Hang Cool Teddy Bear (Vinyl) Import
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Limited two CD edition. 2010 album from the veteran Rock vocalist. From opener 'Peace On Earth' to closer 'Elvis In Vegas', its tracks drag the classic Meat Loaf sound kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Much of Meat Loaf's newfound energy can be put down to his working relationship with new collaborator, producer Rob Cavallo (Green Day, My Chemical Romance Paramore, Fleetwood Mac). For the singer, it was a chance to work with one of the hottest producers around. For Cavallo, it was an opportunity to work with a childhood hero and a proper Rock 'n' Roll legend. Hang Cool Teddy Bear features a stellar array of big-name guests, including Steve Vai, former Queen guitarist Brian May, American Idol presenter Kara DioGuardi, Hollywood star Jack Black and Hugh Laurie.
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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.
Thank you Meat Loaf! Rock 'n' Roll dreams STILL come through!
Attila, Budapest, Hungary
There are the "large" songs in typical Meat Loaf fashion..and there are some good departures from the "norm" of a Meat Loaf album; every artist should try new approaches to the next album, which Meat Loaf has done very well; the album is packed with an "A-List" of contributors, in both writing and performance of the songs.
Many of the "professional" reviews I read on the internet today have been critical of Hang Cool Teddy Bear; I'm not sure Meat Loaf has ever really put out albums targeted at the mainstream audiences, so I take their reviews with a grain of salt; I've listened to this album all day, and I say "well done".
Returning are the Neverland Express and Patti Russo. Also found contributing to the album are: Jon Bon Jovi, Brian May, Steve Via, Jack Black, Hugh Laurie(from TV's House), Pearl Aday (Meat Loaf's daughter)and Kara DioGuardi (American Idol Judge).
My only wish, was that it had contained a recording of Meat Loaf's cover of Gimme Shelter..though I am enjoying the cover of Roadhouse Blues found on the Special Edition!
Pick up a copy and enjoy.
Hang Cool Teddy Bear takes you back to an album full of story and purpose. Brilliantly intertwining story, with vocal and instrumentation. You don't know what to listen to first, demanding a replay to see the layers of this album.
Vocally ~ Meat Loaf's organic sound is absolute. He uses his vocal strengths to draw you in to the story. To give an impressive vocal in each song, says a ton about the maturity and experience that Meat Loaf brings in Hang Cool Teddy Bear. Songs such as "If I Can't Have You" and "Did You Ever Love Somebody" will leave goosebumps on your arms. I challenge you to listen to these vocals and see what Meat is really giving you in these two pieces.
Story ~ The story is conceptual and without giving away my interpretation, after Los Angeloser the songs talk back to one another. You will need to purchase this album to figure out the mystery yourself. I'm not giving it away for FREE!
Instrumentation ~ John Micelli on drums absolutely stellar, love the hardness in "Song of Madness" and his patience with "Did You Ever Love Somebody" is simply exquisite which allows for the climax of that song to happen. And if guitars are your preference, Hang Cool Teddy Bear is loaded up. Highlighting: "Peace On Earth" and "Song Of Madness".
A note for the casual Meat Loaf fan: you may note previous Meat works would include bombastic operatic sound with lifelong answers to common problems. This album is not meant to replace those treasures or extend to a story from those treasures. This album is a page turner for a legendary performer.
Hang Cool Teddy Bear has a worth far more than the valued price on this very website. It's up to you to find the treasure yourself!!!! I highly recommend Hang Cool Teddy Bear for the open minded Rock and Roll appreciative fan.
Thanks for listening,