Review Summary: The least ambitious Poison side project is also the best. Go figure.
We often hear about how it’s not easy being a rockstar, and while at first we tend to doubt such a statement, on second thought the truth of it becomes more than apparent. After all, much like professional sportsmen, rockstars have a limited lifespan. You may strike lucky and have a perpetually successful career(see: Iron Maiden), or even a relevant reunion (see: Heaven And Hell), but ultimately your star will fade out, and you will find yourself in a rut. Once you hit that point, you have three options. You can either drop out of the music business and have your name whispered reverentially for the rest of eternity, whore yourself out to the media, or just put up a laid-back side project and enjoy jamming with your friends.
This was the path chosen by Rikki Rockett, of Poison, after his band’s return in the early 2000’s. While bandmates Bret Michaels and C.C.DeVille chose the whore-out route, the diminutive drummer grabbed a bunch of his friends and recorded a laid-back cover album paying tribute to the glitter era. And while this was by far the least pretentious Poison side-project, it turned out to also be the best.
In fact, and despite the unfortunate title and artwork, Glitter 4 Your Soul
is a listenable and fun collection of glitter-rock covers. Which are not to be mistaken with glam
-rock covers, of course; even though the terminology is randomly applied to both genres, glitter rock is actually a much earlier and much more restrictive style, closer to proto-punk than to anything the Sunset Strip ever produced. Consisting of artists like Gary Glitter, T-Rex, The Sweet and a few stragglers from other genres, such as Alice Cooper, the New York Dolls, or even Queen, glitter became famous for its fun-loving, rebellious attitude and penchant for poppy melodies, as well as for a certain laboring of its tracks, which often contained different vocal layers and exotic instruments. All these characteristics carry through to Glitter 4 Your Soul
, making it a satisfying, if not entirely flawless, product.
This album is, first and foremost, a gathering of friends. Accompanying Rockett are no less than two of his Poison bandmates – Bret Michaels and C.C.DeVille – plus Blues Saraceno, also of Poison, and Cliff Calabro, who worked with Bret Michaels on his album Songs Of Life
. The only person missing is Bobby Dall, who surprisingly wasn’t recruited for bass, a position filled by unknown Chuck Garric. The album’s star cameos are completed by John Corabi – of Mötley Crüe infamy – and Jizzy Pearl, making this something of a glam-rock celebrity roundup.
But as we all know, it doesn’t just take a good team – you need a good repertoire of moves, too. And fortunately, Glitter 4 Your Soul
has more than enough arguments to justify a passmark. Most of these covers work well, and at times the sparks do fly; and while more uninspired moments cannot be avoided (the dreary Fame
, the slowly withering Life’s a Gas
), they are more than made up for by the peppy interpretations of classics such as All The Way From Memphis
, Can You Feel It
, or a surprising retelling of the New York Dolls’ Trash
with female vocals, which both intrigues us and makes us long for David Johansen. Other moments are neither here nor there, like Elected
, which sees John Corabi do a mean Alice Cooper impersonation, but is so lackluster it would make the Shock King blush. Overall, however, the bill is positive, making Glitter 4 Your Soul
a fun, if throwaway, listen. And while, like all cover albums, it is mostly expendable, it beats out Poison’s like-minded effort, Poison’d!
, and may constitute an interesting listen for those less inclined to look for the originals. Not worth full price, but more than worth a download (whether legal or illegal), and a couple of spins.
All The Way From Memphis
Can You Feel It