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What A Shame - 9%

elfo19, April 20th, 2009

While I have never been a huge Queensryche fanboy like a lot of a people, and I have never considered "Midcrime" a masterpiece, I still own all their albums. I like them, but I don't love them. And while all of their other albums have some sort of redeeming factor that makes me come back and listen again, this latest release has none. I can not ever see myself listening to this rubbish again.

And it really is for the most part rubbish. It is the most middle-of-the-road, boring, sleep-inducing music I've ever owned. Throughout this album we get mid-tempo Linkin Park rip-offs, mid-tempo rock songs, mid-tempo metal songs, mid-tempo ballads, mid-tempo rockers, and mid-tempo "snooze-fests." It's a good album to put an infant to sleep with, as it's not very loud, it's got lots of soothing narrations, and it's all very light and fluffy.

While I know that the members of Queensryche have talent because I have heard their other albums, I wouldn't know if I had only heard this one. The band cruises along at a continous tempo, playing through the motions as if they are reading from sheet music written by another musician for the first time. While the subject matter should make the music very heart-felt and emotional, this music is so emotionless it occasionaly hurts physically.

To come to Tate's vocals, which seem to be constantly brought up in reviews of this album, wheter they are trashed or praised, I think they are decent. I have never been fond of him as a vocalist but he is a skilled singer, and he has always made it happen. I don't think he does a particuarly bad job here, but that's the issue, he doesn't do a particuarly good job either. This becomes most apparent when he is blown away by the guest vocals of his own daughter in the song "Home Again." This is by far the best song on the album and without it I would have given this album around a 2 instead of a 9. It is the one shimmering moment of hope, a glimmer of inspiration, of musical skill and melodic wonder. All this due mostly to the vocals of Tate's daughter. She literally saves the song, making the dull music of this album all of a sudden fresh and wonderous. Tate's own vocals on the song are mediocre at best.

The album plods along. It drags like a ball and chain on your ankle. It does little to try to make itself interesting. Most of it's lengthy run-time is filled with veterans telling fragments of stories. All very interesting, but not what I paid for Mr. Tate. It's nothing but a waste of time, a waste of money, a waste of CDs, a waste of plastic, of paper, of stickers, of advertising, of veterans, a complete waste of EVERYTHING. It's sad but true. The album is nothing but an excuse to release another album. It has no purpose, no goal, at least none that it achieves.

And as astonishing as it is, the album does an extremely poor job of capturing the mood of being a soldier. Instead of feeling like a soldier in a war, I felt like a poor sap at a Creed, or a Nickelback concert. Does this sound like something you want to listen to? Of course not.

I really don't know what else to say. I do however have one suggestion: don't buy this album, instead pay a dollar for "Home Again" so you can hear the brilliant vocals of Tate's daughter. The rest is crap.