At the time Cinderella released Still Climbing, grunge music was still riding high as bands like Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, and Soundgarden were topping the Billboard album charts. Hard rock or “hair metal” was dismissed as nearly every band of the genre except for its superstars (ex…Bon Jovi, Def Leppard) became extinct in the eyes of the general public. Which brings us to Cinderella, a band coming off 3 platinum albums, several Top 40 hits, and a sound more suited to traditional rockers Aerosmith and the Rolling Stones than hair metal bands Poison and White Lion. Sadly, they met the same fate as those latter bands despite their strong catalog of music.
Although it sold very little and barely made the charts, Still Climbing is a very strong release and their most consistent album since their debut album Night Songs. After the riff-rock of their debut, the band expanded their sound with each release and they reached their apex here. While many ’80s hard rock bands would add horns and keyboards to spice up their sound, none of them did it as well as Cinderella as evidenced by the R&B horns on the killer tracks “All Comes Down” and “Talk Is Cheap” and the piano on the stellar title song. “Hard To Find The Words” is arguably their best ballad and in another time would have been a huge hit along the lines of “Don’t Know What You Got (Til It’s Gone).” The hard rockers “Blood From A Stone” and “Easy Come Easy Go” are great hard rock songs played with conviction even if they don’t possess the catchy hooks of earlier hits “Gypsy Road” and “Shake Me.” The killer opener “Bad Attitude Shuffle” and “Free Wheelin” rock even harder and are much stronger than the heaviest songs on their previous albums such as “Fire And Ice” and “Love Gone Bad.” Other decent tracks include the introspective “The Road’s Still Long” and “Hot & Bothered” which was originally released on the Wayne’s World soundtrack. The only song that really doesn’t work is the ballad “Through The Rain” which sounds forced compared to the rest of the set. However, this is a very strong album that all fans of the band and great hard rock music should check out.