This may be The Night Flight Orchestra’s fourth album but it has the feel of a difficult second. Last year’s Amber Galactic was a bona fide, retrofuturist, AOR classic. It took the very best of ‘70s and ‘80s pomp rock and distilled it into a single record that sounds like the Best Of... from that era. With Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough, Night Flight Orchestra are making hay in the wake of their unexpected success, but how do you follow such a definitive record? Greater bands than this have failed in the attempt.
Unfortunately, NFO have made an album that typifies why that genre died off. Overblown and over-produced, these snyth-heavy tracks sound anaemic next to those of Amber Galactic. The songs are underwritten, rock-by-numbers that ultimately amount to a lesser Def Leppard LP. Any subtlety or variation between songs is lost in the mix. With every instrument pushed to the fore, the music is indistinct and Bjorn ‘Speed’ Strid’s vocals are mere background noise.
There are no standout tracks and, when played as a whole, the 12 tracks are perfectly acceptable but wholly unmemorable. Your local classic rock station could play the whole record through for their Sunday afternoon slot and no one would know the difference. The absence of a decent single is notable. There’s nothing here to compete with ‘Sad State Of Affairs’, ‘Something Mysterious’, or ‘Domino’. The whole thing becomes a textureless melange. The choruses are hummable but instantly forgettable, which is a real shame from a band that are capable of much more. Despite its shortcomings, I’m hoping that Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough is a big success for them so they continue with this project and we’ll get to see more of them live.
Sometimes The World Ain't Enough is available to buy here.