Sound — 8
Whether or not you think that the guys in Motley Crue are past their prime, the rock icons still know how to put on a crowd-pleasing show. Of course, the latest live CD release Carnival Of Sins might not capture the true spirit of the Crue, if only for the fact that it remains the same censored version released a few years back. Carnival Of Sins originally hit the shelves in 2006 exclusively through Wal-Mart (which was odd enough back then), and the newest 2-disk release is apparently for those who didn't get a chance to pick it up yet. While the concert is a memorable one, it's hard to ignore the complaints from those who saw the original Grand Rapids, Michigan, show that say the CD is too clean and doesn't really add anything new to the Wal-Mart version. If you haven't heard Carnival Of Sins before, you won't be disappointed with the 23 classic tracks on the playlist. The band sounds amazingly true to the sound of the original recordings, and it's shocking how well Vince Neil's voice maintains it's power throughout the stage show. The highlight comes during Home Sweet Home, in which you get a little of the band's personality thrown in with the music. You hear the beginning piano line, followed by Vince saying, Are you ready, Tommy? -- and the crowd goes absolutely berserk. That instance alone just brings back a world of memories for anyone who lived during the Crue's heyday. The mixing is solid considering that it's a live show, with Mick Mars' solos coming out clear and just as intense as ever (Kickstart My Heart is a standout). This particular show was recorded during the Crue's reunion tour, and it is just a cool experience to hear the band relive some of it's best moments musically. A DVD of the entire concert was also released a year ago under the same Carnival Of Sins heading, and that would probably be the best purchase if you want to get the full effect. Between Neil's interaction with the crowd and the intensity behind Tommy Lee's drum skills, the visuals just take everything a little further than the 2-disk set. There are hardly any dull moments during the show, but Glitter does slow the momentum down a bit. The keyboard-heavy ballad doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the show, even when placed right beside another ballad like Without You. Besides that one down spot, the music on Carnival Of Sins is a worthwhile purchase -- if you don't already own it, that is.
Lyrics — 9
Most of the songs on Carnivals Of Sins contain lyrics that are probably already embedded into your brain if you grew up with albums like Girls, Girls, Girls or Theatre Of Pain. The lyrics range from being extremely sleazy to expressing pure-hearted love, and all of it makes for a trip down memory lane. The newer songs (relatively speaking) Sick Love Song and If I Die Tomorrow from the Red, White, And Crue album may be a little bit more contrived, but there are so many classic tracks on the 2 CDs that the lyrics don't really need to be put under the microscope.
Overall Impression — 7
It would be safe to assume that the new release is for the fans that didn't get an opportunity to pick up Carnival Of Sins at Wal-Mart a year back. The problem lies in the fact that live concert CDs usually are for the diehard fans, and those people probably own both the Wal-Mart version as well as the DVD that was released around the same time. While the show is incredible and does prove that Motley Crue's ability to put on a killer show has not waned over time, it would have been great to have something a little new added to the mix.