Stryper, the world s most celebrated multi-platinum Christian metal band, is back with an evocative take on classic rock songs. My disappointment when I found out they were releasing an album of cover songs (with "God" being the only original song) should come as no surprise to faithful followes of my blog, especially any My Space readers who have made their way here. I think that a band's influences should be implied and not heard. O said another way, WRITE SOME NEW SONGS!
Now Stryper has put out a couple of new albums in recent years, so I decided to cut them some slack and listen to the album. Especially since I'd shelled out my own sheckels for it (how do you get on the record company's list for review copies, anwyay?).
The band chose some interesting tunes to cover, including a surprise cover of a Kansas staple, "Carry On Wayward Son." Although, since they covered a Boston tune on their last album, I guess I should not be so surprised.
1. Set Me Free (Sweet)
2. Blackout (Scorpions)
3. Heaven and Hell (Black Sabbath)
4. Lights Out (UFO)
5. Carry On Wayward Son (Kansas)
6. Highway Star (Deep Purple)
7. Shout It Out Loud (Kiss)
8. Over The Mountain (Ozzy Osbourne)
9. The Trooper (Iron Maiden)
10. Breaking The Law (Judas Priest)
11. On Fire (Van Halen)
12. Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin)
13. God (Stryper).
Michael Sweet's vocals are nothing short of extraordinary, and he really does do these songs justice. As many of you already know, Michael filled in for Brad Delp on the last Boston tour and was truly exceptional. The selection of songs here suit his vocal talents, and the band is as tight as ever. Old-timers like me will recognize all these songs, and Stryper has clearly modernized all of them while remaining true to the originals, and the album production is top-notch. I'd rather this be all original songs, but it is hard to argue with the final product. "God" (the lone original) is a great song that picks up where the last album left off.
This is a solid effort and I recommend it.
And don't forget the SUPER 8 DEBUT ALBUMS Blog Hop coming Monday (have you signed up yet?)