Motley Crue – Saints of Los Angeles – review

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Motley Crue saints
Artist: Motley Crue
Title: Saints of Los Angeles
Label: Eleven Seven Records
Rating: 7/10

The goods:
“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).”

The rest:
“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.

Finally:
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”

4 COMMENTS

  1. The songs are soundtracks to The Dirt, so Face Down in the Dirt isn’t about what they’re doing now, so you’re references about Nikki Sixx being president of a label and that band are rich are irrelevant.

  2. Brendon,

    Good point. Thanks for plugging that in. Even when you do research on the limited amount of time you have with a CD sometimes you don’t catch everything. But even with that in mind the lyrics are still hard to take seriously. It’s not only Motley Crue who suffer from that… if Green Day was singing about the same thing we’d feel the same. But reminiscing about the past and singing about that does add a different perspective. Then again if the Crue were singing about how rich they were, like hip-hop artists, it might sound too arrogant rather than a band trying too hard to prove they were still relevant. Guess no one can win in that scenario. But, they have always sang about all the girls they get/got and we were jealous–and still dug it.

  3. I grew up on Crue. The first live concert I ever went to was Crue (Feelgood) … I’ve listed to Too Fast for Love and Shout at the Devil (albums) more times than I could ever count … Everything after Feelgood sucked. I’m sure most fans would agree.

    BUT … this album rocks!! It kicks hard with no ballads at all … this is heavy album like their earlier stuff …

    It doesn’t have the “party” sound that Theatre of Pain or Girls, Girls, Girls, had … well Down at the Whisky maybe …

    The first couple of tracks sound a little recycled … but Down at the Whisky onwards rock … the riffs sound like old school Mick Mars …. I disagree with the reviewer .. Mf of the Year is great !

    Highlights:

    Saints of Los Angeles
    MF of the Year
    The Animal in Me
    Welcome to the Machine
    Just Another Psycho

  4. They have lost some of the edgy pre dr Feelgood the band needs to write as a unit to regather that motley sound, vince neil solo records were stronger releases. nikki has to share the song writing duties as vince showed us with his solo releases being a lot better than the motley releases, motley crue, pearls of swine and new tatoo and even this saints of LA is not as good as Exposed vince 1st solo release,

    SO Nikki let the other guys write some songs