Billy Idol/Kings & Queens Of The Underground {Deluxe Edition]

Kings & Queens of the Underground

William Michael Albert Broad[1] (born 30 November 1955), known professionally by his stage name Billy Idol, is an English rock musician, songwriter and actor. Born in Stanmore, Middlesex, Idol first achieved fame in the punk rock era as a member of the band Generation X. Unlike other British punk rock artists of his era, Idol was inspired by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.[2]

Idol then embarked on a successful solo career, and was a member of the MTV-driven “Second British Invasion” of the United States.[3] A series of music videos for songs such as “Dancing With Myself“, “White Wedding“, “Rebel Yell” and “Eyes Without a Face” made him one of the first MTV stars. Idol continues to tour with guitarist Steve Stevens.

The Analysis—-

Bitter Pill—-Having been an Idol fan for a very long tome, I was really geek-ed for this release. The guitars that open the first track are as strong as anything Stevens has done…the voice though seems a bit thin and weak. The melody that plays throughout this track is very nice…the content and the mood seems to show the age of this artist. I don’t hate it…but was hoping for something stronger. Even the scream is a bit too forced.

Can’t Break Me Down—-This track begins with a bt more electricity but becomes a rather mellow track.The band seems to compensate for a weaker vocal with more melodies and background harmonies. Idol barely sounds like himself on this track…the voice seems so different and weak. The song…lyrics and music, are damn catchy though….it will pass.

Save Me Now—-There are snippets of the old days on this track. When Idol delivers a deeper singing voice, he is at his strongest. This is just so laid back and rather quiet though. Where is that energy and that anger? I guess we all become older and more mellow. There are bolstering background vocals giving the song a fuller sound. Great drums also.

One Breath Away—-Another bit of a disappointment for me once again. The saving grace for this entire bunch of tracks are huge choruses and fantastic guitar melody lines. This song is so quiet…when Idol proclaims he is ‘so angry’, I just don’t buy the sentiment.

Postcards From The Past—-Some really nice intro sounds to begin this track, but it quickly dissolves into the sound alike recipe that this entire release is comprised of. There is little in the sound to remind us of the past. This was produced by Trevor Horn…perhaps that is the problem. The chorus does open up nicely with some rather nice guitar from Stevens…saves it from the bargain bin.

Kings & Queens Of The Underground—-Another odd introduction to a track that I hoped would blow my face off…this is not like the Gen X days…instead a simple forlorn ode to the glory days that no longer exists. I would hardly consider Idol a king of anything…let alone the underground. This is just an ode to the way things used to be…..days gone by.

Eyes Wide Shut—God…it is incredibly hard to get through this release. Every song sounds like the track that preceded it. The content is all the same…the melodies become boring and the recipe does not even need writing down..its not that wonderful. The balls have been replaced by an old man mentality.

Ghosts In My Guitar—-Do you recognize a pattern here? Even in the song titles!. This is another syrup laden track that lacks substance and meaning for me. This seems to be a tribute to Tony James from his past band. The sentiment is nice enough, but any one who has followed Idol knows of the existing acrimony between those two.

Nothing To Fear—-With a slight echo running through the vocal, this track appears a bit larger than it actually is. This is yet another lackluster attempt at remembering the old days and wishing that yo were not 60 years old…you are and the old days are exactly that…move on Billy.

Love And Glory—-A rather subtle, acoustic intro ushers in this track. It is hard to think of Idol singing songs to girls these days…but he sure tries. This is the same…the same…the same. This CD is just one long, long song.

Whiskey And Pills—-Finally a track that comes close to kicking my ass. The guitars and the bass line are incredible. The vocal is so familiar and welcome at this point. I feel like some one gave me fresh air to breath at this point. This is a stellar track….it rocks out and romps through the landscape like a wild horse. This is fantastic….really…it took this long?

Hollywood Promises [Bonus Track]—-One bonus track on this so-called Deluxe Editon…that sounds exactly like the rest of the release. This has been a disappointing release to say the least. I tink my obsessive following of this man and his band may have reached its conclusion.

** out of 5 

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