Sunday, December 4, 2011

BEGGARS & THIEVES: "We Are The Brokenhearted"

Rating: 7/10

Label: Frontiers 2011

Review by Kimmo Toivonen

Beggars & Thieves were one of the last hard rock/hair metal acts of the late eighties rock boom that got signed by a major label. Their only album for Atlantic was released in 1990 and despite its' quality, it didn't storm the charts. It earned them a cult favourite status, and finally in 1997 they followed it up with "Look What You Create" on the now-defunct MTM Music label. In 1999 they released another album for MTM, only to disappear into the night again... they re-emerged in 2010 to play at Firefest and now they're back with a new album.

There's much to like about "We Are The Brokenhearted": the band has a cool, organic sound, vocalist Louie Merlino is one of the most soulful vocalists in hard rock and the songs themselves sound like the band had poured out their hearts into them. "Hair Metal" this is not, it owes more to Bruce Springsteen than Mötley Crüe, yet it actually doesn't sound much like Springsteen at all. Ever since that 1990 debut, B & T has had their own, dark sound.

So why I am not giving this a higher rating? Well, even though I like the album, it doesn't quite grab me the way a great album would. Now that I have played it a few times, I haven't found any standout tracks that I would like to listen again anytime soon. Because of the good qualities listed above, I really wanted to like this album more than I did, but the band could have used some real "hits". You know, the kind of melodies that one would catch himself/herself humming unexpectedly.


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