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To describe this album in one word: surprising.
I didn't expect at all what I heard...it was the Crue, yet for the first time (not counting the self-titled '94 release) they weren't writing songs about the more-than-well-endowed waitress down at their favorite bar, but rather of other matters (with the exception of 'Find Myself' and 'Let us Prey', to some extent)
Okay, maybe I was lying a bit.
It's merely a new sound, somewhat rap-rockish, but with touches a the classic Crue sound (and a remix of 'Shout at the Devil') so they could avoid alienating the old fans, but at the same time, hook new, younger fans as well. It sounds horrid the way I describe it, but its not...
And then, who could forget, the ballads. This time, instead of writing about just random girls, they wrote about things they actually held dear. Nikki wrote 'Rocketship' for his wife, Donna, and Tommy wrote 'Brandon' for his son, Brandon (obviously). Oh, and 'Glitter', about no one in particular (as far as I know), but still beautiful nonetheless.
Tommy also wrote 'Confession', which is apparently about him finding faith. Good for him...but why he found it important to spell 'for' as '4' escapes me.
'Let us Prey', 'A Rat like Me', and 'Afraid' were quite, ahem, 'hard-rocking', while still avoiding that very '10 seconds to love'-esque subject matter....but if you did like the '10 seconds to love'-esque subject matter, you'd probably like 'Beauty'.
In my opinion, this is the Crue's finest hour. But if you don't believe me, and refuse to buy the album, think of it this way: If you had to buy either 'Swine' or the self-titled album, which one would you get?