AC/DC
Power Up


3.0
good

Review

by manosg STAFF
November 13th, 2020 | 234 replies


Release Date: 11/13/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The sound of perseverance.

Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Certainly not AC/DC, as in their 15th release they finally modified the recipe that made them one of the most successful rock bands, by adding some extra layers of keyboards and even female vocals! Yes, that’s right, gone is the tried and tested formula that carried them since the mid-'70s. With their new studio album, a whole new world of possibilities and dynamics has exploded right before our eyes. If you haven’t heard Power Up yet, just imagine how much better Rock or Bust could have been with a few neoclassical Jens Johansson-style keyboard solos sprinkled here and there or a ballad vocal duet a la Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey. You don’t think that Brian Johnson can pull it off? Just wait and see.

But let’s be serious. You can’t possibly expect Power Up to be any different than the other 10 AC/DC albums with Brian Johnson on vocals. This is the same high voltage, toe-tapping, sleazy boogie rock that if you don’t like, chances are that you’re close to giving up hard rock altogether at some point soon. Malcolm Young may have ascended to Valhalla, but his presence is still felt, as all tracks come from unreleased material written by him and Angus, mostly during the Black Ice era. “Witch’s Spell” emits strong “Hold Me Back” vibes and “Demon Fire” could have easily been part of Ballbreaker. However, there’s no point comparing new with old material, as, in all honesty, the only difference here, is that no song title contains the word “rock”, for the first time since 1985 and Fly on the Wall. Therefore, if the real question is how successfully has the AC/DC formula been implemented here, the answer is pretty well. Fans of the band will have a blast for as long as this one lasts, feel proud for the old boys, and probably revisit it very rarely in the future.

At the end of the day, though, Power Up is not just about the music, it’s about perseverance and determination. It’s about never giving up, regardless of what life throws on you, old age, deteriorating health, or even death. And we can sit here all day and debate whether a “new” album by these veteran rockers has any real raison d’être. But guess what, AC/DC will release new music as long as they like, not only because they can, but because after all the years, the success, and sales, they are still blue-collar.



Recent reviews by this author
Wobbler Dwellers of the DeepWytch Hazel III: Pentecost
Gullinbursti Mythical MetallurgySacred Outcry Damned For All Time
Blues Pills Holy Moly!Deep Purple Whoosh!
user ratings (109)
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
Pedro B. (3)
AC/DC are still on cruise control, but at least this time they bothered to turn on the GPS....



Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
November 13th 2020


12076 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Didn't expect to like this one so much.

rockarollacola
November 13th 2020


487 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I'm a diehard AC/DC fan, so it's pretty hard for me to evaluate their work objectively. With that being said, even I can tell this album is a considerable step above what they have been releasing over the past 30 years. Good shit.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
November 13th 2020


12076 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice. My favorite post-Back in Black is easily Stiff Upper Lip followed by Ballbreaker, which is the first AC/DC I got.

rockarollacola
November 13th 2020


487 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I'll never understand the hate for Ballbreaker. That album fucks hard

Sabrutin
November 13th 2020


7234 Comments


"“Demon Fire” could have easily been part of Ballbreaker."

That's a smooth way to say that it's basically Caught with Your Pants Down on steroids haha but to be fair the three singles (counting Demon Fire's snippet as a "single") are pretty solid, especially Realize with its more lively guitarwork and backing vocals a la Thunderstruck. Will definitely check the record.

Ballbreaker has its jams yeah, The Furor being my pick.

Titan
November 13th 2020


21538 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for this review Manos!



I can't wait to jam this today, really enjoyed Shot In The Dark, Realize, and the clip of Demon Fire. I don't care what the haters say, these guys go fucking hard!!!!!



And my 5 is to counter those 1's, bitches.

ReturnToRock
November 13th 2020


3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Best post-BiB is The Razors Edge, then Flick of the Switch, THEN Stiff Upper Lip.



Ballbreaker was meh at the time, but compared to Rock or Bust, it's a masterpiece. Not encouraging that the Demon Fire snippet sounded like album filler from it, either. Thoroughly enjoyed the first single, though.

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
November 13th 2020


15313 Comments


Even without having listened to the album yet, I'm pretty sure the summary is 100% accurate.

Digging: Sodom - Genesis XIX

Nagrarok
November 13th 2020


8640 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Pretty sure I'll enjoy this, they've been doing the same thing for so long but I wouldn't have it any other way.

rockandmetaljunkie
November 13th 2020


9402 Comments


Α 3.0 ac/dc is in actuality a 4.0 at the very least. I really hope and i wish these guys will continue to make and release new music for the next 30+ years.

PS
Titan you're the best

manosg
Staff Reviewer
November 13th 2020


12076 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Really appreciate the comments guys.



haha Sab, I was sure that you were going to spot that!



Appreciate it, Titan. In terms of sheer determination, this is easily a 5.



Nice picks, ReturnToRock. Actually, Flick of the Switch is a bit underrated.



Appreciate it, Notrap!



Exactly, Nag!



This is a pretty accurate rating system, rockandmetaljunkie!

Titan
November 13th 2020


21538 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Junkie bro we need to make them all realize!

Pikazilla
November 13th 2020


13369 Comments


Never been a fan of ac/dc. Always preferred Motorhead to satiate my hunger for quality rock and roll. Good review!

zakalwe
November 13th 2020


32160 Comments


The essence of rock ‘n roll that is lost on the idiots.

Not one of us sackless wonders would be able to belt this stuff out in our seventies and still carry the good time youthful swagger and pull it off.

In doing what none of us else can maybe the noofters will appreciate it because there you have true ‘art’


Titan
November 13th 2020


21538 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

like AC/DC or not, if you listen to enough of their catalog, you're guaranteed to smile because of the RIFFAGE.........soooooo many great one's

Pikazilla
November 13th 2020


13369 Comments


Is any of their stuff better than BiB and HtH? Only heard those two, didn't fancy them much.

Titan
November 13th 2020


21538 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

LET THERE BE ROCK!

zakalwe
November 13th 2020


32160 Comments


Live at Donnington is absolutely essential pika pal. One of the greatest live records of all time.

Pikazilla
November 13th 2020


13369 Comments


Ait, will check!

manosg
Staff Reviewer
November 13th 2020


12076 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

If You Want Blood You've Got It is also amazing, if we're talking about live albums. Brilliant version of The Jack there.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy