Bret Michaels
Songs Of Life


2.0
poor

Review

by Pedro B. USER (303 Reviews)
August 1st, 2010 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: These Songs Of Life should have been Songs Of Death; the death of Michaels' career, that is.

Sometimes, being young in your mind is not necessarily a good thing, as any number of washed-up rockstars with dwindling sales will attest. However, someone should inform the king of washed-up rockstars with dwindling sales, Bret Michaels, of this fact, as for the last decade he has been desperately trying to pretend he is not in his forties and still has what it takes to rock. As the pitiful results of his solo career will attest, he doesn’t.

2003’s Songs Of Life is no less than the fourth product of this solo journey, following on the footsteps of a soundtrack (to Michaels’ own movie!) and a couple of bootleggish, out-of-print albums, one of which consisted of a half-interviews, half-songs format and was appropriately called Ballads, Blues, And Stories. With those albums having become scarce in the interim years, Michaels rescues the odd song from them to boost up the ranks of this allegedly new album, pitting them next to twelve actually new compositions devised in partnership with guitarist Cliff Calabro. The results, unfortunately, are as mediocre as they were the first time around.

In fact, although a number of years have passed, Michaels seems to have learned nothing at all, as a good portion of what’s wrong with this album can be attributed to the one factor that’s been consistently destroying the singer’s career: the clumsy attempts at modernity. A good third of this album still devotes itself to rewriting Power To The People’s C.C.DeVille-penned track, I Hate Every Bone In Your Body But Mine; the problem is, this sort of teen-punk pastiche did not work then, and it does not work now. It is almost painful to witness Michaels trying to make his usually warm register as nasally as possible, all while reciting lyrics that would have bothered a seventeen-year-old. When presented with such a degrading spectacle, one can only comment that mid-life crises are all fine and dandy, but should under no circumstance be committed to any sort of lasting media format. Meaning: do not ever make your andropause into an album.

What’s more, even the safe, typical folk-country-rock songs seem lifeless this time around. Most of them trudge by eliciting little to no reaction from the listener, which, while admittedly a step up from the punk-pop tracks, is still far less than a good hard rock album should be able to do. Even when the odd strong track pops up (like Raine or the bland-but-listenable title track), it is plagued by the other bane of this album: the lyrics. Once-decent storyteller Bret Michaels seems to have lost his flair, and here he is confined to either ripping off his old themes (often stealing lines from other, better-known songs) or creating verses so forced and hackneyed they should rightfully make him blush. The main offender here is Bittersweet, an asinine concoction of seventh-grade couplets and first-grade bravado that not even Blink themselves would have made credible. It’s My Party, on the other hand, is a spoiled teenager’s rude retort to his parents, while Loaded Gun is a dunderheaded attempt at sexual bravado based around a single-entendre so flimsy, it would most likely result in slaps than kisses. Saving the day – almost – are the two older tracks, with Party Rock Band bringing its wiseass view of rock’n’roll life and Stay With Me managing to tell a story the way Bret used to be able to do. However, once they do roll around, they are too little too late: by that point, Songs Of Life is almost beyond salvage.

So what is redeemable about this album? Well, as said, Raine is a semi-strong track, the title track is pleasantly bland, and tearjerkers One More Day and Stay With Me are good representatives of the genre, even if Michaels himself has done better. Of the rest, very little is worth your time, as is par for the course with Michaels’ career. In all fairness, these Songs Of Life should have been Songs Of Death; the death of Michaels’ career, that is. Unfortunately, he managed to recover and continues to churn out periodic slabs of mediocrity to this day. Do yourself a favor and get out of his downward spiral while you still can; otherwise, you may find yourself presenting date reality-shows sooner than you think…

Recommended Tracks
Raine
Songs Of Life
Party Rock Band



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user ratings (1)
2
poor

Comments:Add a Comment 
ReturnToRock
August 1st 2010


3448 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Sorry, had to skip one album. Couldn't find it for download You're not missing much anyway.

Nagrarok
August 1st 2010


8247 Comments


I admire you continuing determination, but I have a feeling sputnik might be getting a little tired of your reviews.

Counterfeit
August 1st 2010


17819 Comments


who wants these? no one is asking themselves "hmmm, i wonder if i should buy this bret michaels album..."


js

ReturnToRock
August 1st 2010


3448 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Don't worry. I have only three albums and one EP left, and then I'll review some REALLY good stuff. As in "not-the-kind-of-stuff-RtR-usually-does" good.

Ire
August 1st 2010


41780 Comments


then I'll review some AC/DC and Metallica.


fix'd

Counterfeit
August 1st 2010


17819 Comments


lol

ReturnToRock
August 1st 2010


3448 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Oh hey, my first non-Bret review will be #250!

Ire - nope. I do want to do one AC/DC (Let There Be Rock) and one Metallica (Black Album) reviews, but not in the near future. I'm talking non-rock, metal or punk stuff. I have this one album I've been dying to get to...you'll be surprised.

IAJP
August 1st 2010


378 Comments


oh fuck me

731
August 1st 2010


662 Comments


you're like Jesus, carrying the cross of Bret Michaels reviews so we don't have to

Torii
August 1st 2010


814 Comments


AWWWW YEAH.

Fort23
August 1st 2010


2475 Comments


review is fucking good.

JizzInMyPants
August 2nd 2010


2371 Comments


kat-tun?

MutnikSpusic
August 2nd 2010


560 Comments


Bret Michaels has a hole in his heart

Dunpeal
August 2nd 2010


3665 Comments




lol this guy

BigHans
August 2nd 2010


26454 Comments


Even though I have a huge love of Poison's first 3 albums, I could never bring myself to listen to Bret's solo stuff.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 2nd 2010


8357 Comments


It's a good review and all, but I also must ask this: why, why do you make yourself go through all this crap???



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