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Album Review

Sacramento hard rockers Tesla were always outliers in the glam and pop metal scene of the late '80s. They had been experimenting with acoustic songs since their first album, 1986's Mechanical Resonance, and offered up a more honest and simply presented version of the era's blazing guitar anthems than their lipsticked, spandexed contemporaries. Despite a six-year break in the late '90s, they've also managed to stick around, releasing decent studio and live albums throughout the 2000s. Following 2011's Twisted Wires & the Acoustic Sessions album, they've pulled their amps out of storage and returned with a solid set of straight-ahead rockers and tasteful acoustic numbers on 2014's Simplicity. Just a year prior, they released the thrashing single "Taste My Pain," which strove to reclaim their heavier tendencies, overcompensating just a bit. But throughout Simplicity, Tesla focus on simple, well-executed songs and unencumbered, stripped-down production, as emphasized by standouts like "So Divine...," "Other Than Me," and the ballad "Life Is a River." Their mix of hard rock, blues, and occasional heartland flourishes on this collection should please fans, showing that their heads are still in the right place.

Customer Reviews

better than the last one

I will say after the really poor " Forever More " and the lazy, cash grab " Twisted Wire's" ( do we really need stripped down , acoustic versions of already slow songs like : Change's and What You Give ? And do we want to hear a stripped down " Hang Tough " ? )
This is better but that isnt saying much .
Most notable is the guitar arrangements . They are really good compared to Forever More .
The vocal arrangements and chorus's are weak ,again ,on many of the songs which really ruins the album . ( I'm not a huge Tommy fan but it makes you wonder ) ITN was only 10 years ago so I keep hoping that they still have something more consistent and stronger in them like that one . Maybe Tommy contributed more than I thought ? Just listen to how good Bar 7 was !
The lyrics are so upfront and boring. It almost sounds like i'm talking to my co worker on any given day about the most boring stuff just to try and get thru the day as we work . This is not the Tesla of the 80's and 90's. It dosent want to make you sing to it or even hear it again. What happened to the fun, layed back ,sing along songs like : ez come, hang tough,cmon atcha, edisons, lazy days, etc ?
Jeff .I dont want to here about your ipod.
Except for a few songs ( cross my heart, flip side, fade to burnout, other than me) it just sounds so generic , stale, and boring . Nothing like 1st 4 releases . Or even ITN.
Well everybody has a window to come up with really great material . Stones, dont do it, Fleetwood mac cant do it . The list goes on and on and on . 20, 30 years ago and different live's different times . Well at least they still write new stuff. I will continue to go see them live every tour though as I have since 1988 if they keep the setlist fresh.

1 ) MP3 - "means more than a text from a cell phone screen " ? " Rewind now "? C'mon Jeff these lyrics are horrendous !
"MP3 eeeeee" Jeff tries to carry it at the end and falls flat. Plus his voice sounds like he needs to cough something up thats stuck in his throat ; Age/ Smoking.....
Frank throws in his Peter Frampton guitar effects . Not very original but sounds kinda cool .
2) Ricochet - Chorus sounds like my friends bands wrote it in high school for the talent contest . Bad, Bad,Bad . This sounds nothing like old Tesla or even Into The Now release which was incredible good . Its not until mid song during the break : "Playing music every night having the time of my life " Jeff voice /sounds/says beautifully . Now this sounds like old Tesla ! Well, it only lasts for 20 seconds
"So here we are back again with a brand new record ready to spin" Jeff back in his deteriorating voice says . What is this a press conferance for the release or a song ? Back to the annoying chorus again.
3) Rise And Fall - " Thats when the chills ran up my spi ei ei n " This is where you really here how bad Jeffs voice has gotten . His voice is so limited now and only sounds good when singing a certain way. Basically the song just drags with the same dreary riff and Jeff talking the lyric's most of it.
4) So Devine - Complete filler ! Nobody will even know( or care) the lyrics to sing along in concert.
5) Cross My Heart -Honky- tonk plus keyboards . Sounds like Wonderful World ( which I love) off BAN . Very impressed . Best thing since ITN release ( minus Pvt. Ledbetter)
6) Honestly . Tesla , we already have " Only You " off ITN which you must not feel strong enough about it to play live anyway and is miles ahead of this garbage .
7 ) Flip Side - A great song. Just fun lyrics too !
8) Other Than Me - Nice Tesla mid-tempo song . Jeffs voice sounds better than any of the prior songs other than the break in Ricochet I mentioned . This is the range he may have to stay in.
9 ) Break Of Dawn - Again , complete filler .. Sounds nothing like older Tesla . Sounds like a throw away song from Forever More like I Wanna Live or the title song. Jeffs voice sounds like crap again we he try's to force it.
10 ) Burnout To Fade - Jeff dosent force his voice so it sounds good . Nice twangy guitar riffs . Lyrics not so cheesy .
11 ) Life Is A River - Another super slow , sappy song like Honestly . Isn't one enough ?
12 ) Sympathy - Filler . I see why this got put towards the end . Gitar arrangements are great though.
13 ) Time Bomb - More" talking the lyrics" like Rise and Fall. With rest of band chiming in " Lets Go ", All Know ", "Time Bomb ", I Know " sounding more like a bunch of kids yelling at the same time. Jeff again sounds like there is a frog in his throat.
14) Til That Day - Oh . Big surprise . Another super slow tempo , sappy song . Cant get enough of those !

I'm giving it 3 stars only because of how bad Forever More and what little effort was put into it and Twisted Wires as well as the weak "new songs" on it . At least they didnt put Taste My Pain on this I would have had to drop it to 2 stars..

Get ready to hear all the " Tesla Troops " chimming in as they drink the Tesla Kool-Aid . They troll the internet arguing and " thumbs downing " everything negative written about Tesla lol .

TESLA lives!

One of the very few bands from that era who can still write relevant, rocking music. Can't wait to hear the whole thing!

Tesla Simplicity

It doesn't get any better than new music from Tesla...!!!


Formed: 1985 in Sacramento, CA

Genre: Rock

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

Although Tesla emerged during the glory days of hair metal, the band's music was equally indebted to contemporary blues and '70s-style hard rock, a fusion that helped differentiate albums like The Great Radio Controversy from its contemporaries. Despite the refreshing lack of posturing, Tesla was hit just as hard as the rest of the pop-metal world when grunge arrived in the early 1990s....
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Simplicity, Tesla
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Customer Ratings