Meat Loaf – “Hang Cool Teddy Bear” Album Review

So this review might be a couple months late, but this blog was not launched until more than half  a year later than I wanted it to be. Better late than never I guess.

OK, so it’s 2010 and Meat Loaf has just released his latest epic “Hang Cool Teddy Bear”. If your the average American rock fan than this release has probably passed you right by as you refuse to remember him for anything other than “Bat Out Of Hell”. If that is the case than  you are missing out on what is sure to be one of the best albums of the year as well as the Big Man’s career.

Produced by Rob Cavallo (Green Day “American Idiot”), “Hang Cool Teddy Bear” is Meat Loaf’s first album since 2006’s “Bat Out Of Hell III: The Monster’s Loose”  and his 10th studio album overall and features 12 tracks of hard rocking bliss!!!

The Album starts off with “Peace On Earth” , the intro starts off slow and building when suddenly your hit with an in your face guitar riff and going into some good old fashioned rock and roll.

The Next track… “Living on The Outside”, kicks things up a notch great intro and catchy chorus.

“Los Angeloser”, the first single is by far the most radio friendly track and there is no wondering why it was chosen as the first single.  A catchy little pop / rock track that in any other universe would be a big hit.

Now comes the moment I always wait for on any Meat Loaf album… the Patti Russo duet. “If I Can’t Have You”  is a catchy pop ballad, and well written, however it doesn’t quite stack up against  classics such as “I Would Do Anything For Love” ,  “I’d Lie For You (And That’s The Truth), and “What About Love.” A Welcome addition non the less.

“Love Is Not Real / Next Time You Stab Me In The Back”  definitely has that Jim Steinman feel to it. An amazing song and would feel at home on any Bat album.

The next track “Like A Rose” is very interesting. A Neat little Acoustic style rocker, but has a sort of punk rock feel. Unlike anything I have ever heard from Meat.

Well, you knew the ballad was coming sooner or later and here it is in the form of  “Did You Ever Love Somebody. This is by far my least favorite track on the album ; flat, trite, emotionless all around generic sap crap. Don’t get me wrong I love a great ballad, but this one seemed kind of forced to me.

WTF IS THIS?!?! Is What I have to say about “Song Of Madness” and I mean that in the best way possible. This might be one of the greatest songs that Meat has ever recorded in his life. It’s Dark, heavy, psychotic and features the great Steve Vai on guitar. This album is worth buying for this song alone!!

How do you follow a tune like “Song Of Madness”? Do you do something in the same dark vein or do you go big and catchy? How about both? That is exactly what Running Away From Me” is, dark yet has a big catchy chorus for everyone to enjoy.

Next we have our second ballad and another duet with Patti Russo. This is a much better song than “Did You Ever Love Somebody.” Meat sings with much more emotion and the entire songs just has a more natural feel to it. Which is more than I can say for the next track…

“If It Rains”  is more of a rock ballad than a traditional ballad, but one I feel like I have heard many times and just doesn’t do anything for me.

Closing out the album we have an old Bon Jovi throwaway  “Elvis In Vegas.” This is a nice mid-tempo rocker and a  great way to close out the album.

It’s no secret that Meat Loaf is at his best when he is partnered with his old pal Jim Steinman, but his non Steinman albums while for the most part not as big and epic are still great albums and “Hang Cool Teddy Bear” is no different and I believe it to be his second best non Steinman album right behind “Bad Attitude”

GRADE – 90

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