One decade after reuniting for their 1997 album VI, Loverboy return with Just Getting Started. It would be even longer for those North American fans that were waiting for the release (unless they went searching for it as an import) as the last new studio release would have been 1987's Wildside. So, for some fans, what does Loverboy bring to the table after so long.
To be truthful, the band has been a touring animal for the last two decades and if they haven't played within miles of your home, you live in an igloo and even I wouldn't want to visit. For you, this album starts off melting a few layers off your domicile with the frenetic title track. It's probably most applicable as throws out lyrics like "ain't over yet," "hot gettin' hotter," "I know you think it's over," "I got more of what it takes," "you know you want another taste" and "better go big or go home." From the get-go, you know that they know how important this album is. "Fade To Black" is a showcase song and stands out as an example of as how the band has merged their rock sound with ballads in the past while linking it to emotional phrasing. The song is possibly the best one on the album. The mix of tracks is pretty even with ripping guitars opening songs like "One Of Them Days," "Lost With You" and "As Good As It Gets" (note that power drum kit). The ballads are also pretty strong including the first single, "The One That Got Away," "Back For More," "Real Thing" and "Stranded" (which includes background vocals by Def Leppard's Phil Collen.)
I think when people remember Loverboy they imagine two different things. Men think "The Kid Is Hot Tonight"/"Turn Me Loose" and the women think "When It's Over"/"Heaven In Your Eyes." Essentially, most male fans pine for the band to return to their rock sounds while their ballads brought that 51% to their shows (and sold many albums.) I can say here that everyone can be pleased with Just Getting Started. The rock songs rock, the love songs emote and Loverboy have valiantly returned.
4 out of 5