Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Review: Edguy, "Rocket Ride"

Listening to Edguy's "Rocket Ride," I can certainly see why fans of the band's Maiden-worshipping power metal past may not like it. As the cover art suggests, this is a new band, one that likes to have fun and, on occasion get a little goofy. Personally, I kind of like this new version of the band.

"Rocket Ride" completes an evolution begun on 2004's "Hellfire Club" and continued on the EP "Superheroes," the title track of which made its way onto this album. This record represents a shedding of the band's previous power metal skin, revealing a new traditional hard rock layer. There are, of course, still some remnants of their past here so it's not a complete shift of directions, but it is significant. To me, the songs here are a bit more original than some of the band's past work, though.

First, let's get "Trinidad" out of the way, the song that seems to be enraging fans and reviewers alike. To be honest, it's not nearly as bad as I expected. After reading comments and reviews, I was expecting a reggae number, when in fact, it's still a pretty rocking song, just with a little island flavor. In all honesty, I don't really care for the track either, but it's certainly not the abomination that some people are making it out to be. The other low point for me is the ballad "Save Me," which plays like a 1980s hair band ballad. Outside of those two songs, there's not really a bad track on the album to my mind.

There's a very simple reason why you should own this album, though, and it's the sixth track -- "The Asylum." This is, quite honestly, the absolute best traditional metal song that I've heard in a long, long time. It's one of those songs that I catch myself repeating four or five times on the drive to or from work. I can't get enough of it. There's great power in the riff and chorus. A close second is the title track, which has a 1970s arena rock feel on an addictive chorus, complete with a Maiden-like "wooahohoh." "Wasted Time" and "Out of Vogue" are also solid, catchy tracks that stay in the listener's head.

"Return to the Tribe" is a track that I've heard declared one of the best songs on the album, but to me it plays like a pretty standard power metal number. It's not a bad tune, but I feel like I've heard it a thousand times before.

Then there's the goofiness I mentioned earlier, which comes through in two testosterone-laden tracks, "Catch of the Century" and "Fucking with Fire." "Catch of the Century" is a fun song from an arrogant rocker to the girl who left him that ends in a rant that may or may not give you a chuckle. "Fucking with Fire" is pure 1980s cock rock. Fortunately for Edguy, I like pure 1980s cock rock. It's a fun song, not to be taken too seriously, as is much of this album.

If you come to this album wanting to hear Edguy's familiar power metal sound, you'll probably be disappointed. On the other hand, if you've got an ear for classic hard rock and approach it looking to have a little fun, you'll probably like it.

Get "Rocket Ride."

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