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Hang Cool Teddy Bear (Special Edition)

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iTunes Review

It wouldn’t be a Meat Loaf album without grandiose visions. After all, with that vocal range and natural ability to turn every moment into life or death, it would be a shame if he didn’t give the people the greatest show on earth. With veteran producer Rob Cavallo giving the album a contemporary edge and songwriters such as Jon Bon Jovi, American Idol’s Kara DioGuardi, legendary song doctor Desmond Child, and the Darkness’ Justin Hawkins writing songs for a classic rock band of the ages — that’s Steve Vai and Queen’s Brian May on guitars and House’s Hugh Laurie (?!) on piano — the result is an album of epic absurdity that makes for the perfect date by the dashboard light. There’s a story here somewhere about a wounded soldier, but the real attraction is the delightful bombast of tunes like “Peace On Earth,” “If I Can’t Have You,” “Love Is Not Real  / Next Time You Stab Me In the Back” and “Elvis In Vegas,” where all the hyper-emotions of adolescence come back raging at the dying of the light. The special edition includes ten live cuts, including many noteworthy highlights from throughout his career.

Customer Reviews

Pleasant Surprise

First off, to all of the reviewers on here that are trying to compare this album with any of the "Bat Out of Hell" albums, stop doing it. Meat Loaf has said himself in numerous interviews that he wasn't trying to make another "Bat" album. He's taken a new direction and I think it suits him well. The album definitely rocks! It's very modern sounding--but NOT to the point that it's boring or generic (i.e. playing three chords per song). It's very melodic. Meat's voice sounds great as well. He sings every song like it's a matter of life or death. The whole wounded soldier theme is a bit subdued, but that's alright because the songs ARE very good. The lyrics are interesting and catchy enough to stay in your head for awhile. I applaud Meat for trying this new direction. No, it's not as epic and orchestra-based as a "Bat" album, but it wasn't supposed to be! It's more rough-around-the-edges and heavy. Well done Meat. This is the best album since "Couldn't Have Said it Better."

Best Songs:

Living on the Outside- almost sounds like an updated version of a 1960's-1970's rock song, especially when he repeats "Come on baby and ride with me"

Love is Not Real- it's the longest song on the album. Catchy guitar riff throughout. It changes pace in the middle...kind of like a break-it-down type of beat. Good guitar work.

Song of Madness- Steve Vai does the guitar work on this song. It's definitely the heaviest song on the album. But still, it manages to stay melodic enough to keep the listener from skipping over it. The lyrics are angry and Meat sings them with passion. The guitar solo is great. Definitely a song to nod your head to.

California Isn't Big Enough- this song makes me laugh everytime I listen to it. It's about a guy picking up a prostitute (or so I've read). The chorus is VERY catchy. It definitely has a late 80's rock feel to it, especially with the use of a few noticable keybord/synth chords in the chorus. Good guitar solo. Meat sings it great. Probably my personal favorite song on the album.

Elvis in Vegas- this was co-written by Bon Jovi. It's a very good song for sure. Similiar to "Love is Not Real," there's a shift in the middle of the song to a different beat. The guitar riff during that shift is straight up raunchy rock n roll...I love it! I wish that riff would've stayed throughout, because it reverts back to the original riff and beat after about a minute. Still, it was a good song to end the album on!

Good, but not great.

I was really waiting for this album, and there are one or two good songs on here, however, I have to admit I'm very, very disappointed. The bulk of the material is simply just not very strong...and certainly doesn't measure up to Jim Steinman's songwriting talent. Perhaps the strongest songwriting on the album, Elvis In Vegas, would be fine for its authors, Billy Falcon or Bon Jovi, but is merely a filler track for a dynamo like Meat Loaf. The big production classic Meat Loaf numbers of the bat albums are nowhere to be found. Rob Cavallo missed the mark by a mile, and hopefully this will be the only album he produces for Meat Loaf - clearly he should stick to Green Day, Paramore and other 3-chord pop bands. I still love Meat Loaf, and I don't regret buying the album, but I had hoped to be in Meat Loaf heaven tonight absorbing some new classics...instead, meh.

Meat Without Steinman Is Elton Without Bernie

Not meant to be!


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...
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Hang Cool Teddy Bear (Special Edition), Meat Loaf
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