Hard Reviews
by Martin Popoff

Martin Popoff is the author of The Collector's Guide To Heavy Metal, a 540 page, 600,000 word compendium comprising 3,700 heavy metal record reviews. Also included are rock lists, a glossary of terms, a concise listing of almost 500 9's and 10's, plus a roll-call of non-metal faves. New to this edition is an exclusive 19 track sampler CD from Century Media. The book is now in its second pressing. For more information, visit the book website or contact martinp@hardradio.com

Fresh Metal

Chris Cornell - Euphoria Morning

When I heard (as the months ticked by) that this wasn't that rockin', my anticipation crested, because of my high regard for mellow Soundgarden, then waned once I saw a few reviews. Fact is, this thing's quite a snoozer, as impenetrable as the awkward, ill-fitting record title, a cross between Radiohead, Oasis, soft Lenny Kravitz, softer Manic Street Preachers and the bits of Soundgarden which were so mellow, they felt unarranged. Love the guy's voice, and his lyrics, but too much of this just lopes with no directive, most every track adding some sort of new alternative/acid jazz novelty effect (usually just a smarmy guitar tone) that just distracts from the songs while adding little. Like the large amounts of sinking, soaring and general motion in the lyrics, I just felt awash in this thing, listen after listen, and not in a good way. We Canuckleheads can go ahead and compare it to the dreaded Edwin slab, 'cos it's the same sort of cyclical meander. There are hooky tracks (Flutter Girl, Page/Planter Follow My Way and just barely Pillow Of Your Bones), but much of it is this Gap-garbed nu-Beatles stuff that pushes away enjoyment.
Rating 6

Tribute To Aerosmith - Not The Same Old Song And Dance

This is probably the most pleasing way to do one of these things, stuff it full of fantastic guest stars and enjoy the ride. The music's pretty much predictable here, but that's cool, because it's the vocalists who take centre scarf. Pure guilty pleasure is Ted Nugent, who is nicely matched to 'Rag Doll'. An even better match is Ronnie James Dio with, you guess it, 'Dream On' (guitar uber-wank by Yngwie). But you know who steals the show? Bad boy Vince Neil, who is the man born for 'Chip Away The Stone', a cool semi-rarity for the band, a great hunk of Stones that Vince shakes up and sprays all over your party dress. Man, pretty much every slot is filled by a legend or semi-legend here. I mean this was no quick crap thing, despite the cheapo packaging. Recommended.
Rating 7.5

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