“Down at the Whisky” – This will remind old Crue fans of better days. Again, Mick is phenomenal. (read our Mick Mars interview from way back)
“Saints of Los Angeles” – The song has some good and bad. The chorus is lame, but the verses are great. The open line of the chorus “We are the saints/ we signed our life away” sounds contrived and forced. It’s a shame a little more work wasn’t put into the chorus to equal the power of the verses.
“This Ain’t A Love Song” – The Crue try to reinvent Buckcherry’s “Crazy Bitch” and don’t do a bad job of it.
Somewhere in the middle:
“Animal In Me” – Not an entirely bad song. It sounds too much like a modern rock band with all the angst and shoe-gazing. The Crue wrote love songs in the past that never really sounded downhearted. They always had a good time even when they had their hearts ripped out. This sounds like M.C. Hammer trying to be a ganster rapper. It’s not the tried-and-true Crue formula that made these guys great. Just compare “Animal In Me” with “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away).”
“L.A.M.F.” – L.A.M.E.
“Face Down in the Dirt” – Singing about how they’d rather be dead with a bullet in their head than wearing a three-piece suit or getting a real job is funny coming from a bunch of rich guys. The irony is that Nikki Sixx was named the president of Eleven Seven Records–maybe he doesn’t have to wear a three-piece suit but he has a job that’s more than writing songs and playing bass. The other interesting item is that three other people contributed to writing the songs–aside from Nikki Sixx. How can this be the band’s voice when they didn’t write the song?
“What’s It Gonna Take?” – The best part of the song is Mick’s solo. Even with his health problems, Mick is phenomenal. And Tommy Lee rips it up. The song is too monotonous and doesn’t have the big, glam chorus that they produced in the past. The problem is that the Crue cast a big shadow–one that is very hard to live up to.
“Motherf**ker of the Year” – There is no way the old Crue would have written a song like this–probably because their record label wouldn’t have let them. No matter how provocative the song is it isn’t very good.
I grew up a Crue fan… and would have never predicted that they would ever disappear. They seemed like a franchise that could never die. They were the Google of rock.. that is until “Dr. Feelgood,” or maybe it was “Girls, Girls, Girls.” At that point they tipped from a rock band for metal fans to a rock band for the jocks and cheerleaders. I will admit to liking “Girls…” as a teenager. It was catchy as hell and impossible to get some of the songs out of your head. But it was all too corporate rock. The biggest problem with “Saints of Los Angeles” is that it wasn’t really written entirely by the Crue. They have some combination of James Michael, Dj Ashba, and Marti Frederiksen on every song. Also, there are some very good songs and some terrible songs (“Welcome to the Machine”). There is no perfect Crue album and yet some are classics. This is easily their best effort since their heyday and that says a lot. It’s a better effort than anything the Rolling Stones have given us in decades.
Watch the video for “Saints of Los Angeles”