SEE BELOW TO ADD YOUR OWN REVIEW!
WESTWORLD
SKIN

ROADRUNNER
Produced by: Orofino, Harnell & Reale

Released: OUT NOW / Website
Closest Relative: TNT
GENRE: Hard Rock
OVERALL: 92%

  1. Skin
  2. Ice Queen
  3. Uneasy
  4. Limbo
  5. Black Shadow Symphony
  6. Tomorrow's Yesterday
  7. Out There
  8. Heart Is A Heavy Load
  9. Get A Life
  10. Uninvited

Westworld's second album Skin is one of the more anticipated album's of the year. Just what direction would the guys go in after their critically acclaimed debut?
I for one was surprised when I heard the album for the first time and have needed several listens before I could safely review the record.
Two things about this record are obvious: the guys have clearly bonded and grown as a band. And they have taken that growth into their songwriting and delivery of this album. It's less of a project and much more of a cohesive band effort.
For the record, Westworld is Tony Harnell, Mark Reale, Bruno Ravel and John O'Reilly.
And given the sound of their debut was so good, the improvements here have taken this album further into the major leagues.
The songs themselves flow together better, with a more
consistent feel than on the debut album, where the style tended to change between numbers.
Now for the style of the album. The guys have taken the sound of the debut album and taken it a step further. Heavier, more intense and clearly more contemporary than on their debut. I had the feeling it might be a more classic rock album, but no, this is a modern and aggressive hard rock record.
Those that loved and praised the lead song from the debut - Illusions - will be disappointed to know that there is nothing like that on Skin. This is a totally modern rock record.
Track By Track:
Skin opens the album - it's a tough medium tempo modern rock song with a few over dubbed effects and some vocal distortion that will make this track a possibility to go to US radio. No big chorus, but a powerful one nevertheless, with a strong vocal performance from Harnell.
Ice Queen begins softly before bursting into an aggressive vocal and a quite impressive Zeppelin-ish chorus. It's another moody mid tempo guitar driven hard rocker.
The intro to Uneasy hints at another aggressive modern rock song, but eases through a mid tempo verse into a big chorus that gets more melodic with every listen. Good to see it uses some trademark Harnell high vocals.
Limbo is a little more familiar. It's an atmospheric acoustic ballad reminiscent of the debut album. The six minute plus song builds to where the whole band joins in and signs off with a great guitar solo.
Black Shadow Symphony has another curious intro - a short, but cool orchestral bridge to a song that is heavy, aggressive and in your face. A big heavy modern guitar sound, abrasive vocals and a chorus that isn't obvious at all, yet the song is as catchy as any other on the record.
Tomorrow's Yesterday continues the in your face mid tempo sound, with a very cool moody break for a chorus.
Out There is a song with a more melodic chorus, even using some keyboards in there! The verse remains consistent with the rest of the album.
Heart Is A Heavy Load is only the second softer track of the album. A moody, slow & bluesy guitar/vocal intro heads into a laid back ballad that picks up a little speed towards the end to where it goes slightly feral in the last minute!
Get A Life is a killer track. A real modern rocker that moves from a mid tempo verse to a more uptempo chorus and reminds me in several places of the last TNT album.
Uninvited is one of the more inspired cover tunes I have seen included on an album in recent times. This cover of the Alanis Morissette tune does the original every justice and even improves upon it, as the band make it their own.
Tony Harnell puts in a sensational vocal and the song has a real emotional edge to it. A fitting end to the album.
BOTTOM LINE: Every part of this record screams class, so in all honesty, despite the lack of overly commercial songs, this is a better record than the debut.
There are no instant rock anthems, it compares to the last TNT record, where there were modern sounding songs that after repeated listens begin to reveal melodies hidden within each track. Like that album, the more familiar you become with this album, the better it gets.
I hope this album gets a fair hearing, as it has a definite chance to not only please a lot of hard rock fans out there, it also has the opportunity to draw new fans in. The album may not do a lot for the classic rock cause, but it should do a hell of a lot for the sound of the next generation.
PRODUCTION: 95% SONGS: 90% VIBE: 90%ATTITUDE: 90%
ESSENTIAL FOR: Fans of the first album and fans of modern rock and the most recent TNT album.
DISCOGRAPHY: Westworld . Skin


08/09/05: Ashley - ashes_4_ashes@hotmail.com
Rating: 94
I love Alanis' music she has a great voice and a open mind on her musical talents. I have just got a guitar and I was looking for the sheet music for the very ending of "Uninvited". I dont know if i'm allowed to ask for it on this site, but if anyone has it can you please send it to me?
Thank You!

30/04/05: winnie wynter - winnie_wynter@vampiresfreak.com
Rating: 0
I stole this album from the guy who lives with me and everytime he leaves the appartment I listen to it..I'm sure is one of the greatest hard rock albuns ever coz' its distance from these usual bands' style is soooo clear =] Tony Harnell made me cry on Limbo (f**k u man! hehehe just kiddin'), this one is a song for a lifetime to remember...

27/09/04: Charlie B - fangking2001@yahoo.co.uk
Rating: 91
A brilliant album, but drastically different from all the other Westworld albums.

Skin - A strong opener with an equally strong chorus. I love the vocal work

Ice Queen - Slow and brilliant, with a cool build-up.

Uneasy - Not ethe strongest chorus but it sung so well that it gets away with it perfectly and sounds great.

Limbo - My favourite Westworld track ever. It builds up with brilliant vocal harmonies from Tony, and a nice, soothing chorus. It leads into an intense climax with the brilliant solo.

Black Shadow Symphony - Mark Wood's electric violin opens this song so perfectly it hurts. The song is another album highlight

Tomorrow's Yesterday - Yeah, good song. Slightly bland after Limbo and Black Shadow Symphony

Out There - I really like the chorus, it's soothing and strong. Meh

Heart Is A Heavy Load - The most curious of the Westworld stuff I've listened to. Very different. I can chill out to it, but the ending ruins it.

Get A Life - Great chorus that blows you away. Strong vocal from Tony again.

Uninvited - Smooth, flowing vocal from Tony. Delivers a good impact to the end of the album, winding down with the weird instrumental at the end, but I love it.

Elastic (bonus track) - Nice, but bland. Doesn't compare to Beautiful on Cyberdreams.

Another consistently strong album, but not as consistent as Westworld or Cyberdreams. Some great tracks in Limbo, BSS, Uninvited and Get A Life. I want more Westworld :)

24/09/02: Daniel - seemann39@hotmail.com
Rating: 99
Excellent album, great songs, superb production and mega cool guitar playing and vocals. Harnell/Reale are a fantastic team.
Get this album asap, if you don't already own it.
Looking forward to their next release.

07/09/02: Jim - dunny1@hotmail.com
Rating: 94
This is a fantastic album! The first song I heard by Westworld was "Ice Queen" and I was hooked instantly. Add in "Uneasy" and "Black Shadow Symphony" as favorites, plus a surprisingly good remake of Alanis Morissette's "Uninvited" - a rather bold move to include this on the album. One of the reasons this album is so strong is because of its originality - the songs are all so different from each other. Another reason is because Tony Hartnell is a very talented singer with great range. This is easily one of the best CD's of the year. Note: It's worth it to get the Japanese version with one extra song - the 11th song rounds out the CD nicely.

06/08/02: david - DAVID.GARCIAZ@GRUPOBBVA,COM
Rating: 95
bueno, parece que si no haces lo típico, la gente no lo acepta. Este disco es buenísimo simplemente porque está Tony Harnell. Realmente, Westworld tiene un sonido característico que me encanta. No tengo por qué compararlo con los mágicos TNT. Cada uno tiene su sonido. El de los noruegos con un nivel muy por encima de los demás, lo que realmente puede que sea un punto débil, ya que quizá no todo el mundo entiende lo que ahora hacen. El transistor de TNT no es que siga las tendencias modernas, sino que no suena a nada conocido antes, que no es lo mismo.
Pero mucho mejor, ya que significa que no se venden y no van a lo fácil haciendo un Intuition 2 que parece que es lo que la gente quiere. Para mí ni siquiera es el mejor disco de la época antigua.
Por otro lado, siendo westworld buenísimos porque suenan mucho a TNT, no se pueden tampoco comparar a éstos porque en TNT toca Ronnie Le Tekro. Pero venga ya, Mark Reale no le llega ni a la altura del betún a Ronnie, ni tocando ni componiendo. TNT es magia componiendo Tony y Ronnie y a veces Morty Black o Dahl, mientras que en la producción, no es que sigan una tendencia, es que crean una tendencia.
Por lo dicho, westworld es una gran banda con tres enormes discos, pero porque está Tony y porque suena a TNT. Así que esos que dicen que les gusta más que TNT es precisamente porque TNT está en un nivel superior que no pueden apreciar y lo confunden con las nuevas tendencias.

01/12/00: Brian J. Glendinning - bglendinning@austin.rr.com
Rating: 60
Where to start??? First off, I am glad to have something to listen to besides crappy 90's Rock Bands who only know 3 chords and don't know the names of them."Skin" is all there- the great guitar playing- drums- and of course Tony!! But the songs are not all there. I bought the Jap. import and yes, the extra song is actually better than most of the rest. In a nutshell- not the best CD- But better than Nirvana.

17/11/00: scott - river00peoplepc.com
Rating: 95
I like TNT but Westworld blows them away! it's to bad they didn't come out in the 80's they could have been what Def Leppard was. My advice to the band would be give up your other bands because Westworld works magic.

12/11/00: PaulMaterniak - pjtrucker2000@yahoo.com
Rating: 97
Great guitar work,band is tighter than ever.Tony's vocal's crisp
and clear.He's one my top vocalist along with Geoff Tate from
Queensryche.

24/10/00: Noddy - nod@machinemen.com
Rating: 65
Am I listening to the same album as everyone else?? The debut was one of the pleasant surprises of '99, but I cannot get too worked up about Skin. It's a lot better than Transistor, but that wouldn't be too hard! I think what we have is one of those albums which if it was by an unknown band,maybe I would get more excited about it. I'm afraid Skin just doesn't say "Play me!" enough to get a look in amongst all the other recent excellent releases. (Journey, Ten, Jorn Lande, Millenium, D.C., etc etc)
Sorry, but only average in my books. (Please reply if you think I should give it another chance!)

17/10/00: Taina - tainamarie@webtv.net
Rating: 99




I can't even begin to tell you how heavily anticipated this album was
for me, or the hell I went through to get a copy as close to it's
release date as possible (since it is not yet available in the US). All
I know is it was well worth it it all. After such an impressive debut
album, I had high expectations for SKIN that I am happy to announce the
album has far surpassed.
So, after one week and over one thousand listen-throughs, how would I
describe the of music on SKIN? Take a little bit of the musical styling
of the 70's, 80's and 90's and add a 2000 twist (as only WestWorld can
do) and there you have SKIN! The band as a whole has defiantly grown and
found their nitch with one another. The production,song writing and
delivery have all been taken to another level. The album is reminiscent
of TNT's Transistor in that there are many mood and style changes, but I
think SKIN melds them together smoother than Transistor did.
Skin is a perfect example of Tony Harnells' vocal and songwriting
diversity. His style and range are awe-inspiring, just when you think
you've heard him do it all....he surprises you. The magic is in his
delivery of the lyrics, he can emitte pure emotion like no one else can.
The funny thing is, some of my favorite parts of the album are when he's
not saying any words at all-he's simply singing his "mmmm's" and
"ohhhh's" and I'm sighing! The man is an absolute vocal God and this
album proves he only gets better with time!

Here is my song by song review:

SKIN: Great choice for an opening track. The vocal style is reminiscent
to that of several songs Harnell has put out since the 1997 release of
TNT's Firefly. The song is full of attitude. Powerful and aggressively
catchy chorus with complimentary high pitched harmonies. Love the slow
bass driven bridge where Harnell takes over with his seductively
delivered lyrics, cresedowing into a strong guitar solo and chorus.

ICE QUEEN: Slow,psychedelic, vocal-distorted opening that bursts into
energized verses and a mood altering-catchy chorus. Love the unique
overall feel to this song and powerful lyrics. Amazing guitar solo by
Mark Reale.

UNEASY: Now this is classic Harnell! Kinda reminds me of "Because I love
you" off TNT's Transistor. Sensational lyrics and vocals further proving
why Tony is the king of melodic singing and songwriting. Amazingly
catchy chorus. The way he delivers the lyrics is such perfection, it
absolutely makes me melt. Love this song!

LIMBO: Enchantingly soft and atmospheric opening to the albums uniquely
"WestWorld" ballad. Great use of keyboards and acoustic guitar. Again,
phenomenal lyrics and vocal perfection. The ballad ends with one of Mark
Reales' finest electric guitar solo's I have ever heard. A beautiful
ending to a beautiful song.

BLACK SHADOW SYMPHONY: The song begins with a mood setting orchestral
bridge that dissolves into a powerful electric guitar driven bridge of
the same melody, before bursting into the strong, in your face vocals.
Lyrically, Harnell proves he isn't afraid to speak his mind about the
recent tragedies of our time and the media's role in influencing
societies view. Awesome song!

TOMORROW'S YESTERDAY: Another in your face opening with abrasive vocals
transcending into a surprisingly melodic bridge and chorus. Powerful
bass driven back beat.

OUT THERE: The song begins with a familiar "WestWorld" mid tempo rock
beat that takes a melodic turn into an amazingly catchy and beautiful
chorus. high pitched harmonies and classic "Harnell-isms" totally sell
this track!

HEART IS A HEAVY LOAD: I love this song! It begins with Harnell's
crystal clear vocals in the forfront echoed by a guitar riff remenicent
to that of Hedrix's "Little Wing". The song melds into a smooth-bluesey
melody that definatly shows off the bands musical influences. A very
melodic and vocally brilliant bridge that takes another turn at the end
where the beat picks up and so does Tony's "attitude":) The song ends
with a full choir chanting the songs title. Harnell's vocals and lyrics
are perfect for this style of music-I only wish we could hear more like
it!

GET A LIFE: An intense and heavy song that still manages to be very
catchy and mood altering. I also sense a Rob Halford influence on this
track.

UNINVITED: Wow! this song took me by complete suprise. It is a cover of
the Alanis Morissette song-only taken to a whole new level! Absolute
vocal brilliance furthur proving my long standing theory that Tony's
abilities know no boundries! The man can sing anything-can take any
song-and make it better. (For more examples buy Morning Wood!). This
song took my breath away!

ELASTIC: The Japanese bonus track that is well worth every cent of the
import fees! A very positive and contagiously upbeat melody. For some
reason it reminds me of "It Doesn't matter" off the Sonic Adventure
soundtrack Tony sang on. Once again awesome lyrics and vocals. A very
catchy chorus that has a unique twist to its melody. The perfect ending
to THE perfect album!


In a nutshell, the album is an absolute "must have" for your CD
collection. Definatly my favorite for the year 2000 and quite possibly
of all time. My mear words don't even come close to doing this album
justice, so do yourself a favor and buy this CD today!






11/10/00: Thunder - SECRET
Rating: 85
This is a great album. I see B.D. misses the touch of TNT.
Dont worry. TNT is back soon with a sound like Tell no tales/Intuition. Buy and listen to "skin" B.D.Some songs here
are realy TNT like.

01/10/00: Nick Green - A.Green@tsco.net
Rating: 96
Hurrah!!!! At last an album that lived upto the pre-release hype. Simply put this album has been beautifully constructed.Tony Harnell's voice is a revelation and the songs compliment his style perfectly. "uninvited" and "uneasy" are awesome and both will figure in my personal faves of the year. The musicianship through to production to songwriting are all excellent. Roll on number 3.

30/09/00: Deddy / Germany - deddy@ForeverRocks.de
Rating: 85
Great!! But i really loved the first album= AWESOME !!!

29/09/00: Richl - richard.powell@dixons.co.uk
Rating: 87
I was alittle disappointed at first. Now I must agree with Andrew. What a grower. Refreshing also to come across an album where the tracks seem to get stronger as the album progresses.

Hunt out the Raine album also....awesome

27/09/00: Astra - Astra_Blue@talk21.com
Rating: 95
I have both the debut album, and this one. This is the better of the two. there isn't a single track that I dislike. The cover of UNINVITED the alanis song, is better than her original version.This album is a must for all melodic rock fans worthy of the title.*******ASTRA***********

23/09/00: Randy O - ralrandy@aol.com
Rating: 0
Haven't heard the new one yet but really liked the first album. Comment above said he "missed the TNT touch"..well so have I with the last few TNT releases. I've enjoyed WESTWORLD more so than TNT's last releases. Better songwriting.

20/09/00: Bjørn Dahl - bjodahl2@online.no
Rating: 98
A W E S O M E !!!!
But i missing the TNT touch.


ADD YOUR OWN REVIEW!
Name:

E-mail:

Rating:

Comment: