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by Martin Popoff

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Fresh Metal

Megadeth The World Needs A Hero

I know, old album. But this review ran in a bunch of places, but not here, and I'm getting way too many emails asking for it to be posted here, so here it is, months after the fact. Okay, read: Folks whose opinions I value are all saying the same thing about this album: good but not great, usually with an impatient wave of the hand, betraying a tiring of the road we all are traveling with the two Daves. Read the interviews and it just gets worse, Mustaine being all too upfront with the fact that he just wants to figure out how to get some fans back. His defense of Risk during that record's interviews was much more forceful than his defense of this one. In fact, he really doesn't talk about the album very much. In any even, the creator is entitled to one set of emotions and the listeners another. And with The World Needs A Hero, those will be conflicting, Megadeth delivering a record of quality mainstream metal that is quintessentially Megadead circa the ten foot square between Youthanasia and Cryptic. More than half the songs are pretty damn good, even if there are obvious and deliberate rehashes. The end result is a hurried version of a watery version of Countdown To Extinction, two negatives applied to an overwhelmingly positive album (Countdown) resulting in a modestly positive album. And materially justified or not, The World Needs A Hero seems incredibly autobiographical, like a solo album, which means if you are entertained by the workings of Dave's mind, machinations which seem to swing wildly between sly, lawyerly, patronizing deception and refreshing career-limiting honesty, then let the soundtrack begin, explained, spoken, cajoled and sneered through Dave's increasingly eccentric, unhewn crank of a vocal. I love that Megadeth are the only band on the planet that plays this style of metal. No one riffs, sings or composes remotely like this; no one ever did. But this album seems like one foot on the gas, one foot on the brake, moderately heavy, semi-creative songs interspersed with songs that might be played on some weird radio somewhere.
Rating 6

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