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Eyes of the World, That's What I Want - 78%

Ritchie Black Iommi, May 21st, 2012

Forgetting about historical and revolutionary aspects of developing music, Ritchie Blackmore decides that he wants to be commercial... but not so commercial. That's why he intends, maybe under the effects of a weird substance, to enlist his love-hate-tragedy friend Ian Gillan to lead the vocals. Anyway, the thing is that, after a bit of auditions, Grahan Bonnet, a nice vocalist with unique tone, maybe not as gifted as Dio, but with that distinctive touch in his throat, took the role and with the priorly-astonishing additions of Roger Glover in the bass, Don Airey, one of the most talented keyboarders in metal and always powerful Cozy in the drumms, the thing was promising, in one way or another, to say the least.

But (and as previous reviews by members of the Metal Archives cleverly noted) the thing about this record is the unshaped or undefined idea for it. It was like doing something like "we love your attention and we are looking for that so anxiously, but we are not a commercial rock band" and this is precisely why all the potential of this formation gets lost. That's why in here we can find very good (though not brilliant) pieces like "Eyes of the World" (by far, the best and the most metal-oriented track of the album, with Ritchie and Airey stealing the show with their progressive-neoclassical soloing) or "Lost in Hollywood" (a remanent spirit of Dio's hard-rocker tunes in previous albums, specially Ritche Blackmore's Rainbow or Long Live Rock n Roll, with Bonnet taking the high pitch) with excellent commercial songs like "All Night Long" and "Since You Been Gone" (both catchy and with a little touch of hard rock, being the album opener track a nice fusion of "trying to be popular while trying to look heavy" stuff. The riff does the thing, Bonnet's singing suites perfectly for the duty and the rest of the team, from backwards, fill the line with total correction. The latter one, well, that's almost pop-rock and stuff. But somehow, the lyrics enter your head and stay there for long time) with crappy and totally forgettable pieces like "Makin' Love" or "Danger Zone", totally unworthy for such a group of talented guys and a guitar god, as Blackmore is. The lyrics are goofy, stupid, without any sense and there isn't anything remarkable in the musical aspect. "No Time to Lose" and "Love's No Friend" are fillers with a more straightforward feeling and they have one or two things to be rescued, maybe some solo's by Ritchie, Bonnet's singing and Airey's work on the keyboards. Maybe not blasters, but they contribute to make those songs a little bit more enjoyable.

For fans of early and modern heavy metal, this album could enter in the in-between line of deception and the famous phrase "it could have been worse". And actually, it isn't totally crappy, au contraire, there are some worthy pieces here. We can find embryonary Don Airey doing his thing, Bonnet is at one of his higher points and Blackmore, as usual, even when he does shit, he does it with style and unique talent. That's why we can find here a couple of powerful and mindstrucker solos and riffs. And if we are going to judge this thing according to the success it had, well, the singles "All Night Long" and "Since You Been Gone" both reached the Top-5 in the UK and the rest of Europe, so, we can't say other thing but "hey, Ritchie, you did it again".

If you are a total metalhead, well, this is, maybe, the last "standable" album by Rainbow until their total downfall with Joe Lynn Turner. A little resurrection would be found with Doogie White. Enjoy it carefully if you think you are tough enough to play it. Otherwise, you better stay away from it and leave this only for Rainbow fans (not even Blackmore fans, the Turner era and Blackmore's Night are for those ones).