Winger – IV (2006)

Winger IV

Winger – IV (2006, Froniters/Shrapnel)

  1. Right Up Ahead
  2. Blue Suede Shoes
  3. Four Leaf Clover
  4. M16
  5. Your Great Escape
  6. Disappear
  7. On A Day Like Today
  8. Livin’ Just To Die
  9. Short Flight To Mexico
  10. Generica
  11. Can’t Take It Back

Winger lineup 2006

Band Lineup:
Kip Winger – Vocals, Bass, Keyboards
Reb Beach – Guitars, Vocals
Rod Morgenstein - Drums
John Roth – Guitars, Vocals
Cenk Eroglu – Keyboards, Guitars

Total Time – 49:57

Winger official website
Kip Winger official website

Winger was a band I got into when I was in high school. It wasn’t called “hair metal” at the time but that was the kind of music that was prominent in my circle of friends back in the day. For all the backlash the band has received from the Beavis & Butthead generation, pound for pound Winger could hold their own with any of their contemporaries in the late ’80s. Big guitars, big hooks, harmonies, melody…..they defined the sound. Sure the band was considered bubblegum for the serious Metalhead but the music was fun, that’s what it was all about.  I freely admit to liking all three Winger albums, especially PULL (1993), usually that admission is shunned. That said, I was really looking forward to hearing what WINGER IV had to offer longtime fans. Kip Winger’s solo career hasn’t grabbed hold of me like the early Winger records did. I did see him open up for someone in the last few years (Poison maybe?) and he came out and did a short acoustic set that was pretty damn good. Add Reb Beach and Rod Morgenstein and there was serious hope for a good Rock record.

The opening song, ‘Right Up Ahead’ is a slow, melodic track that starts of with the acoustic guitar and heads into a heavy riff. It has the elements of classic Winger, especially in the harmonies, and it is a good song. It’s not what I would have picked for an album opener, I would have gone with something faster/catchier. ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ follows and is another slow track, more of a ballad. It’s got that haunting feel with the enhancements on Kip’s vocal and the underlying acoustic guitar. I have tried to like this song because I like the music but the lyrics and the title distract me. 

If you can get through the first two songs, ‘Four Leaf Clover’ is a welcomed uptempo number but it sounds more like Kip Winger solo rather than Winger. By this time I’ve noticed that Kip’s voice may have lost that high upper register he used to have or that he just isn’t using it. This sounds like something I would hear from a young band today and played to death on radio. It’s actually kind of boring but it gets a pass because it’s uptempo. Boring is ‘M16′, another slower song. Kip uses some of that high voice come harmony time and the guitars have some bite but it sounds like it’s already been done and we are only on Song #4. ‘Your Great Escape’ is the song I would have used as the album opener. It’s a faster number that compares to the Winger of old while keeping up with current trends. The vocal isn’t the best but the guitar, especially the solo, is really good. This is my favorite song on the album.

I really like the bass line on ‘Disappear’, I find myself nodding along and doing some air bass. Another mid-tempo, dark, melodic brooder with killer axework. Nothing like a six minute plus song to kill the mood…..that’s what ‘On A Day Like Today’ does. It’s not a bad song, it’s just slower and boring. It sounds like I’ve already heard it four or five songs ago. Redemption comes with the harder ‘Living Just To Die’, which shows that there is some life left in the band to Rock out. The trend continues with ‘Short Flight To Mexico’, another heavy track that is buried behind all the slow plodders. I would have put this more toward the beginning of the album’s sequence.

Another six minute plus song in ‘Generica’…..when will the madness end? This song just doesn’t cut it for me. Neither does ‘Can’t Take It Back’. Both songs have some good parts but they are a part of the “slow or mid-tempo” theme of the record. Both sound like previous songs on the album.

Bottom Line:
I went into this album not expecting the old late ’80s sound but hoping it would be there. There are elements of it sprinkled throughout but it’s more a dark, melodic, modern Rock record. I would have preferred a few more upbeat songs instead of all the slow ones. The album is hard to get through, I found I was losing interest easily and I had to go back and force myself to re-listen to songs that didn’t really grab me. I gave this album a lot of airtime on the stereo hoping that it was a grower but it just left me bored. I won’t be reaching for this again anytime soon.

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16 comments on “Winger – IV (2006)

  1. Realy nice read. I have to admit i have never been a real WINGER fan even if i´ve got their first 3 albums. Thanks but i still dont know if i am going to like this new album lol.

  2. I heard “Livin’ Just To Die” on Pandora.com and couldn’t believe how rich of a song it is. Anyone else of the same opinion?

  3. How old are you oh great reviewer? First off I am blown away at your reaction to “Blue Suede Shoes”. You say the lyrics and title distract you. Distract you from what? Me being a veteran I appreciated this song and what it says and stands for. Put down the bong and read the lyrics and try to understand. Any problems you may want to consult someone that thinks a little deeper than what you are used to. Never did you mention that this album is a tribute to our troops. I really don’t understand what you were expecting with this album. In my opinion it rocks from begining to end. The compositions are complex and well thought accompanied by insightful lyrics that are more understood by someone that has actually served their country. Lets give them a break here. My vote is for a supreme performance by the band. If you are looking for a remake of the eighties hair band sound maybe you should contact some of your other favorites like Poison and Motley Crue who don’t have enough sense or talent to compose anything remotely close to Winger IV. By the way, McDonalds is hiring!

  4. I got the album when it came out, it is an awesome album, it rocks, it’s deep and the guys were fantastic live, the live album recently released kicks as well, Kip has a solo album coming out this month.
    After hearing Winger IV, seeing them live; I will also get the solo ablum. Kip doesn’t get the respect that he deserves as a writer, singer, and performer; the band on the road showed that not only could they rock they showed how it should be played; ROCK ON Brother!

  5. Bill – I’ll be 36 soon and remember that its just my opinion, not the Bible! The bottom line is that I didn’t enjoy it but I still support the band, our troops, and everyone’s opinions.

    Jay – Winger live is a good show. I prefer the older records, especially PULL (1993).

  6. The only Winger album I owned before this is their debut, and I didn’t think that was anything special. I found myself enjoying this album even less, although their move towards a darker, modern melodic rock sound isn’t what bothered me. Like you, I just couldn’t keep interested throughout.

    I really like “Generica” though.

  7. Randy – “Living just to die” is my prefered on the album… it’s just a wonderfull song.

    About the discution on the troops and the lyrics etc.. i hadn’t understood it was about that in blue suede shoes (actually i’m french… so to understand the meaning is kinda difficult for me sometimes..). By the way, whatever the lyrics, I’ve always been a winger fan (especially a reb beach fan as a guitarist), and I found this album is a master piece !
    greetings ;)

  8. dude wtf are all of you talking about? this new album has some of the best vocals and rifts ive ever heard. all of you saying that you dont think its that good and whatever need to go back, pop the cd in and just listen to it again.

  9. You have to listen to this a few times. Think about it in relation to a soldier going and coming back from Iraq. Yes, you have to think—–one more beezer—–really let it soak in.

  10. ESTE ALBUM E MUITO INTERESSANTE LEGAL MELODICO E PESADO A O MESMO TEMPO , O SHOW DO KIP WINGER AQUI NO BRAZIL EM PORTO ALEGRE FOI FANTASTICO , BOM RECOMEÇO DESSA SUPER BANDA , WINGER FOREVER

  11. Pingback: Albums I Missed In 2009 « Heavy Metal Addiction

  12. I enjoy this album a lot. I think Blue Suede Shoes is an outstanding song, and I’ve never been in the service. It’s the second best song on the album, right behind Four Leaf Clover. I’d rank this as their 3rd best record, behind Pull (number 1) and Karma (number 2).

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