Better Days Comin' cd cover


Better Days Comin'

  1. Midnight Driver of a Love Machine
  2. Queen Babylon
  3. Rat Race
  4. Better Days Comn'
  5. Tin Soldier
  6. Ever Wonder
  7. So Long China
  8. Storm in Me
  9. Be Who You Are Now
  10. Out of This World

I've always felt that Winger was an incredibly underrated band and their last cd confirmed for me that they were back on the right track. So confident was I, in fact, that I bought this new one without sampling any of the tracks in advance. That, was probably a mistake. The all-white cd cover is the opposite design of their previous all-black cover for Karma, and in keeping with that pattern, while Karma was a really good album with a couple bad songs, Better Days Comin' is a really bad album with only a couple good songs. The album opens (like their last one) with an awkwardly immature and juvenile song. Midnight Driver of a Love Machine feels forced and unnatural, like Kip is trying to write a song he THINKS his fans want to hear and I can't help feeling a little insulted if he thinks this is it. For as much as I love their debut, even with some shallow songs like the MTV hit Seventeen, that was twenty five years ago, and I believed it. At this point in their career, lyrics like "she runs on sex and gasoline, she's the midnight driver of a love machine" just sound insincere. And coupled with the weird "woo-woo" vocals, it just doesn't work. It should also be noted that time has taken it's toll on Kip's upper register, so it really sounds like he's straining at the top of his range on the the faster-paced, higher-pitched songs like the opener and Rat Race. Queen Babylon has an okay chorus, but the verses are rough. Tin Soldier has Kip's best vocal performance. It's the only song that allows him to hit a good high note in his range, but the song itself sounds like a disjointed outtake from the miserable IV album. The worst song by far though is the title track. It might be my least favorite Winger song ever and I am really at a loss as to why they even kept this song, let alone made it the title track. From the drunken warped verses to the horrifically disco-inspired chorus, it's just a "Celebrate Good Times" nightmare, complete with hand claps and tambourines. Ever Wonder, Be Who You Are and Out of This World all have more of the atmospheric sound that would fit better on one of Kip's solo albums, but none of the songs on this album have that deeper style combined with the classic Winger sound that made Karma so special. The only uplifting song on this album is the almost criminally catchy So Long China. It's very simple, almost too simple, but the chorus sticks in your head all day. I really wanted to like this cd, but the bottom line is the songs just aren't very good. Kip no longer seems comfortable or content within this style and frankly, Reb Beach's considerable talents are sadly being wasted trying to add rock elements to songs that don't rock or having his rock riffs wasted on uninspired lyrics and vocals that strain to keep up. They can do better. Scott




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