Review Summary: Winger Put Out One of the Best Albums of Their Genre.
More often than not, when bands make comebacks, especially after a decade plus apart, they usually don't make listenable efforts, especially in terms of Melodic Rock and Hair Metal bands. This was the case with Winger's 2006 release "IV." The effort tried to merge Kip Winger's Art Rock style from his solo releases with the bands Melodic Hard Rock for an effort that proved misguided and forgettable. However, 2 years later, not only have bounced back with "Karma," but may have even cut the best album of their career.
Throughout the album, there are strong melodic, arena ready rockers such as "Deal With the Devil" and "Big World Away" and strong heavy rockers such as "Stone Cold Killer" and "Pull Me Under" that help to balance out the bands ability to cut radio-friendly melodic rock tunes as well as metallic rockers, something that while it was there during their commercial days, at least until "Pull," is more noticable here. Some of this needs to be credited to the great guitarwork of both Reb Beach & Jon Roth, both of which are great talents. Another high point is that the band don't go into power ballad overkill, something that many of their contemporaries ended up falling into fault of doing in the genres heyday. Only the bluesy "After All This Time" and the synth ballad "Always Within Me" are here and both are well done while another highlight of this effort is "Witness," an atmospheric soft rocker that could easily have been on Kip's last solo outing "From the Moon to the Sun." The only real true fault I can even find anywhere on this album is the closing "First Ending," an unneccesary piano piece that really has no place on the effort. All and all, this easily has to take the cake as one of the finest melodic rock efforts of the last decade. A strong album that is almost flawless from start to finish and a must for any melodic rock fan.