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[New Release] FOREIGNER

May 09,2018

It really must feel like the first time when the members of the band keep changing.

Foreigner, the jukebox heroes who dominated FM radio in the ’70s and ’80s with some of the most memorable and enduring classic rock hits ever recorded, have made something of a cottage industry of performing and packaging their greatest hits in varying arrangements. The latest is a CD with a 60-piece orchestra and 70-member choir that shows why these songs remain popular.

Only founding guitarist Mick Jones remains from the original Foreigner lineup. Singer Kelly Hansen, who had half a cup of coffee in the spotlight in the ’80s with the band Hurricane, inherited vocal duties from original singer Lou Gramm, and does a creditable job keeping these songs alive, even if he adds little of his own style to them.

But the real difference here is the orchestra. At times it meanders with indulgent and eminently skippable introductions. But in playing with and integrating into the songs themselves, it breathes new life into many of them.