Sound — 9
After establishing themselves as a reliable FM Album Rock with their first three albums, Foreigner was focused on starting off the 1980's with a grand slam of an album. Foreigner had made their name off hits such as "Cold As Ice", "Hot Blooded" and "Head Games". The band teamed up with up and coming record producer Robert John "Mutt" Lang who before the recording of this album was fresh off the success of back to back AC/DC classics: Highway To Hell & Back In Black. The combination of Lang's obsession to make the perfect record and guitarist/founder Mick Jones's disicplined guitar heroics would result in a ten song juggernaut of an album. The sound isn't too bad. The only version in America they sell of this is the remastered version so the mix comes off good.
Lyrics — 9
A lyrical standout comes from the album's biggest hit, "Juke Box Hero" which chronicles the rise to stardom of a young boy who "stands in the rain" outside the building from which his favorite band is playing. This song was inspired by a true account in which a young boy waited all day at a show the band played in Cincinnati, Ohio. The boy was eventually noticed and allowed to go backstage with the band. Another super-hit would be the tearjerking ballad "Waiting for a Girl Like You". This song would become a staple on soft rock FM stations across the country. Singer skills, well Lou Gramm was one of the best singers in the business at the time of "4" release. There was a very passionate sound in his voice. His ability to top multiple pitch levels had become a trademark of Foreigner at the time.
Overall Impression — 9
Collectively, their best albums in order would be: 4, Foreigner (debut album), Double Vision, Head Games. The formula was the same on all of their albums except 4 made use of the popular synthesizers of the time period more than their 70's releases. Probably one of the better tracks on the album would be the exuberant "Urgent" which featured an exceptional saxophone solo from Motown legend Junior Walker. 4 would serve to Foreigner's best album and the band during their prime. Their other two '80s releases would sustain their popularity in the pop-rock arena but the band would never recreate or match the success of this album.