Six (CMC International)

By Mark S. Spence

Who said 'when it's over' and were you 'working for the weekend' with Loverboy many years ago? Well, guess what? They're baaack!

The album Six marks their first studio release since 6/19,87 gold-selling Wildside and their first without their regular keyboardist; Richard Sera fills in for Doug Johnson, although Johnson does appear on two tracks.

The Vancouver-based band cut the album without an outside producer. Vocalist Mike Reno and guitarist Paul Dean took total creative control on all twelve tracks. The result - a proverbial grab bag of catchy songs.

The first track, "Big Picture," kicks up such a pace you will have to do a double take. This one conjures up "Notorious," their last Top 40 hit.

The band shows off its party attitude on "Create a Monster," which could pass easily for a blues-rock tune, and "Hair of the Dog," written by Reno, Dean, bassist Scott Smith and drummer Matthew Frennette. This song brings to mind the thrash-pop of the early 1980's. Listen to "The Whole World Lost Its Head," by the Go-Go's. A heavy, serious side is also demonstrated with "Tortured," "Maybe Someday" and the acoustic-tinged "Secrets." They border on heavy metal with "Nobody Cares," and "Spinnin' Wheels."

With a wave of many '80s artists still making music, it's refreshing to see Loverboy, who reformed in 1993 after disbanding by 1989, continue to create great music.

Like their 1983 album said, "Keep It Up."