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Old 07 Dec 2021, 17:46   #1
Frying Bat
Join Date: 14.03.2021
Posts: 68
Default FB review series "DEAD RINGER"

Hello you all

so i decided to take a look into the Meat Loaf albums of the 80's (and Probably also the 90's). Be aware this going to be a long text, any comment will be highly welcomed.

The first i am gonna talk/write about is the second Meat/Steinman album collarberation Dead Ringer from 1981.
The days when it came out it became a commercial flop and it didn't get much love from the critics either. I feel that this album has and had been completely underrated and overlooked, although lately more and more people/fans can see the real value of this album.

Being it underrated, does that mean it's a masterpiece ? well actually not, the album does indeed has some (minor) flaws (but that hasn't ruined the listen experience for me) that i will address later on.

First let's look into how the album from the outside present itself to the public. As a cover we see a (this is just my interpretation) biker on his motorcycle riding on a floating wave between dark clouds, with two hot chicks or maybe they are Sirens on his side. What the artwork is representing i have absolutely no clue but to me it looks awesome. Then at the back we have picture from a Wet-Haired Meat Loaf looking as if he has just killed someone or is planning to do so. It's a bit creepy but maybe it is just my weird imagination. What i almost forget to mention is that the albums title is neither to be found on the frond or the back of both the LP or the CD version.

Now it is time to dive into the music and song itself. This album sounds a whole lot different then it's predecessor BOH, even Meat himself has a different voice. Technically everything seems to sound a bit more mellow and toned down, slightly less bombastic then before. Meat himself who just got better from voice problems does a great job given the circumstances and the band is excellent.
Before i mentioned the album has some flaws, that i will go into right now. I believe the major problem is, that is has a little bit of problem to start and to end. Dead Ringer needs some Warm-up time. Let's talk about the songs
Peel out is a decent track that starts good but doesn't seem to go somewhere, it doesn't have the same impact as the opener before. The second track "I'm gonna love her for both of us" that is both seen by "lovers" and "haters" of the album, as the best song on it, would be a much better choice for the opener, it has a great bass riff and when listen to it closely you hear the superb drumming of Max Weinberg.
What follows is the lyrically somewhat cheesy but music wise fantastic ballad More than you deserve, followed by what i think is the second best song on the album "Ill kill you if you don't come back" that is a mixture of a rocker and a ballad. What follows is "Read'm and weep" a tearjerker that you could describe as the "Two out of three ain't bad" of the album, only this one is better imo. Nocturnal Pleasure is a monologue that i can without, not that is bad but it doesn't have much of an impact to me. The second last track is the (only) hit single of the album Dead Ringer for love together with singer Cher, a nice up-tempo rocker and there voices match excellent, they should have done some more work together. Now we are coming to the end with Everything is Permitted a song that in someway doesn't actually feel as a closure, i always have the feeling that another song is coming after it what off course doesn't happen.

The general feeling i have with Dead Ringer is that it is a much softer album production wise but looking at it in a thematic way it is also a pretty dark album. If Bat out of hell represented the Rebellious, horny but empathic teenager then Dead Ringer would be a frustrated mid twentier with stalking behaving and a creepy attitude.

Final thoughts.
This is a massively underrated album that needs some time to warm up but has some excellent songs on it. While it's not an overlooked masterpiece it is still a very great album that will get the final verdict of...
4/5**** stars
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