Power Ballads: The greatest driving anthems in the world... ever!
27/08/12 || Guest Dominator
Guest review by Daemonomania.
This summer I’m staying with my wife’s parents in India. So far, it has been pretty fucken awesome. And hot. Very hot. With the occasional bout of flies crawling inside my ears and nose. One of the fringe benefits of the trip has been the chance to scope out my wife’s childhood abode. Hidden way back on a shelf in her old room is a pile of long-forgotten CDs. Most of them exquisitely bad. You know someone isn’t much of a music fan if they own several volumes of NOW That’s What I Call Music! from the early 00’s. However, I made the exciting discovery of one out of two discs of this mindblowing power ballad compilation and decided GD needed to know my thoughts about it. The first disc may have vaporized when the 90’s came to a close. Call Mulder to investigate. Anyway, the cover of this disc shows a highway on another planet, the Earth on the horizon. That’s how out of this world these sweet tunes are. Or perhaps they’re trying to say every copy of “Power ballads” should be fired off into space to warn curious E.T.’s to stay the fuck away. One way or another, get ready to blast off into the interstellar seas of cheese, with Daemo as your guide.
The Cars: “Drive”. No actual instruments were harmed in the making of this song. Seriously, could anyone get away with putting this much synth in a song nowadays and still pretend there was a band involved somehow? Maybe. Never been much of a Cars fan. Rick Ocasek looks like Alice Cooper’s long lost brother. Case closed. Boring tune dudes. Tom Petty did this song better – he called it “Don’t come around here no more.”
4 bandmembers making royalties for zero effort out of 10.
Mr. Mister: “Broken wings”. Now this is more like it. Getting some seriously dope Foreigner vibes. And is that an actual guitar? Playing a solo that sounds so inept even Ola Lindgren wouldn’t put it on an early Grave album? This must have been playing in the background during millions of bad-hair-based copulation sessions. My enthusiasm wears off slightly after the chorus is repeated ad Nasum. In a later development, however, I heard this buttpumping out of the speakers as I got a FACIAL in a Delhi salon called MADONNA. Mentally process that sentence in any manner that you see fit.
6.5 Ms. missuses who became Mrs. after a late night “Broken Condom” incident out of 10.
Genesis: “In too deep”. Yeah, in a cow’s generous uterus too deep. I fucken hate Genesis, even more so with Philler Collins on vox. He can’t sing, he can’t drum, all he can do is make some songs that are disgustingly dumb. Calling this track limp would be serious praise, and I am not prepared to praise this hunk of dump at all. Die, die all of you.
0 Geneshits out of 10.
Mr. Big: “To be with you”. Actually, this tune is kind of excellent. Real instruments including a competently played acoustic guitar. A catchy as fuck chorus. I dimly remember hating this song and accompanying video back when I was a JNCO wearing mongo desperately hoping “Man in the box” would be played next on either MTV or the local radio station. But time has been kind. Most importantly, Mr. Big (my penis successfully sued these dudes for trademark infringement) knows when to end a pop song – roughly 3.5 minutes.
8.5 roses that have still possess their thorns out of 10.
Foreigner: “I want to know what love is”. If you read the epic series of reviews where IG and I debated the merits of Boston, you’ll know how I feel about Foreigner. They were nothing special, but these choruses are more infectious than the idea Leo DeCaprio implanted in my mind at the behest of some Japanese industrialist. Damn, is that gospel choir a desperate attempt at authenticity. Yet I can’t get it out of my mind – time to go to level three (snow fortress level) and let positive emotion trump negative emotion every time.
6.5 bands way better than Boston out of 10.
Mike and the Mechanics: “The living years”. UGS, I need your help with this one buddy. Let’s take a stroll on an overcast day, let the autumn leaves blow against our corduroys, and contemplate the utter terribleness of women. Let’s agree this is metal as fvkk in terms of pure attitude. Then let’s pretend I never heard this goddamn awful track. The song’s about Mike’s dad passing away, perhaps while trying to toss a homemade bomb in the Mechanics’ band rehearsal room. If so, way to go dude, you died a hero. These guys give Genesis a run for inducing male phantom menstrual cramps.
1 ex-staffer who was either crazed or fucking with us out of 10.
Starship: “Nothing’s gonna stop us now”. Hard to believe Jefferson Airplane, who released the pretty solid “Surrealistic pillow” back in the 60’s, devolved into this puddle of synth. The skip button is going to stop you… now.
2.5 wishes that this had been the song about building this city on cock and balls out of 10.
REO Speedwagon: “Keep on loving you”. Instantly, the tone of this guy’s voice informs me that this track will be bad. Real bad. Still there are actual guitars and drums present. Gotta give ‘em credit for that I suppose.
3 yachts rocked out of 10.
Pat Benetar: “We belong”. Go ahead and revoke my metal license, but I’ve always enjoyed Pat Benetar tunes. Or maybe just “Hearbreaker?” Anyway, not enjoyed to the extent that I’d actually purchase her greatest hits album or have her flattened face tattooed on my bicep, but I won’t skip the hits if they cross my ears. And sure enough the trend continues with “We be dong.” Her voice carries the day, even if the background instrumentation seems like a John Carpenter/Braveheart soundtrack mashup.
7.5 cases of mental Benetardation out of 10.
Simple Minds: “Don’t you (forget about me)”. Normally I group 80’s synthpop with modern R&B and country in the dark realm of musical genres that make me wither inside. But there’s a quality swagger to this tune that has always made it somewhat endearing. These guys clearly listened to some 80’s Bowie and decided to travel down the Weird One’s path to hitsville. Congrats, you made it. Bad news is that you have to bang Mick Jagger now.
8 exceptions to the genre-hating rule out of 10.
John Waite: “Missing you”. More blatant Foreigner worship (ha!), though the vocals are markedly more effeminate. You know the drill – monotonous drum beat, shit lyrics, skullthrones of synthesizer, and a hint of guitar/bass. Chorus you will recognize and dislike immediately, like the subtle hint of cockpuke on your girlfriend’s breath after she needs to make an emergency trip to Mr. “Big Draemo” Mister’s apartment.
3.5 times she told me she wasn’t missing you at all out of 10.
The Babys: “Isn’t it time”. Starting to wonder that myself. Isn’t it time I ran out into Delhi traffic and got pummeled to death by auto-rickshaws? These babys blow hard. And why is this leftover piece of reheated disco mantrenchdrip on a power ballads compilation anyway? Hate to say it, but Genesis has avoided being the worst band I’ve heard so far. The Babys have reached a tier of suck I could not have even contemplated before listening to this compilation.
-100 babies sacrificed in hopes that some evil power will grant me the ability to unhear this song out of 10.
Bad English: “When I see you smile”. Have no fear, Bad English, you will never see me smile while listening to your third rate attempts at Bon Jovi. If you can’t even reach the low bar set by a New Jersey 4 hit wonder…damn. Would it count as a smile if someone’s teeth were blasted out of the front of their face with a shotgun but miraculously reappeared hanging out of the back of their head in the same order? Then I would see it alright. Ah well, a guy can always dream.
2 generic facsimiles for every quality ballad out of 10.
Roxette: “It must have been love”. Nice real piano sound. Ok vocals. But my patience wears thin. Bring back the Benetar. She would fix this shit right up, break some hearts, make this love a battlefield, ensure that everyone belongs. Until then I’ll be plugging my ears with samosas.
4 choruses repeated for the last 2 minutes straight out of 10.
The Bangles: “Eternal flame”. Cyndi Lauper wants her voice back. Despite being a Casio-washed island in the Pussyjuice Archipelago, this is far from the worst tune I’ve been subjected to during ze Power-ordeal at hand. But Daems would NOT complain if he never heard it again.
4.5 eternal flames extinguished by bush gush out of 10.
Eric Carmen: “All by myself”. Whenever I hear this song I can’t help but think of the scene Half Baked when that stoner sings in the prison shower and is nearly violated by Nasty Nate. Good stuff. Anyway, this song is a prime example of why someone would buy a compilation like this. You can bask in the cheese without having to search the bargain basements of this world to find a copy of Eric Carmen’s greatest hits. Which you know has three remixes of “All by myself.” The Ghaal Ghaal inside me approves of the part at the end where the drums kick in and Eric the Red hits the high notes.
7 timely interventions by Squirrel Master out of 10.
Billy Idol: “Eyes without a face”. Billy Idol is quality, aside from his attempts to integrate electronic music of the worst kind into his synthpunk. He’s about due for a comeback, methinks. Get on it dude – dye that hair, pull your lips up over your teeth, bust a nut on Kim Kardashian and earn that cocaine money. Get re-famous. Easily one of the better pieces of balladry so far.
8.5 eyes that never needed a fucken face in the first place 10.
Meat Loaf: “I would do anything for love”. What the heck kind of music is this? Almost unclassifiable if there were not a bunch of the odd operatic fatguy tunes out there. Maybe Queen was an inspiration? Epicness punctuated by guitars? Needless to say His Loafness is no Mercury, and the experimental, protometallic glory of Queen is nowhere to be found. Yet I cannot deny this is some massively addictive corn filled Muenster drizzled pizza. Reminds me of “November rain” for some reason. The video is ridiculous, and I recall the chick in it being way too hot for chunky Meat in monster makeup. But that just makes the whole durn thing more ridiculous, more wonderful. And therefore appropriate for the power ballad compilation disc itself.
8.5 times Meat has said he’d do anything for chili fries laced with Xanax out of 10.
Well, now it is over. I’m surprised to say that there were at least a handful of songs I’ll be listening to on a regular basis. If you can find it for cheap and it just so happens to come with both disc, I say pick ‘er up. Disc 1 has Queen, Roy Orbison, Whitesnake, Poison, Sinead O’Connor, and MORE MEATLOAF! A worthy investment whose value is sure to appreciate. No one wants to be all by themselves… anymore. And with these hitz (apparently) custom-made for driving in space, you never have to be.
- Released: 2004
- Label: Virgin
- Website: www.powerballadapparel.com
- Space truckers: loving you, keeping on loving you, doing anything for love, seeing you smile, not forgetting about you, driving.
- Please read the above, thanks.