Sound — 9
After the '94 album "Balls to Picasso", which was a decent album without a doubt, Bruce Dickinson found a new lineup for his next album. With the help of Alex Dickson on guitar came a new sound for Bruce. Dickson's style of playing was very unique compared to the way Roy Z and Janick Gers play guitar. Even the drums were different. On Skunkworks, Alessandro Elena filled in for the drum spot and his playing style was also very unique compared to past drummers used in Dickinson's band. Most of the songs on this album were around 3 minutes. They were short and to the point but with 13 tracks on the record that's not too bad. Both minor and major sounds were used to create the sounds on this album rather than just minor which was used a lot with Roy Z. But you should keep in mind that this wasn't an attempt at a normal metal record. Skunkworks had a soft feel but combined with hard rock, it's definitely an album worth listening to. The live versions of the songs off of Skunkworks were a little bit different and in some cases changed due to having one guitarist on stage. The songs were stilled played but having 2 guitars would be required to play most of them as the album version. I'm not sure why it was only Chris Dale out there but with one guitarist, it would suffice.
Lyrics — 10
Skunkworks takes us to a space themed album which is again, nothing like Bruce's earlier work and even his later work. I think that it's great. The lyrics try to take us away from reality or maybe the message was that in years to come this could be our reality. On the deluxe edition of Skunkworks, it comes with a second disc that included the b-sides from "Back from the Edge". Aside from the live renditions of Skunkworks songs, about half of the bonus tracks still focused on the space theme and the others...just listen to them yourself. Bruce's voice has never been a disappointment and his voice on Skunkworks was not a let down. The overlapping of vocals give the songs more tone to it and it sounds great.
Overall Impression — 9
Compared to other albums, many would think that Skunkworks is just trash. I have to disagree, this is my favorite album by Bruce by far and seeing that no one gave this a review, I knew that I just had to make one. The songs that I believe are the best are "Back from the Edge", "Inertia", "Solar Confinement", "Inside the Machine" and "Innerspace". There's not too much to hate about Skunkworks. Just the fact that the songs were an average 3 to 4 minutes. This album too a lot of store hopping to get my hands on. I can't even remember how many FYE's and Newburry Comics stores I had to go to. If this album were stolen or lost, I would most likely get arrested trying to find it. So listen to this album, you wont be disappointed.