Sound — 10
WASP's 'The Crimson Idol" really changes the sound that the band had perviously, and not in a bad way at all. During the 80's, WASP was another shock rock band the was MTV-friendly, and mostly songs from their first two albums got heavy air-play. The sound on this album is more organized and thought-out than any of their preivous albums. There are many songs that use acoustic instruments, which is very odd for WASP. Also, there are some hints of orchestral music in some songs, mostly the last 3 tracks. Blackie Lawless's voice is undeniable on this album. He hit his peak with this album. I was even amazed! The guitar and drums have the 80's sound to it. The drums are very well prepared, and they have a large echo to them. The guitars are very ear-splitting, but don't worry, I mean that in a good way! The sound is just spectacular on this album!
Lyrics — 10
The whole album follows the story of a teen, Jonathan Steel, who steals a guitar one day during his teen years, and he gets noticed by a ruthless record company president, AKA "Chainsaw Charlie". As he becomes an extremely popular artist, he faces the cons of being a famous rockstar. The constant partying, Emassive amounts of drugs, etc. But the one that hits Jonathan the hardest is the rejection of his parents, due to their disagreement with his occupation. As he realizes that he can really never please them, he commits suicide by taking the strings of his guitar and turning them into a noose, hanging himself. The entire story is very dark, but that is really what makes this album so great. "The Invisible Boy" talks of how Jonathan felt after his brother died in a car accident, as he ran away from home. "Chainsaw Charlie (Murders In The New Morgue)" is about the CEO of a record complany, and his ruthless ways of doing business. The best known song on here "Hold Onto My Heart" is a nice little ballad, with not so sweet lyrics. This one talks of how Jonathan feels that his parents aren't pleased with him, and how he'll never be accepted. Each song has it's own personal part it adds to the album, that just makes it better. The story has it's very deppressing moments, where you actually feel sorry for Jonathan. I know weird! But, that what makes it so great.
Overall Impression — 9
This is, litterally, my favorite WASP album. It is also one of my favorite albums overall. The way it was made is just incredible. The highlight tracks, in my opinion, are: The Idol, Hold onto my heart, Chainsaw Charlie, and Arena Of Pleasure. These just make the album. There is really nothing to hate about this album, except maybe they could've added another song or two. I got the 2-disc version of this album and on the bonus tracks, they have a track called "The Eulogy". That song would've made a great ending to this album. If it were stolen / lost, I might buy it again. Almost every CD I get I put on my computer, so if I lost it, I'd probably be mad, but I still have the copy on my computer. But, really, If you don't already have this album, GET IT!