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Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, Sep 28th, 2016

Meatloaf: Braver Than We Are

braverMeatloaf
Braver Than We Are
(Savoy)

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Man, does this one pain me…

The first Meatloaf album, the infamous Bat Out of Hell, is one of my top five most favorite albums of all time. (Yes, I know I am old.) Since then (and since seeing Meat on his first tour in 1978) I have been a big fan of the big man and his songwriter/foil Jim Steinman, so much so that when the two have reformed over the years (as they did in 1993 on Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell and on the big hit “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That”), I was thrilled to herald their return. I wish I could say I am thrilled about their latest collaboration, Braver Than We Are. You have to be pretty freakin’ brave to even listen once to all these tunes. It’s not that Steinman isn’t in good form, he is mostly, it’s just that Meatloaf’s voice is shot. He barely shakes/sings through his real low timbre here and is mostly bolstered by the women duets across the tunes. Historic Meatloaf female vocalists Karla De Vito and Ellen Foley are on the overlong “Going All the Way is Just the Start (A Song in 6 Movements)” and Stacy Michelle helps out on ballads like “Speaking in Tongues” or one of the better tunes here, “Loving You’s a Dirty Job (But Somebody’s Gotta Do It).” “Souvenirs” with its horns (sax solo especially) is one of the few highlights; Meat’s pipes are ok on this bluesy number. While the last tune “Train of Love” is pretty much a lackluster closer.

Wow, when the big and mighty fall, they fall far.

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Meatloaf: Braver Than We Are