Before reading this, please know that I am an old-generation Foreigner fan. I don't mean to piss off any of the band members nor any of their fans. But I'm just being honest. And I only wish to make remarks that I hope will help the current band. But in doing so, I feel that the band needs to realize that there are many fans that feel the same way as I do. I mention these feelings so that maybe the current band line-up may be able to use this knowledge in some manner that will HELP THEM win back some of the bands core fans.
I have to agree with loyd that Foreigner is no longer the same band without Lou Gramm providing the lead vocals. I also feel that it is TECHNICALLY no longer "Foreigner" with only Mick Jones being the ONLY original member. In Mick Jones's (as well as the other current band members's) mind(s), they may FEEL they are Foreigner because Mick originally formed the band and became the leader / spokesperson for it.
But realistically, with MICK JONES as the ONLY ORIGINAL MEMBER OF FOREIGNER in the current lineup, I PERSONALLY feel that you need to have AT LEAST half the original members in order to keep the name and KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT that it is still the same band. At the VERY least, how about having more than JUST ONE original member?
I realize that fans of the current lineup (as well as the current members themselves) may feel that I am splitting hairs. But I personally feel like Mick Jones should not keep the name on this band. At the VERY least, I feel that Lou Gramm would need to be in the band along with Mick in order to somewhat HONORABLY keep the name. But I realize that due to Lou's health problems, his voice is not as crisp and golden as it once was (but who's to say it won't get back there again?). And this is not to take away from Kelly Hanson who sounds a lot like Gramm and is a TERRIFIC, if not LEGENDARY singer himself. And what BETTER drummer than Jason Bonham who is almost (if not just) as talented as his father who played for the ever-so-legendary Led Zeppelin? There is DEFINITELY TRUE talent in Foreigner right now. But it still just ISN'T THE SAME.
But in Mick Jones's mind, I'm sure that sentimentality does not sell records and concert tickets. Or does it? If he was to get more of the original members back in the band and announce the news, wouldn't that bring more of the band's core fans back into the fold, maybe along with the majority of the current ones? But that wouldn't be very loyal to the current members, would it? So here we have it, either way, someone gets kicked to the curb. And this is not a good thing. Therefore, I feel that even the core members of the band need to accept the current lineup, though to a point. But the current line-up OWES IT to ALL Foreigner fans to be just as good, if not BETTER, than all previous lineups that have come before.
As for me personally, my favorite albums are the earliest ones (Foreigner, Double Vision, Head Games, and Foreigner 4). To me, Foreigner was STILL a CLASSIC ROCK BAND and not a Top 40 pop band. I don't mind the occasional ballad from time to time. But it should be only a TINY percentage of the musical selection on any given album, and everything else needs to have a SOLID hard and edgy rock sound. Rumor has it that Gramm originally wanted to keep the band rocking, but Mick wanted to go more mainstream after seeing the success of "Waiting for a Girl Like You". But core fans want a hard rock spirit to outshine ANYTHING ELSE on any given album. And I KNOW Mick Jones still has it in him to provide that.
But I've listened to samples of Foreigner's current music and it is MISSING that quality. The quality I'm referring to can clearly be heard in songs like "Feels Like the First Time", "Cold as Ice", "Hot Blooded", "Blue Morning, Blue Day", "Juke Box Hero", "Dirty White Boy", and "Head Games". I feel like Foreigner is currently living in its former shadow from the Glory Days back in the late 70s and early 80s. I think Foreigner's core fans will HAPPILY buy tickets to hear these older songs, but not really much if any of the new ones. I TRULY doubt that the MAJORITY of the band's core fans would ever BUY any of these new albums. And it doesn't have to be that way. I want Foreigner to provide me with a sound that makes me IMMEDIATELY stop what I am doing and run to the closest music store to buy their latest CD. The last album that had this effect on me was Foreigner 4.
In summary, I still ACCEPT Foreigner with all the new members. But I'm not sure for how much longer. I want HARD Foreigner, not this soft crap that I would expect to hear in an elevator or a hair salon. I want the edgy, gutsy lyrics (read the lyrics for "Women" for example!) and attitude (e.g. Their album cover of a girl sitting on a urinal wiping away unbecoming remarks from the wall of a neighboring stall). And I know that Mick still has it within him to excavate all of this back to the surface. I need him to think of Pete Townsend in the Who, smashing a guitar while performing for the Ed Sullivan show when he composes music for EACH AND EVERY SONG on the next Foreigner album. I want him to STOP being a veteran and to reach down, grab his balls, and BE A REBEL once again! I want him to BE and not to HAVE BEEN. And I expect all the other members to adopt the same attitude and back him up completely! If they do THIS, I have no DOUBT WHAT-SO-EVER people will start noticing Foreigner's new material, buying their CDs, and FLOCKING to their concerts JUST as they did in the 70s and 80s.
Sorry this was so LONG and DRAWN OUT, but I figured my favorite classic rock band was worth it! Oh! And by the way, can we fans please get a "Rock Band: Foreigner" video game?!!!!