Top positive review
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It's all coming back to me now!
on 4 February 2002
Okay, so maybe I've been trying to recapture my mis-spent youth, but just lately I've been rediscovering a few of the forgotten classic rock albums of my early years, and this one was always one of the best. Jim Steinman is the apostle of mad, pompous but always gloriously melodic rock music - witness his many years of work with Meat Loaf, Bonnie Tyler and lately Sir Andrew Lloyd-Webber - and this album, voiced by a quartet of the finest (and loudest!) female voices in rock, provided source material for everybody from Mr. Loaf himself to the dreadful Celine Dion, whose over-warbled mangling of the outstanding central ballad, "It's All Coming Back to Me Now", sadly gained international hit status when the vastly superior original only managed about a week in the lower reaches of the UK top 75. It could be that Ms. Dion's histrionics spelled the demise of the power ballad, but this album remains as one of the high points of the craft, and well deserves more credit than it actually got. As well as the beautiful ballads, there are some moments of pure Steinman vocal madness to rival those on the seminal Meat Loaf albums, instrumental pieces that range from the sublime ("Pray Lewd") to the ridiculous ("Requiem Metal"), and some outstanding pieces of rock-opera that give "Bat Out of Hell" a run for its money. Personal favourites are "Original Sin" itself (why, oh why, wasn't it a hit?) and the outstanding "The Future Ain't What it Used to Be" - complete with a cappella gospel choir ending, because as we all know, the very last thing to be freed from the box was Hope.