Rock Ballads - Various - Rock on, and on...

2006-03-29 19:14
 

Compilations, as a rule, are a blatant money spinner for record companies. They don't cost much to produce. People line up like lambs to the slaughter to buy the damn things, just because they're full of familiar tunes.

And Rock Ballads is really worst of breed. From the not-so-subtle title "Rock Ballads", to the white electric guitar floating in the blue sky on the cover, to the track listing, the whole thing exudes an overpowering lack of originality.

Having to hear R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" another time is enough to numb the emotional receptors forever. Rod Stewart's self satisfied crooning on "Sailing", Phil Collins' profitable ditty about the evils of the selfish wealthy ("Another Day in Paradise"), Alannah Myles' "Black Velvet"... It's the kind of CD you can virtually hear without removing the plastic cover.

And the tracks aren't really the most beautiful, or the best. They're just the ones that we've been forced to learn to like, because they're still played in every supermarket, restaurant, and on most radio stations, and we all have to buy groceries, eat, or drive to work sometime. By now, we'd have to be deaf not to know this stuff backwards. Hey, I wish could play it backwards - at least there might be some interesting messages, instead of another dull tale of unrequited love and sexual frustration (and another overblown electric guitar solo, and another cheesy chorus).

On the plus side? Two small things, worth one star each. One: the Black Sabbath track ("Changes") at least is a surprise, being untypical of the loud and dark Black Sabbath. Compilations would make more sense if they contained more of these kinds of tracks - the only listenable (or mainstream appeal) song a noisy and smelly band ever did. The second star in my two star rating is for: no ad breaks! This CD sounded so much like a Middle of the Road radio playlist that I almost expected to cut to the washing powder jingle at any second. There's my gratitude, where it is due.

- Jean Barker

WHAT OTHER CRITICS SAID:

Oh, look here. It's another collection of 'The Best Ever Rock Ballads of All Time in the History of the Universe'.
- Nils van der Linden for Iafrica.com


It's subtitled THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ROCK BALLADS OF ALL TIME and THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CLASSIC ROCK SONGS. It should actually be called THE COMPILATION FOR PEOPLE WITH ABSOLUTELY NO IMAGINATION AT ALL. Because it's not that the songs are bad (in fact, many of them are truly classics), it's just that we've all heard them a hundred times, and the fact that someone's still buying this tired stuff is so incredibly SAD.

Lendyl 2004/08/16 9:27 AM
ya Seems some people out there struggle ot find the play button on their radio. Or the playlist is too long and complicated. *Sneer* Gomez - Split the Difference
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