Half Notes: Meat Loaf – Hell in a Handbasket (2012)

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?

‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

[amazon_enhanced asin="B006VOW2IC" container="" container_class="" price="All" background_color="FFFFFF" link_color="000000" text_color="0000FF" /]

Nick DeRiso

Over a 30-year career, Nick DeRiso has also explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz, Ultimate Classic Rock and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Contact him at nderiso@somethingelsereviews.com.

2 Comments

  1. MORE FROM AROUND THE WATERCOOLER AT SOMETHING ELSE! TOWERS …

    MARK SALESKI: I just listened to that three-part thing with Chuck D. Surprisingly good.

    FRED PHILLIPS: I’ve only listened to the video on the review, but there was some stuff on there that made me interested in checking it out. Angry is kinda my thing.

    MARK SALESKI: ‘California Dreamin” isn’t bad either … though there’s something very odd about his voice. Can’t tell if there’s auto-tune on it or some other effect. I still say the best vocals he’s ever done were on Ted Nugent’s ‘Free For All’ album.

    S. VICTOR AARON: Just gleaning from the video, he seems liberated from not working with Jim Steinman anymore. Not saying this is going to be a classic or anything but it doesn’t sound like another ‘Bat Out of Hell’ rehash. And yes, Meat does do anger well.

    NICK DERISO: I was far more interested in this one – really *because* it didn’t figure to be anything like the ‘Bat’ series. That is so very played out for me.

    FRED PHILLIPS: Agree completely on ‘Free for All.’

    S. VICTOR AARON: I’d forgotten that he used to handle lead vocals for The Nuge. ‘Free For All’ was
    a great one.

    MARK SALESKI: If I remember right, he doesn’t do all of the songs on that album.

    FRED PHILLIPS: Derek St. Holmes has three or four songs on ‘Free for All.’ He left while they were recording and Meat Loaf finished it up.

    MARK SALESKI: I was never a fan, but that time I got a chance to see him (friend of mine had an extra ticket … was at the Orpheum in Boston), it was way more fun than expected. First, a killer band. I had no idea he’d had Kasim Sultan playing with him.

  2. Mark, the “Bat Out of Hell” album featured all four members of Utopia at the time (Rundgren, Sultan, Wilcox and Powell)…

Here's where you talk back ...