Both Writer And Singer Are Past Their Prime, But One Out of 14 Ain't Bad

There's only one honest-to-Wagner Jim Steinman classic here: track four, "Bad for Good." It's every bit as pomptastic as the original 1977 Bat Out of Hell album—or Steinman's own 1981 release Bad for Good, on which it first appeared. He didn't have Meat's voice or Brian May on guest guitar, though, so Pinocchio's version beats Geppetto's. The original Bat maestro wrote seven tracks on The Monster Is Loose (including the four longest, of course), but as far as I can tell he didn't write any of them for this album. There's a version of "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (which your mom will probably recognize as a massive hit for Celine Dion back in 1996 or so), and "In the Land of the Pig, the Butcher Is King," a thrash-metal-plus-strings screed (Steve Vai's the guest guitar-twiddler this time) about blind Philistine greed. "They've got no standards/So we lower the bar/'Cause they're perfect for us," Meat sings, shrugging off his sense of irony as smoothly as he doffed his man-boobs from the Fight Club movie. "If It Ain't Broke, Break It" rips off GWAR's "Saddam A-Go-Go" with gang shouts and Vegas horns. The Diane Warren and Desmond Child faux-Steinman stuff is far worse, but the inescapable message of Bat III is that even Meat's former partner hasn't been at peak strength for at least a decade.

 
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