After 1970s rock heroes Journey made a successful comeback with their Wal-Mart-only deal last year, Foreigner hopes to hit it similarly big with their new one, Can’t Slow Down. Of course it’s available only at Wal-Mart (unless you want to download it), and of course it sounds like the old Foreigner. And of course, there’s a new lead singer.
That’s Kelly Hansen and although he’s no Lou Gramm, he is certainly no slouch. The title song has the pole position on the first CD (there’s two CDs and a DVD) and you should know it’s some kind of NASCAR tie-in. No matter: it accelerates out of the gate, propelled by the guitar work of Mick Jones, Foreigner’s only remaining original member.
Even better is “In Pieces,” a cruisin’ song that they don’t make any more. By the time you get to the third song, “When It Comes To Love,” you know you’re locked in. Hansen’s voice feels just right, and the sax work (by Tom Gimbel) is just the right hook for this 21st century power ballad.
The rest of the album moves along in a nearly rockin’ mode, offering highlights “I’ll Be Home Tonight,” which sounds like it could have part of Foreigner’s back catalog, and the rocker “Too Late,” which appeared on another Foreigner collection last year.