Sunday, 17 November 2013

Thriller: A Metal Tribute to Michael Jackson 
(2013 Deadline Records)

I was surprised when I first read about this project. Was shocked when I found it in my snail mailbox. My initial reply was "no thanks." An unwritten agreement between myself and whoever sends a CD my way is: To Whom This May Concern, “I might open it / I might not.” And this is out of respect for the money spent getting it to me. Should I not be interested, then they went out of their way to get a BAD review. I'd rather not say shit then create or add to already bad vibes (should that be the case). In a way I feel like a SMOOTH CRIMINAL receiving, keeping, and doing absolutely nothing after receiving new product (CD / DVD) and deciding straight away if I could do anything with it or not. The rejects end up in piles I keep in the dining room. One day it will hit the ceiling. My actions go back to what my deceased Father told me way back when; “If you don't have nothing good to say about someone, then don't say anything at all.” Ended up good advice I carried with me throughout my life.

Music is all subjective. What may ROCK WITH YOU, might not toot my horn. Still, why be a prick if you don't have to be? My regular readers know me enough that if I do a review of anything, I spent the proper time listening to whatever it was, before doing any typing. The process explains itself. How can I write about something in which I know nothing about? I read a review recently on Rolling Stone Magazines website recently where my initial response was, "what the fuck did I just read?" Makes me wonder if the author ever even bothered playing / listening to what it was they just did 500 words on. In Uncle G's World, time is devoted to those who catch my attention.

It was my wife who actually convinced me that I should give Thriller: A Metal Tribute to Michael Jackson, a listen. Remember the piles I told you about? That was my first reaction. So to those involved with Thriller: A Metal Tribute to Michael Jackson, I offer a sincere apology. No shit !! Jackson's songs are classics. One requirement to make that last statement true is the song in its almost bare existence can survive a change of style in which it is performed. Like Yes doing a reggae version of Roundabout and the crowd immediately knowing and jamming to the new vibe. Same song, just a new way of presenting it. Some failures, or good attempts, and every once in a while the reinvention is hip and people are getting it by the groves. In my opinion, that's what happened here.

The foundation to Cleopatra's Deadline Music tribute was put in place by musicians Bob Kulick and Brett Chassen. Guest artists from the world of metal and classic rock all add to each well done track. All 13 tracks good selections when trying to pick out the best to represent the King of Pop. The metal stereotype guitar crunches, speed playing, the pounding drums mixed in with in-your-face bass playing, all present and accounted for. The core of the songs is there with some liberties taken. That's the whole point of the record. I bet MJ's in the after-life giving devil horns listening to this. We all know that Jackson himself sometimes liked a harder rock sound thrown in the mix every now and then.

Rating: Using the one to five star rating system, Uncle G gives Thriller: A Metal Tribute to Michael Jackson, 5 solid stars. The whole project is well executed. It almost begs to ask if Kulick and company can pull it off again. If you already dig MJ, and you like metal, it's a given you should get this. And if you like both (but never publicly admitted it before), then what are you waiting for? BEAT your favorite music retailer and pick a copy for yourself up TODAY.

Gary Brown
American Corespondent for Classic Rock Radio (Dot EU)

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