Hell In A Handbasket
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Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. All Of Me|
|2. The Giving Tree|
|3. Live Or Die|
|4. Blue Sky / Mad Mad World / The Good God Is A Woman And She Don't Like Ugly|
|5. California Dreamin'|
|6. Party Of One|
|7. Another Day|
|8. 40 Days|
|9. Our Love And Our Souls|
|10. Stand In The Storm|
|11. Blue Sky|
|12. Fall From Grace|
2012 album from the veteran rocker. Produced by Paul Crook, Meatloaf describes Hell In A Handbasket as "the most personal record I have ever made". Includes performances from rappers Chuck D and Lil' Jon plus Meatloaf's longtime duet partner Patti Russo.
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If to reinforce this theme, the musicianship is incredible, bringing to us along with his voice the story of a man who is telling us the story of his life - his loves, his fears, his regrets, and his refusal to surrender to the vagaries of a life lived in the two worlds of the private man and the public artist. Add to that the mix of fabulous artists who assisted in this album strengthens his place in a changed musical landscape and makes the album even more relevant.
His version of "California Dreamin'" may be the best rendition of this song that I've ever heard, opening with a weary texture to his voice that folds in upon itself to become a strong scream that intimates that while the artist remembers his past, he will not go down easily.
The album may or may not represent his life, but it exposes sides of his music that fans may never have really seen hidden away in other albums.
And, I'm pretty sure everyone reading this knows of the track Stand in the Storm. Everyone that guest-vocaled on the album brings their A-game, and for Patti Russo, her vocals are a nice addition to the tracks, "California Dreamin" and "Our Loves & Our Souls."
It's not a CD that is going to blow everyone away, say like his BOOH albums, but this CD is a great new direction for the Meat man. The music is awesome, and nicely varied between each song. At first, you won't find yourself going back to this album over and over again like with certain albums when they suddenly get released, but there is something to each track that brings you back eventually. Kind of like the show Friday Night Lights. Not every episode blew me away, but there was enough there that kept me coming back for more. R.I.P. Friday Night Lights. Anyways......There is one song "Blue Sky" that feels way too short, only because it's 2:57, and it feels like an vocal interlude to "Fall from Grace" which finishes off this North American edition. Although...I will say I wasn't prepared for the "Blue Sky" track to end with the Emergency Broadcast System sounds (like for an important newscast, or a severe weather alert on the radio...)
Also, if you are wondering what the difference is between the releases of Hell in a Handbasket, it is pretty much the cover art and a swapping around a little of the track listing. The North American and the Europe editions are the same, and have both the same track-listing, just obviously different covers. Here's the North American/Europe Editions track listing:
1. "All of Me" <5:15>
2. "The Giving Tree" <4:53>
3. "Live or Die" <4:26>
4. "Blue Sky / Mad Mad World / The Good God is a Woman and She Don't Like Ugly (feat. Chuck D)" <4:58>
5. "California Dreamin'" (feat. Patti Russo) [The Mamas & The Papas Cover] <3:57>
6. "Party of One" <3:57>
7. "Another Day" <5:03>
8. "40 Days" <5:20>
9. "Our Love and Our Souls" (feat. Patti Russo) <3:57>
10. "Stand in the Storm" (feat. Trace Adkins, Lil Jon and Mark McGrath) <4:36>
11. "Blue Sky" <2:56>
12. "Fall from Grace" <3:47>
Here's the Australian/German track listing:
1. "All of Me" <5:17>
2. "Fall from Grace" <3:46>
3. "The Giving Tree" <4:54>
4. "Mad Mad World / The Good God is a Woman and She Don't Like Ugly (feat. Chuck D)" <4:06>
5. "Party of One" <4:00>
6. "Live or Die" <4:27>
7. "California Dreamin'" (feat. Patti Russo) [The Mamas & The Papas Cover] <4:06>
8. "Another Day" <5:03>
9. "40 Days" <5:23>
10. "Our Love and Our Souls" (feat. Patti Russo) <4:01>
11. "Stand in the Storm" (feat. Lil Jon, John Rich and Mark McGrath) <4:38>
12. "Blue Sky" <2:58>
I'm not sure why CDs companies do this, but here's hoping the Australian edition makes it onto iTunes for a low price (hey...$7.99 and $9.99 ain't bad for a new CD) instead of shelling out more money than we should on imports.
After all is said is done, this is another great addition to the Meat catalog, and I cannot wait for Meat's Christmas album! Here's hoping more rock bands take notice. Why hasn't Skillet released a Christmas album? Skillet+Christmas=excellence! Dropkick Murphys+Christmas=even more excellence! I can only hope.
HELL IN A HANDBASKET follows-up 2010's HANG COOL TEDDY BEAR with another set of passionate, well-played rockers and ballads. And although the album's press materials quote Meat as calling this "his most personal record ever," it seems like just so much hype considering he didn't write any of the songs. But after listening to it, I'm willing to accept that some of the songwriters must know the man pretty well. This is evident in the opening track, "All of Me," as credible a self-dissection as you're likely to hear on a hard rock record in 2012. Over a sea of background vocals, he offers "This is my anger/This is my shame/These are my insecurities that I can't explain." It's a revealing opening statement for an album full of such observations.
Other stanout tracks include:
"The Giving Tree" is another well-crafted look in the mirror, lyrically speaking.
The 3-song medley "Blue Sky/Mad Mad World/The Good God Is a Woman and She Don't Like Ugly" just may send some older fans running for the hills, as the third part includes a rap by Chuck D. But let it go, folks. . .Meat isn't selling out, he's buying in. And the songs fit really well together.
What to make of a cover of "California Dreamin'"? To be honest, I wasn't convinced at first. Although still possessing plenty of raw power, the guy's voice is not what it used to be. And the opening raspy "All the leaves are brown" had me worried. But somehow, the melancholy lyrics actually work with his world-weary delivery. Of course, the always-welcome assist from Patti Russo doesn't hurt(Russo shows up again on the beautiful pop number "Our Love and Our Souls").
"Stand in the Storm" includes an eclectic guest roster that includes Trace Adkins, Mark McGrath and rapper Lil Jon. It could have been a trainwreck, but somehow Paul Crook's production holds it all together.
The album closes with the ballad, "Fall from Grace," that's pleasing enough if you don't pay too close attention to the cliched lyrics (Every saint is a sinner, one step forward two steps back, etc.).
As for the rest of the album, it's certainly not bad. Even when the words aren't especially memorable and Meat's voice starts to wear thin, the musicianship remains solid throughout. For fans who enjoyed HCTD--and I am one of them--what you're really getting is another solid collection of rock/pop tunes. . .although HANDBASKET doesn't rock quite as hard. It also serves as a welcome change from what passes for pop music these days. Just the fact that Meat Loaf is alive and well, and keeping rock 'n roll by his side is reason enough to pick this one up.
May be is it's just me, I would prefer the Jim Steinman production & songs which do not feel the same as Paul Crook production here (obviously Meat Loaf must move on & 'conquer new continents' : many artists don't like to feel stagnant but I still like this album though). On overall, Meat Loaf still like to rock & roll as we know him : only this time from 'Hell In A Handbasket'. A recommended CD listening.