Review Summary: Another former member of Poison tries to prove there is life beyond that band and fails. "I Wanna Be Famous"? Not bloody likely.2 of 2 thought this review was well written
Aging, once-quasi-relevant rockstar gets tired of sitting at home scratching his genitals and living off the royalties and tries to revive his career through starring in a reality show (with one of his own songs for a title track) and releasing sonically updated, yet almost entirely irrelevant albums. Now where have we heard this before….?
…Oh yes, of course, Ozzy Osbourne!
All kidding aside, however, Samantha 7 is at least proof that Bret Michaels wasn’t the only one to pursue a solo career once Poison split up, as it is fronted by none other than that band’s original guitarist, C.C.DeVille. However, unlike Michaels, DeVille chose to channel his solo creativity through a real band format, rounding up his project with experienced session hand Krys Baratto on bass and Francis Ruiz on drums. This decision, as well as the band’s sound itself, bring Samantha 7 closer to Michael Kiske’s solo project Supared than to Michaels’ career; however, the one trait all three projects have in common is the virtual worthlessness of them all.
In fact, Samantha 7
– the album – is as worthless as any other style-shifting side project from self-deluded rockstars. Wikipedia claims it to be inspired by “'70s AM radio hits and DeVille's heavy metal heritage”, but let’s face it: what this is really inspired by is 90’s FM radio hits and DeVille’s delusions that he can write a good pop-punk song. The whole thing sounds like an attempt to jump on board with the Green Days and the Bowling For Soups, but of course, there is the small affair of those bands not being centered around forty-something glam-rock has-beens. As a result, the album comes across as lame and laughable, with the lack of any real hooks and the murky, demo-ish production not helping matters one bit.
The first half of the album is probably the worst, as every single song sounds like a direct rip-off of someone else’s work. The first song sounds like a Nirvana outtake circa Incesticide
, while the second is chorusless American Hi-Fi; as for I Wanna Be Famous
and Slave Laura
, they were attractive the first time around…when they were called The KKK Took My Baby Away
and Nice Guys Finish Last
, respectively. The second half is more personalized, but even it includes the occasional rip-off, such as Good Day
, a pitch-perfect pastiche of a Billie Joe Armstrong ballad, or Hollywood And Vine
, which adorns a Bowling For Soup song with a Toy Dollsian ending and wraps up the album with a fitting bow. It is here that the listener finally realizes what this album has to offer: virtually nothing.
In fact, even at its best, this album frustratingly falls flat. Bonnie Bradley
starts off as the only good song on the album, but shoots itself in the foot once DeVille’s nasally pitch comes in singing these insightful lyrics: ”Bonnie Bradley lives across the street/she has a dog named Ray/went to the pound and got a dog so we could meet/and I named my new dog Fay”
. Great stuff, dude…if you were in fourth grade, that is. Fortunately, and unlike other DeVille-penned songs, the tracks on this album mostly keep a decent standard of lyricism, even if they are incredibly basic (every single song follows a verse-chorus-verse-chorus-break-chorus structure). Additionally, and mercifully, the songs are generally very short, not prolonging the listener’s suffering for an excruciatingly long time the way Bret Michaels’ records do. Unfortunately, that’s all the good that can be said about this disaster of an album, which, needless to say, is recommended to no-one. If you want to listen to good pop-punk, go get Dookie
or All Killer, No Filler
; if you want to hear C.C.DeVille, go get Poison’s first two albums. Either way, leave this monstrosity in the bargain bin where it belongs.