HIM
Uneasy Listening Vol. 1


2.5
average

Review

by Benjamin Laslow USER (18 Reviews)
November 12th, 2006 | 5 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: HIM's new label put out a 75 minute album full of ballads. Die Hard fans may like it. Otherwise... avoid it. Especially If you don't like HIM in the first place. This compilation is an almost disaster.

Info:
Uneasy Listening Vol. 1 is HIM's third compilation album. It contains special versions of various songs from their albums Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666, Razorblade Romance, Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights and Love Metal, most of which has already been released on various special limited editions of the maxi-singles.

Tracklist:
1. The Sacrament (Disrhythm Remix)
2. The Funeral Of Hearts (Acoustic Version)
3. Join Me in Death (Strongroom Mix)
4. Close To The Flame (Rappula Tapes)
5. In Joy And Sorrow (String Version)
6. It's All Tears (Drown in this Love) (Unplugged Radio Live)
7. When Love And Death Embrace (AOR Radio Mix)
8. Buried Alive By Love (Deliverance Version)
9. Gone With The Sin (O.D. Version)
10. Salt In Our Wounds (Thusla Doom Version)
11. Please Don't Let It Go (Acoustic Version)
12. One Last Time (Rockfield Madness Mix)
13. For You (Unplugged Radio Live)
14. The Path (P.S. Version)
15. Lose You Tonight (Thusla Doom Extended)

Released:
October 27, 2006 (Germany)
October 30, 2006 (UK)


At the beginning of 2005, HIM and leadsinger Ville Vallo quit their old Label GUN/Supersonic und switched to Major Warner Music. Of course the new label slaughtered the rights on their unreleased material and releases just in the time before Christmas a compilation of older tracks remixed in various ways (Acoustic, Doom remixes, etc.)
The album is called "Uneasy Listening Vol. 1 – Sentimental Side of HIM". It should have been better called "Unworthy Listening – Greedy Side of GUN".

What we enter is a compilation that contains ONLY sad ballads. It's so hard to listen to the whole deal. I mean, I'm a bit of a HIM fan myself. I liked e.g. Razorblade Romance and Greatest Love Songs 666. Sure, it went a bit downhill after that but I never thought something like this could happen. An overall disaster. Now let me give you a bit of an overview.

The Sacrament (Disrhythm Remix) opens the album in a promising way. They left the guitars, added some ambients and made this song worthwile. It's a wonderful song and definitely one of the highlights. Ville Valo has a pretty fantastic voice, although it lacks a bit now since he got a lot older of course, his problem is when he overuses it and howls like a little girl. Then it's not funny anymore. That exactly happens when we enter the sixth song and the downfall of the whole compilation called It's All Tears (Unplugged Radio Live).
They absolutely sucked the life out of the song. Originally it's cleary one of the best HIM songs of all time. It had a fantastic dark and gothic feel and brilliant vocals. Now Ville Valo sounds with his head voice like Jimmy Sommerville. What drugs did he take for that song? The whole song lacks the electric guitar, the whole gothic feel, bass, the great hard drumming and an overall fast drive. In the end the whole song seems hilarious and absolutely ridiculous. He sounds like a whiny 6 year old boy who got beat up by bullies. Atricious.

The Funeral of Hearts was originally cheesy as hell but now hits your nerves with the Acoustic ersion like needle in your head. The problem is that HIM thinks (or better yet, the label) that this is what they do best. Cheesy, slow ballads about heartaches. They are completely wrong. HIM is always best at fast rocking songs e.g. "Right here in my arms", "I love you", "Sigilum Diaboli" etc. Join Me in Death (Strongroom Mix) makes up for the song though. The problem is that it's the exactly same version like the album/singles version. I don't hear this "Strongroom Mix" or what they call it. Still, it's one of best songs HIM ever did. So I give it a mild thumbs up. Close to the Flame (Rappula Tapes) could have been a slow ballad disaster like the other tracks are, but they at least manage to put some heart in it which I like.

Before we enter the already mentioned and described "It's all tears" we get In Joy and Sorrow (String Version). That song gives me headaches. One of the opther main problesm is the quality of the production. The songs are randomly put together and leaves a negative after taste. The main examples are "Please Don't Let it Go" and "Buried alive by love in their respective remixes. They screwed up in the sound, you can roughly hear the guitars and the vocals sound awful.

While the other songs are decent/equally bad, we get two other highlights. The first one is the absolute fantastic "One Last Time (Rockfield Madness Version)" which gives you goosebumps. The song gets better every minute goes on and has fantastic background guitars and sounds. Another huge plus for this song are vocals which seem great and not that cheesy and overpowered in the other songs. Not even the length of 5 minutes damages the song. It never gets boring in my opinion.
"Salt in Our Wounds (Thulsa Doom Version)" is the other one. It has noisy elements, great breakbeats in the background and a wonderful goth sound. It's one of the few songs that manages to pull of interest despite the manic length of the song itself.
I added "When Love and Death Embrace (AOR Radio Mix)" to the highlights as well although it has the same problem like "Join Me". It's not really a mix at all. It's basicially the same version. But still, the song is wonderful and has a great dynamic to it. The song has a good balance and doesn't fall into the abyss of cheesyness.

Highlights:
- The Sacrament
- Join Me
- When Love and Death Embrace
- One Last Time
- Salt in Our Wounds

Summary:
Who in the world needs a 75 minute album with pure ballads? The blame of this Rip-Off at least doesn't lie on the band, they could have released something like that earlier before. The label is absolutely full of crap. "Uneasy Listening Vol. 1" is exactly what the title says. It's so damn hard to listen to the entire CD without falling asleep or doing something completely else. The most songs seem like they sucked the entire life out of the songs. Well, there are A LOT of Die Hard HIM-Fans out there and it's definitely a nice little gimmick for them. But they do they even like it? Short story: My buddy is one of them and bought it the day it was released. Boy, did he HATE the album. He regrets it till today.



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user ratings (56)
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Nightside (3)
Uneasy Listening Vol. 1 is HIM's third compilation album that includes acoustic, live, remixed, and ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Nightside
November 12th 2006


102 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. I don't have this yet because it wasn't yet released in the states. I understand that you think its only an average album. I hope this is somewhat interesting concidering I'm a huge HIM fan.

The song "Salt In Our Wounds (Thulsa Doom Version)" has already been released on The Singles Box Collection. I thought that was a great song, but I see what you mean it just drags on. I hope the whole album isn't like this.

I'm not exactly sure if HIM put out this Cd just for the money. I believe they put this out because they wanted to apoligize for cancelling their North American tour.

People that comment this album, don't make fun of the title - its getting old!

Cravinov13
November 12th 2006


3854 Comments


I wasn't aware they left their old label.This Message Edited On 11.12.06

RazorBladeLight
November 12th 2006


258 Comments


I am a HUGE HIM fan and have heard most of these from their limited edition singles which I have and yeah... this doesn't sound very worth it. The only thing which sounds remotely interesting to me is One Last Time mix since that song is just so great.

Steerpike
November 12th 2006


1861 Comments


Not a bad review, though your English does need work in some places where it would have really helped.
And it's a shame that something that is the fault of the label is going to blamed on the band themselves.

HumanCannonball
November 13th 2006


350 Comments


Well, I'm German, so I think I can blame my English on that.

Oh, and thx for the comments.



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