W2MN - My Review - BIG SPOILER ALERT

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While Heaven Wept
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W2MN - My Review - BIG SPOILER ALERT

Post by While Heaven Wept » Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:19 pm

Ok, since (stupidly) mentioning that i have heard the album i've been inundated with messages asking for my opinion. I was going to hold out until the official release date with my full review but have decided to instead just post a song by song overview. I have written a full review for an online publication so i won't use that but will instead just give a rundown of each track.

Please DON'T read this if you want to keep the element of surprise for when it comes out as i feel it could ruin it for some of you. You have been warned! Here we go:

I am made of you:

The intro borrows heavily from 'Steven', when the vocal comes in though there is something very apparent....Alice's voice has been given the autotune/vocoder effect! Do i like it? Hell yes! This is classic Alice for 2011, a really haunting melody and ultra catchy chorus. The production on this song is fantastic and the vocoder effect sounds fantastic on Alice and suits the feel of the song. The track has a production quality which is reminiscent of some later Meat Loaf album tracks and the guitar solo is to die for (think 'Pass The Gun Around'). A very brave song to kick off the album, but definitely one of my new favourites.

Caffeine:

The intro almost sounds like some kind of carnival music (i almost thought it was a Mr Bungle track for the first 5 seconds). Alice adopts a club-style vocal throughout this track, like some kind of bad Elvis impersonator. The chorus is a strange mix of pop punk, sleaze rock and good old fashioned Stone's 'Woo Hoo Hoo', giving way to a nice guitar break in the middle where it is as equally unpredictable as the rest of the track. Musically this song is really interesting and unlike much of his previous material.

The Nightmare Returns

A small slab of the original nightmare, remixed for the new generation. Shades of Steven, Years Ago.... a nice little teaser with big production values.

A Runaway Train

This feels like something that could have been on the Killer album with guitars having a distinctly 'Under My Wheels' groove. All i can say about this tune is it's a good rocker, it doesn't particularly go anywhere and is happy to just pump along at a good pace. One of the less adventurous tracks on the album but still sounds better than the majority of ACAS.

Last Man On Earth

This song could have fitted easily onto the Muscle Of Love album with it's Bugsy Malone style instrumentation. The muted horns and skiffle drums fit perfectly with Alice in his 'story-telling' mode. Sounds like nothing else on the album (like many of the tracks!) and that's what i love about it. This is Alice at his Broadway best, just like 'Some Folks' stuck out like a sore thumb on the original, here we have vaudeville Alice and it's great fun. Anyone who heard Alice's contribution to the 'Jesus Christ Superstar' soundtrack will have an idea of the kind of vocal delivery on display here.

The Congregation

This song has a great driving rhythm with pounding drums, distorted guitars and a fantastic main vocal in the chorus. It is obvious that alot of thought has gone into the structures of these songs (something that i thought was totally devoid on ACAS). Another nod to Meat Loaf in the mid section (think Paradise By The Dashboard Light) and some really well thought-out vocal hooks. One of the highlights of the album for me.

I'll Bite Your Face Off

Not much point reviewing this one as everyone knows it by now from the live performances however the studio version has a strong 'Stones' feel to the instrumentation and i love the chord progression in the pre-chorus. The chorus reminds me of 'Street Fighting Man' era Stones, certainly destined to be a live favourite for many years to come. It is worth mentioning that the mid section of this song really harks back to original WTMN when it strips right down to the piano - Jim Steinman style, before kicking right back in with the main hook.

Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever:

Easily the most surprising song on the album, it starts off like some kind of euro-pop dance anthem with some tongue-in-cheek rapping (yes you heard me right!). They've actually managed to pull this off without it sounding like someone else and just when you thought it couldn't get any weirder out of nowhere springs a huge guitar solo. Lyrically, Alice has excelled himself here. This track is sure to split some fans but i just think it's hilarious and so refreshing to hear Alice doing something TOTALLY different! Approach this one with caution!

Ghouls Gone Wild

This one reminds me a little of 'Woman Of Mass Distraction' although the chorus is pure glam/punk pop with some cheesy Beach Boys style harmonies. As with many of the songs, the guitars are fiery on this track with a great fuzz sound in the middle. A real fun song this one.

Something To Remember Me By

The obligatory ballad, but this time Alice has given it the 'I Never Cry'/'You And Me' schmaltsey feel. This is a proper cheese-fest of a song, so typical of the early to mid 70s, i'm surprised they didn't get Donny Osmond to sing on this one! Still, like the rest of the album, it's executed so well that you can't help but sing along to it.

When Hell Comes Home:

Kicking off with a slow, sleazy riff in the vain of Alice In Chains/Black Sabbath, this tune intentionally never gets out of 3rd gear. The song maintains a slow-burning tempo throughout which allows for some soulful bluesy guitars and some delightful crooning and throat crackly sneering from Alice. This isn't a standout track as it's happy to plod along at it's own pace. A very decent album track.

What Baby Wants:

Here we have a great modern pop single featuring Kesha. There's been alot of negative comments regarding this collaboration, most of them unfounded considering they haven't even heard the song. It still has it's roots based in rock with some stabbing and wailing guitars although the drums take a much more synthesised sound with plenty of electro flavours thrown in the mix. I've honestly never heard an Alice song like this. Run Down The Devil had a fairly modern feel to it, however this is full-on chart friendly material and Kesha's vocal is very strong and far from sounding out of place, her voice compliments Alice's extremely well. I'll be surprised if this one doesn't get radio play.

I Gotta Get Outta Hear

Here we have a great americana pop song with jangly acoustic guitars and country guitar licks. The verses have a Travelling Wilburys/Tom Petty feel to the rhythm and vocal line. Plenty of 'yeah yeah yeah's and sweet harmonies make this a perfect BBC Radio 2 tune! Overall though, this song keeps a vintage 60s feel to it while having a lyrical 'question & answer' section at the end which can be compared to 'Give The Kid A Break'.

The Underture

As you would expect, this is a nicely arranged mix of the original Nightmare instrumentation. Really well executed and makes me beg the question "Why hasn't there been a full blown Alice musical yet?".

Under The Bed:

Starting off with a chilling piano and soft vocal reminiscent of Years Ago/Wind Up Toy, this tune evolves into something of an epic with satisfyingly big guitars and a great fist pumping chorus where Alice thunders out the lyrics "Save Me!". This is a great slab of classic Alice in character.

Conclusion: This is a great record. Bob and the team have injected so much energy and fun into this album and you can tell that all involved had a great time doing it.

I'm very surprised by the slickness of the production as i was expecting something much more 70s sounding. It's all very slick and polished and remarkably it doesn't feel dis-jointed given the huge variety of styles.

Is it his best album since WTMN? I don't think so, but it's definitely up there in the top 5 solo albums for me. I was a big fan of The Last Temptation and this one is pretty close to that in terms of quality even though the two albums couldn't be further removed from each other.

The concept does get slightly lost on occasion and it certainly doesn't have the thematic consistency of the original nightmare. But for sheer enjoyment and execution, this is a fantastic return to form after the huge disappointment of ACAS, which for me was all style of substance.

If i was forced to give this a mark out of 10 i'd probably say 9, but take that with a grain of salt as i'll need a few months to get cosy with it and see if the songs still stand up after repeated listens.

I hope that satisfies some of you and i hope that many of you will enjoy it as much as i do when it comes out. Apologies for any spelling/grammatical errors....i'm off out so typed this really quickly.

Dan
xx

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Re: W2MN - My Review - BIG SPOILER ALERT

Post by shock rock » Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:36 pm

Great review!,,,i appreciate it..Thx
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Re: W2MN - My Review - BIG SPOILER ALERT

Post by mestreech » Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:43 pm

great, thank you!! :rock:

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Re: W2MN - My Review - BIG SPOILER ALERT

Post by James1981 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:46 pm

Thanks dude. Can't wait to hear it.
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Re: W2MN - My Review - BIG SPOILER ALERT

Post by andyrew » Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:50 pm

Thanks! Sounds awesome! I'm interested to know what track or tracks Kane Roberts is playing on and the kind of riffs he has created. I havent heard him on guitars with Alice for a while.

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Re: W2MN - My Review - BIG SPOILER ALERT

Post by Si » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:16 pm

I don`t think anyone has confirmed Kane is even on the album. I don`t recall anything about it elsewhere.

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Re: W2MN - My Review - BIG SPOILER ALERT

Post by Awakening » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:19 pm

Si wrote:I don`t think anyone has confirmed Kane is even on the album. I don`t recall anything about it elsewhere.
Keri Kelli said that during an interview but it wasn't officially confirmed, I think.

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Re: W2MN - My Review - BIG SPOILER ALERT

Post by HORRORHOLIC » Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:06 am

Maybe he didn't make the cut. What about some of the other rumoured guests like Rob Zombie, Slash and Vince Gill ?
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Re: W2MN - My Review - BIG SPOILER ALERT

Post by shock rock » Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:11 am

Vince Gill plays on "Runaway Train"
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Re: W2MN - My Review - BIG SPOILER ALERT

Post by scotty » Sat Aug 20, 2011 5:22 am

I read it was "I gotta get outta hear" that vince gil plays on..if you read the review,this makes sense since It is a country styled song. "runaway train" was dennis's composition I believe.

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Re: W2MN - My Review - BIG SPOILER ALERT

Post by Devon » Sat Aug 20, 2011 5:23 am

He might be on both. Alice confirmed it was Vince Gill on "A Runaway Train" tonight and there's a solo in "Gotta Get Outta Here" that sounds like Vince's as well.

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Re: W2MN - My Review - BIG SPOILER ALERT

Post by Suspiria » Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:31 am

"...with some tongue-in-cheek rapping..."

Hmmm, had enough of that with Shockdance. :/
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Re: W2MN - My Review - BIG SPOILER ALERT

Post by schinkengott » Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:44 am

great review, thank you very much! just a quick question though, since english isn't my first language: sounds like "the nightmare returns" isn't a "real" song, but rather a mix of soundbites that are close to the original nightmare themes?

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Re: W2MN - My Review - BIG SPOILER ALERT

Post by grimjim » Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:08 am

So the track with the original line up is just an "ok" track? :/

"
When Hell Comes Home:

Kicking off with a slow, sleazy riff in the vain of Alice In Chains/Black Sabbath, this tune intentionally never gets out of 3rd gear. The song maintains a slow-burning tempo throughout which allows for some soulful bluesy guitars and some delightful crooning and throat crackly sneering from Alice. This isn't a standout track as it's happy to plod along at it's own pace. A very decent album track."

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Re: W2MN - My Review - BIG SPOILER ALERT

Post by Somwhere In Auckland » Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:48 am

sounds like a great album, cant wait :evil:

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Re: W2MN - My Review - BIG SPOILER ALERT

Post by While Heaven Wept » Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:18 pm

grimjim wrote:So the track with the original line up is just an "ok" track?
It's actually a great song but it doesn't 'standout' musically. I think you'll understand when you have heard the rest of the album, it's a really mixed bag of styles.

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Re: W2MN - My Review - BIG SPOILER ALERT

Post by shock rock » Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:31 pm

What songs do you think have the potential to be singles??..thx
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Re: W2MN - My Review - BIG SPOILER ALERT

Post by Sarah » Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:56 pm

Great review, thanks for posting! I can't wait to hear it.

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Re: W2MN - My Review - BIG SPOILER ALERT

Post by While Heaven Wept » Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:05 pm

shock rock wrote:What songs do you think have the potential to be singles??..thx
Probably 'I Gotta Get Outta Here', 'What Baby Wants' and possible a few others.

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Re: W2MN - My Review - BIG SPOILER ALERT

Post by Spot and Jerome » Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:25 pm

Thanks for the review, it confirms many of the points made by the first review (sorry I don't remember the name of the writer) about style diversity and great production, and reading it from a musician's point of view has really skyrocketed my expectations for this album. After reading I was afraid maybe I was expecting too much, but the samples that surfaced today add further confirmation to what a great album this is gonna be!
Last but not least, after hearing IBYFO I was hoping it was gonna be my least favorite track on the album, which is luckily very true now that we got samples ;)
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