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Extreme Saudades de Rock Frontiers Records
FRCD382
Produced By: Nuno Bettencourt

Running Time:

Release Date: Out Now

Released: WORLD

Musical Style: Extreme Rock

Links: Frontiers Extreme
86%
Songs: 88%
Sound: 84%
I've had this CD nearly 2 months now and still I'm trying to get my head around it. Some days I dig it, some days I don't. It's not the Extreme I prefer (I love the debut and Pornograffitti, but it was downhill after that for me), but it is Extreme albeit in a rawer, stripped back and experimental format.
This is a very diverse record. I guess in simplest terms this is a band reunited and excited to be together again, throwing everything they have ever represented into one record.
It makes for a loose and energetic record, but also one that is hard to define and given that it is so varied in direction, it has been no surprise to read may varied opinions on this from trash to classic and everything in between.
And after all this time I'm still on the fence. I like some parts of this album and appreciate the musical integrity of other part, but there is also a few tracks I don't like. Extreme have always been a musically diverse group and I guess there was a large proportion of fans looking for the band to return to the sound of their first couple of records.
That's not the case here, but to hear Gary Cherone in full rock voice again is a joy and together with Nuno Bettencourt, is something special. The album is definitely an interesting mix of tunes.
Kicking off is the opening rocker Star, which mirrors Queen's Tie Your Mother Down but has an instant likeability and you just have to love the guitar solo and Gary's vocals.
The ragged, retro groove of Comfortably Numb is typically Extreme in nature, even in this stripped down mode. The Led Zeppelin inspired bluegrass of Take Us Alive is another head turner and won't appeal to all, but it remains undeniably interesting.
Run which this time borrows from Bowie's Fame during the verse is another groover with a catchy chorus. The gritty, but nevertheless heartfelt Last Hour is another left turn.
Typically Extreme-ish King Of The Ladies is as annoying as it is catchy, again showing the ying and yang of this record.
Then there are some moments of 70s retro groove like Slide and Flower Man which will either be loved or hated by fans.
Ballad wise we have the haunting ballad Ghost, which sounds soemwhat like Cherone's solo output and the softly sung Interface, which is one of the album's highlights.
The Bottom Line
So, this is one interesting and diverse record and some are going to love it and some aren't. I didn't expect Extreme to be one of the more debated records of the year, but it is and regardless of all comments passed so far it is still cool to see the guys back. Personally I'll hope for something a little different for the next record, but this one still has plenty of moments to appreciate.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
Extreme
Pornograffitti
III Sides To Every Story
Waiting For The Punchline
Saudades de Rock

Line Up:
Gary Cherone: Vocals
Nuno Bettencourt: Guitars
Kevin Figueiredo: Drums
Pat Badger: Bass

Essential For Fans Of:
Extreme - III Sides & Waiting For The Punchline
Track Listing
Star *
Comfortably Dumb *
Learn To Love
Take Us Alive
Run
Last Hour *
Flower Man
King Of The Ladies
Ghost *
Slide
Interface *
Peace
Americocaine (85 Demo)

--*Best Tracks


04/12/09: DAVID - FROGLEGS100@HOTMAIL.COM
Rating: 80
WHEN YOU GET AN EXTREME CD, ONE THING YOU WILL HAVE TO KNOW IS THAT YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT DIRECTION THEY WILL GO IN FROM ONE SONG TO THE NEXT AND THIS ONE IS NO DIFFERENT. YOU HAVE THE HEAVY("STAR"), THE GENTLE("PEACE"), THE FUNKY("KING OF THE LADIES"), AND THE COMPLETELY UNEXPECTED("TAKE US ALIVE.") OVER ALL, A VERY GOOD CD THAT GETS THEM BACK IN THE STYLE(S) WE HAVE LOVED. I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXT CD TO SEE WHAT THEY HAVE FOR US!

28/04/09: terry - Terry@itcanada.com
Rating: 90
Extreme is back to basics , guitar, bass and drums . It is not heavilly produced like 3 sides ( too bad ). I still love it and Nuno saves the day , give it a few spins and some of the tunes will grow on you

25/04/09: Bertrand - bbolduc@advitae.com
Rating: 95
An excellent comeback album, one of my favorite in 2008 !

05/02/09: Dennis - susden95@aol.com
Rating: 90
The guitar work by Nuno saves this album. There are some excellent tracks and some that are forgetable. The one constant is Nuno's playing which shines throughout. It's worth a listen simply for that alone. The great thing about Extreme is that they have never been afraid to branch out in their music and this release continues that journey.

17/12/08: Rico - bangtango813@yahoo.com
Rating: 50
I was intrigued about this reunion. I've not been an Extreme fan but dig some of their songs over the yrs (Kid Ego, Mutha, Stop the World). Well, I finally figured out I'm not a fan of Cherone (here or VH). He just seems to scream and not very well. I like 1-2 songs here but probably won't listen to this again until I can't remember why I didn't like it in the first place.

19/10/08: PW - PW@undisclosed.com
Rating: 90
Welcome back Extreme. More grown up but still as technical and gutsy. If you can't accept the fact that bands change over time and are not willing to go on the journey with them, then the Leona Lewis CD is waiting for you on Play.Com (or the next sound alike X Factor wannabe).

10/10/08: Mat - Mat@mat-website.com
Rating: 10
I'm still suprised by the number of people who like this...it fails on all counts. What is most disappointing is the lack of rock music on the album - is this even worthly of a review on melodicrock.com? I was there when Extreme played their 'new' single Rest in Peace in concert and we all looked at each other puzzled. Little did we know that this was only the beginning of the end for Extreme. Waiting for the punchline? Oh dear. Disappointingly, this effort ranks the same....

07/10/08: Dave - jrnyfan_99@yahoo.com
Rating: 96
My favorite album of 08 so far. I'm a huge Extreme fan, especially the last two records. For me, Extreme has always been "extreme" in their music. From acoustic ballads, to straight out rock, to funk to Sinatra, they have always been one of the most diverse bands in rock.
That does not change on this record. Nuno can bring it with the best of them. Gary sounds better than he has in years and pulls it off live, too.
I'm so impressed that they can be fresh without losing their core. They still rock with lots of groove, but they don't rely old successes. No "More than Words" or "Hole-Hearted", just four fantastic musicians creating music for where they are at now.

Highlights for me:

Comfortably Dumb - Great groove with classic Extreme lyrics
King of the Ladies - Nuno poking fun at himself and the 80's, catch as can be.
Ghost - Haunting ballad, sounded fantastic live
Interface - Dramagods carryover, needed to be given a second chance.

In the end, I am thrilled Extreme is back. They were fantastic live (saw them with King's X) and I can only hope I don't have to wait another 15 years for the next record.


07/10/08: Greg - sixpence-guy@yahoo.com
Rating: 85
Saudades de Rock is Nuno's baby, and he shreds through the album like a maniac. It so good to hear a virtuoso guitarist be a virtuosos guitarist on album again. Nuno knows that it's not all about solos. It's also about creative leads and rhythm playing. If you have the chops, you should use them. Nuno has the chops, and they are on display throughout the album.

Gary is, well, kinda erratic. He is back to his old form on "Stars," but he is hit or miss throuhout the rest of the album. I believe more time was needed for vocal production. He does come up with some great vocal melodies, and his lyrics are though-provoking. I could have done without "King Of The Ladies" however. It seemed like a throw-back to the first album, lyrically, and I wasn't a big fan of his lyrics on that album.

I was suprised at just how much of a classic rock album Saudades de Rock is. It has a real 70's vibe throughout. From the lyrical content to the production, this is solid classic rock. I was also suprised that "Stars" was really the only classic Extreme song. The band seems to be intent on stretching out into diverse areas including rockabilly, funk rock, classic rock, and modern rock. I think the strength of the songs carries the bulk of the material.

05/10/08: Sava Karadzic - svemirski_modulator@yahoo.com
Rating: 35
Get the Fuck Out and Rust In Peace! ;o)

05/10/08: Chris Kaiser - soundadvice2k@bresnan.net
Rating: 95
Welcome back to one of my favorite bands. I thought it would nver happen, especially after seeing BANDS REUNITED. Then again, NKOTB are back too, but who cares?. I really like this CD and I think the brightest spots, for me, are STAR and INTERFACE. INTERFACE was taken from the Drama Gods CD that Nuno released a few years back. If you are an EXREME fan, you will enjoy their return.

02/10/08: Greg - darkwave2000@hotmail.com
Rating: 80
I came to this with a totally open mind. After the atrocious VH III and the uncomfortable Nuno snub on "Bands Reunited," I was ready for anything. I was pleasantly surprised. The CD is diverse but not directionless. I agree, the ballads are very good and invite more listenings instead of rushing to the skip button. I disagree that the funk is gone. It is there but not so metallized as on Pornograffitti. This release is a lot like Punchline which was good (see There Is No God and Cynical). Nuno still shreds! Not a lot to complain about here.

02/10/08: Freddie - Freddie267@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
I actually think this is one of the best records of 08. King of the Ladies would be a hit by any mainstream band, and Ghost is the best coldplay song they never made. Comfortably Dumb and Run are great tracks and the lyrics to flower man are genius. I don't feel a punchline vibe at all, except for maybe comfortably dumb.

Catch the band live and you will be blown away

01/10/08: Lawrence - lfhlaw@gawab.com
Rating: 69
This isn't the worse album of 2008, but it's not quite what I was hoping for. Star, and Comfortably dumb are typical of Extreme, Take us Alive has a beatleseque type quality. Run takes a piece of David Bowie's Fame a little bit. This album overal reminds me of Waiting for the Punchline.

01/10/08: Harv - batman_kmml@yahoo.com
Rating: 70
I got this one the other day. My sister-in-law, who loves Extreme, asked me "How does it sound?" I replied that it sounds a lot like Punchline, which isn't that great for me. When Punchline was released I played it over and over until I could only play one or two tracks. I didn't like that CD after several spins. This cd after one spin is the same thing. It's ok. Nothing great.

01/10/08: Marc - drummerboy74@gmail.com
Rating: 95
I have been an Extreme fan since 1989, and consider them my favorite band of all time. "III Sides to Every Story" is also my favorite ALBUM of all time. That said, they had a lot to live up to with this album - an album I have been waiting MANY years for. I'll just say this -- this album is their 2nd best album behind "III Sides". No question about it. It has EVERYTHING, and is all over the map, which is one of the reasons I love this band! SO glad to have them back!

30/09/08: danimal - thenuge1@aol.com
Rating: 20
To me worst album of 2008. This is not the Extreme I grew up with in the late 80's, early 90's. This is a hodgepodge of Nuno solo ideas laying around for the past decade with Gary Cherone doing the vocals them instead of Nuno. Gone are the big vocal harmonies, gone are the soaring choruses, gone is the funk, rock element that made Extreme stand out from all the hair metal cheese of the 80's. Nuno cooks up some tasty guitar but at the end, the album is a complete disappointment. I am not expecting Extreme to go or be retro but to my ears this sounds like a continuation of Van Halen III, great guitar work but god awful production. My rating of 20 is for the Frontiers bonus track Americocaine, to me that demo has more of the Extreme sound than any of the crap on this album. And to review John, I am sorry I bought this.

30/09/08: John - johnk5150@yahoo.com
Rating: 89
Pornograffitti Extreme is gone forever. What they've become is quite acceptable. My attraction to Extreme has always been their impeccable harmonies and they are ALL OVER this record. My other attraction is Nuno as a player. I am happy to report that he is back and better than ever. The rockers are in the vein of III Sides blended with some hints of the more melodic parts of Punchline (not everyone's favorite I know but trust me when I say this works). My biggest surprise was much I enjoyed the ballads. Besides Song For Love, I've loathed every Extreme ballad. They've always seemed overly sappy or forced to my ears. The 3 ballads on Saudades are immediate and extremely pleasing. If you buy this one, you will not be sorry.


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