Okay, time for another confession, this one about on a par with my admission that I love ABBA. I'm also quite fond of Meat Loaf. Note the capital letters. While do enjoy a good meat loaf for dinner, I'm talking about the singer here. When Bat out of Hell came out all those years ago, I bought it on 8-track (how's that for an embarrassing admission?). Later I bought it on cassette, and still later I bought it on CD. I've bought the other Bat CDs, too, and the other day I listened to Hang Cool Teddy Bear, which is pretty much in the same vein.
The "concept" here is that each song is the daydream of a wounded soldier, each one representing a possible vision of his future life. The visions unfold in operatic power pop, with wailing guitars, hammering drums, and soaring above all that, Mr. Loaf's incredible vocals. How can he hit those notes at his age? I don't know, but he does.
Lots of guest stars here, including Justin Hawkins, Jack Black, and Hugh Laurie (yes, that Hugh Laurie) on piano. And Patti Russo, which brings back some memories.
If you've never liked Meat Loaf, this CD isn't going to change your mind. If you were looking for another Bat out of Hell, this one doesn't quite measure up. But it's a lot of fun. One line in "California Isn't Big Enough" made me laugh out loud, and "I Saw Elvis in Vegas" actually achieves the big emotions it's striving for. If you like this kind of music, this is the kind of thing you'll like. If not, forget it.