Jun 14, 2009

CHICKENFOOT!


Album art from Amazon.com


Holy Super Group Batman! Singer, Sammy Hagar, and bassist, Michael Anthongy, both of Van Halen fame, plus the drummer of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chad Smith, and finally world famous guitarist with a resume longer than my… well, it’s long, Joe Satriani. What do you call a group with such raw rocking power? What did they look to for inspiration for a name? Guns N’ Roses? Led Zeppelin? Well, they came up with Chickenfoot. … Yeah. Well, what’s in a name anyways? Chickenfoot released their first album June 9, 2009 and thanks to www.lala.com, I was able to stream the entire album for review.


1) Avenida Revolution Certainly not what I was expecting for my first impression of a band made so profoundly of glam rockers. It’s dark, it’s edgy, it’s almost Black Sabbath in its roots. The only thing missing is a catchy or memorable chorus that hits on some kind of bell. A great opener to the album and has frankly left me thirsty for more Chickenfoot. 4 1/2*’s.


2) “Soap On A Rope” very glam rock and what I was initially expecting. Feels very much like Aerosmith. I’m beginning to think while Hagar’s got a great rock voice, he’s going to have issue finding a vocal styling that will make people remember a song, or sing along. He seems very fitted for backup vocals really. Still, downright amazing song, and Satriani is Godly with the axe. 4 *’s.


3) “Sexy Little Thing” Ouch. I was thinking after listening to the first two tracks that the only thing that could sour this album is a poorly performed rock ballad, or a rock song overly simplistic and primitive for the talent available, but this made me think twice. While not an awful song, a complete change in styling’s. Taking a little bit from Van Halen, and a little bit from Aerosmith, somehow you get a lounge lizard, perform-after-you’ve-faded-out-of-relevance kind of song. It’s saving grace is actually Hagar’s vocals which find their home and give you something to sing along with. When he belts out “Love, love, love that sexy little thing” you headbang to the point of whiplash. 3 ½ *’s.


4) “Oh Yeah” The group’s single which has been receiving some fair radio play, and rightfully so. Hagar’s voice is still a bit bothersome in that it doesn’t hit hard enough in areas, but it’s got the emphasis on what you should love and it’s got a sick contribution from guitar, bass and drum. So far, everything on this album sounds like a flippin’ Best Of. 5 *’s!



5) “Runnin’ Out” Leaning on the merit it’s earned with the previous tracks, we get a little experimental with some serious blues riff. Even the lyrics are straight-up blues and in all the best ways. 4 *’s, baby!


6) “Get It Up” Going full-circle, we’re back to the dark side; an underworldly metal sound that you feel sacrilegious to listen to, but can still understand. It brings a tear to the eye, really. 5 *’s! Batting a thousand, Chickenfoot!


7) “Down The Drain” Surprisingly forgettable. Nothing that stands out about the lyrics, and while the guitar solo is impressive, by now it’s falling on deaf ears. And it’s needlessly long as well. 2 *’s. Too bad, so sad.


8) “My Kind Of Girl” We get a little bit of Aerosmith, a little bit of Van Halen, and a little bit of… honky tonk? This may play well during the live shows, especially those in some dive bars on the juke box… if people still use juke boxes. I know I would. They're awesome, as proven by Fonzie. Slightly better than “Down The Drain” but still nothing all that great. They should probably stick to the overtly sexual themes rather than any kind of sentimentality. 3 *’s.


9) “Learning To Fall” Here’s the slow, arena-rock, soft rock ballad that I was expecting all along. Surprisingly, it doesn’t fall too hard on its’ head and could actually have potential. On first listen, it may not be “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” but there’s a strong replay value to it. 4 *’s.


10) “Turnin’ Left” Chickenfoot likes their apostrophes. They're too good to end words with their final letter! Some inspiring drum work with the typical excellent guitar work, and the bass isn’t bad either. There’s a little bit of blues in this track again, but Hagar’s vocals seem undecided on the tone of the song. 3 *’s.


11) “Future Is The Past” A strong message and some decent vocals, but feeling somewhat lacking in the music areas. Drumming reminds me of rathole bar/lounge lizard style again. The guitaring takes forever to gain momentum, but oddly teeters on some reminiscence of The Doors. Maybe not the best song to end with, even if the lyrics to state “I’m going to save the best for last”, as it has a tendency to drag on. The lyrics really do act as a crutch for this track though, so I’ll give it 3 *’s.



My Highlights: “Get It Up”, “Avenida Revolution” and the band’s first single, “Oh Yeah”. It’s metal, it’s rock, it’s suitable from all genre points. This band has a big possibility of blowing up huge if they can put their personal ego’s aside (which I’m only assuming they have for being big separately in the past)



Overall Rating: 3 ¾ *’s, the highest rating I’ve ever given an album review! This is a must-buy. I typically don’t suggest blowing away your hard earned cash on anything lower than a 3 * album, but this is practically 4 *! Even most best-of’s I hear have songs that I’d prefer had been left off, so this may be the closest you ever see to feeling like you own a five star album.

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