Meat Loaf returns, but this time without Bat series co-creator Jim Steinman, promising a more personal collection of songs. In fact, Meat has already called this 12th studio effort his most honest ever. Well, it’s certainly one of his angriest — despite the presence of a bunch of his old pals from “Celebrity Apprentice,” including Lil Jon, Trace Adkins, John Rich, and Mark McGrath, on “Stand in the Storm.” Just when you think things can’t get any more pissed off, Meat brings in Chuck D, who adds a series of cranky raps to the the three-part performance piece, “Blue Sky/Mad Mad World/The Good God is a Woman and She Don’t Like Ugly.”
Of course, American fans are probably a little perturbed, too, having waited so long for this official March release date. This album actually came out in Australia and Germany with a slightly different song order last year. “All of Me” and Meat Loaf’s dark new version of the Mamas and the Papas’ “California Dreamin’” (yes, I said “dark new version”; he really is angry) was also released Down Under last fall. What the hell?