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Most people say this is Judas Priest's worst album, but I totally disagree. However, when I first heard this album, I thought it was too commercial and I didn't like the synthesizers. However, when I gave the album more listens, I kinda began to like it.
When you pop this in your CD player and play it, it starts with Turbo Lover. You hear some mystic synthesizer sounds and then the drums kick in. The song takes off slowly and Rob Halford starts singing. You won’t hear me/But you’ll feel me. It sounds promising. As the music progresses, it builds up and Rob Halford sings louder and louder and louder... Then the chorus starts. I’m your turbo lover/Tell me there’s no other/I’m your turbo lover/Better run for cover. Sounds cheesy, huh? Yet it’s damn catchy and it works great as an opener. The guitar solo in it is also very good. The song is not as energetic as something like Freewheel Burning, but it works. What some people may not know is that the song is not only about turbo and fast driving, but also about sex (that’s right!). Turbo Lover was featured in the racing game Gran Turismo 3, and it’s indeed a great driving song.
Locked In also has some cheesy lyrics ("You've got the key/The key to my heart/Go ahead and use it/Drag me in, slam the door/Then I'll be yours, for evermore/You've got me locked in/Locked inside your love/You've got me locked in/Locked inside your love") but Rob Halford hits some high notes here, and it has a great guitar solo, which makes the song more interesting to listen to.
Private Property is more rock than metal (with is pretty basic riff) and also has cheesy lyrics ("Don't you touch/Don't get near/Don't take me for a fool/Make no mistake/No give and take/I'm too good for you/So keep your hands off/Private property/Hands off/Oh Oh/Keep your hands off/Private property/Hands off me/Hands off/Keep your hands off me"), but it's a great song to sing along to and the guitar solo is nice.
Parental Guidance has some of the worst lyrics on this album ("You say I waste my life away/But I live it to the full/And how you know anyway/You're just mister dull/Why don't you get into the things we do today/You could lose twenty years right away/So we say/We don't need no/No, no, no/Parental guidance here"), although the music is great and the guitar solo is really superb. The music saves the song from it's crappiness.
Rock You All Around The World is in my opinion the worst song on the album, though it's not that bad. The song (or rather: the riff) sounds too happy for Judas Priest, and the chorus (which is repeating the title of the track over and over) never ever seems to end! This could've been from any hair metal-band at that time.
Next up is a ballad, Out In The Cold, which starts with a moody, 80's sounding keyboard-intro, which really gives you the feeling than you are in a cold place. It shows synthesizers CAN work in heavy metal music when done right. The song has a great riff and the guitar solo is superb. The song is still quite heavy, although the keyboards are pretty prominent in it.
Wild Nights, Hot And Crazy Days is an AC/DC kind of song, with it's high, Bon Scott-kind of vocals. The riffs, the hooks and the chorus ("Can you feel the beat/Everybody's rocking in the summer heat/As the sun goes down/Now deep down inside/You feel your temperature rise/For those are wild nights/Hot and crazy days/Wild nights/Hot and crazy days") very catchy and the song could've been a great single. The guitar solo isn't really that interesting but beside of that, the song is one of the best on the album.
Hot For Love has also one of the worst lyrics on this album ("No where to run/No where to hide/No where to go/No where to run to/No where to hide this hurt inside/Hot for love/Hot for love/Hot for love/Hot for love"), but the riff is pretty heavy and the guitar solo is just amazing. It has that typical 80's sound and is full of melody. It lasts one whole minute, and it's the longest solo on the album, and also one of their best. Also, this song shows that Rob Halford can sing both high and low perfectly.
The album closer is Reckless. The riff is pretty neat and the chorus is pretty catchy, but somehow the song lacks energy. Maybe it could've been better if it was on Screaming For Vengeance or Defenders Of The Faith. Not a bad song, but it's nothing special.
So as you can see I pretty much like Turbo. Rob Halford has a pretty good performance here and hits some pretty high notes. The guitar work from K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton is not really spectacular like on the previous albums, but it works here. My only complaints about this album is the song Rock You All Around The World and the drumming from Dave Holland. His drumming sounds like it's coming from a drum machine. It's just tedious, and he doesn't do any drum fills here.
Turbo has become a guilty pleasure for me. Most people don't like this album because of the use of synthesizers and the dumb, cheesy lyrics, but if you look through both, you'll see the album has some strong songs, like Turbo Lover, Locked In, Out In The Cold and Hot For Love. It's a shame they never played one of those songs live more often (with the exception of Turbo Lover).
Most people also say the album sounds too commercial. I partly agree with that, the album became platinum one year after it's release. But all that Judas Priest did was experimenting with their sound, and in my opinion, they succeeded. Normally I totally don't like synthesizers in metal music, but here, it doesn't bother me. Because of the synths, (almost) all songs are very melodic, catchy and pleasant to listen too. All in all, a great album.