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Bruce Dickinson's "Ball to Picasso" starts the path of greatness for Bruce's solo career. This is his first album to feature Roy Z and it shows in this album. Roy Z gives this album an edge. This is not a heavy metal album though as it is more a hard rock/metal album, but Bruce's catchy choruses and Roy Z's guitar work make this something great.
The album's opener is "Cyclops" which is an eight minute song and has a somewhat creepy vocal line by Bruce and in the later minutes of the song there is a great rocking solo which makes the song great. This album has great riff work and this is much evident in "Fire" where the riff rips through the song and has a nice groove to it. "Laughing in the Hiding Bush" is a classic because it has storytelling in the verse and the little "hey hey, hey hey" between each line and then Bruce's voice becomes evil and mad in the chorus. The catchiest song on here though is "Shoot All the Clowns." Now this is more of a rock song, but the song starts and Bruce starts singing the line "shoot all the clowns" and I find myself singing along as the song hooked me as I'm sure it will hook the listener.
A couple things different about this album is featured in some songs which good and bad. "Hell No" begins with this slightly middle-eastern vibe with the drums and guitar line. That is a good. Now a bad is "Change of Heart." After I'm done rocking with "Laughing in the Hiding Bush," this song comes on and it's some ballad that just slows down the album and has some cheesy chorus line that makes me wanna puke. The song "Sacred Cowboys" is very strange is that Bruce's voice is like rambling incoherantly in the verse. My first listen to it, I thought either my cd was bugging out on me or this is just fucked up. Well, it is just fucked up. Luckily, the amazing sing-a-long chorus keeps it from being total crap. Now, "Tears of the Dragon" is a kick ass ballad that is well-written and actually has a good solo part. This song is fantastic to close this album.
Overall, this album is awesome as Bruce had something to prove here and he proved it with well-written songs and finding the genius Roy Z to handle the guitar. As I have stated before, Roy Z gives this cd an edge as the combination of riff work and Bruce's voice make this kick ass. Buy it. Love it. Like it.