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IV Review

by Greg Prato

Many figured that the last they heard from Winger was 1993's coolly received Pull, as the group splintered shortly after the album's release in the face of grunge's brief reign and Beavis & Butthead deeming the group un-hip. But with just about every '80s band reuniting in the much more hair metal-friendly climate of the early 21st century, it was only a matter of time until the Winger gentlemen reappeared. And in 2006, three-fourths of the original Winger lineup returned, with the appropriately titled IV. Although original keyboardist/guitarist Paul Taylor is nowhere to be found, Winger's other main three -- singer/bassist Kip Winger, guitarist Reb Beach, and drummer Rod Morgenstein have all reclaimed their rightful positions. Instead of trying to completely overhaul the Winger sound for the 21st century, the lads stick closely to the expected Winger musical template, which switches between heavy rockers (the album-opening "Right Up Ahead"), pop with a melodic yet-hard edge ("Four Leaf Clover"), and the obligatory power ballad ("On a Day Like Today"). The only difference between Winger 2006 and Winger 1988 is that the subject matter is more current events-based, as evidenced by such tracks as "M16." Still, if you liked Winger before, there's no reason why you won't like them on IV. [The CD was also released with a bonus track.]

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