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Meat Loaf: Meat Loaf is back from hell!
Reviewed by robgomm on 7 Feb 2012
After the triumphant return of Meat Loaf last year with the rocking Hang Cool Teddy Bear, then the sell out tour that followed, you would think Meat would take a little time out.

Not so!

Meat has got himself a portable studio, and he has secretly been recording this new album whilst on tour, so this means the quickest follow up to an album by Meat than ever before!

Meat Loaf explains the idea for this album is all about him and his feelings on the world today, and he sings about the problems that many people face. He says that in all his past albums he has always portrayed characters. But now, for the first time ever, this album is all about Meat.

Fitting the concept of this album, the opening track is 'All Of Me', where Meat lays bare his anger and his insecurities, and it sets the tone for the album. Also matching the idea of this being personal to Meat, the vocals are the rawest you have ever heard. what you get is pure Meat, how he sounds live, delivering with passion that only he can portray. This might turn some people off but I think the idea works incredibly well. In these days of note perfect, auto tuning, fake albums that sound nothing like the artist live it's refreshing that someone is prepared to put it on the line and say, this is how I sound, take it or leave it.

Given how much I loved Hang Cool Teddy Bear I tried very hard not to get swept away by fanboyism that inevitably says the new album must be better than the last one. I have remained subjective. But there is no getting away from the fact that Hell In A Handbasket is a much more consistent album than Hang Cool. Whereas with Hang Cool I felt there were a couple of weaker songs that I might skip, and a couple that I couldn't play in front of the kids, that is not the case here. The album flows smoothly from one song to the next, and if anything the songs have deeper meaning this time around because Meat sings about things that affect everybody or someone you know in todays crazy world.

If you were put off by some of the bad language in the last album, then I would urge you to pick up Hell In A Handbasket as you will like it far more. My opinion? The best Meat Loaf album since Welcome To The Neighbourhood in 1995/6.

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Artist: Meat Loaf
Label: Sony
Release Date: 27 Feb 2011
Genre: Rock
Type: Album

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