Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Music Reviews - AC/DC, Tesla and Sammy Hagar

I've been meening to get this done for a few weeks and finally got around to finishing it. I have reviewed 3 recent cd releases and given my (in)expert opinion, for what it's worth. Agree or disagree as you wish but here are my reviews:

AC/DC “Black Ice”

This is a very good release from these Australian masters. AC/DC often get tagged with having every song sound the same but it’s not quite true. To be sure a lot of their music does sound similar but not all of it sounds exactly the same. Amazingly that’s what people not only do not mind but have come to expect from them. That’s why track 4 “Anything Goes” is a love it or hate it song for most fans. The boys break from tradition and try something a bit different and totally unexpected. This song isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be but does sound like something that would have been done by a much different band. Most of my favorite songs are on the front end such as “War Machine”, “Big Jack” and “Spoilin’ For A Fight.” That doesn’t mean that the 2nd half is a let down by any stretch of the imagination. There’s more of a bluesy feel to it which is fine by mean. The Bottom Line: This cd is well worth the money as the boys from down under are back and rocking.

Tesla “Forever More”

I have to say that I just recently got into Tesla thanks to a friend from work who shall remain nameless (that means you Marv). Sure I listened to their hits in the 80s and enjoyed them but for some reason never went any further with it. That atrocity has been corrected. I saw them earlier in the year and they flat out blew me away. That only made me hungry for new Tesla music. Simply put this is an extremely good cd that you need to go buy. The topics/lyrics of tracks like “So What” and “Just In Case” amaze me with their insight. Then there is “Private Ledbetter” which deals with a family and what they must be going through while their son, brother, etc is fighting for his country in Iraq. It doesn’t preach or puff up false patriotism. No, the song only tells it like it is. There are enough rockers and ballads for everyone. Basically put this is Tesla doing what they do best. Do yourself a favor, first buy this cd and then go see them if they come anywhere close to you. You won’t be disappointed unless of course you’re some mopey emo kid and then you’ll be thrilled by being mopey.

Sammy Hagar “Cosmic Universal Fashion”

I’m sure to get some hate on this but this cd is simply dreadful. I used to love Sammy before he joined Van Halen when he really was The Red Rocker. I even went to see him open for ZZ Top at my first ever real concert. Now I know he’s older but still, for awhile he was doing his “Jimmy Buffett on steroids” thing but this is something altogether different. I found the title track to be simply atrocious. Programmed drums with music filtered in and out and Sammy’s semi-spoken vocals just doesn’t sound good at all. This song is supposed to be a sequel of sorts to Van Halen’s “Right Now” content as well as in video but it ends up being a jumbled mess. On his cover of The Beastie Boys “Fight For Your Right To Party” he does punch up the song but it doesn’t really do much for me. The cd closes with a live version of “Dreams/Cabo” that just goes on too long and clearly shows that Sammy cannot hold a candle to Dave’s (Lee Roth) stage patter. At least I found someone who agrees with me (and very closely) on this lump of coal. Head over to http://www.melodicrock.com/ and check out their cd reviews to see their thoughts on this and other releases.

There you have it. Feel free to leave a messsage and I'll add it as soon as possible. Coming soon: Chinese Democracy review, Stuck In The 80s and how well (or not) the 2008 concert year was for me.

1 comment:

chad said...

while i agree on your remarks on the tesla and ac/dc, i have to completely disagree on the sammy cd. while it's not your average sammy, it does grow on you after a few listens. although, his last cd, livin' it up, was also a bit of a departure. this one kinda goes back to what sammy does best, rock. i guess it can be jarring hearing the semi-electronica on the title track, but the next three songs make the purchase worth it. maybe i'm biased, i'm a huge sammy fan. having recently seen him live, he did four songs from the new cd. the title track rocked more in concert. the track loud is an instant classic. i also enjoy the dreams/cabo remakes. if you've ever seen sammy, post vh, you'll know what i mean. he just tells stories for no particular reason. it makes it a much more personal setting. just give it a few more listens, particurly the tracks, peephole, psycho vertigo, when the sun don't shine, and loud.