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Ladies and gents we're back to my favorite band in the world, JUDAS MOTHERFUCKING PRIEST! The album today..."Turbo"? Uh-oh. 1986's "Turbo" was an album that marked a change for Priest. They began to experiment with a more commercial sound, adding synthesizer guitars, synth pulses and even those awful drum machines to the formula. The result was an album that till this very day still continues to violently divide metal fandom right down the bloody middle.
Admittedly, the performance of the band is a bit more lackluster this time around. The usual aggression, wailing and punch of Halford's voice is scaled back here; he now sings a good chunk of the album with a slightly bored-sounding mid-ranged hum. It works well for some of the more atmospheric numbers, but what the Metal God was thinking and feeling during the recording sessions is anyone's guess. Downing and Tipton on their guitars are the brightest spots here, riffing it up big time and trading off their solos with more gusto than album offers overall. Ian Hill is nothing special here; he just sort of drones along himself, although he does spout a few okay riffs or fills occasionally. Dave Holland rounds it out (unevenly mind you) on the drums. I have a personal vendetta against this guy, as I solely blame him for a majority of Priest's lack of sonic speed and technicality during the 80's. His drumming is so boring, so pedestrian, that Halford, Tipton and Downing had to write WHOLE albums down to painfully simplistic levels so his lame "tap tap taps" could keep up with the wholly superior musicianship of his fellow cohorts. Why they kept this guy through the whole damn decade is beyond me, but I guess what it is what it is.
There are two kinds of songs of this album: basically, ones that suck, and ones that don't. Major suckage: "We don't need no...NO NO NO Parental Guidance yeah." Ugh. Aside from that SLIGHTLY groovable chorus, this is one lame, pandering little number that should be forgotten at all costs. Shoot on sight! This is immediately followed by "Rock You All Around The World". The chorus is slightly better, as is the surprisingly scorching solo, but the lame, kitschy lyrics kill it dead. Up next is that album "epic", "Out In The Cold" with it's aggravating overabundance of synthesizers and slow, plodding nature. Skippable! Then there's worst song on here, "Wild Nights, Hot and Crazy Days". This is fucking garbage; it's totally lame Poison worship from the back to the front. Hazardous to your health!
Higher Points: "Turbo Lover", the album's quasi- title track, has rich atmosphere, a damn fine solo with goof Downing-Tipton trade-offs, and a slow, spine-tingling build-up to the chorus. The more uptempo "Locked In", despite its corny lyrics, is catchy, fun and has probably my favorite solo on the album, short as it may be. The heavy, slightly sinister (sounding) "Private Property" is now up. More silly lyrics, yes, put it's offput by the heaviness, a loud Tipton-led solo, and a great rhythm to the song. A personal favorite is "Hot For Love", with it's dark, sleazy atmosphere, hard drumming and some of Halford's meaner vox on the album. The fantastic "Reckless" ends it all. This a cool, high energy song with a killer upbeat chorus, damn good melody and lyrics, I must admit, I fucking love. And if you're lucky to have the Columbia remaster, you'll also get the great "All Fired Up" a speed metaller in the fearsome but upbeat vein of "Reckless", only faster.
Overall, this album does have some serious problems. About four of the songs are pretty bad, some so much so that I'm sure it'll ruin the experience for a few of you. But fear not, the good songs are indeed stronger. If you can get past the bad numbers and sense of commercialization, then you'll be rewarded with a metal nugget of fun.