Archive for the hard rock music this decade Category

DEEP PURPLE – “Deepest Purple” is a Space Truckin’ ride back to the ’70’s

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, 1980's hard rock, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music this decade, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, heavy metal music, Music, old school hard rock, Rock, rock album reviews, rock keyboard musicians, rock music, rock vocalists, vintage hard rock albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Is it just me thinking this way? Deep Purple “Deepest Purple”, (subtitled “The Very Best of Deep Purple”), is the epitome of what a Rock/Hard Rock Greatest Hits album is supposed to be. These Deep Purple classics are hands down, sensational and historical Rock Music. Gimme a break, how can any generation not want to embrace these songs? These Deep Purple songs are perfect examples of just how amazing the song writing was in Rock and Hard Rock, back in the 1970’s. Could Deep Purple have been ahead of their time? I certainly think so, by at least a decade. The hardness, forget about the heaviness for a second, is what drives these Deep Purple songs to the top tier of  Rock and Hard Rock history, in my Metal opinion. Just stop to think about this, for a Metal second… how many new Rock or Hard Rock bands out there today, could actually put out a Greatest Hits album, down the road, with such impeccable and recognizable songs? “Smoke On The Water” and “Highway Star” are two Hard Rock songs alone, that represent a generation of Rock and Hard Rock music and the decade of the 1970’s. “Fireball” and “Child In Time” are just the icing on the Hard Rock cake here.

Certainly, I am not going to argue the clear fact that we had genre and decade defining Rock and Hard Rock groups during the 1970’s such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Queen, ELO, Yes, Boston, Moody Blues, The Doors, Molly Hatchet, Bad Company, Kansas, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, Pink Floyd, AC/DC (Bon Scott era), Lynyrd Skynyrd and Ted Nugent. The list of iconic Rock and Hard Rock bands from the 1970’s is huge. You betcha. Of course I missed mentioning some well deserved bands and solo musicians here… this post would be gigantic if I was to make a master list. My point I am making is this… there was Deep Purple, man, and they rocked liked no tomorrow during the decade of the ’70’s – “Deepest Purple” is sound Rock and Hard Rock proof of that. If a time machine really did exist and I could rent one, (I am certain that I would not be able to afford to buy one), I would get on that Rock and Roll mother ship and take a ride to a vintage Deep Purple concert back in the 1970’s. (I am positive that Connecticut would have one hefty and major time machine tax, Senator Christopher Dodd would be all over that one – if a time machine existed).

Back to Deep Purple… I could not complain about which lead singer would be fronting this legendary band… if I was to go back in time to see them in concert, it is pick ’em at lead singer  –  for all I care! David Coverdale, Ian Gillain, Glenn Hughes or Tommy Bolin as lead singer… it would not matter, I would be cheering on this 1970’s version of Deep Purple like a psyched out, Hard Rockin’, “Space Truckin” fan! Aw heck, throw in the late 1960’s lead singer Rod Evans for good measure too, he counts. I am not by any shape or form, taking away the great Hard Rock achievements of the Deep Purple lineups of the 1980’s through present day, no way. This Deep Purple music dynasty is special, an undisputed Hard Rockin’ franchise. I just have that Rock and Roll fantasy once in awhile, this whole time machine journey to see Deep Purple in the ’70’s is one. So, the next time you hear, “Woman From Tokyo”, “Burn” and “Stormbringer”, not to mention the other great hits of Deep Purple, earlier mentioned, just remember when they were written… these songs epitomize the label of – timeless. “Space Truckin'”… ’nuff said.

I tip my Metal Music hat to all the past and present musicians of Deep Purple, especially Ritchie Blackmore on guitar, Jon Lord on keyboards, Roger Glover on bass guitar, Joe Lynn Turner on lead vocals, Nick Simper on bass guitar, Joe Satriani on lead guitar and Ian Paice on drums. I thank Don Airey on keyboards and Steve Morse on guitar for keeping the Deep Purple – Hard Rock machine turnin’ and churnin’ to this day. If it wasn’t for Deep Purple, Metal Music as we know it today, probably would not sound so cool. That… is my Metal opinion.

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LULLACRY – “Fire Within” EP – Gothic Metal Music and a W.A.S.P. cover too

Posted in Album Review, cover songs, gothic hard rock bands, gothic hard rock music, gothic metal, gothic metal albums, gothic metal bands, gothic metal from finland, gothic metal music, gothic metal music 2004, gothic metal music this decade, gothic metal songs, hard rock music this decade, heavy metal albums, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, Music, rock music, symphonic metal, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

16842Lullacry is a Gothic Metal/Hard Rock band straight out of Helsinki, Finland. I stumbled upon this band, by perusing the incredibly insane selection of Metal Music – over at Century Media Records online, (CM Distro.com). What caught my attention with this Lullacry “Fire Within” EP were two things: the price was $2 for the CD (!) and this band does a cover of the legendary W.A.S.P. song – “L.O.V.E. Machine”. Hey, for two bucks it seemed like a pretty risk free proposition… especially since I never listened to this band before. (I purchased several items on this order, therefore my shipping cost per CD was low). One of the recurring living on the edge moments of my life is when I purchase a Metal CD without really knowing what I’m getting. Well, what I did get with Lullacry, is a darned solid and sound Gothic Metal/Hard Rock band that has raised my curiosity in their other albums out there. This is the only Lullacry CD that I own… delving deeper into their catalog of music might be a Metal option for me in the near future. Before I go any further, this band is not for every Metalhead out there, the overriding Metal sound is Gothic, due in large part to the lead vocals of Tanja. This female vocalist is very reminiscent of Amy Lee, (from Evanescence fame), on the song “Crucify My Heart pt. II (piano version)”, as Gothic sounding of a song if there is one. This song is definitely a Gothic ballad, Tanja emits quite a captivating voice here, in my Metal opinion.

This five song EP opens with “Fire Within”, it is a fast paced and catchy Heavy Metal song, no real trace of Gothic styles, musically. Tanja’s vocals on “Fire Within” can be compared to Dale Bozzio of early 1980’s New Wave Band – Missing Persons (yeah, that is my Metal opinion, believe it or not). “Be My God (tribal reprise)” has all the Gothic Metal elements happening, the guitars, vocals and slow downs make for a rather impressive song at that. “The #1 Rebel” is Gothic Metal with a faster tempo and a tad edgier than “Be My God (tribal reprise)”. Now, for the cover song from Heavy Metal legends W.A.S.P. – “L.O.V.E. Machine”… Blackie Lawless and only Blackie Lawless can sing this song… with W.A.S.P.’s crushing Heavy Metal overpowering everything and anything around it. With that said, it is an interesting and cool cover version. Listening to Tanja sing this song, only solidifies why I consider myself such a diversified Metal Music fan in the first place. Lullacry as a band, will never match the Metal intensity of W.A.S.P. with “L.O.V.E. Machine”, yet I do not think that this was their intention to begin with.

 

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As I previously mentioned, Lullacry is definitely a band for Gothic Metal fans or fans of Metal Music that do not mind diversifying outside their own Metal genre realm. Symphonic Metal fans and fans of Lacuna Coil might just get a kick out of Lullacry as well. A commercially accessible and at times, heavy Gothic band can lend itself to a cool listen, for me, Lullacry is just that. The Lullacry lineup, as they appeared on the “Fire Within” EP: Tanja on vocals, Sami Vauhkonen on lead guitar, Sauli Kivilahti on guitar, Heavy on bass and Jukka Outinen on drums & percussion. This “Fire Within” EP was released in 2004. The website for Lullacry is Lullacry.com.

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Cheap Trick “The Latest” is their latest great album

Posted in 1970's rock music, 1980's rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, cool album covers, current rock albums 2009, essential rock albums, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 2009, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music this decade, hard rock vocalists, Music, new hard rock album, Rock, rock album reviews, rock music, silly album covers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Cheap Trick, “The Latest” may just very well be the album that proves this band has elevated themselves beyond the Rock Legends status. It is in my Metal opinion, Cheap Trick has become deserving of being called – Music Legends. Once again, Cheap Trick has not tried to reinvent themselves, instead they have created thirteen new songs that justifies their Rock and Roll existence and legendary status. What Cheap Trick has proven to me, with “The Latest”, is that I can marvel at this band and also learn a valuable lesson about life… the lesson of never giving into complacency. The last three Cheap Trick studio albums including “The Latest” is as strong a Rock Music achievement as I could ever hear. This band is just knocking out some of the greatest albums of their career, this decade alone.

The mindset to create a complete album of memorable songs, has not seemed to wane, from the Cheap Trick – bag of Rock Music tricks. “The Latest” begins with the song “Sleep Forever”, at 1:37 long. This song with it’s limited and heartfelt lyrics, coupled with a somber musical atmosphere and mood, took me off guard upon my first listen. My interpretation of this song, is saying goodbye to a loved one, someone that is cherished, after this loved one passes away. My beautiful Mother, someone I always and forever will cherish and love in my heart, passed away on July 10, 2009. I first listened to this album and “Sleep Forever” on July 21, 2009… I felt as if everything around me went still while my thoughts and feelings instantly gravitated towards my late Mother. The timing of my hearing this song for the first time, so close to the day my Mother passed away, became an emotional moment that I never anticipated from “The Latest” Cheap Trick album. I will say this… Cheap Trick has made one beautiful little song with “Sleep Forever”, a remarkable testament to this bands articulate musical diversity.

“Sleep Forever” is perfect being the first song on this album, for the remaining twelve songs are balanced with upbeat, Rock, Hard Rock and many dashes and dollops of that vintage Cheap Trick sound. In my Metal opinion, if this song was to be the last track to hear, instead of it being the first, well, it would be ending this great album on a sad note. This is a song that is perfect where it is, as song number one, let the emotions flow… then it is time to Rock the rest of the way through “The Latest”. Let it be known from me, that the remaining twelve songs on this album are as Rock inspiring as one could ever wish for. “California Girl” is classic Cheap Trick, with the Rock pace and lyrics resembling the roots of this prolific band. “Miracle” and “Times Of Our Lives” are two songs that signify the essence of how Cheap Trick taps into humanity as subject matter – all the while, in an uplifting, Rock spirit kind of way.

Fans of Cheap Trick are going to buy or already have this album. It is the casual Cheap Trick fan, the fan of Classic Rock and/or Hard Rock that I really recommend this album to. Cheap Trick, for me, have not lost their Rock edge, they have gained an edge with this new album. “The Latest” may have given me an emotional start with “Sleep Forever” at the onset, yet I thank Cheap Trick for that. This is a prime example of just how a song can keep me grounded, then the remaining album carries me off into Cheap Trick’s land of addicting Rock and Roll cool.

Cheap Trick: Rick Nielsen on guitars, background vocals & keyboards, Robin Zander on vocals, guitar & keyboards, Tom Petersson on bass, background vocals & guitar and Bun E. Carlos on drums & background vocals

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The Mars Volta “Octahedron” – A Progressive Hard Rock mind pill

Posted in Album Review, cool album covers, current hard rock albums, current hard rock music, current hard rock songs, essential hard rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 2009, hard rock music this decade, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, new hard rock album, progressive hard rock album reviews, progressive hard rock albums, progressive hard rock albums 2009, progressive hard rock music, progressive hard rock music 2009, progressive rock, progressive rock music, Rock, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150I have been riding on a rather enjoyable, Progressive Metal & Progressive Hard Rock wave of music as of late. Am I complaining? Not when bands like The Mars Volta release the Progressive elasticity of songs that they have titled – “Octahedron”. It is Hard Rock music like this, that challenges the outer reaches of my very own musical senses. I suppose that is what Progressive Music is meant to do?  I am not going to fib here, it took me well into my third listen of “Octahedron” to have “it” finally hit me. The “it” is the focused energy and streamlined patience and musical precision, that are consistent, musical nuances I hear in these songs from The Mars Volta. Let’s be real, these artistic lined, Hard Rock songs, with all of their progressiveness, were not written over night. Is it considered to be uncool these days, to have a thought process and spacial intellect towards music? Not in my realm of listening to Hard Rock – or Metal for that matter. The Mars Volta has thrown “Octahedron” to the progressive wind, it has blown my way and this is what I have to say.

IMG_1512 copy“Since We’ve Been Wrong” has my inner psyche floating somewhere out there in 1979, the retrospective, ambient rays of melody I hear in this song, has me laying on a freshly mowed lawn, staring up at a clear blue sky. “Teflon” does not stray too far away from this dreamy type of feeling either, it only Rocks a little harder. “Halo Of Nembutals” has me agreeing with the assertion that lead vocalist Cedric Bixler Zavala really does sound like the living legend – Geddy Lee of Rush. (This comparison has been thrown around quite a bit, it should be construed as a compliment, much better than being compared to the vocals of Jim Nabors, aka Gomer Pyle). With this song, carrying it’s way into “With Twilight As My Guide”, I tend to realize that I have fallen victim to a cascade of Progressive Hard Rock sanctity. I refuse to just stand pat and not let my feelings be known, about a band that is able to grasp the flexibility and open mindedness of song writing, both lyrically and musically. The Mars Volta apparently were either born as collaborative musicians or they visited some type of mystical being, in a tropical rain forest, who granted them the ability to eradicate themselves of any staleness and ego – thus anointing them with Progressive Musical powers.

IMG_1495“Cotopaxi”, “Desperate Graves” and “Copernicus” are three songs in a row, that I swear are a path that lead me to believing that the words status quo are not in The Mars Volta vocabulary.  Omar Rodriguez Lopez has given new meaning to the phrase – lead, not follow – for if this musician were to follow, I would probably be listening to a band that wants to fit in and play it safe, like so many bands who don’t follow their hearts and instincts do. The same goes for Cedric Bixler Zavala, as both a vocalist and lyricist. If anything, I am completely guilty of being passionate about the music that moves me. The Mars Volta are just as guilty for being passionate in creating the music that stands up and above, so much so, the “Octahedron” CD cover does not even bear their name. It is the music that really matters, the music that stands alone, it is not a name of a band, the physicality or gender of it’s members, nor the image. “It” is really all about the finished product, the music and what it says. “Octahedron” speaks more if you give “it” the space and respect is so justifiably deserves.

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Seether – “Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces” is awe inspiring Hard Rock

Posted in Album Review, cool album covers, current hard rock albums, current hard rock music, current hard rock songs, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 2007, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music 2007, hard rock music this decade, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, Rock, rock album reviews, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, seether rock band, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Seether is a Hard Rock band that does not need any plastic Hollywood music awards to be told they are damn great. The fans know. The music of Seether tells the whole story… of just how sensational Hard Rock songs are written. “Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces” is an album that should be a required musical manual for any up and coming Hard Rock band. Seether has proven to me, that lyrics are very, very, important in Heavy Music. Shaun Morgan, in my Metal opinion, encompasses many musical gifts… his vocals, guitar skills and the song writing that leaves me in awe. Lyrically, this is one of the best albums I have ever listened to in my lifetime. Couple these tremendously inspiring lyrics with Hard Rock music that is maximized by it’s hardness and mesmerizing grooves, well, you have yourself an instant classic. Shaun Morgan for me, is a vocalist that I listen to so intently, that the music at times becomes a backdrop. (This is by no means, an insult, it is just that Shaun Morgan’s vocals are so searing, they take hold of my attention and leave me zoned out on his voice and lyrics). I have to listen to Seether and say to myself, o.k., I am going to pay more attention to the music this time around, when I do it is like a double dose of Hard Rock music and Hard Rock vocal exhilaration. 

“Rise Above This” is a song that has hit me in such a right way. I lost my sister four years ago, man do I miss her. Since this song came into my life, well, It just seems to say exactly how I feel about missing her. My sister left to go to heaven at age 43, there was way too much more that I wanted to do with her and say to her. I never had a chance to say goodbye to her, this is my song that encourages me it is alright. I am ecstatic that there is a band like Seether and a vocalist/lyricist like Shaun Morgan that can combine Hard Rock with real lyrics recognizing true humanity. “No Jesus Christ” is probably the heaviest song on this album, it basically calls a deceitful person out, a song that just about anyone who is not a backstabbing, evil entity, can relate to. “Fake It” is the single greatest song to commemorate all of the scum bag, plastic people of this world, who cannot find their own identity and try their best to be nothing but despicable chameleons. I raise my fist and say hooray to Seether and Shaun Morgan for knowing that crappy people make great subject matter for Hard Rock songs! “Six Gun Quota” is a song about self inflicted destruction – of both body and soul. This song rocks, despite the honest to goodness gray subject matter.

The popularity and record sales of Seether are for a measurable reason. This band connects to me, it is only logical Seether connects to an unknown many others. Fans of Seether already know this, yet I need to tell new, prospective fans, that “Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces” is not your run of the mill Hard Rock album written with the premise to just party hard and pick up chicks. The music found here is of substance and quality Hard Rock, it is also story telling that mixes in a menagerie of human emotions and trials. 

Seether as they appear on “Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces”: Shaun Morgan on guitar & lead vocals, Dale Stewart on bass guitar & backing vocals and John Humphrey on drums.

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Army Of Anyone – A Hard Rock Band this credible has to make a return

Posted in 1990's hard rock music, Album Review, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music 2006, hard rock music this decade, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, progressive hard rock music, progressive rock, progressive rock music, Rock, rock album reviews, rock music, rock vocalists with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

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Army Of Anyone, the supergroup made up of Dean DeLeo (guitar) and Robert DeLeo (bass, backing vocals) from Stone Temple Pilots, Richard Patrick (lead vocals) from Filter and Ray Luzier (drums) from the David Lee Roth band released a Hard Rock winner, back on November 14, 2006. In my Metal opinion, I wish this band would have stayed together to release many, many, more albums. I purchased the debut CD, self titled “Army Of Anyone”, the first week of it’s release… I have frequently reminded myself that I constantly listen to this band, buy why? Oh, how a Hard Rock album will sound when skillful musicians are at the top of their game, creating a bounty of melodies, mixed together with creatively inspired chords and lead vocals, all fastened together with a rhythm section so tight that the grooves it manifests serves to magnify the progressive musical energy around it. In essence, I really enjoy listening to the Hard Rock music from Army Of Anyone.

I own a Sony 5 CD disc changer, (my wife bought it for me way back in 1990), it has become a permanent component for my stereo system going on twenty years now. It plays fantastic to this very day, (knock on Metal), with extensive and constant usage. This Army Of Anyone CD has been almost permanently inside this Sony disc changer going on three years straight. I say almost, for whenever I take this Army Of Anyone CD out of the disc changer, it usually is not for more than a few days… I have reached the point where it does not feel right unless this CD is in place, ready to be played at a moments notice. Army Of Anyone is that good… no, instead, Army Of Anyone is that great. This band is Hard Rock, yes, only they have put to use their Progressive Hard Rock, musical tentacles… reaching out far beyond what current Hard Rock mainstream bands are currently striving for, musically.

I embrace the music of Army Of Anyone far more greater than the music of Stone Temple Pilots or Filter. (You can throw in the David Lee Roth Band too, that is a no brainer). This is only one album from Army Of Anyone and here I am, staking an extremely higher allegiance to them, than compared to STP or Filter. Honestly, there is no comparison, other than the fact of Dean and Robert DeLeo being members of STP, (the real reason why STP is a musically recognized and popular band in the first place). Plus, throw in the fact that STP regrouped and embarked on touring the past year and Richard Patrick has Filter firing on all cylinders, well, Army Of Anyone has become a musically elite supergroup in limbo. The glory, fame, popularity and record sales of the STP past, seem to far outweigh the Progressive Hard Rock brilliance that illuminates from Army Of Anyone. It is a shame. This is a perfect example of how credible and incredible Hard Rock music can get swept under the popularity carpet, due to decisions made that are beyond the fans control. Musicians and astute fans of any music genre know this: great music cannot be judged on record sales, mainstream radio popularity or tickets sold. Nope. Army Of Anyone just needed a massive marketing machine behind them, as well as no STP reunion, then, just maybe, this band could have skyrocketed into the popularity mix. 

Not to ignore the songs from the debut “Army Of Anyone” album, to summarize the lyrics: intelligent, socially conscious, awareness to world politics without becoming abrasive, add into the mix the human experience. Musically, as mentioned earlier, Hard Rock with a progressive edge, yet not as an afterthought. My favorite song on this album: “This Wasn’t Supposed To Happen” – this is hands down, one of the single greatest endings to a Hard Rock album that I have ever heard. It is a mellow tune, yes, a ballad – no. The acoustic arrangement of this song swelters with emotion that I never expected upon my very first listen. Unbelievable, pure music.

I just hope, that Army Of Anyone would consider getting back together, every few years or so and create a new album. They do not have to do a major world tour for recognition and I understand if STP and Filter are of higher importance. What Dean DeLeo, Robert DeLeo and Richard Patrick must understand is that Army Of Anyone is much more enormous than they may realize, a true and real Hard Rock music creation. It is just like the quote from the fantasy baseball movie “Field Of Dreams” – “build it and they will come”… well, the members of Army Of Anyone have built it, if they could only continue, more fans would come. Probably more than they could ever imagine. 

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Cheap Trick “Special One” is just that and more

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, 1990's hard rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, cool album covers, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music this decade, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, Rock, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

It is quite apparent, from looking at my past posts, that I am a Cheap Trick fan. I get such a listening thrill from their brand of Rock, both past and present. If Cheap Trick were to have floundered, lost a few steps musically, I would have lost interest in following them – of course. Many bands have done just that, floundered after years of success. (I used to think The Police were going to release a new killer album every 2 to 3 years, way back in 1984… who knew?). Well, enough with this as my opener… Cheap Trick really has done what many bands can only wish for… continued musical output that beams with integrity and relevance. The integrity is represented by Cheap Trick creating Rock/Hard Rock music that for me, is as energy filled, catchy and memorable as the “Dream Police” and/or “All Shook Up” albums from 25 years ago. On “Special One”, (released in 2003), this is not a Rock Band that sounds tired or weary – this is a band that sounds as if they are embarking on a Rock mission with their musical tanks fully loaded, with new ideas. Another aspect of integrity that Cheap Trick bestows, is the plain fact, that they are obviously not remotely attempting to cash in on their name or past success.

“Special One” is quite special indeed… it is a fitting prelude to the “Rockford” album, (released in 2006), where Cheap Trick in my Metal opinion, has landed as convincing a one-two Hard Rock punch that any fan could ever imagine or hope for. (See my “Rockford” review listed under album reviews on Metal Odyssey). Once I listened to “Rockford” upon it’s release, I felt and heard the continuation of what Cheap Trick is truly conveying here – that gifted musicians will always create great music. “Special One” is an album that does not tease at what is to come, this Rock album states of what is to come from Cheap Trick this decade. No watered down ballads, no instant radio hits, rather, “Special One” exemplifies what Rock and Hard Rock used to be, carried over with a flare for todays sound. The songs are accessible, not excessive, written with the blend of lyrics and music that glows with the Cheap Trick brand. That is my case stated for relevance.

Not that I am fast forwarding here, the last track on “Special One” titled “Hummer”, is a song that celebrates the ability for anyone to… hum. All kidding aside, this song is highlighted by the humming vocal tones of Robin Zander. (The liner notes do not suggest anyone else doing the humming, however, each band member does get credited with vocal input). After my first listen to “Hummer”, I was enlightened to now realize that humming is cool in a Rock song… Cheap Trick has made it that way. (Trust me, I still get annoyed when total strangers walk past me in the grocery store humming aloud). The first track titled “Scent Of A Woman” is as classic as it gets with Cheap Trick. The brashness of Rick Nielsen on guitar coupled with the up tempo beat, lends itself to being one of those Cheap Trick songs you have to jump around to. Tracks 2 thru 10, found between the two songs I mentioned here, create the Cheap Trick – Hard Rock sandwich that is flavored with a tad of old school and structured with lyrical/musical perfection, with attitude for today. Longevity in Rock Music does not always equate to cool albums – Cheap Trick’s longevity has equated to the coolest consistency of Rock & Hard Rock, that I hope never ends.

Cheap Trick: Robin Zander – vocals & guitars, Rick Nielsen – guitars & vocals, Tom Petersson – 12 string bass & vocals, Bun E. Carlos – drums & vocals.

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