Sound — 8
Motley Crue, the enigmatically mystical '80s hair metal band has released Saints Of Los Angeles to an apparent success. In spite of some minor qualms the album is somewhat of a musical return to the glory years of 1984-1991; whether the modern music consumer is prepared to establish the album as a return to the financial heights of the same period is a different facet story. From a production perspective, one cannot fault Motley Crue; the band is, as ever, the pounding hard rock outfit that we know and love. Perhaps the apex of the album, in terms of anthemic rock, is Just Another Psycho -- a fantastic testament to the Crue's prevailing talent to pen intimidating verses and choruses that are catchy without being heartless. It would be erroneous to discuss Motley Crue without referring to the eternally idiosyncratic guitar tone of Mick Mars, essentially the driving force behind songs such as Just Another Psycho and Chicks=Trouble. Another track worthy of a notable commendation is Face Down In The Dirt, which represents the teenage angst and fury that has never left Motley Crue; the track is huge, and unlike many of the band's contemporaries, Motley Crue still has the soul to pull it off. The unfortunate relation to Face Down In The Dirt is the besmirching What's it Gonna Take that follows it; alas, this is but a minor qualm. The success of Saints of Los Angeles resides in Motley Crue's aptitude and proficiency for capturing the band's intensive live act on record. This collection of songs is vulnerable to a couple of duds (This Ain't A Love Song, White Trash Circus), but considering that a multitude of hair metal bands have sold albums on the back of the success of one single, Motley Crue should not be scorned. Saints of Los Angeles ends on a high note, and Motley Crue really does go out swingin'.
Lyrics — 6
Somewhat fatuously, the band is still prone to songs centred on themes such as adolescence (Face Down in the Dirt), and whilst this is by no means categorically abhorrent, one does question why Motley Crue didn't pen the song back when starting out. My solution to this is that it's a reflection on why the band was conceived, and like the Sex Pistols before them, the Crue has no pretension regarding the concepts of fame, money and commercialism. The bottom line is that nobody is interested in Motley Crue for originality or intellectual stimulation; but somehow, Just Another Psycho is used to great effect to convey feelings of insanity, and provides the listener with munificent enjoyment in the process. However, it is notable, and perhaps even enlightening that all of the lyrics appear to have external writer's influence upon them. How much of this album was lyrically written by Motley Crue remains recondite, and for such ambiguity, Motley Crue loses a point or two lyrically speaking.
Overall Impression — 7
Vince, Neil, Nicky and Tommy have come a long way since their early days. The fact of the matter is that this is easily the best hair metal album to be released in some time, and it is fitting that Motley Crue is the source. In what is essentially an album straight from the '80s, the Crue sounds refined, and, despite the band's debauchery and profuse drug intake over the years, has aged like the sophisticated fine wine that makes you feel oh so filthy.