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Suckers Sucks...But Maybe Not That Much. - 65%

rbright1674, July 12th, 2017

Okay...the first thing to understand (and probably the most important) is that 1987 was full of very bad tidings for Twisted Sister. Of course, anybody watching MTV or listening to the radio in 1984 was subjected to "Stay Hungry", their watershed, and had a pretty good idea of what to expect from them. A few words come to mind, but the one that sums up 1984 for the band would best be described as a barnstormer. Basically, you heard about them, you saw them, and they were part of the public consciousness, for better or worse. Twisted Sister, at long last, were here.

"Come Out and Play" was, of course, met with mixed results and the novelty of the band wore thin very quickly - probably quicker than Atlantic Records would have suspected. The inherit silliness of Twisted Sister was definitely overshadowing the music by that point and other acts were storming past them both in credibility and (more importantly) sales. Something had to break, and it shouldn't come as much surprise that Atlantic brought in a bunch of new faces and ordered Twisted Sister to head in a more contemporary, less cartoonish direction to keep pace with the hair and glam metal bands that were taking over the world. The old shtick wasn't going to cut it and marching orders came down from the top.

The result of all this was 1987's "Love is for Suckers". The first immediate selling point (if you can call it that) would be the cover - quite a far cry from "We're (chuckle) crazy dangerous!" approach to "Stay Hungry" and the "Alley behind the dive bar" dinginess of "Come Out and Play". Nah, instead of that, we get some stimulating oral visuals here instead, making sure to come closer to White Lion's and Def Leppard's and Bon Jovi's and so on and so forth. Product's gotta sell to it's market, of course - but the real question is, how about the music?

Well, it turns out that Twisted Sister (with more than a little outside help) managed to actually come fairly close to the sound that was desired for the time. Love songs? Check. Power ballad? Check. Party anthems? Check. Keyboards? Check. The grittiness, the dirtiness that permeated the first few albums (all very tongue in cheek) is not surprisingly absent for the majority of the album. A notable exception to that being the surprisingly potent album opener, "Wake Up (The Sleeping Giant)", which is honestly a straight up winner and without a doubt right in the classic Twisted Sister tradition - an "us vs. them" anthem that definitely sets a tone that the rest of the album really doesn't deliver on.

But does the rest of the album suck then? Well...yes and no. "Hot Love" (the single) is pretty much exactly what you'd expect it to be - flash, keyboards, moderately heavy guitars (but only enough to be radio friendly and one of the few elements that would even mark it as Twisted Sister) and pop lyrics about being flushed by that "one girl" that walks into the room out of nowhere and blows your mind. Absolutely typical of the era, but god damn if it really doesn't get it hooks in you. If you're not tapping your foot and hoping that the hero gets her by the end of the track, you're probably a sadist. It's vapid, it's dumb, but it's catchy. And if that was the aim, well, mission accomplished.

The title track is a lot more upbeat and urgent, and it does pick up the pace of the album a bit after the moderate radio fare of "Hot Love" - had we skipped the single and went from the opening track to the title track, one would be inclined to think that album was maybe a little more go-for-the-throat overall. It definitely has a solid instrumental break to it and it's proof that there are certainly some good moments to be found here, if you look for them; "Tonight" is another moderately decent standout cut, "Me and the Boys" has a great party/unity vibe to it, and "Yeah Right!" has a pretty solid chug to it. Unfortunately, the album has a couple of total stinkers to it ("I'm So Hot for You", "One Bad Habit", "I Want This Night to Last Forever"). Firmly in place of course is the mandatory power ballad in "You Are All That I Need", which is a keyboard laden imperative promising true love forever to your girlfriend. Musically, there's very little about it to be really excited about, but Dee Snider sings it with such conviction that you just can't help to feel his honesty shining through it. Crazy as it sounds, he basically saves the song from being a totally ball-less fluff piece otherwise and at least relegates it to 50% listenable if nothing else.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Twisted Sister split up after this album. Atlantic pushing them into radio friendly territory really was a very bad move, especially at a time like 1987. Had the label any real confidence in the band, they would have played to their strengths instead of demanding alterations to what was previously a winning formula. In reflection, the album stands out like a red headed stepchild among their entire discography, of that there's no question - but for the dedicated listener, there are a few gems hidden in it at different points that are absolutely worth the time and effort to check out.

Me and the Boys, and Our Naughty Little Sisters - 85%

bayern, May 16th, 2017

Even at their cheesiest and silliest, Twisted Sister can deliver better than 90% of the metal constellation, and this swansong here is a most affirmative illustration of that. The band were never the most aggressive and the heaviest outfit on the planet, to begin with, readily displaying the rock’n roll side of their non-conformist nature, so an eventual surrender to the pop metal carnival was to be expected. Besides, it was the fuckin’ late-80’s, for crying out loud; the only way for one to survive was to either be a thrasher or a glammer… Unless you were in the privileged status of a grave digger, or a blind guardian (of the graves again I guess), preferably residing in Germany, also running wild around the German black mountains looking for the perfect spot to celebrate Helloween… sorry, Halloween.

If you’re not an incorrigible musical hypocrite, or an 80’s Neanderthal buried six feet under, painstakingly waiting for the rising death metal wave to hit with full force, there’s no way you won’t be moved, at least a little bit, by this supremely catchy, infectious ode to the pop metal aesthetics which took over the field once Motley Crue’s “Theatre of Pain” saw the light of day. Dee Snider and Co. waited for no second invitation, and hit with the album reviewed here which still presents them in a fairly good shape, especially at the beginning with “Wake Up (the Sleeping Giant)”, one of the five best songs the band have ever created, a stomping battle hymn that would wake up all the ghouls, ogres, orks and other abominations from the Tolkien opuses. It’s not going to be a powerhouse marvel, this Twisted Sister’s effort, and “Hot Love” puts out its optimistic merry-go-round rhythms, the ultimate damsel seducer if there ever was one with Snider seldom sounding sweeter before or after. The title-track nearly restores all the faith lost with the previous “women’s heart catcher”, a nearly speed metal anthem for which cut alone this album should be lent an ear by the Savage Grace or Scanner fans. A head-over-heels slide down the cheesy slope follows suit with the sing-along hard rock hit “I’m so Hot for You” (a lot of heat here…), and the dynamic roller-coaster “Tonight” which is almost as good as the Motley Crue number of the same title (from “Theatre of Pain” again).

“Me and the Boys” carries on with the pop metal fiesta which in this case has a strong old school rock’n roll vibe the latter staying around for the next “One Bad Habit” also thanks to the tell-tale chorus. “I Want This Night to Last Forever” is probably the only song that you won’t want to last forever, the only mitigated flop here. It’s really hard to describe this over-the-top combination of yellow and white cheese; it’s a kind of a bouncy semi-ballad which goes even beyond the glam metal canons into a universe where it could instigate perennial orgies around swimming pools full of champagne (or milk); a party rouser for a lack of a better definition. The undisputable masters of the ballad format, second only to Scorpions, the Sisters have to pull themselves together for at least one such piece, and “You Are All That I Need” perfectly fits the bill although it’s performed with so much pseudo-soporific pathos that for the gullible and the fainter of heart this number may indeed be all that they need in order to start crying on the shoulders of their beloved. Poignant, poignant stuff all around the settled “idyll” rudely broken by “Yeah Right!”, the closer, a highly energetic jumpy heavy metal winner which would make all the fandom shout out the chorus (“Yeah Right (2), We Got You Now”) and mosh to oblivion. The Sisters really got us this time, here and now…

The problem is that with such a sweet collection of tracks the effect may not be very long as apart from a pure fun value this album doesn’t have any more lasting merits. However, if one wants to fully immerse him/herself into the carefree, frivolous “all get naked” atmosphere of the late-80’s US metal scene, this effort would be the best soundtrack for this purpose also due to the preserved hard edge from the band’s earlier recordings, an invaluable additive which Motley Crue’s “Girls, Girls, Girls”, Cinderella’s “Long Cold Winter”, or Warrant’s “Cherry Pie” sorely missed.

It’s debatable whether this was the most dignified swansong the band could provide after a really strong career, with tens of millions of albums sold, but surely it was far from a flop. On the contrary, it exhibited a side from the guys’ repertoire that was constantly hinted at; it just remained to be seen how it would be pulled off on an album containing an entire setlist of popping hard’n heavy party stirrers. Yes, “love is for suckers” indeed, but it hurts much less to hear that coming from the mouths of our naughty little “sisters”…

You'd have to be a real sucker to enjoy this... - 4%

Brainded Binky, August 24th, 2014

They were goofy, they were audacious, and they were a lot of fun to listen to. Yet after the release of their classic hits "I Wanna Rock" and "We're Not Gonna Take It", the infamous Atlantic Records pushed Twisted Sister to make their sound even more ridiculous than their looks. And by "even more ridiculous", I mean more friendly for the public than anything on "Stay Hungry" (as if they thought something as benign as Rod Stewart was offensive!). The result is this overtly cliched '80s glam metal bucket of rhino dung that we call "Love is for Suckers".

There is a bit of radio friendliness in the albums that preceded this one, but those albums were more tolerable and even a little fun. They had elements that made Twisted Sister stand out from the typical glam band of the '80s, like songs with lyrics that relate to individuality ("I Am, I'm Me"), life issues ("The Price"), and horror ("Burn in Hell"). "Love is for Suckers", however, really pushes the label, and all of the elements that made Twisted Sister unique are completely thrown out the window in place of conforming to popular glam band standards. What we get here are all of the "'80s hair metal" cliches you've ever heard before. What more could you expect from a song entitled "I'm So Hot For You"? Meh...been there, done that...

One of the worst offenders on this album is "Hot Love". It's basically the poster child for insipid glam anthems done in peppy tones in a vain attempt to sell records. Dee Snider is best known for the swagger and brashness in his vocals. With this song, however, he sounds like a 50-year-old dad desperate for attention, which really doesn't sound like him at all. The riffs are basic, happy-sounding chords and therefore they don't sound all that mesmerizing. And don't forget the idiotic chorus with basic glam lyrics ("You're making me crazy, think I'll go mad"). Of course it's about love! It wouldn't sell if it wasn't a pretentious puppy love song, now would it? When slapped together, these aspects make a cookie-cutter glam song that would fit perfectly in the awful "Rock of Ages" movie with Tom Cruise as a glam metal singer.

Unfortunately for us, "Hot Love" is only one example of the sheer idiocy that we're subject to when listening to the album. Of course with every album that has to cater to the hair band crowd, there has to be a power ballad. In this case, we have "You Are All That I Need" and as you may have guessed, it's incredibly slow and weepy. Unsurprisingly, there are also synthesizers in it to make it sound so sweet that all of your teeth would be rotted by cavities by the time it gets to the chorus. Come to think of it, getting a root canal for every rotted tooth in your mouth would be a lot less painful than having to endure this wimpy serenade. Aside from the inherently redundant theme of love, we also get another lyrical theme that is typical of glam metal; rocking. Some songs on here that feature this are "Me and the Boys" and "Tonight", both of them being just as bright and ridiculous as a song like "Hot Love".

Twisted Sister is no stranger to songs about rocking, so yes, there are still some traces of Twisted Sister's roots. That's probably in one song, though, and that's "Wake Up (the Sleeping Giant)". It's pretty much the only song on here that qualifies as even likable, 'cos it's got a grinding hook, the kind of hook that Twisted Sister is best known for. Also, Dee does some of his signature bad boy-style vocals we heard on previous albums, and because of this we actually hear the band that we once knew (as opposed to all of the rest of the songs on the album, which don't sound like anything the band would do). The song, sadly, does not save the album from being largely ignored even by Twisted Sister's hardcore fans, 'cos since it's the first track on the album, it all goes downhill from here.

It's no wonder Twisted Sister split up soon after this album's release. Gone is the fun of listening to a band that was more creative and silly, therefore setting itself apart from bands like Poison and Warrant. "Love is for Suckers" is truly a travesty of an album that I'm pretty sure has been done to death several times before by several other bands. It makes me want to cry knowing that one of the few glam bands that we could enjoy stooped to the level of the glam bands we hated all for the sake of pleasing the record label.

Psi Kappa Poo, the twisted frat... eh, sorority - 22%

Napero, February 7th, 2011

Synopsis of the movie, with a keen fan's remarks of the music

Brad (the relatively normal guy), Kevin (the nerd, whose dad lived in the same frat house 25 years earlier and got regularly humiliated by Frank Morgan IV's dad, Frank Morgan III), Tyler (the full-time stoner, but with a heart of gold and trustworthy enough to stand up for his friends when the situation really calls for it) and Toaster (the smelly creep with a collection of four hundred stolen bras) all find themselves in the decrepit Psi Kappa Poo fraternity in the beginning of their freshman year, ready to experience the new world, party hard, and, naturally to get rid of their virginity. The future seems bright, until they step through the door and find a really terrible party going on. A group of guys is working on a beer bong, there are three girls dancing drunkenly with their shirts off -but the bras still on, of course- and someone is riding down the staircase with a toilet seat mounted on a shopping cart. Everything is covered in thrown toilet paper rolls. You know, the usual frathouse party. And all the while, the ultimate party tune, "Tonight", plays in the background, offering a hard-rocking rebellious setting for the obviously disturbing decadence.

In the wee hours, the party goes on. Tyler giggles on the sofa with a few kindred souls, and the homegrown they have seems to be potent. Kevin finds himself drunk for the first time ever, and finds himself in his underwear on the street, with a kids' inflatable swimming toy around his waist... it naturally leads to a cruel joke by a bunch girls passing him in a convertible, who refer to the duck head in the toy in ways difficult to describe without spoiling the moment fro the future watchers of the movie. Toaster amanges to drink two bottles of bad whiskey, and finally wakes up wearing most of his bra collection. Brad almost manages to get a feel of a boob, but decides against it, because Deborah, the girl in question, is too drunk and his consciousness object. All the time, the ultimate party tune, "I Want This Night to Last Forever" plays in the background.

But little do our heroes know that the stuck-up tight-ass better folks' frat house Gamma Omega Dick, with its tie-and-cardigan-wearing HQ group led by the bitter asshole called Frank Morgan IV, is planning to finally end the five decades long feud between the houses by utterly destroying the Psi Kappa Poo. Their devilish plans include framing the party house in a truly despicable way, and to let the university dean, Edward Worthington, witness a bunch of the residents, unavoidably our heroes, naked in a flock of sheep in front of the statue of the university founder Jeremiah Metusalah Buttsmith, the famous hot air balloon pilot from 1822 who disappeared while trying to deliver with his balloon "The Loose Barbara" a shipment of much needed leeches to save a diseased expedition caught up in the ice somewhere in northern Canada. On the background, we hear the ultimate defiant hard rock party tune "Yeah Right!" playing, in an ironic and counter-intuitive way, if we keep in mind the severity of the situation. The dean, of course, gets overrun by a sheep stampede, and wows to end the frat house in the next session of the campus disciplinary committee.

The next morning is merciless, and the mood is depressed. The future of the house is at stake, and the Gamma Omega Dicks have almost certainly won. The fight seems to be over, until Frank Morgan IV appears at the house and gloats over his victory and brilliance of his plan. He gets chased away by the cougar that somehow ended up in the cleaning closet during the party two days earlier, and uncharacteristically, Toaster, of all people, makes an uplifting motivational speech. He goes through the glorious history of the house, Buttsmith's unyielding character, the need to show those uptight pseudo-Ivy League jerks what Psi Kappa Poo is made of, and other trivialities. The crew decides to make the one last stand, a brilliant plan emerges but does not get revealed yet, and the heroes start gathering the gear they need. With the ultimate comeback hard rock party tune "Wake Up (The Sleeping Giant)" playing in the background for some added feeling of defiance, they steal seven boxes of eggplants, aquire neon-pink spray paint, steal the dean's bobsled, use Toaster's bra collection's finest silk trophies to construct a miniature hot air balloon powered by a lava lamp, and somehow end up with half a dozen golden vibrators, too.

The plan is almost foiled when Toaster decides to take Kevin for some peeping Tom action on the night just before the disciplinary comittee's meeting, and the two end up in the county jail with a stereotypical black pimp. They manage to get out by lying that Toaster is actually Frank Morgan IV, and the pimp repays the good deed by having her Rubenesque emloyee, Latricia, bomb Kevin's face with her boobs. She has tassles on them, because showing the nipples of tits over the cup size C was considered bad taste back when the movie was made. All the while, the ultimate decadent free sex party tune, "Hot Love" plays in the background. Kevin's glasses have condenced moisture on them, and Toaster manages to get a new trophy "worth three hot air balloons" to his collection when he steals Latricia's bra before they depart.

Meanwhile, knowing that the plan is likely to fail, Brad visits Deborah's sorority house, and apologizes for things that would not need an apology in the real world. Deborah shows her other side, discarding her thick-rimmed glasses and opening her ponytail, and when she disappears downwards from the frame, looking hotter than ever before in the nerd-girl apparel, we see only Brad's confused, amusing and happy face as the deplorable act of fellatio is alluded to, but not shown, of course. All the while, the ultimate party tune, "I'm so Hot for You" plays in the background, and Brad knows that even if the fraternity should end there and then, his trip to the university has been worth it. That's the power of sexuality!

The plan is getting set up, and our heroes set up the gear. The eggplants are in the catapult, everybody has the spray paint cans on their utility belts, and as the ninja costume wearing Toaster clumsily sneaks into the dean's office to stash the vibrators in the desk drawer, the ultimate male bonding party tune "Me And the Boys" plays in the background. Everything is set, and the great showdown is about to take place.

Just as the committee meeting is about to start, things almost go awry. Every single one of the heroes spots the object of theuir love in the critical moment: Brad sees Deborah looking for him with a concerned look in her eyes, Toaster spots Alyssa, the girl he went peeping on with Kevin, and she is obviously not wearing a bra, Tyler giggles on a park bench and encounters a dreadlocked hippy girl named Leaf, with really potent weed, and even Kevin spots Latricia in the street corner. All the while, the ultimate love anthem party tune "You Are All That I Need" plays in the background. The heroes, knowing this is the moment of truth and destiny, return to their positions, and concentrate on their task ahead.

As the catapult finally throws the eggplants, one of them hits Deborah on the head, and as Brad lunges forward to save her and apologize again, the chaos all around finds peculiar forms. It's revealed that the dean actually has nylon stockings and a garter belt beneath his conservative everyday clothing, Frank Morgan IV gets severe conscussion and reveals himself to be gay, and the disciplinary committee's mascot moose runs away and sets Gamma Omega Dick's frat house on fire. The hot air balloon just floats in the background, doing nothing meaningful but looking decadent, and several Gamma Omega Dick members get spray painted in a really amusing way. The dean's wife finds the vibrators, and hauls the poor man out of the office by his ear, mentioning that tonight, there will be NO safe words. The cougar again attacks Frank Morgan IV, Kevin gets more than just boob pounding beneath the football field's spectator stand from the robust lady, and Tyler appears in the critical moment and punches Frank Morgan IV's DAD (!) in the nose, thus saving the day. He gets a passionate kiss from Leaf, and as their mouths part, the wisp of smoke they both exhale tells us that this is true love. Toaster grabs Alyssa, and they escape the enraged policemen in the bobsled, now fitted with JATO rockets. All the while, the ultimate making-up and making-out party tune "Love is For Suckers" plays in the background, adding to the climax and escorting the couples in love from the aftermath. Deborah forgives Brad, and before going back to the frat house for some more serious action, they take a couple of the eggplants with them, Deborah making really naughty faces all the time.

The last three minutes of the movie are spent in the WILD party the crew has once the situation has been defused and the house saved. The moose and the cougar are there, and the amount of beer sprayed around is incredible! Someone improves the toilet-seat-on-the-shopping-cart contraption with the remaining JATO rocket, and Toaster's moonshine still explodes, raining the hundreds of bras downstairs like confetti on the party crew. All the time, the ultimate frat house party tune "One Bad Habit" plays in the background, bringing in the ending credits to the tune of party hard rock and severely decadent lovemaking...

Yep, people, the soundtrack is just as good as the movie. Get it, if you really insist. Don't blame the reviewer if you do, though.

5 great songs and then some - 73%

morbert, May 31st, 2009

Decent standard rock album but not a good TS album 73

Let me come to the point immediately. If you're very much into eighties (glam) rock, this is just a good album. Great vocals, some marvellous songs. Typical late eighties radio friendly production. The only problem is, this is Twisted Sister, one expects a lot more! Yes, I know the album wasn't even recorded as a Twisted Sister album but a Snider solo album. And as such it differs just a bit too much.

The earlier Twisted Sister albums all had a 'glitch' in the production. They never sounded too polished. There was always a raw edge soundwise. In most cases it was the drums. Lumberjacking. Too heavily for arena rock standards on paper yet they actually became an arena rock standard. Here on 'Love is For Suckers' the drums still have that heavy touch but in a more polished way and the guitars have a lot of extra reverb and are dropped a bit in the mix so the vocals stand out more than usual.

Biggest problem I have with this album is that I get bored with it after the fifth song. In fact I mostly only play the first three song which I all like a lot. 'Wake Up (The Sleeping Giant)' and 'Love is For Suckers' both still sound a bit like Twisted Sister but 'Hot Love' is something different which I actually like a lot. Even though the chorus is extremely hair metal, the delay-reverb guitars during the verses give me goosebumps. I get that Bill&Ted feeling, hard to explain. If you're looking for the embodiment of the eighties rock sound, this song is it. It is just perfect! Call me a sentimental old git, I couldn't care, I love it! On 'Hot For You' they just try too hard to sound like eighties Kiss and I can easily imagine Gene Simmons singing this song. And to make thing even funnier, following song 'Tonight' has Paul Stanley written all over it. After these two Kiss-tributes, which are both pretty sweet actually, the fun is over.

Starting with 'Me and the Boys' it just gets ridiculous. A chorus that could've been written by a ten year old. This ain't School Of Rock, damn it. 'One Bad Habit' and 'I Want This Night to Last Forever' is where Dee loses it even more. These songs would do good on a second rate hair metal album. 'You Are All That I Need' is a ballad but it totally lacks that either epic or sheer beautiful chorus to make it a good song. 'Yeah Right!' is quite okay again, an up tempo poprock tune but it comes way too late to save the very bad second half of the album. By the way, the percusion sounds pretty bad on this song.

So in the end, this album isn't the nightmare some people claim it to be. For eighties hair metal it is actually very good. For Twisted Sister standards however it lacks heaviness, viciousness and Dee's toungue-in-cheek approach seems to have vanished for good. In both cases (looking for Twisted Sister stuff or just Hair metal) only half the album is really worth your time. So get this album cheap somewhere, play the first 5 songs and then take it out while you can.

This album fucking sucks - 50%

UltraBoris, December 30th, 2002

Just look at the song titles... this is really mediocre. There are pretty much three decent songs on here, the title track, "Wake Up" and "Tonight", and the rest are terrible. The title track is pretty fucking cool, though, with its Electric Eye riff in the middle played at 75% speed. "Well well, if it isn't little miss perfect... electric eye... in the sky." Seriously!

The rest? Glam rock crap. Stuff that Poison would ejaculate over. As I said, just look at the song titles... the title track is actually kinda not bad in that silly 80s sense, but it has the balls of Barry Bonds after twenty years of steroids. I'm still indecisive if the last song, "Yeah Right" (we've got you now!) is the confession that the rest of the album is a complete fucking sham. Well, it is.

So why not a lower rating? It's still catchy, and kinda fun - better than that grating crap that the 90s have forcefed us. But still, this is nowhere near the level of Burn in Hell.