The Night Flight Orchestra – Sometimes the World Ain’t Enough (Nuclear Blast)

Thursday, 7th June 2018
Rating: 10/10

Bouncing back with just over a year in the books since their third album, Amber Galactic, The Night Flight Orchestra fully prep themselves to launch into outer space with their fourth album. One might be hesitant based on the short return time, but with the sheer joy and fun factor the last album brought, it’s not hard to crave more from the band. With Sometimes the World Ain’t Enough, they prove they are the best classic rock band that never existed in the ’77 to ’83 period.

If Amber Galactic truly embraced all facets of the band, Sometimes is the logical progression that takes them to the next level. What makes The Night Flight Orchestra work is that it’s instantly addictive yet never loses that initial spark after many repeated listens – from the occasionally over-the-top and upbeat synth/keyboard work and triumphant riffs to the funky bass, playful drums, and glorious vocals of Bjorn Strid – there’s never a case of style over substance. Even if the style is often decadent and bursting at the seams with melodies. The wide, sweeping diversity doesn’t hurt the band either as they continue to pilfer from the ‘70s/’80s period, inspired by their favorite acts while adding a distinct Night Flight vibe.

Even clocking in at nearly an hour, Sometimes the World Ain’t Enough is simply drenched in moments that the listener will want to return to. The rare case where you enjoy a song enough to want to hit the repeat button as it fades, but remember the strength of the upcoming track and resist the urge – ultimately listening to the entire release again in its entirety to return to one song. From the hooky, driving, raise your fist in the air anthems like “Can’t Be That Bad” and the title track (which features some incredible vocal heights from Strid) to the massive earworm of a chorus that “Speedwagon” revels in, to more funky, dance-friendly grooves of “Paralyzed” and “Pretty Thing Closing In,” Night Flight fans will find themselves in for a treat.

Many will most likely be drawn towards the surprisingly touching “Lovers in the Rain,” which fully embraces some ‘80s vibes, along with “Turn to Miami,” but what you might not expect is the monstrous and epic closer “The Last of the Independent Romantics” to grab you and not let go for its 9-minute runtime. A slow burner, it seems to culminate early with one of Strid’s most urgent choruses on the album (with excellent accompaniment by the band’s flight attendants), but the last 3-minutes of the track, in complete proggy indulgence with synths, leads, and even some clean moments, prove to be a stunning way to go out.

Like previous releases, Sometimes the World Ain’t Enough is an absorbing listen that wipes any worries from your line of sight. It’s easy to get lost in the music itself, and while it tickles with nostalgia and smile-inducing glee, there’s more than sufficient musical substance behind it. While Strid continues to prove is worth as one of metal’s premiere vocalists, he really takes it one step beyond here in what’s undoubtedly his finest performance. But in being backed by equally stellar musicians (David Andersson’s solos quickly come to mind), The Night Flight Orchestra create something even stronger in the end. A timeless rock album that transcends nostalgia and sits as an album that both young and old should be able to enjoy. In a perfect world, The Night Flight Orchestra would be sitting at the top of the charts and selling out stadiums like the bands they revere. This is genuine musical bliss.

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