Friday, May 24, 2002

Poison - Hollyweird

Poison return with their first full studio release in... well it's been nearly a decade since Native Tongue. Don't get me wrong. They have been releasing new studio material but the last two albums have been accompanied by live tracks and MTV Unplugged recordings. Which makes you wonder, what makes this album stand on it's own.

This album probably should have been titled Retro for many reasons. Lyrically, a lot of the songs are stuck in a time warp. Case in point: "Shooting Star" and "Wishful Thinkin'" (which follow each other in the track listing) deal with the same small town girl gets off the bus in Hollywood in search of fame that their 1988 hit "Fallen Angel" did. Even "Wasteland" refers to "...fallen angels and broken dreams." Then there are two songs about someday becoming rock stars with a drug references galore which makes me wonder if they forgot they are or were there already. "Stupid, Stoned And Dumb" is actually as retro as it can get with opening harmonies but also a cleverly wrapped band satire.

All the songs really gel in their arrangement. The band breathes new life into the classic Who track "Squeeze Box." But, it's C.C. DeVille's vocals that make this album. "Livin' In The Now" is creative writing and musically raw leaning more towards punk than metal. The most brilliant idea this album brings forth is two songs with the same beat, same chorus but different verses and different singers: "Home (Bret's story)" and "Home (C.C.'s story)."

There is very little weird to Hollyweird. If anything, it suffers in some spots from potholes filled with rock clich├ęs. Overall, this album has a fresh approach musically and shows hints of something far greater to come.