|Lita Ford Wicked Wonderland||JLRG Ent. |
Lita Ford returns from her island retreat to unleash her own special brand of high energy girl power rock n roll upon the masses. Not quite.|
An album like this may have made a few waves in 1998 (not among the long time fans though), but in 2009 someone should have told Lita that it is ok once again to make music from the heart and just be true to who you are/were – for a while there, Lita was the Queen of melodic hard rock. For me the trio of releases Lita, Stiletto and Dangerous Curves were the pinnacle of her career.
The days of having to sellout to trends is over – the music industry is on its ass and the remaining loyal fans that still buy CDs just want their favourite artist to be themselves. To rock out like 20 years has never passed.
You know, everyone is getting older and bands seldom make more than one album every couple of yeas, so why are artists pissing away valuable time trying to be something they aren't?
There was a time during the mid-late 90s where just about every stadium rock act tried to step out of the box and cash in on the trend of going modern.
But how many bands actually recorded something credible or worthwhile?
I can count on one hand the ones that worked. The rest stood out as turds amongst roses.
In recent years common sense has finally prevailed and most bands have realized that it is better not to piss off what fans you have left and instead try and cater to those fans by delivering the music they want – the music that made these bands great in the first place. How could Lita Ford not be aware of this? Maybe she had to make this record just for herself.
My biggest gripe here is that this is not a Lita Ford album. Seriously – she is barely heard on some tracks. Instead, this is a Jim Gillette vanity project.
Jim is Lita's husband and the former frontman of indie metal act Nitro.
Now, had the album been credited appropriately or given a project name, you could forgive the pair for getting self-indulgent and doing whatever they like. Fans could then like it or lump it. But under the Lita Ford banner, there are expectations. Long time fans are expecting classic Lita and that is simply not delivered in any way.
Regrettably, she talks through many of the songs, let's Jim handle the majority of the choruses (which in some cases are almost non-existent) and barely manages to remind anyone of how she used to rock. This is one heavy record mind you – the heaviest Lita has ever sounded, but it ain't classic rock.
The other issue I have with this album is the lyrical content and inspiration behind the songs. It's cringe-worthy. The ultra-sexual interplay between Jim and Lita is way over the top and the nature of Jim's creepy vocals just makes it sound ever more strange.
This collaboration may be great therapy for their relationship, but it is the fans that will be left needing therapy to recover from listening to this. You can almost hear them having sex while writing and recording the album.
Track By Track:
Crave – a barrage of tin drums and samples with spoken word vocals over the top before Jim Gillette's Neolithic vocals destroy an already bad chorus.
Piece (Hell Yeah) – Lita speaks more than sings once again until Jim takes over with a really whiney vocal that make Axl Rose sound like a Rhodes Scholar.
Patriotic SOB features more horrible whiney vocals, but at least Lita sings for a bit.
Scream For Me features some heavy grunge inspired guitars and a horrible programmed drum sound. One of the more reasonable choruses where Jim stays out of it and Lita sings.
Inside – utterly horrid. Lita barely appears on this track, leaving Jim to "sing" about having sex with his wife. The vocals really are appalling.
Wicked Wonderland – More or less just heavy down tuned guitars and effects. Or just noise to these ears. Terrible chorus…tuneless.
Indulge is one of the worst tracks I have heard in years. Effects filled vocals and programmed effects that make no rhythmical sense.
Love – more tuneless noise – almost the exact same song as Patriotic SOB!
Betrayal – more noise. Bombastic rhythms and muffled vocals – especially from Jim.
Sacred – slower, but utterly tuneless again. A ballad that just drones on.
Truth – hate the modern style, but at last a song where Lita takes control and actually sings during the chorus and gives us a small glimpse at who she used to be.
Everything – total mess. Nothing but shouting and computerized noise.
Bed – yet more of the same programmed effects and muffled vocals. As for the lyrics? Spread them baby? Lick my fire???
Garden – it is the same songs over and over on this album. Sounds like a punk/grunge version of SOB again.
Push – "You're so hot…the way you do it I lose control….push push…feels so tight…you'll get yours after I get mine…" No further comment necessary.
I don't mind updated and fresh sounds coming from any artist, but it has to make sense. I needed to hear more of Lita singing and much less of Jim's vocals….fewer effects and computerized "enhancements" and more melodies – heavy or otherwise.
So long without a record and now a real out of character return – this could prove to halt any comeback before it ever gets started. And for fans, that's a real let down.
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