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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different but still great
I have just listened to this album for the first time, and whilst it is different to Meat's normal style, it is so brimming with emotion it is incredible. California Dreamin' as a cover is incredible.

If you are wanting to get this thinking it will be Bat out of Hell all over again, then stop and consider, and perhaps listn to some excerpts first...
Published on 28 Feb 2012 by Doug

versus
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rap out of Hell
Well, what a surprise. A new Meat Loaf album in, what, less than two years after the previous? And one which he rated so highly; you could almost have expected him to make 'Hang Cool...' his last to go out with a bang.

It could be said that this one is more for the fans. It's not as full-on or as hard-rocking. No swearing. There are more piano orientated songs,...
Published on 4 Mar 2012 by lerusty


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rap out of Hell, 4 Mar 2012
This review is from: Hell In A Handbasket (MP3 Download)
Well, what a surprise. A new Meat Loaf album in, what, less than two years after the previous? And one which he rated so highly; you could almost have expected him to make 'Hang Cool...' his last to go out with a bang.

It could be said that this one is more for the fans. It's not as full-on or as hard-rocking. No swearing. There are more piano orientated songs, especially in the opener. There are some sax-led moments and even some fiddle. This kind of takes you back in time a bit to some of his earlier stuff.

Contrast the opening bars to the first song 'All of Me', to the right old din that brought 'Hang Cool...' into our shocked ears in its first few seconds. This new album is just a little bit more laid back, isn't it?

I like 'All of Me'. Meat is opening his soul to us and sharing with us his insecurities, anger and shame. Well, he says he is. But I can't make out what is the cause of his anger, insecurity and shame. I'm not clear on what he's raging about. Or is it clearer on 'The Giving Tree'? Shame about the strange knocking during the verse. 'Live or Die' isn't a bad rocker. Up to this point, we are treated to some rock of good quality which is stiring enough, even if the songs feel a bit dependant on a good chorus.

Then the unthinkable happens. The unforgiveable. No, I'm sorry, Meat, but I can't get over it. You have some rapping on your album. How in the name of Bat out of Hell could you have done it?

We stumble on. It can't happen again. Can it?

I quite like the cover version of 'California Dreaming. 'Party of One' is okay, if not a bit pedestrian, and it rocks along quite nicely. 'Another Day' is a stand-out. There is plenty of emotion throughout the album but this one does make your goose-bumps come up a bit.

There are several references to rain and stormy weather, starting with '40 Days'. Ok, I get the symbolism of rain, storms, and dark clouds. I do feel there's a bit too much of it, though. 'Stand in the Storm' starts off really well, and just when I'm really starting to enjoy it and put the whole rapping episode behind me, we get this bloody awful middle section which to me sounds like, well, rap.

So, by now, I'm really starting to lose interest. The attempt at building up the power with the big vocals on the pen-ultimate track is wearing thin.

This album could have been better without those blisteringly bad moments. This is now his worst album since 'Blind Before I Stop'. Thanks, but I'll stick with B.o.o.H 1,2 and 3 along with Bad Attitude, Welcome to the Neighbourhood and the first half of 'Couldn't Have Said it Better'.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different but still great, 28 Feb 2012
By 
Doug "Doug" (York, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Hell In A Handbasket (Audio CD)
I have just listened to this album for the first time, and whilst it is different to Meat's normal style, it is so brimming with emotion it is incredible. California Dreamin' as a cover is incredible.

If you are wanting to get this thinking it will be Bat out of Hell all over again, then stop and consider, and perhaps listn to some excerpts first.

However if you are a Meatloaf fan and want to move on to the next level this has some incredible tracks, that have more emotion than I have heard in such a long time. Listening to interviews where meat says he may well hit the odd flat note but it is the lyrics and the emotion that counts could not be more right.

In a world of dumb plastic bands singing their oh so commercial music this is different, this is from the heart.

Update

I have been listening to this album for a week, and it is growing on me every day, there is in all honesty not one duff track.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average sadly, 4 Mar 2012
By 
Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Hell In A Handbasket (Audio CD)
I was no fan of Hang Cool Teddy Bear and while this is (in my view) an improvement it still lacks something. There are some important messages here from the artist, but the balance is that it lacks the power ballads for which he is so famous. There is a rap element (which I hated I am afraid) which felt out of place in a cd that felt good natured in intent but average in delivery. I listened to this a few times and then listened to one of the greatest hits albums and felt confident that no track from this would ever make a future greatest hits. Shame, I am a fan and so much wanted to acclaim this as a massive return to form. It's not.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An evolution to either love or hate!, 13 Mar 2012
By 
N. Liddell "NJL" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hell In A Handbasket (Audio CD)
This album is a hard one to rate.

I have been a fan of Meat Loaf since I was at high school and he released 'Bat out of Hell Vol 2:Back in to Hell'. Since then I have back dated my album catalogue, brought every album released since Vol 2 and I have also seen him several times in concert and he rocks every time. This new album is not the Meat Loaf I am use too - in fact the first time I listened to this latest offering I HATED it!

Having said that every great music artist evolves over time and Meat Loaf is no exception so I have stuck with it and listened to the album several times over the past month and it definitely grows on you.

People keep commenting on the rapping included in this album I would like to say that although I don't like stand alone rapping myself I think it is fitting both in the context of the music on this album and the times. Meat Loaf is no stranger to putting spoken sections in his albums and if Bat Out Of Hell (Vol 1 or 2) were being produced now these spoken sections may well have ended up being rapping sections. I think Meat Loaf is showing his respect for the modern music culture and embracing it (like any great artist would).

So to conclude; if you are looking for the Meat Loaf from 20 years ago this album is not for you. If however you, like Meat Loaf himself, you are prepared to evolve and embrace a more grown up and cultured form of Meat Loaf music then give this album a shot but be prepared to be confused at growing to like an album that at first contact is not the Meat Loaf you know and love!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Its Time, 11 July 2012
This review is from: Hell In A Handbasket (Audio CD)
As an ardent fan of Meat having met, been to various concerts and own all the albums there comes a point in time were no auto tuner can continue to convince you that this is still good, Hang Cool barely made it, Hell in a Handbasket hasn't . Don't get me wrong I have the greatest respect for this legend, from the age of ten reeling in the convictions and passion of one of my generations fringing super stars.

Since Couldn't Have Said it Better, the decline of Meat's voice has been evident whilst we can all argue over who wrote the songs, who produced the album etc. Meat's time for singing has in my opinion come to an end, I will continue to purchase new albums as a thank you for the highs and getting me through some of my lows.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Meatloaf still rocking !, 8 April 2014
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This review is from: Hell In A Handbasket (Audio CD)
I have been a fan for many years and try to collect everything that is released. This is a great album takes things back and does everything you expect plus a few really different tracks.

Recommended for all fans.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Time to retire, 16 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Hell In A Handbasket (Audio CD)
This is such a shame. I love Meat Loaf and have thoroughly enjoyed his previous music until the last cd and now this one. It is marginally better than his previous offering but a long way short of the magical music has has produced in the past.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Meaty, 12 Feb 2014
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Mork (Huddersfield) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hell In A Handbasket (Audio CD)
I love everything that meatloaf puts out. Am a massive fan of his music from Bat out of hell to his Heaven can wait This CD does not disappoint and songs like California dreamin' featuring Patti Russo shows he can sing anything and make it sound good
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Master sings!, 17 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Hell In A Handbasket (Audio CD)
Meatloaf at his best. Absolutely brilliant if you are a Meatloaf fan and if you are not you wont want this CD anyway!
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is biased, 9 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Hell In A Handbasket (Audio CD)
I will admit up front I am a big fan of Meatloaf and still play his very first album "Bat out of hell" this one rates up there with that album - great singing, great backing and although not written by Jim Steinman the lyrics are good
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