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Stryper > Can't Stop the Rock: The Stryper Collection 1984-1991 > Reviews
Stryper - Can't Stop the Rock: The Stryper Collection 1984-1991

Whose Collection? Stryper is certainly not! - 59%

Kalelfromkrypton, August 2nd, 2010

I have reviewed some of the ‘best of’ and ‘hits’ for Tourniquet, Mortification, etc. I have always had problems with compilations like these because although there could be hundreds of opinions and thousands of different tastes, there are certain songs and ‘public domain’ opinions in regards to what a ‘best of/hits’ compilations should be an/or do for a band. There is always the question whether it is for the band itself (and get more money to their arcs) or for the fans (who would buy almost anything depending on the ‘’diehard’’ level of fanatics) or to try to get new masses to their sound, but this raises the question of: are the new potential fans out there attracted because they actually think the band is cool enough or just because the hits are friendly enough to be catchy and stick into their minds? This will go on for years.

One of the problems I have with old glam and some heavy metal/hard rock bands (especially American) is that they were recognized only by ballads. Think Cinderella…’You know what you’ve got (till it’s gone)’ is the first coming to your mind; if you think Firehouse: ‘When I look into your eyes’ is probably the first one thought of; for Motley Crue is ‘Home sweet home’, and so on and so forth. To think it honestly (pun intended!) stinks! If you consider that by now Stryper had 5 good and not so good albums with let’s say 10 songs per album, we are talking about 50 songs plus 3 unreleased tracks. Out of those 53 there are 11 ballads at least. On this 12 song compilation you get 5 ballads. Read again: 5 ballads. In other words, 42% of this compilation is ballads. That’s got to suck! Believe it or not, the disappointment of the band (in recent years) was that much that they put out another compilation on their own, one that really does have a best off. The problem lies whereas these bands were much the wet fantasies of girls coming to their shows. Thus, emotion was their first grip and girls really catch the goods. Macho man bands were left (for the vast majority) to boys, saying, WASP, Manowar, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Sepultura, etc. who are actually remembered by their kicking ass heavy metal and not sappy ballads.

‘Believe’ opens and it is actually after ‘Lady’ the second best ballad they ever put out. It has a driving melody that is outstanding due to the vocal lines. The drumming is, for the first time in Robert’s entire career, really solid and interesting. The guitar solo shines by itself and it is one of the best guitar solos they have performed, not to mention the lyrical topic which is explained in the album’s page. Next is ‘Can’t stop the rock’ and it is a hard edge/in-your-face heavy metal tune. It has a powerful riff and screamed vocals all around. It has a ‘let’s go crazy’ attitude which I love from the band. The solo is cool but the drumming sections are what don’t grab me that much. The production and sound mixing on these two songs are really cool.

I have to warn you that I will not go reviewing song by song. To do that, go and check the album’s reviews since they are quite interesting. I am reviewing the songs choice for this compilation and what I think of it as a compilation, not what I think of the songs except the two unreleased tracks.

The ‘hits’ synapses can be summarized like this: From ‘The yellow and black attack’ we get only one song and it is easily the best on ‘you know what to do’ with its solid riff (production doesn’t help, mind you), good standard drumming, cool lyrics and nice flow and structure. From ‘Soldiers Under Command’ we get the title track and oh, a super corny ballad ‘Together as one’. From ‘To hell with the devil’ we got the awesome title track, ‘Free’ and guess: the ballad ‘Honestly’. From ‘In God we trust’ we got the title track and ‘Always there for you’. From ‘Against the law’ (for the record their heaviest material, heavy as fuck and similar in weight to Scorpions ‘Crazy World’) we get the two ballads only. That is it my friends! That is the perfect way to spit cream and sugar into your face. If that is a heavy metal compilation then my balls are heavier than this shit over sugar coated compilation.

The cover doesn’t help either. The black & white logo is cool but a rock picture in the back to suggest the ‘Can’t stop the rock’ title is just utter shit. A collage of the albums would have been a lot better. There are interesting pictures and albums chronology plus some liner notes and synopsis of the band’s history which was kind of nice but that does not help this from sinking.

Where the hell are the most rocking and good melodic songs?, saying: ‘More than a man’, ‘Against the law’, ‘Two time woman’, ‘Reach out’, ‘Makes me wanna sing’, ‘All for one’, the b-side ‘Winter Wonderland’, etc. I think you got my point. If you want a Stryper compilation, go and get the one they released in recent years ‘7th, the best of Stryper’ because this one honestly (pun intended) is pure sweet candy that will make you be desiring for more. As far as I am concerned, it makes me vomit. I guess that for any ignorant, sorry, anyone who has not listened to the band this is a start but again this is simply not their best. It is a sappy collection of ballads and title tracks.