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The Nights: The Nights
The Nights 2017 Self-titled Debut CD Album Review

The Nights: The Nights

Melodic Hard Rock/AOR

Every band wishes their debut album (or any album, for that matter) to be a complete success, finding a friendly reception and appreciation from fans and critics alike. Finland's The Nights may just knock the ball out of the park with their self-titled debut. The Nights were formed in 2015 by vocalist Sami Hyde (Tony Mills, The Magnificent) and guitarist and producer Ilkka Wirtanen (Reckless Love, Hellcity Punks, et al) with a mutual desire to write songs that "make you feel good and also give tribute to our everlasting heroes in music." In their case that means classic AOR melodic rock.

The Nights Band Photo

The Nights: Sami Hyde and Ilkka Wirtanen

At the start I'm going to go out on a limb here and say, everything about this album is terrific, from the songwriting and arrangements to performance and production. For the former, The Nights draw upon all the essential AOR melodic rock elements: infectious melody in song composition, harmony in guitar lines and vocal arrangements, and toe-tapping rhythm and groove from bass and drums. These things are further embellished by sweet and soaring guitar solos, hooks in melodies and refrains, and strong melodic vocals. For the latter parts, performance and production, Sami Hyde is a terrific vocalist, having smooth range combined with real emotion. And Wirtanen offers ambitious and soaring solos, while also delivering crisp and clean production behind the knobs. The Nights are definitely firing on all cylinders to create some catchy AOR melodic rock.

That's also to say that the songs are pretty awesome, not really a runt among the litter. They're all catchy, melodic, and appealing. Some songs start with a heavier edge, but quickly pull in the AOR groove such as Welcome To The Show, Or Nothing But Love, or the really fun I Wanna Be Your Superhero. Other songs are arena-ready rock anthems like Hold On and Elegy which hook you with excellent memorable refrains. Stirring ballads come with I Will Never Stop Loving You and You Belong To Me Tonight, both of which draw you in with a gentle arrangement featuring Hyde's passionate voice, then lead you to the crescendo with a Wirtanen guitar solo. Good stuff. The only bump in the road for me was the song Juliette. It's something of a rocker, a good one at that, but I've never been keen on songs about a girl. (For instance, I can't stand Toto's Rosanna.) But in context with the other songs, Juliette fits in and doesn't diminish the whole album. Simply, The Nights' first album is an outstanding debut offering well-crafted, creative, and entertaining AOR melodic rock. Get it. Easily recommended. - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

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The Bottom Line

Simply, The Nights' first album is an outstanding debut offering well-crafted, creative, and entertaining AOR melodic rock. Get it. Easily recommended.

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