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Custom Built

Bret Michaels

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Album Review

As the reigning rock & roll relic in 2010, surviving everything from dating shows to a brain hemorrhage, winning Celebrity Apprentice along the way, Bret Michaels was in need of new product for the marketplace so he served up Custom Built in the summer of 2010. Like its 2008 predecessor, Rock My World, and 2005’s Freedom of Sound before that, Custom Built is odds-and-ends masquerading as a new album, rounding up brand-new cuts and leftovers from Michaels’ unheralded pre-Rock of Love 2000s. There are three songs from Freedom of Sound — four, if the new rock mix of “Driven” is counted — adding a remix of the Rock of Love theme “Got That Far” and closing with a cut plucked from 1998’s A Letter from Death Row. That leaves “Riding Against the Wind,” which is the theme for the new reality TV series Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It, and seems like it could also serve as theme for one of Discovery’s sub-Deadliest Catch series, a cover of Sublime’s “What I Got,” the country of “Wasted Time,” the Sunset Strip sleaze of “Lie to Me,” and “Nothing to Lose” as the brand new cuts here. The latter is the emphasis cut, showcased in two versions, one solo the other a quite memorable duet with Miley Cyrus, whose presence can hardly be called a sell-out for the rocker — anybody prepping for his third or fourth reality TV show doesn’t care about such niceties — but rather a signal of how Custom Built attempts to serve everyone of Michaels’ niches: he’s a little bit country, a little bit rock & roll, even a little bit LA club dog, and his puppy dog eagerness to please is ingratiating.

Biography

Born: 15 March 1963 in Butler, PA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

With his glammed-up good looks and commercial songwriting skills, Bret Michaels became one of rock & roll's most recognizable frontmen during the 1980s. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Bret Michael Sychak migrated west in 1984, trading the blue-collar ambience of his native Pennsylvania for the seedy gloss of Los Angeles. Along with his three bandmates in Poison — guitarist C.C. DeVille, bassist Bobby Dall, and drummer Rikki Rockett — Michaels became an integral part of the popular...
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Custom Built, Bret Michaels
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