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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to a hidden gem!, 5 Sep 2006
A. Harriott ":V" (Birmingham, UK.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Welcome To The World (Audio CD)
People who have heard of Psycho Motel have generally either stumbled onto them out of pure luck, or are fans of Iron Maiden. Pretty much, the majority are the latter. As such, one might approach this album expecting something simlar to Iron Maiden, but under the Pscyho Motel banner - this is NOT what you get; Adrian Smith's Pscyho Motel project shows another side entirely of his playing; his tones, his influences are all far more varied in their prescence than on any given Maiden album he played on in the '80's.

Welcome to the World follows on from the first Psycho Motel album State of Mind - whereas that was a dark, brooding, grungy album, Welcome to the World is far more based on vocal melodies, arguably a "lighter" album, but still heavy in places. The Last Chain, Into The Black, the title track, and No Loss To Me, are as heavy as anything from State of Mind, whilst maintaining the melodic nature of this album. By contrast, there are also some ballads - With You Again, featuring Adrian's old Maiden counterpart Dave Murray (with a classic solo-trade, naturally), and Innocence - these provide a nice counterpoint. The more melodic numbers include A Quarter to Heaven, Rain, Something Real, and Underground - this last one is my favourite vocal performance by Makin.

The music has been described as radio-orientated rock - and this is true, to an extent, in that it is written with something of a "poppy" bent. Every song on the album, each at around 4 or 5 minutes, could easily be played on the radio - there's nothing risqué or controversial here - but the music contained on this gem of an album is far superior to the majority of crap that infests the radio these days, both in terms of quality of songwriting, and musicianship. It's just a shame there wasn't more promotion surrounding the release of this album originally (hell, even this re-release), as Adrian's Psycho Motel could easily have been a lot bigger.

Andy Makin's vocals are a prefect counterpoint to Adrian's immense sense of melody, his tone, and his style of "playing around the vocals". Adrian's soloing on this album, technically, is fairly simple, but like most of the best players, you get the sense that he's only showing us the tip of the iceberg - and there's also that sense of allure, of "moreness" about this album, spurred by both Makin's vocals and Adrian's playing.

What you get here is an album that's very different. The music is very melodic, and heavy (in places) - this re-release of the album finally has the extra track, Hypocrisy, listed but not present on the original release, along with some more extra tracks - these are with the singer from State of Mind - Solli - they're very upbeat, and again different from anything on either album. Good songs.

Welcome to the World is a great, dark, brooding album; it strikes me as quiet, humble - much like Adrian himself - it's something slightly introverted and retrospective. You'll have to find IT, it won't come knocking on your door - but if you do find it (and you should), you'll find an album full of top-notch songs, with great vocals and perfect, neat, tasteful melodic guitar playing. It's one of those few albums without a weak point. Every song deserves its place on the album, be it from the heavier numbers, to the ballads - each provides another insight into Adrian's playing and songwriting, and a nice change from the song before - you don't know what will come next, but you know it will be good.

An inspirational album, approach Welcome to the World with an open mind, you might just be pleasantly surprised.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Whay has this not been reviewed?, 18 Sep 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Welcome to the World (Audio CD)
Adrian Smith (Him of Iron Maiden fame) has come up with an excellent album here. Written during the spell after he left Maiden this album still has that Maidn sound to it but is toned down to become a more middle of the road rock album. Obviously not a pure metal album but enough riffs are present to keep any real rock fan happy. Listen to this album!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why can't there be more music like this?, 11 Mar 2008
This review is from: Welcome To The World (Audio CD)
In my opinion, Psycho Motel's Welcome To The World, along with Bruce Dickinson's Chemical Wedding are the two greatest albums produced by side-projects of Iron Maiden. In fact, I would argue that those two albums are in fact better than any single album produced under the label of Iron Maiden (with the exception of Live After Death, perhaps).

Welcome To The World is a meeting of Adrian's classic rock influences with more than a hint of a Seattle grunge scene sound. It is pretty accessible, I think. The vocals (both the lyrics and performance) are fantastic, although it should be noted they compare more readily with grunge bands like Alice in Chains than what you would expect from an Iron Maiden side-project. There are fantastic riffs on the cd, which has plenty of heavy tracks. The solos are tasteful and beautiful, including the guest appearances by Scott Gorham and Dave Murray. There's even some progressive metal elements, though they don't steal the scene too much.

To give you an idea of how thoroughly I support this album, I can tell you with absolute certainty that this is the cd I've played the most over the last eighteen months. As far as I'm concerned, Welcome To The World just consists of 'good music', I only wish that there were more bands like this. Welcome To The World seems to combine the right elements of metal, classic rock, blues and grunge in just the right way. It never seems to meander aimlessly, the songs don't have anything unnecessary in them, but they do have what it takes to be absolutely spell-binding. It's both aggressive and melodic, in my opinion landing right in the sweet spot, balancing the two in a way so few bands can.

I hope I've persuaded someone to buy this cd, which far outstrips its predecessor in my opinion, because I don't think many of you will regret it. It doesn't sound exactly like Maiden, but any appreciator of good music should enjoy this cd on some level. It really is a forgotten gem of an album.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More fine stuff from Smith & Co., 17 Jun 2003
This review is from: Welcome to the World (Audio CD)
It would be a tall order to match or surpass their debut album, but in my opinion Psycho Motel managed it here. The heaviness is toned down and new singer Andy Makin provides more soulful vocals. The tone is more gently structured and melodic than the first album, but no weaker for it. It sounds like a band who have had more time to gel and develop their own distinctive sound. Again the sound and content is, as far as I'm concerned, original and rather innovative. I've not heard another band like them. Perhaps only the two lighter, ballad-like tracks are less impressive ("With you again", "Innocence") but they are still worth listening to. The tracks that really stand out are "A Quarter to Heaven", "Believe", "Welcome to the World" and "I'm alive". Smith shows us more of his great songwriting skills and sensitivity, and in only one track is he not involved either as co-writer or the sole writer. A lot of thought has gone into this album.
If you are an admirer of Adrian Smith or just like damn fine hard rock music, this CD should be one of your most cherished items. Let's hope Psycho Motel reform for a third outing.
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