Meat Loaf – Hell in a Handbasket: A Review

March 18, 2012

Meat Loaf - Hell in a HandbasketAs the title suggests, the latest release from Meat Loaf, Hell in a Handbasket, finds the long-time rocker disgruntled — as many of us are at times. Sure it’s a cliche, but it’s not surprising that it is now the title of his new album. I was figuring on the usual fare from Meat Loaf, which is fine if you like it. One track in particular is not only something different, it is unique and one of a kind. That would be the rock song “Stand in the Storm” which features not only rap, but a touch of steel guitar thrown in for spice. “Party of One” is more of the classic Meat Loaf you would be expecting, finding the singer fed up with people in general. Here he takes the “I’ll go it alone” route.

“All of Me” is a great example of the piano rock songs he always does so well. “Fall From Grace” finds Meat Loaf singing bitter words towards mankind in general. I guess he’s not a people person here. “The Giving Tree” finds Meat Loaf tired of the not getting tree. Welcome to America. “Live or Die” points out the two choices in life — Meat Loaf style of course. “Mad Mad World/The Good God is a Woman and She Don’t Like Ugly” features rapping on a rock song from Chuck D. Combine this with an excellent cover of Tom Cochrane of Red Rider fame’s solo effort “Mad, Mad World” and you have quite a solid argument for 64 year old Meat Loaf’s credibility. This is a solid rock song. This is also good rap in a song. There are so many examples of placing inferior rap into songs for dubious reasons. I applaud Meat Loaf for knowing the difference. “California Dreamin’” is a lot cheaper than living there. Interesting cover and quite a fine example of Meat Loaf still having the pipes

“Another Day” features the familiar echo drums and piano Meat Loaf likes so much in a song — and it’s one of the best songs on this. “40 Days” is another really good rock song, and they are here big time. “40 Days”  features an interesting mandolin exit. ”Our Love and Our Souls” has a funky beat with more of Meat Loaf’s piano. “Blue Sky” is a rare acoustic song that adds variety to this strong release. Oh yeah, it also has piano. This four and a third star release shows Meat Loaf holding up quite well vocally. Meat Loaf’s Hell in a Handbasket also features guest artists Trace Adkins, Lil Jon and Mark McGrath.

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