Album of the Day


  • Axl Rosenberg

After the unbridled brutality of Chimaira’s Resurrection, you may be feeling ready for something a little more melodic; try this, the most underrated release of its genre. Produced immediately after the split with original guitarist C.C. DeVille, this is the only album Poison ever recorded with axe slinger Richie Kotzen (he was later kicked out of the band for shtupping drummer Rikki Rockett’s fiancee), and the change-up in songwriters is pretty remarkable- this sounds like a completely different band from the one who wanted “nothing but a good time” (even Testament’s Alex Skolnick endorsed the album in an issue of Guitar World). Bret Michaels’ lyrics are still cheesy as all get-out, but the music is blusier, beefier than anything the Kings of Wham Bam Glam Slam (or whatever it was) had ever done before or since (after firing Kotzen, they hired Blues Saraceno to do the more traditionalist Crack a Smile, which actually wasn’t officially released until after the band had reunited with DeVille). Whether it’s the use of a gospel choir on the single “Stand” or the horn section on “7 Days Over You,” this is Poison at their most creative and Aerosmithian- think GN’R’s “Bad Obsession” from Use Your Illusion and you’ll have some idea of what I mean. The highlight, though, is the media commentary “Bring it Home,” which reveals Kotzen (who went on to join Mr. Big) to be a vastly superior singer to Michaels. The DeVille years will always define Poison, but this is surely their finest hour.


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