a l b u m r e v i e w s

Produced by: Luke Morley
  1. Just Another Suicide
  2. All I Ever Wanted
  3. Giving The Game Away
  4. You're Still A Friend
  5. Rolling The Dice
  6. Numb
  7. Play That Funky Music
  8. 'Til It Shines
  9. Time To Get Tough
  10. It's Another Day
  11. It Could Be Tonight
Thunder have always been a favourite of mine - since their debut album arrived via import several years ago and climaxing when I saw them live in Toronto (1993) at the RPM Club there in -35C temperatures.
They have consistently done things their won way and in their own style and have a legacy of several album to prove that. The double live album of last year was simply sensational.
But on Giving The Game Away the guys have softened their rock stance and for the first time since their debut, seem to be following the leader rather than being that leader.
Despite a few stand out tracks, the majority of this albums leaves me a little cold. The acoustic pop rock feel that the band have taken up has been done to death these past few years and personally, I am waiting for these bands to start pumping things up again.
Just Another Suicide gets things off to a promising start. Immediately the style of the album is set, but the track is good enough to showcase the fact these guys can play anything in any style.
Acoustic based and driven like the whole album is, this track is an uptempo track and rolls along at a good pace and the lyrics and message of the song are hard hitting.
All I Ever Wanted is also a class song. Less bite than the opener, it is a Beatles influenced acoustic pop ballad. The whole song has a great melody to it. It's also nice and moody.
Giving The Game Away is again OK, but already I feel the pace of the album is beginning to lag. Some vocal effects fail to make the title track more interesting. An improvement during the chorus.
You're Still A Friend is a slow number with only a guitar at first accompanying Danny's vocals, it doesn't warm up until the last half of the song. Getting a little bored.
Rolling The Dice is much better. The album's first hint of an electric guitar, the song also has some rocking piano and could have probably been lifted from any of their previous albums. Cool rock track.
Numb touches again into Beatles territory. A good solid pop rock ballad and would have been even more likeable had it been surrounded by more rock tracks.
Play That Funky Music is just fucking awful. God I hate this song. I don't care who sings this song, it bites. What inspired these guys to cover it is beyond me. As good a version as you will hear, but the song! Awful.
'Til It Shines is another very soft acoustic ballad. Next.
Time To Get Tough - my thoughts exactly! The band crank it up a bit more again and rock like they should. Another classic era Thunder track.
Yes! Two rock tracks in a row. It's Another Day is not quite classic, but anything uptempo at this stage is welcome.
It Could Be Tonight is another mid paced blues rocker. Not bad, but would have been considered a filler on any of their previous albums.
Wonderland is the first of the two Japanese bonus tracks. Not overly heavy, but a solid rock track nevertheless and I wonder why it didn't make the UK cut. Lots of organ and a little ZZ Top feel to it.
The Only One is the other bonus track - and is one of the best tracks on the album. Bizarre that these two tracks are not on the European version of the album.
A solid happy rocker that is classic Thunder.
These two tracks almost make the album and I would recommend that if you have to have this album, it is the Japanese version you seek. But overall the album leaves me a little uninspired and wishing for more.
If there is a single released that contains these two bonus tracks as non album extra's - that might be even better than buying the whole album.
However, if you have always wished Thunder to slow it down a little and mellow out - this album may still have something to offer.
ESSENTIAL FOR: Established Thunder fans. Acoustic rock fans.

b a c k t o i n d e x