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Good album gone bad... - 80%

bloodnthunder, December 31st, 2005

I am not a big fan of Yngwie, to be honest I've gotten rid of every album of his that I've gotten. My main problem with him are the usual criticims of overdone guitar leads at the expense of any other qualities of the music and the sometimes cheesy songwriting/lyrics. But its ironic that I find one of his most heavily criticized releases to be one of the only ones I can enjoy. Mainly this is the best song writing I have heard from Yngwie. Though I'm not familar with all of his work, what I hear on this album are very solid songs, well structured and each one stands out from the rest so at no point does the album get tired and overdone. There's actually some really great songs here- but here in lies the problem: they are completely disguised under production that is so flagrantly bad and obvious that one wonders if it was intentional. I don't know who is at fault here, but with rhythm guitar that gets lost in a low-end mush, stale drums, and vocals that struggle to rise above all the noise, it can be frustrating to listen to at times. Nevertheless I recommend the album for anyone brave enough to give it a chance. Mark Boals does give a good performance on vocals and Yngwie shows his prowess as a bass player as well. Great cover art too.
By the way, just skip the bonus track entirely. Its reggae and it could very well be the worst song ever recorded. (If you want to duplicate the guitar sound just get something stuck in your garbage disposal,)
Also, in true Yngwie style he's go no less than 17 photos of self-infatuation adorning the inside of the album- may be a new record.