Foreigner
4


3.5
great

Review

by JP Patino Izquierdo USER (17 Reviews)
January 26th, 2018 | 15 replies


Release Date: 1981 | Tracklist

Review Summary: 4 is a flawed but remarkable cheese fest

Foreigner will always be remembered as one of the 80's pop rock leading bands. This, however, isn't usually something you should be proud of, and that's because, like most 80's pop rock acts, Foreigner delivered classic hits like Cold as Ice, Hot Blooded or I Want to Know What Love Is (which might be one of the best love ballads ever), but failed to produce albums of great quality that were actually consistent, doing nothing more than just rely on their radio hits.

But even if most of the band's albums, just like many other groups of the time, were overall weak with the exception of a couple of great, catchy potential hits, there is one LP that stands out in their discography and that's 4.

Being (who would've guessed) Foreigner's fourth album, 4 catched the band on a difficult time since Al Greenwood and the ex-King Crimson Ian McDonald had just left, forcing the group to create an album without 1/3 of its members. However, this didn't prevent the band from creating what's probably their biggest achievment.

Don't get me wrong, 4 is still a cheese fest with many "80's standard and monotonous moments" but it has small details on it which turns it into a real highlight at some points.

Juke Box Hero, for example, is the definition of excellence in cheesy rock, featuring what's probably Lou Gramm's best performance, perfectly fitting backing vocals and impeccable accompaniments by the guitar and the keys, it truly is an 80's anthem.

And that's the thing with this album. It doesn't have a unique nor complex sound, but most of the time the melodies are played in a way that each instrument plays the exact note that needs to be played. The guitar on I'm Gonna Win, the synths on Woman in Black or that mother ***ing sax solo by Junior Walker on Urgent prove that what you need in a pop album is a simple but well placed sound.

This doesn't mean that there isn't talented technique to be found on 4. Adding to great vocal passages by Gramm on songs like Juke Box Hero or Waiting for a Girl Like You, there's also an excellent yet short and straight to the point guitar work on many tracks and the same happens with the keys.

But these details, these moments of perfectly placed pop harmonies aren't the strict rule in here. There are many weak spots like Luanne or the opener which are not bad by any means and still manage to be catchy and enjoyable songs, but they just don't have anything on them that's truly remarkable, making of some songs in here nothing but just "another 80's rock song".

Foreigner's fourth release is flawed but it is one of the few 80's AOR albums to provide real pop delightfulness. It is simple and not original at all, but among the hundreds of LP's of its type, 4, as an album and not just "a couple of singles and filler" really stands out. Few bands of this style could actually do this and not even Foreigner managed to replicate it ever again, making of I Want to Know What Love Is probably the only great thing they did after this.

In 1981 Foreigner were:

Lou Gramm - Vocals, percussion
Mick Jones - Guitar, backing vocals, keyboards
Rick Wills - Bass guitar, backing vocals
Dennis Elliott - Drums, backing vocals



Recent reviews by this author
801 801 LiveWar (USA) The World Is a Ghetto
Supertramp Crisis? What Crisis?Jean-Michel Jarre Oxygene
The Web i spiderLucifer's Friend Banquet
user ratings (139)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
MrSirLordGentleman
January 26th 2018


12328 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Sorry for any typos since english isn't my first language



Juke Box Hero - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zf04uO880c



Urgent - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA6id4--BDg

e210013
January 26th 2018


2178 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice to see a review of this album on Sputnik. And I'm glad to see another review from you dude.

I always loved this album and this band, despite they aren't a prog band. This is also my favourite album from them. Still, this band always called my attention especially due to the presence of Ian McDonald on their first albums, an artist I always loved and admired.

Nice review buddy. Pos.

MrSirLordGentleman
January 26th 2018


12328 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Thanks bro!



Glad to see you enjoy this too

Divaman
January 26th 2018


3315 Comments


Wow, this album was never reviewed before, huh? Great job, Mr Sir Lord Gentleman.

Digging: Rachael Sage - Choreographic

MrSirLordGentleman
January 26th 2018


12328 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Thanks Diva!



URGENT

URGENT

EMERGENCY

manosg
Staff Reviewer
January 26th 2018


11454 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Nice to see you reviewing more often man.



This is indeed a great listen and I also enjoy their debut. These guys had a knack for creating catchy music.

Digging: King Diamond - Songs for the Dead Live

Jethro42
January 26th 2018


15608 Comments


I've listened to album Hot Blooded couple times when released, and I've heard all their hits that got much airplay in late 70s and through the 80s. Agent Provocateur contains the last hits I know if I go by the titles. I'd say the band was good back in the days.

Good review, SirLord. You really look like an English speaker. Will properly listen to War, your last one.

MrSirLordGentleman
January 26th 2018


12328 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

War is a band that I'm not sure you'd enjoy, but you'll definitely see the great quality on it



Listen to this one if you like Foreigner's hits. Juke Box Hero is really perfect pop

Jethro42
January 27th 2018


15608 Comments


Yeah I already know ''Juke Box Hero'', ''Waiting For A Girl Like You'' and ''Urgent'' for the least. Will listen to some of the rest at some point.

Titan
January 27th 2018


19176 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice pick a great review Sirlord!



I dig these guys haha



Juke Box Hero is such a jam man

TheIntruder
January 30th 2018


403 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This almost escaped from my radars. Nice shot Mr Sir Lord Gentleman. Have a pos.

MrSirLordGentleman
January 30th 2018


12328 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

thx man, glad you liked it!

MrSirLordGentleman
January 30th 2018


12328 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

HE'S GOT STARS IN HIS EYES

TheLongShot
August 2nd 2018


643 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I don’t mind cheese but this is cheese to the point of sleaze without very many redeeming musical qualities apart from some solid hooks

JoeTex
August 21st 2018


637 Comments


& be a juke box hero



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy