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Braver Than We Are (Bonus Version)

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Album Review

Jim Steinman parted ways with Meat Loaf sometime after their improbable 1993 blockbuster Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell. He contributed a couple of songs to its 1995 sequel, Welcome to the Neighborhood, but by the time Meat Loaf was ready to do a third installment of Bat Out of Hell, Steinman opted out for unspecified reasons, leaving the singer to use five previously released Steinman songs as produced by Desmond Child — a satisfactory compromise that at the very least illustrated how Celine Dion's "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" should've been on a Bat Out of Hell album. Through a series of circumstances, Meat Loaf and Steinman wound up reuniting for 2016's Braver Than We Are, which was produced by Paul Crook, just like its 2012 predecessor Hell in a Handbasket. While the record bears some slick modern hallmarks, it is very much a throwback, evoking memories of Todd Rundgren's overblown Springsteen parody of 1977 as well as the earnest re-creation of 1993. Steinman's songs are suitably theatrical — the opening "Who Needs the Young" feels like it's a Broadway reject — and while he slyly winks at his past with "Going All the Way Is Just the Start (A Song in 6 Movements)," a song that features a cameo from "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" singer Ellen Foley, he also seems unaware that Ratt got to the title "Loving You Is a Dirty Job" first. That isolation is ultimately a benefit because Braver Than We Are feels caught between nostalgia and indifference, an album so old-fashioned it seems happily ignorant of modernity even when it threads EDM rhythms and metallic guitars into "More." The other way it's possible to tell this album was released in 2016 is Meat Loaf's performance. Thin and sometimes breathless, he's no longer the colossus of the '70s, but the diminishment of his range humanizes him and adds a bittersweet tinge to this reunion. Through Meat Loaf's voice alone, mortality becomes evident and it makes this third reunion with Steinman all the sweeter. Braver Than We Are may have its flaws — it's too staid and self-conscious, for one — but Steinman never found a better interpreter for his songs than Meat Loaf, and Meat Loaf never sounds more like himself than he does when singing Steinman, and that's why the album works. [Braver Than We Are was also released on LP.]

Customer Reviews

Meat Loaf no more

I have been a huge fan of Meat Loaf since 1977, I used to dance in the discoteques to the rythim of Paradise by the Dashboard Light (the best lip synching song there has ever been), but, I dont know what happened to him in the last 3 years, his voice is completely gone
I am so sad to admit this, but even Jim Steinman must could not save this record
Time to retire Marvin Lee
I am going to go cry in a corner now.......

Book Ends.

The negative reviews are missing the point. Sure Meat's voice isn't what it once was. Neither are any of us who grew up with Bat.
The point is that the power and the passion are alive and well. Dreams are still waiting to be revealed, truths yet to be told, REDEMPTION still to be found....thats is the point!

I'm sad

I love Meatloaf and have everything he has ever done,seen him in concert, but I'm sad to hear the voice now. It's pretty rough :(
BOOH is still greatest rock album ever!!

Biography

Born: September 27, 1947 in Dallas, TX

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Marvin Lee Aday is a singer and occasional actor who, for reasons never definitively answered, has recorded under the name Meat Loaf. In all likelihood a childhood nickname, the tag stuck, and many puns followed as the performer -- who tipped the scales at well over 300 pounds -- became one of the biggest chart acts of the 1970s before enjoying a commercial renaissance two decades later. Meat Loaf was born in Dallas, Texas. The product of a family of gospel singers, he moved to Los Angeles in 1967...
Full Bio

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Braver Than We Are (Bonus Version), Meat Loaf
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