Review Summary: You know what? I WILL Hassle The Hoff.17 of 17 thought this review was well written
Overall, it seems like David Hasselhoff is a pretty cool guy. The kind of guy you would like to throw a few back with and listen to his war stories on the merits of Knight Rider, the daily acting clinics permeating the Baywatch set, how many German chicks fell prey to his cunning wiles, and to gain the overall sense of what it feels like to be an international cultural icon. The Hoff is one of those figures that are immediately polarizing but commonly revered. Some worship him legitimately, others ironically, but few hold any sort of overpowering revulsion to his oft-campy projects and behavior. Aside from his seminal role as Mitch Buchanan on Baywatch, an idea that was a Godsend in a bottle of lotion to adolescent males in the 90s, perhaps the primary reason Hasselhoff usually lands in our good graces is he is a certified doctor in self parody. Perhaps realizing his wealth and fame were stamped by factors outside of actual talent, The Hoff is smart enough to embrace his shortcomings, admitting his role as the butt of the joke and laughing all the way to the bank. One of Hasselhoff’s greatest assets has been timing and luck, and it is an extremely fortunate coincidence that virtually everyone inside the continental United States has no idea that his debut “musical” project, “Night Rocker” actually exists.
Recently, I argued the merits of the quintessential “guilty pleasure” and the legitimate human nature to enjoy something that is truly abhorrent in an ironic fashion because the wretchedness of the project transcends comedy. In other words, something can be “so bad it is good,” and usually when this is the case, our own sense of irony and smarminess allows at least a shred of enjoyment. It turns out I was incorrect, and did not account for the factor that a piece of pop culture can be so incredibly, incestuously awful that any chance of ironic enjoyment is buried under a river of cascading feces. Much like hell contains its own distinct, wretched, and final level in Dante’s Inferno, the same can be sad about the level of unadulterated sh*ttiness emanating from The Hoff’s “Night Rocker.” In terms of something that should provide at least a semblance of ironic enjoyment through sheer campiness, “Night Rocker” transcends all levels and adjectives for the word terrible, resting atop a mountain of festering refuge as probably the worst album in recorded history.
Think of the absolute worst 80s pop song you ever heard, cross it with enough adult pop contemporary clichés to make Barry Manilow throw back his head in unadulterated, mocking laughter, sprinkle in vocals that sound something like Neil Diamond after having his throat ripped out, throw in lyrics that make Chad Kroeger resemble a young Bob Dylan, and you might have a small inkling of the rotting, pungent stench this album leaves in its wake. The title track sets the tone, as The Hoff takes us through the commonly clichéd concept of “night,” riding Gorgonzola level synths, horrifically placed saxophone, and an unabashedly terrible chorus where his attempt at creating something soaring falls apart like a crack whore on Easter Sunday. Unfortunately for David, this is the best song on the album. The album rolls along its self destructive path, including more than a hundred utterances of the word “baby,” not three, but four songs with the word “Love” in the title, and three songs containing “night” in its title.
It’s difficult to pinpoint the moment when David falls on his face in the most epic fashion possible. It could be on the Tom Jones rock/swing bastard child “Crazy on a Saturday Night,” when the Hoff takes a break from getting utterly INSANE on the weekend to lament “Whoa! Aint the moon a beauty? Don’t it shine so bright?!” The closer “Let It Be Me,” might have a shot, as it gets bonus points for directly ripping off the melody of the Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There,” winning a prize in the process for making one of the worst songs in history sound like something created by God himself. When The Hoff regales us with all of the ways he made his last girlfriend cry (“She Cried”), up to and including telling her he does not in fact love her anymore, (naturally, she cried), we can perfectly associate with the overpowering, revolting depression that would undoubtedly entrance any female scorned by him. To really drive the point home, The Hoff makes sure to include mo-town like backup singers that also fail epically at carrying a tune, a fistful of sha-la-la lyrics, and a preponderance of cowbell. The wind chimes/xylophone combo blasting out of the syrupy ballad “Any Kind of Love At All,” where the Hoff tries really hard to pretend he is having trouble scoring chicks wins points for fake sensitivity, and the blasphemy inducing cover of the Coutner’s “Do You Love Me,” does it's part in not distracting us as to how unquestionably bad this album is, but perhaps his proudest failure comes on the heels of the diabetic coma inducing “No Words For Love,” which is currently in a strong running for worst song in history. There are probably no words that can actually describe the shattering, facemelting force of The Hoff’s love, but lyrics like “Its gonna be right/its gonna be a night when we’re all alone/when I’m holding you tight/and I’m looking into your eyes/and we’re looking at the stars all shining up above,” and “how good life could be/if you were by my side for eternity” at least give us an idea. On an album where The Hoff’s vocals are roughly minus 500 on the levels of losing, his performance on “No Words for Love” stands as his ultimate abortion.
To be fair to The Hoff, it would be wrong to expect his music to resemble anything approaching average, and in a simpler time we may forgive this effort as it was his first attempt. Unfortunately for David, when you produce something this intensely atrocious, you have to ensure it has a comedic replay-ablility. To replay this record is an exercise in masochism, i.e., subjecting oneself to deprecation and torture. I’m sorry David, you seem like a pretty cool guy, but even the most self-deprecating laments of The Hoff himself couldn’t justify this.