The CD issue of Canadian band Red Rider
's second release adds three bonus tracks, including their breakthrough U.S. radio hit, "Lunatic Fringe." The moody, paranoid track, with it's insistent guitar riff, has become a staple at AOR stations and is the best thing on Neruda
, but there are also other cuts that help this meat-and-potatoes quintet led by Tom Cochrane
rise above many similar acts. The muscular "Power (Strength in Numbers)" explores mob mentality, and is marred only by the presence of early-'80s keyboards, while "Human Race" features a rapid heartbeat melody and a simple, empty guitar line that adds to the lonely yet resilient tone of Cochrane
's lyrics. Neruda
, while no major musical statement, is still an enjoyable, melodic album, chock full of Red Rider
's blend of AOR crunch and new wave texture.