the summer concert season which will see DRN appear, among others, at the prestigious Sweden Rock Festival in early June 2016".


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Review by Mark Rockpit