|Extreme Saudades de Rock||Frontiers Records|
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.
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