Sound — 8
Drop Dead, Gorgeous are back in 2009 with the follow-up to their latest album, a haunting concept album titled Worse Than A Fairy Tale. Many fans were displeased by Worse Than A Fairy Tale, claiming that it wasn't "really" Drop Dead, Gorgeous. These fans were mostly angry because not every riff was a blatant breakdown and/or 2-step worthy riff. Little did they know they actually were, the heaviness was masked by Danny Stills new style of vocals. That same, more singing, style is present in The Hot N' Heavy. The guitars sound pretty much the same as far as tone, but I have noticed more layered, technical playing from Kyle and Dan. Like most metalcore albums, the bass only serves its purpose when necessary and other than that is mostly inaudible. The drums are that same Drop Dead, Gorgeous hectic style. Perhaps one of my favorite things about the album, however, is Duck's keyboard playing. There's one lick he does that will blow you away and make you realize this kid is the real deal.
Lyrics — 8
Danny Stills. People loved Be Mine, Valentine and In Vogue because of the sheer brutality of Stills' scream. Worse Than A Fairy Tale caught a lot of crap for being very singing oriented, fans would complain with things like "stop trying to be like Chiodos." Anyone who paid attention would know that Danny Stills was not trying to be Craig Owens. Even though the vocal style was not a fan favorite, it remains the same on this album. Stills' singing, however, is now better than ever. He hits notes higher and more clean than he has in the past. The quality of the voice has tremendously improved, and his screams sound like how they did on the early albums only they aren't plagued with distortion this time. I give this section an 8 out of 10, only because the lyrics are not very strong. While Still' tells us that the lyrics are from real-life experience (not a concept album this time) some of them are kind of cheesy. (A breakdown where he screams "you f--ked with the wrong son of a bitch," or the chorus of "if I ever see you again and this gun is loaded, you'll sleep in hell." You'll have to listen to the album yourself for more specifics.
Overall Impression — 9
Although Drop Dead, Gorgeous are not virtuosos of their instruments by any means they surely have made a step in that direction. (No, I'm not saying their next album will sound like Steve Vai, but they have lead parts in their songs now for Christ's sake!) Some of my favorite songs off the album would be Beat the Devil Out of It; Sue Simmons! Watch Your Mouth; Fame; and Can't Fight Biology. What I love about the album is the improved vocal style, the improved guitar playing and riff writing, and most of all Duck's keyboard playing. I wonder what band he's in now, they must be ecstatic to have him with them. One of the only things I hate about the album are the sometimes cheesy lyrics. For me, being more a musician than vocalist, I don't care as much about the lyrical content as I do about the melodies created by the vocal chords so I'm not too hurt by this at all. If it were stolen or lost, I would buy it again only because I've been a fan of these guys since the beginning and I believe this is their farthest progression. People say it sounds more like their first albums (very heavy almost all the time) but Worse Than A Fairy Tale's influence is definitely unmasked. Being a fan of all their album, I was quite pleased with this one.