The first day of spring has come and gone, as has the following snow storm. Time for some metal and hard rock reviews, methinks.
Various Artists - Sin-Atra
Covers albums are always a hard sell to most reviewers. They rarely impress because of inconsistent quality and choice of songs. This is more the case when you are talking about one that is done by various musicians and singers tossed together in a haphazard way. Most range from not essential to instantly forgettable. Then there are collections like this one.
Poorly produced, muffled vocals and singers unable to pull off the song are the norm on this release. In fact, I think it's the early contender for worst release of the year. And heavy rock fans who like Frank Sinatra will be less than pleased with this butchery of the man’s tracks.
Now as you would expect Eric Martin of Mr. Big, Dug Pinnick and Dee Snider manage to rescue it a bit. Surprisingly, though, Robin Zander of Cheap Trick and Glenn Hughes are unable to rescue their tracks from their dire state. Also a surprise is how Jani Lane late of Warrant and Ritchie Kotzen late of Poison/solo manage a decent version of “That’s Life.” Overall, however, this is a horrible excuse for a CD with ill-chosen singers and poor performances. To put it another way: Have you or someone you know butchered a Sinatra song in a drunken karaoke session? Well this is worse than that.
Blackmore’s Night - Autumn Sky
One of my secret music pleasures is Blackmore’s Night’s faux-medieval tomfoolery. There is something vaguely Pythonesque about the guitarist for one of the bands that invented heavy rock and launched so many bands from its midst and by inspiration, doing this kind of music. His wife Candice Night has the perfect voice for this sort of thing and delivers it all in a style which seems almost elven and effortless. They have a new daughter to add to the mix as well; think of the musical genes in that child.
This is a fifteen-track affair that contains a cover of the Kinks' “Celluloid Heroes.” The cover choice strikes me as completely out of place on this release. Talking about Hollywood in the midst of all the rest of the joyful frippery just doesn’t work. The rest of the CD is the usual soundtrack to drunken good times with family and friends, preferably in lots of leather, lace and velvet in a field around a fire. Granted I am not sure if there are as many instant sing-along classics as on their last few releases, but no matter. If you like BN’s past stuff you will eat this up with equal measure.