When Bruce Dickinson left Iron Maiden for a solo career expectations were high. His first solo album, Tattooed Millionaire was considered something of a project just to satisfy his desire to some straightforward Rock music, so the inconsistencies of that album were forgiven.
It was the beginning of his solo career that had many fans perplexed. His first post-Maiden album, Balls to Picasso, was an experimental album short on both Metal and straightforward Hard Rock. It was an odd album that didn't really fit into any category well (Rock, Metal, or Alternative). His follow up, Skunkworks, while harder edged, was even more genre defying and experimental.
But on Accident of Birth Bruce Dickinson returned to Iron Maiden territory without copying their exact style. In fact, Accident of Birth sounds a lot like a mid 90's updating of the classic Maiden sound. "Starchildren," "Darkside Of Aquarius," and "The Magician" all have the classic Maiden blending of power and melody, and all sound fresh and exiting - not at all dated.
Maybe that's the best thing about this album; it sounds timeless. It could have been written and recorded in 1992 or 1997 or 2007. Adrian Smith's contributions are a welcome treat as well, but this album is Bruce and producer/guitar player Roy Z's show. And what a great show it is. This was the album that regained the Heavy Metal street cred for Bruce Dickinson, and for good reason - it's a great album.
Well produced, and extremely well written and performed, this is a classic, classy straightforward melodic Heavy Metal album.