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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Lita Ford

Wicked Wonderland

Review by Gary Hill

This is Lita Ford’s first new album in well over a decade. As such it’s a great return to form. The lyrics are often times quite sensual – and I’d have to recommend parents give it a spin before playing it around their kids, but the music is top-notch. It alternates between more modern sounds and classic ones – often in the same song. This variety really keeps the set from becoming anything close to boring at any point along the way. It’s a killer disc and should please Ford’s long time fans and probably earn her some new ones.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Crave
I love the modern metal sound on this thing. It's fierce and furious. It has lot of energy. Yet there are things here that make me think of more modern Alice Cooper  and even Otep. There is a bit of a techno edge to this cut. It's a real screamer. It's also a great way to start things in style.
Piece
This feels a bit like Black Sabbath as it comes in. It has a more punky mode and reminds me a bit of a heavier Runaways.
Patriotic SOB
Starting with a reading of the pledge of allegiance, this is a raw, almost techno, goth metal feeling number. It’s a real screamer. 
Scream
This raw rocker reminds me a bit of some of the modern Alice Cooper music. It’s a bit punky.
Inside
“Inside” is just plain mean. This has a very dark metal texture a bit like something from Black Sabbath, but perhaps a bit more raw. There are some Alice Cooper leanings here.
Wicked Wonderland
The title track is a killer. This is a real metal screamer with both old school Black Sabbath leanings and more modern sounds.
Indulge
A raw and powerful metal cut, this is heavily based on the modern style of the genre, but it’s also quite got some links to older metal in terms of some hooks. 
Love
This is a very sensual and sexual cut and really rocks out. It’s another strong cut and another that changes things enough to keep it from feeling monolithic. This is a more modern sounding piece.
Betrayal
A weird scream leads off this raw, thrashing number. The ending section is a cool, echoey, processed guitar romp. It’s quite tasty.
Sacred
This one feels to me like a more metal version of the type of catchy rock sound we have been accustomed to getting from Heart.
Truth
Alternating between more melodic and more raw, modern metal, this is another killer tune on a disc that shows no shortage of them.
Everything
Rather complex at times, there are some intriguing musical concepts and alterations on this. They are all packed into another strong metal structure.
Bed
With Lita Ford requesting, “tie me to the bed,” it’s a safe bet that this is a dream come true for many of her fans. It’s another strong metal cut with both old school and modern textures laced into it. There’s an intriguing keyboard based interlude mid-track. This is brought back into the metal realm to hold the track through to its close, but we never get more vocals.
Garden
More melodic, but still very heavy and crunchy, this feels more modern. It’s quite a frantic number.
Push
A modern sounding metal romp, this is raw and heavy. It’s a good song, but perhaps a bit lackluster for disc closer.
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