First of all, if you're already a Meat Loaf fan you will enjoy this record and there is no point in reading further. I am targeting this review toward those who are rock fans in general and why they should give this album a chance.
The album starts out with a bang. "Peace on Earth" is a hard rocking tune about a soldier fighting someone else's war. "But don't think that I would not take one hundred thousand lives to see my mother's eyes" is a very powerful line in the song and sums it up quite nicely: just a man trying to survive so he can get back home. The second track is titled "Living on the Outside". Folks, this song is just plain fun as it lightens the mood and is an excellent contrast to the opening track. "Living on the Outside" will get you slapping the dashboard and bobbing your head with the beat -- "you and me, living like the only sinners left". Meat Loaf sounds like he's having fun, and it is contagious.
The 3rd track, "Los Angeloser", presents a shift in sound, but it too provides a fun and catchy sound. Hearing this song prior to the album's release, I simply thought it was okay, but hearing it within the context of the entire album made it much more enjoyable. It fits quite nicely with the first two tracks, and, to sum up the first three tracks of the album in as few words as possible, let me just say this: 3 out of 3 ain't bad.
To avoid a song by song breakdown, let me say the reason I rate this 4 out of 5 stars instead of 5 out of 5 is the middle of the album seems to bog down. A couple of the songs sound basically the same. Of all the songs on this album, there are only a couple that I don't care for (although they may grow on me over time): "Love is not Real", "Did You Ever Love Somebody" and "Let's Be in Love" -- I could have really done without those three songs. "Like a Rose" (with Jack Black")" and "Song of Madness" were decent, but by the time those songs played I had begun to lose interest. I am going to give this album another listen, excluding the 3 songs mentioned above, and I expect "Like a Rose" and "Song of Madness" will be much more enjoyable.
The album ends with "If It Rains" and "Elvis In Vegas" -- two excellent songs, and they stand in excellent contrast to the first two songs on the album.
In closing, let me say this: as a Meat Loaf fan, I am very proud of this album. Meat Loaf delivers one hell of an effort that has something for all his fans, and I expect will capture some new fans in the process. This is not an album that attempts to rehash old material or to copy old successes -- the Loaf delivered folks.
"I saw 7 horses running, I had a front row seat at the end of time."
Thank you Meat Loaf, and best of luck with this record.