Sunday, September 8, 2013
RECKLESS LOVE: "Spirit"
Label: Universal 2013
Review by Kimmo Toivonen
I'm a bit late to review this since the album has been out for a week or so, but at least I've got a new angle to this review. You see, I've read quite a few other reviews of this album and although some of them have been very favourable, sometimes it feels that Reckless Love are becoming "the band you love to hate". Well, if you're expecting me to jump on that bandwagon, I'll have to disappoint you - I still like the band and this album.
"Spirit" isn't a perfect album by any means, but I think it's better than its' predecessor. Not much has changed, the band still plays very eighties' styled "Merry Metal" with some strong pop influences. Let's check out the songs a bit closer.
The first single "Night On Fire" I reviewed a while ago, and I don't have much to add to that. It's still catchy as hell, and despite its' instant nature, I haven't gotten tired of listening to it. "Bad Lovin'" is a bit of a throwaway track, but enjoyable at that with a rather good "Na-Na-Na" chorus. "I Love Heavy Metal" is one of the two "jokes" on the album, a tribute to Eighties' "Metal". The lyrics are made up of songtitles and band names and the song itself sounds like Def Leppard playing Poison's "Unskinny Bop" with a few of their own ideas thrown in. Throwaway, juvenile, whatever... but great fun and seriously catchy.
"Favorite Flavor" is one track that I can't get a grip of. It's an uptempo rocker with a Van Halen-vibe, but somehow forgettable. "Edge Of Our Dreams" is anything but forgettable, a very potential single candidate. It's a mixture of Def Leppard verses and a massively melodic, pop-influenced chorus. Someone like Katy Perry would make it an instant hit, let's hope that Reckless Love can take it to the charts as well.
I wasn't expecting much of a song called "Sex, Drugs and Reckless Love", but goddamn it, it's another "catchy as hell" kind of a song. They are definitely not re-inventing the wheel with it, but somehow it just bursts with positivity and fun. "Dying To Live" is a nice enough midtempo/semi-balladic track, even though the chorus could've used some extra-oomph... the Spotify-only bonustrack "Gone With A Smile" is similary paced, but does have a better chorus - maybe they should have switched places?
"Metal Ass" is the other "joke" of the album... and the best thing about it is that it's short, let's just leave it at that. "Runaway Love" is a good midtempo track, while "So Happy I Could Die" is Reckless Love impersonating Mötley Crüe - not one of the strongest tracks of the album but not too bad either. Never mind that the "Whoa! Yeah!" is blatantly borrowed from "Kickstart My Heart".
The last track "Hot Rain" is one of the more serious ones, a ballad very much in the vein of "Love Bites" by Def Leppard. The chorus is a bit of a letdown though. Still, I wouldn't be surprised if this was a single too, with a video featuring shirtless Olli Herman walking on a deserted beach... in rain... and Pepe playing the solo in the water, with waves crashing around him. Yep, the song practically writes the script by itself.
There's a bonus track on the UK edition of the album, a song called "Die Hard". It's a very Ratt-like song with a harder-edged sound than most of the album. Nothing that special that it would justify buying another copy of the album, but likeable enough. Better than "Metal Ass" for sure.