TED NUGENT - ShutUp&Jam (Review)
I like Ted, he’s an interesting guy (even when you don’t agree at all), and I think a majority of his fans will enjoy the album for what it is, but it is a die-hards only affair I think.
Not enough substance for casual fans to rate any higher.
Michael Lutz & Ted Nugent
I expect some Ted Nugent fans would like the legendary guitarist and outspoken politico to take some of his own advice and “Shut Up & Jam”.
It’s hard to separate the man from the opinions sometimes and I know he has alienated some with his views, but on his first new studio album in 7 years Ted does what he does best – wail and shred. Unfortunately – I don’t think the majority of songs featured here are that good, or worthy of the 7 year wait between records.
There’s the throwaway opening title track ShutUp&Jam, the gritty Fear Itself and the bluesier Everything Matters (curiously the only song featuring Derek St Holmes on vocals) that all combine to make you wonder how Ted came up with so many legendary tracks in the past.
I know Ted Nugent won’t ever be known as a Shakespeare of rock lyrics, but even with that in mind, She's Gone featuring guest lead vocals from Sammy Hagar features a mere 6 lines of repetitive lyrics and sees the guest spot totally wasted.
Thankfully there are some redeeming moments on the album, one of which is the free flowing rocker Never Stop Believing – better lyrics, some great guitar moments and a chorus that demands repeating.
I Still Believe is pretty simplistic, but a lot more likable than some other tracks and saves the album before the silly I Love My BBQ kicks in.
The guitar-shred instrumental Throttledown is another highlight for me, surprisingly, as I’m not huge on instrumentals, but it’s a slammin track.
The album is dominated by two and a half to three minute songs – you know the type – get in, get to the point and get going type stuff, most of which don’t hang around long enough to be annoying, but don’t make a real lasting impression either.
Interestingly the best song of the album (Never Stop Believing) is reprised as a slow blues version to close the album. A good song works in any format and this is a completely different interpretation of the song.
I’m probably being too hard on Ted here, but this is a long way from his 70s best and not something that I will spend a lot of time listening to after this review.