Motley Crue - Dr. Feelgood (1989) Dec 24, 2012 14:34:09 GMT -5
Post by Erik Rupp on Dec 24, 2012 14:34:09 GMT -5
For an album that's supposed to be really good this sure is full of mediocre material.
Dr. Feelgood is an album that has ridden on the coattails of it's two most famous songs, the epic title track and the fast and furious, "Kickstart My Heart." Sure, those are a couple great songs, but what about the rest of the album?
Well, the rest of the album is uneven, to say the least.
After the title track the Crue settles into a rut of mediocrity and juvenile, sophomoric lyrics that make some of their earlier work seem like Shakespeare in comparison. "Slice Of Your Pie," is fair musically, but nothing terribly special. Lyrically it fits right in with what they had been doing on the previous album, Girls Girls Girls. Kinda stoopid, kinda almost clever, kinda juvenile - fitting in nicely with the lowest common denominator stuff from the late 80's. Still, as an album cut it works fairly well. Sadly, though, aside from the two great songs this is one of the better songs on the album.
"Rattlesnake Shake," is overproduced (featuring synth horns, no less) and sounds like the Crue's attempt at writing a Permanent Vacation/Pump era Aerosmith song without that band's subtlety or wit. Or musical ability. Me-di-ocre.
After, "Kickstart," returns the album to a high level the uttlerly bland and sappy, "Without You," brings the album to a grinding halt. Power Ballads were a blight on the music world in the late 80's and very early 90's, and this was a great example of how and why Power Ballads were one of the things that killed 80's Pop Metal in the 90's. As painfully mediocre and banal as this song is, things would have to get better on the next track, right?
Not so fast.
While, "Same Old Situation (S.O.S.)," became a big MTV hit, in retrospect this is paint by the numbers Hard Rock that could have easily fit on Girls Girls Girls. It's got a big, catchy chorus hook, but while it is catchy it's also kinda stoopid and kinda lame. The rest of the song is just flat out mediocre. "Same Old Situation," is just glorified filler with a big chorus hook.
Did I note that Dr. Feelgood was loaded with mediocrity? I just wanted to make sure I got that in.
"Sticky Sweet." Do I need to go any farther than the song title with this one? I mean, even if you never heard the song you can imagine (fairly accurately, too) what it sounds like based on the Girls Girls Girls album and the preceding tracks on this one. This is, "Slice Of Your Pie Part II." It's OK. It's not horrible, except lyrically. It's a decent album track for this album, but you had a bunch of guys around 30 years old writing lyrics that sound like something written by a 17 year old high school kid. The "Been there, done that," factor was really high for this one - even in 1989.
"She Goes Down." Does she, really? Again, this is a decent song musically even if a bit overly familiar, but lyrically this is lame. This was lame then and it's lamer now. I don't know what producer Bob Rock was thinking (or drinking), but allowing as many utterly juvenile, lame sets of lyrics on to this album it seems like he abdicated his position as producer and became a buddy instead, with his focus on the album's sonics more than it's music and lyrics. KISS did songs with similar lyrical themes, but at least they were halfway clever most of the time, and when KISS is writing lyrics that are more clever than yours maybe it's time to look in the mirror and give an honest assessment.
Then there's, "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)." That sounds like the kind of song title Gene Simmons was coming up with around that time (like, "So Many Girls, So Little Time," for example). "Don't Go Away Mad," is actually one of the better songs on the album, but that's damning with faint praise. It's a tad bland, but the acoustic guitars are a nice touch. This one does hold up much better than most of the songs on the album have as it is actually pretty good.
But then they kill any hopes of having the album go out on a high note by ending with, "Time For A Change," which, well, sucks. Attempting to be meaningful on an album like this is silly, but then again - the execution isn't any good, so it really does fit in. This is a lame Power Ballad that's supposed to be somewhat introspective and thoughtful, but instead it comes across as overreaching.
Dr. Feelgood, the album, dies a quiet death as it kind of slips away in it's sleep at the end.
Why this album is rated so highly by so many is beyond me. Yes, it has two great songs, and one other decent track, but the rest is mediocre or worse. There just isn't much here that can hold up against the songs from the monumental first two Crue albums, Too Fast For Love and Shout At The Devil. Dr. Feelgood should have been sued for malpractice as this is just bad medicine.
The sonics are good, though. Bob Rock did get that part right.