Saudades De Rock review by Extreme

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  • Released: Aug 12, 2008
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (49 votes)
Extreme: Saudades De Rock
1

Sound — 8
After seeing guitarist Nuno Bettencourt scoff at the idea an Extreme reunion on the VH1 reality special Bands Reunited, it was a little surprising when the band announced in 2007 they would be going on a world tour. But the past seems to be indeed the past, and the band has been going full-force since that odd little TV appearance. This August marks the release of the new album Saudades de Rock, which involves the classic lineup except for Paul Geary, who was replaced by Kevin Figueiredo. The 13-track CD is at times a true blast from the past, with the classic Extreme sound that prevailed during the 1990s popping up in many of the tracks. At the same time, the band has made no secret of wanting to experiment with different styles and sounds, and those musical risks (although not really that outlandish) don't always pan out. The opening track Star does indeed shine, particularly if you're a fan of songs like Decadence Dance or Kid Ego. It very much has that kind of sound, with a funky, infectious guitar intro from Bettencourt that is so solid that it can carry the entire song. Vocalist Gary Cherone proves early on that 13 years passing hasn't altered his vocal strength in any way. A Cappella harmonies kick off the song, and it's a fitting start given that pretty much every song is chock full of vocal layering. The energy from Star carries over to the next few tracks as well, with the bluesy Comfortably Dumb and riff-driven Learn To Love maintaining the momentum. Things go a little awry with the ballads that are sprinkled throughout Saudades de Rock. Not everyone necessarily liked More Than Words back in the day, but it still was a beautifully arranged song. On the new album, we don't get that honest simplicity featured in More Than Words. The track Last Hour recalls more of a 1950's ballad, which is fine, but it never evolves into something that interesting. Interface does have some emotional moments lyrically, and it actually begins with just an acoustic and vocals. It probably would have made more of an impact had the band decided to strip it down like More Than Words, but when the full band joins in, it loses something in the process and ends up sounding like any song on the radio. Some have said that Extreme has dived into the experimental deep end recently, but there really isn't anything completely avant-garde on the new album. There might be some country inspiration on Take Us Alive or even a bit of a hippie vibe on Peace (Saudade), but the vast majority of tracks do sound like Extreme thanks to Bettencourt's killer, funky riffs around every corner.

Lyrics — 9
Extreme has always been reliable in the lyrical department, with more than a few clever lines in each track. Star, which seems to hearken back to Kid Ego, includes lyrics like, Tinsel town callin' your name; Penny in your pocket; Walkin' like a prophet; A fortune teller claimin' your fame; Arrivin' in style on the red carpet mile. The cynicism-tinged lyrics work perfectly for Cherone's theatrical delivery, and he certainly is able to convey each line's meaning. Things go a little sour in Peace (Saudade), which just feels a little too much like it's trying to be a modern-day Give Peace A Chance. While it's a novel approach, it also feels a bit preachy at times.

Overall Impression — 8
Some younger listeners may not have had much of an opportunity to hear Extreme's older material, and the new album is a pretty suitable introduction. There is no shortage of Nuno Bettencourt's crazy-good riffs or Gary Cherone's melodramatic, yet strong vocals, not to mention the fact that there are funky rock tunes a-plenty. Saudades De Rock runs into some issues when it takes itself a bit too seriously. Certain songs go on way too long and attempt to have an epic feel, but only end up sounding repetitive. The vast majority of tracks, however, are solid rock tracks never let up on the groove.

31 comments sorted by best / new / date

    limefan913
    From what I've heard so far, it's not bad, but the harmonies in Star just bug the **** out of me.
    theking4everr
    first- it says 14 tracks in the description on the page...but this fool is saying 13 tracks?!!?what the hell!!!???n who da **** says not everyone liked more than words...it could be ignorant ****s like you who didn't..someone who does not understand the proper meaning of arrangement and harmony...i would suggest this reviewer to please shut the **** up...and not write any reviews about any band anymore...if you guys like Extreme...just go ahead and buy this album...dont listen to this stupid ****...im sure this person hasnt even paid real attention to the songs...maybe just one listen and thats never enough to write a review about any song..let alone an album...Go Extreme!!
    sialanka
    I like the songs, but the production could be alot better. Sadly, it's more a "waiting for the punshline" then a "3 sides to every story", wich I, and i think the rest of the public liked more. The drums are to dry, so are the guitars. I expected more, not that I dont like it, I just dont like it as much as i do the other albums.
    DustyBannister
    Awesome, I was barely alive when these guys started, but they rule, I managed to score a tape for my car at the pawn shop earlier this year, so worth it, but now there's a cd player in my car, this might be a nice addition to my collect.
    KingCheesehead
    jamstation wrote: KingCheesehead wrote: Do all the other songs on this album sound like Audioslave? Because Comfortably Dumb definitely did. To you and all the others who think Extreme sounds like Audioslave, I would recommend listening to Extreme's previous album -- "Waiting for the Punchline". That was recorded in 1995 and would clear up a lot of doubts you might have. Extreme aren't copying anyone... it's just part of the band's sound.
    I just meant this album. I've listened to past stuff. No, "Play With Me" doesn't at ALL sound like Audioslave. I just thought maybe on this new one they tried to sound more modern and ended up sounding like Audioslave and other recent bands. 'Course, I could just listen to the album.
    dunkelblau
    NorCalLos wrote: BlisteringDDj : Who the **** cares about painted fingernails? manicurists
    owned and i need to get this album i enjoy the extremeness of it all
    Rajah
    The European version has a demo track called Americocaine from 1985. It's an awesome song. Pity it wasn't from the first album. I love this album. Had it for about a week now. There are a few songs that sound like Led Zeppelin leftovers and as one user mentioned there is a song that definately has an Audioslave feel to it. This is nothing like their first 2 albums, which rank in my top 10 of all time, but we wouldn't want another from the past. This is a great album and well worth getting.
    Bunyip
    KingCheesehead wrote: Do all the other songs on this album sound like Audioslave? Because Comfortably Dumb definitely did.
    some of the vocals do remind me of chris cornells but to be honest I think it is only that song the album is pretty sweet. Learne to Love and Star are my two favourite at the moment. learn to love has a cool solo with the bass playin some cool stuff underneath. the album has good production in my opinion its sounds like its had a lot put into it but not too many unnecessary overdubs. like the review says the vocals are layered but im pretty sure its both nuno and gary and possibly another member doing harmonys not just gary overdubing
    BlisteringDDj
    ValenceElectron wrote: NorCalLos wrote: BlisteringDDj : Who the **** cares about painted fingernails? manicurists actually, I like the term 'nail technician' lmao
    I don't know why (because it's not funny), but I lol'd.
    deh_k
    I'm from Brazil and, Saudades do not mean "Peace" saudades is a word that only exists in portuguese,cant be translated.it the feeling of missing something/someone. Please guys, fix it
    ValenceElectron
    NorCalLos wrote: BlisteringDDj : Who the **** cares about painted fingernails? manicurists
    actually, I like the term 'nail technician' lmao
    NorCalLos
    BlisteringDDj : Who the **** cares about painted fingernails? manicurists
    NorCalLos
    My bad. Nuno was first "modern" rock dude to do it? It's still lame. Now guyliner, that's some lame ish.
    chocolateTeddy
    there was kiss and the rolling stones who had painted finger nails :/ twisted sister, even sting and bono did it oh not to forget billy idol
    NorCalLos
    I heard More Than Words this morning while walking through the mall on the way to starbuck's. Good tune. They're fine musicians, but to me never really seemed to be anything more than the sum of their parts. In my opinion they becabe obsolete when alternative hit. Just my opinion. *BUT* Nuno gets credit for being the first rocker to appear in a video with painted fingernails. Enjoy, Hot Topic kids.
    BlisteringDDj
    I didn't like "Waiting For The Punchline", only a couple of tracks. Same with "III Sides To Every Story". "Extreme" and "Pornograffitti" however, is among my top 100 albums list!
    jamstation
    KingCheesehead wrote: Do all the other songs on this album sound like Audioslave? Because Comfortably Dumb definitely did.
    To you and all the others who think Extreme sounds like Audioslave, I would recommend listening to Extreme's previous album -- "Waiting for the Punchline". That was recorded in 1995 and would clear up a lot of doubts you might have. Extreme aren't copying anyone... it's just part of the band's sound.
    shadymutt
    Got it - Love it! they always got bad press for the knobs that ony ever heard more than works (which i like - an i'm a bloke!) but they had great songs other than that. this album so far sounds like a good return and i hope it's not just a 1 off
    SuicidalFreak
    "All I see is pornograffitti! All I hear pornograffitti!" I haven't heard any Extreme in a long time. I hope their new album is any good.
    KingCheesehead
    Do all the other songs on this album sound like Audioslave? Because Comfortably Dumb definitely did.
    Dyuha
    theking4everr wrote: it says 14 tracks in the description on the page...but this fool is saying 13 tracks?!!?what the hell!!!???
    the european version has 14 tracks
    LifesSweetDrug
    This album isn't nearly as good as there others, a bit of disappointment but still it is an ok album. Better than what most bands produce.
    BlisteringDDj
    I didn't know of this!! I'm soooo getting this album. I like everything Extreme has released and I can't wait to listen to this!
    Shyne
    ^ anger management for the failure above. in other news... i'll be checking this out, loved their old shizzle.
    Galvatron
    Sounds like a bunch of people that don't remember Extreme's first run. They are a band for chicks.