If you find yourself pining for the days when phrases like "party down" and "we ROCK!" were spoken in reverent tones usually reserved for noble concepts like say, Liberty, Honor, Justice, the Pursuit of Happiness, etc--then you'll be headbanging your 80's mullethead in quick fashion to this this CD. It is, all at once, an overly-ambitious, poorly produced, lyrically-cheesy masterpiece of terrific songwriting and beautiful musical vision.
The CD's production is it's worst aspect. In the vernacular of musical recording, there is a term known as "head room", meaning the amount of decibel "space" which is available as you saturate the tape with sound level before distortion starts to ruin the sound of the recording. If you think of the distortion occurring at "10", you want to record the level as close as you can get to "10" without a big "hit" from the drum, or a scream from the vocalist pushing the level over "10" and causing distortion. If you don't record a "hot" enough signal to tape, the recording sounds weak. I swear, on this album, it's like they recorded the level at around 6-7, so that they could leave room for......huge "gang vocals"; I kid you not. Whether it is simply the limitations of the recording gear used to produce it, or a conscious decision, the music seems extremely compressed and unwilling to "jump off the disc"--until the big gang vocals "WE CAME TO RAAWK!" almost blow out your speakers. In other cases, the mix of things like delicate acoustic guitar harmonics jump right out of the mix, as does a completely unnecessary and cheesy keyboard solo in one song.
Having said thus, the outstanding songwriting makes this work stand out head-and-shoulders above many of its contemporary offerings. The chord changes and writing are simply visionary. Songs simple enough to be considered "Pop", yet stunning in their melodic arrangement and execution. Though sometimes suffering from the overly-ambitious, cinematic keyboard-imitating-orchestra, the songs are virtual panoramas of stunning musical imagination and accomplishment. Chord changes are smartly written, not just I-IV-VI-V standard block changes so common in today's insipid, repetitive offerings, but actual 7th chord variations off the tonic, such as m, mM7, m7, IV, etc--all in all, beautiful melodic music to your ears.
The vocals, while perhaps not in the range of a Dio or Coverdale, nonetheless carry formidable melody and pitch, and the guitar playing is competent to 80's flavor and technique.
A CD that should be listened to, if not purchased by every fan of the 80's "hair metal"--definitely one of the standouts.