I don’t recall exactly when was the last time that I was so disappointed by a favorite artist of mine. To be exact, I was mostly sad than disappointed by listening Meat Loaf’s new album. You see, it’s one thing not to like a record (that’s only normal) and a totally different thing to witness a singer not being able to sing in the studio. Yes, we have seen in the past other singers struggling to make a respectable effort in the live concerts but this was the very first time listening to a singer not being able to sing in the controlled environment of the studio. And unfortunately for all of us, the Meat Loaf fans, this first experience derived from this most talented performer.
And this all started with the best of omens when it was first announced that Meat Loaf’s last ever album would feature once again the return of the most prolific songwriter Jim Steinman. Don’t forget that this is the duo that gave to the music world and the pop culture in general the amazing “Bat Out Of Hell” saga. Personally, I am one of the biggest admirers of Jim Steinman’s work as I believe that he is one of the most groundbreaking composers of this time and age.
Unfortunately, “Braver Than We Are” is the saddest chapter of the illustrious Meat Loaf career. The songs themselves are below par and if you take aside the majestic “Going All The Way Is Just The Start (A Song In 6 Movements)” that bears all the characteristics of everything that we loved about Steinman’s way of writing and the epic number “Souvenirs” everything else are or should be better forgotten! It’s actually mind blowing how Steinman wrote such a mediocre, uneven and passionless album. Even the recycling numbers of “Loving’s You A Dirty Job” and “More” are surely inferior to the original takes. In addition, I can’t believe why Meat Loaf decided to sing on a record when it was plain clear that he couldn’t deliver the goods…that’s why he brought on board so many guest, female vocalists. But the damage is/was irreparable! And it doesn’t stop here! Paul Crook’s production is weak and it doesn’t remind at all of the usual extravaganaza and hyperbole of Meat Loaf/Steinman’s albums.
In the fear of repeating ourselves (but it’s necessary), this is the end for Meat Loaf. My only suggestion is NOT to listen to this album and remain with the memories of such masterpieces as “Bat Out Of Hell”, “Dead Ringer”, “Welcome To The Neighborhood” etc.
There was once a singer with the peculiar stage name of Meat Loaf…not anymore!
Highlight: As I write these lines, I am listening to “Bad For Good”…those were the days!