Judas Priest
Turbo


3.5
great

Review

by RamblinHamblin USER (4 Reviews)
August 21st, 2014 | 17 replies


Release Date: 1986 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “Say everybody, have you seen my balls/they’re turbo-powered and loud!”

I liken Turbo to the song “Chocolate Salty Balls” in that there are some moments just so dumb and deliriously silly that you can’t help but sing along at the the top of your lungs. Sure, there’s a lot of padding around the good stuff, but the padding is serviceable, not tonally jarring, and there’s a definite personality to the music (which is more than I can say about Redeemer of Souls).

The attitude and the conviction presented on Turbo is the real reason you should consider downloading this album. It’s the type of conviction that made the band think it could sound edgy on songs like “Rock You All Around The World” amidst the polished production and all of the synthesizers. The contrast between the harder riffs and the glossy production definitely has that overblown, 80’s aesthetic, and I loved every indulgent minute of it.

The sound of Turbo brings me to a big complaint that many fans have of this record: it’s formulaic. To that I say: yes, yes it is. However, formulaic can be fine as long as it doesn’t insult our intelligence. Lest we forget, the Judas Priest formula had been about simple verse-chorus structures coupled with melodic guitar hooks and a one-dimensional rhythm section ever since the late 1970’s. Mainstream audiences kept eating it up because it was accessible and it gave them the pretext they needed to say they liked a respected metal band. If you were to strip away the synthesizers (which admittedly help define the album’s personality), the compositions would still definitely be Judas Priest.

With that last paragraph though comes a giant asterisk called “For Better Or Worse.” For example, those who’ve never liked Rob Halford as a lyricist won’t change their minds when they hear him sing about how he’s a “human dynamo” who’s “fueled up and growin’ by the hour” (“Reckless”). These kinds of lyrics are acceptable though because good, well-thought-out lyrics wouldn’t match any song that Judas Priest wrote after Stained Class. Lyrics portraying Halford as a sex god predominate the album and they work because of how absurd they are and how seriously they’re taken. I mentioned before how conviction and attitude really made this album shine, and with music and lyrics this ridiculous being taken so seriously by the band, it gets harder and harder to not admire their zeal.

The album’s other chief flaw is something I have a lot harder time forgiving. Speaking frankly, Ian Hill and Dave Holland may be the least inspired rhythm section that the metal genre has ever seen. To hear nothing but driving eighth note roots and Megan White beats for the majority of the album hurts quite a bit for me as a bassist and a songwriter, and it began to strain my acceptance of the Judas Priest formula by the latter half of the album.

At the end of the day though, I can’t bring myself to hate Turbo, nor can I not recommend it. It’s essentially the soundtrack to a power fantasy, something so blissfully unaware of its own mortality that it feels good to let your guard down and indulge in its excess. On top of all of that, Turbo is just fun, with Halford, Tipton and Downing compensating for their rhythm section with some truly inspired work here and there. I’d hate to close with something generic like “it depends on your taste in music,” so I’ll end by saying that Turbo will appeal most to those who like to engage in a little healthy lunacy every now and then.

Recommended Songs:

"Turbo Lover"
"Out In The Cold"
"Rock Your All Around The World"

Skip-Worthy:

"Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days"

Special Commendation:

"Parental Guidance" and "Private Property," for being the goofiest songs on Judas Priest’s Turbo.


user ratings (809)
2.7
average
other reviews of this album
Mart0001 (2.5)
Only recommended for real Judas Priest-fans. Most songs on here aren't really convincing and at time...

ReturnToRock (2)
Did anybody order keyboards with their traditional metal?...

Nagrarok (1)
You've got low points, real low points, and then you've got Turbo....


Comments:Add a Comment 
RamblinHamblin
August 21st 2014


17 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Made it through a Judas Priest review without using the word "cheesy."

frigyourgenre
August 21st 2014


3791 Comments


I'm you're turboooo loverrr

facupm
August 21st 2014


11421 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

retarded album sorry

Friday13th
August 21st 2014


7021 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

more than I can say about “Redeemer of Souls” [2]

Digging: Kanye West - Jesus Is King

facupm
August 21st 2014


11421 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

tough one

LepreCon
August 21st 2014


5459 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah comparatively it's pretty shite but it was one of my first Priest albums so...

vonseux
August 21st 2014


327 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Out in the Cold is a killer song, the live version on Priest... Live is also better than the album

vonseux
August 21st 2014


327 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm on the fence about buying a discography box of Judas Priest, I love songs from all their albums, but there are SO MANY FILLERS.

only Stained Class and Painkiller are all killer no fillers.

LepreCon
August 21st 2014


5459 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

You forgot Sad Wings, bro

SharkTooth
August 21st 2014


14137 Comments


review perfectly captures my feels about the album

Xenorazr
Contributing Reviewer
August 21st 2014


1440 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Album gets too much flak. Just a standard glam metal release.

DominionMM1
August 21st 2014


18459 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"only Stained Class and Painkiller are all killer no fillers."





ugh



BMDrummer
August 21st 2014


14646 Comments


bad album

emester
August 21st 2014


8271 Comments


can't fucking stand this album

facupm
August 22nd 2014


11421 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Just a shitty glam metal release.







fixed

Xenorazr
Contributing Reviewer
August 22nd 2014


1440 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

@facupm: Well if we're going to go that route, wouldn't the word "shitty" be kind of redundant?

facupm
August 22nd 2014


11421 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

srry xeno but i like some glam metal



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