Sixx:A.M., Modern Vintage
What Were They Thinking?
You know that feeling you get when a band you like announces the release of a new album and you get pretty excited? What about when said band puts out the first single and it lets you down so you think, “well it’s just one song, and is the radio hit, so it’s allowed to be a bit of disappointment. I’m sure the rest of the album will rock!” Then when the album comes out and when the final notes ring out you’re left sitting there with a confused look on your face, feeling a mixture of anger, sadness, and disbelief. If you haven’t ever found yourself in this situation, consider yourself lucky, it’s happened to me one too many times. If you’re a Sixx:A.M. fan and have yet to listen to their new album, Modern Vintage, you may be experiencing all the things above soon enough.
Before I go any further let me just say that the whole album wasn’t awful, just most of it. The reason I am saying this is because you have two guys that are in two of rock ‘n’ roll’s biggest bands coming together with a producer/vocalist who also has a good reputation in the rock community, and what they created is not a rock album at all. I wouldn’t have a problem with this if they weren’t already established as a rock band with two pretty good albums out, I like all kinds of music and understand that sometimes musicians want to start a side project that involves a different sound than what they normally play, but this is just bad. In multiple interviews, Nikki Sixx, D.J Ashba, and James Michael all said that they wanted to take all the types of music that inspired them and throw it all together. Again, this would be cool if they stuck to their own sound and just incorporated those things in small parts throughout the album, that’s not what they did though.
For the sake of ending an article that is melancholy thus far on a slightly better note, I’ll start with the bad and finish with what little bit of good I could find while listening to this album. The first single, “Gotta Get It Right”, sounds like it would be a better fit on a Disney movie soundtrack aimed at the “under ten years old” demographic . “Drive” would be a hit with fans of U2, maybe Sixx and company should have sold that one to Bono and the guys form Ireland. “Hyperventilate”, “Get Ya Some”, and “High on the Music” all made me think I was listening to Fall Out Boy, while “Miracle” eerily reminded me of “Thriller” by Michael Jackson. I’m not trying to put down those last two artist, especially MJ, but Sixx:A.M. should never be compared to them. I was taught that “if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all” growing up, so that’s what I’ll do after hearing “Before It’s Over.” The sole ballad of the album is “Drive”, the lyrics are pretty good, that’s all I can really say about this one.
On to the bright spots of the album! The opening track “Stars” should have been the worst tune off an album by this band, but sadly it’s one only three songs most fans will be able to listen to more than once on the groups third record. “Relief” is a straight up rocking song with good guitar riffs, lyrics, melodies, and style. The guitar solo really brings it up a few notches as well. The last track that I hear any resemblance of the guy’s last two albums is “Let’s Go”, which has a very catchy chorus that will hook you in after just one listen. This is another one that is driven by the great guitar playing by Ashba as well, which leaves me asking why they didn’t just let him sprinkle these sultry riffs all over the album?
I wanted to like this album, I really did. I gave it multiple listens and just hoped that my love for other styles of music would help me get into these eleven songs, but it never happened. The three I listed in the previous paragraph will be songs I will enjoy for a long time to come, as will probably be the case for most fans of Sixx:A.M., but the rest of the album will be skipped over and more than likely forgotten about. With Motley Crue coming to an end, Nikki Sixx says that this outfit will be his main focus, if the next album sounds anything like this one we will be in for some serious disappointment from one of rocks biggest and baddest stars.