Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Billy IDOL: "Kings & Queens Of The Underground"

Rating: RRRr
Label: BFI Records/Playground 2014
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

The idle idol's return to the recording studio at the approx. same time when there's a new book and autobiography to promote (Dancing with myself), surely no coincident? Not that we complain or do we? Nah. Quite the opposite really. It's nice to know that some things never change. Blonde, wearing leather and that evil sneer, and as always with his trusty sidekick at the six-string, the Atomic Playboy a.k.a. Steve Stevens. It's the familiar feeling as well as the rock n roll tradition? The Father Christmas of rebel yells and white weddings?

Speaking of Christmas (even though it's no longer political correct?). It's just around the corner and there's a great song by Frankie Goes To Hollywood that Swedish Television always used to air during the holidays (The Power Of Love). Well. Track seven, "Eyes Wide Shut", take most of its influence from that particular 'Power' song. Billy even sings/sounds like Holly Johnson and the verse(s) and overall feeling of the two songs are scary alike at times. However, the chorus part is way different.

It's otherwise a solid effort and especially since I had worries that Billy Idol might have gone haywire and off the deep end. But no, the blonde x-punk is still waving the eighties flag and it's the same radio-friendly rock slash pop as always. Opening track, "Bitter Pill", perhaps just a bit too slick and polite and not enough of the punky attitude? Pretty nice anyhow and it's American made rock with no intention to upset his old fan base. "Can't Break Me Down", yet another slick rocker. "Save Me Now", starts out just like an old Thompson Twins tune (Doctor Doctor) before it's transforming into classic Idol. The synth heavy "Postcards From The Past" kicks like a mule, while the title track takes a long hard look at the golden years and career of Billy Idol.

 Final verdict: Nothing stunning, nothing new or out of order, but a solid Idol album with darn solid material.

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