When I head David Hasselhoff (or The Hoff) was putting out a new album of cover songs, I told myself that I have to listen to this for the train wreck that it is going to be. I mean The Hoff has never been popular in the States for his vocal talent and yet, I was intrigued.
David has put together an eclectic list of covers and the most interesting part is the line-up of musicians he was able to get to assist with these covers. Let’s look at the cover songs and those individuals who helped out.
- Open Your Eyes (Feat. James Williamson of The Stooges) – Lords of the New Church Cover
- Head On (Feat. Elliot Easton of The Cars) – The Jesus & Mary Chain Cover
- I Melt With You (Feat. Steve Stevens) – Modern English Cover
- Lips Like Sugar (Feat. A Flock of Seagulls) – Echo & The Bunnymen Cover
- Heroes (Feat. Composer Tyler Bates) – David Bowie Cover
- Here I Go Again (Feat. Tracii Guns) – Whitesnake Cover
- Jump in My Car (Feat. Todd Rundgren) – Ted Murley Gang Cover
- Rhinestone Cowboy (Feat. Charlie Daniels) – Glen Campbell Cover
- If You Could Read My Mind (Feat. Ava Cherry) – Gordon Lightfoot Cover
- Sugar Sugar (Feat. Steve Cropper) – The Archies Cover
- Mit 66 Jahren (Feat. Patrick Moraz of Yes and the Moody Blues) – Udo Jurgens Cover
- Sweet Caroline (Feat. Ministry’s Al Jourgensen) – Neil Diamond Cover
- That’s Life – Frank Sinatra Cover
When I started listening to this, I didn’t really know what to expect and what happened had me quite surprised. I was…dare I say…enjoying it. Yes, I said it. The opening track of “Open Your Eyes” was quite fantastic. David sounded great and the guitar playing was fantastic. The same thing happened with the Jesus & Mary Chain song “Head On”. Plus Elliott’s guitar playing has that whole Cars vibe. What was going on? I couldn’t believe it.
The Modern English song “I Melt With You” is one of my favorite 80’s One Hit Wonder songs ever and so my standards were high on this one. And well, David didn’t disappoint again. Steve Stevens was on this one and his playing was great as usual. My world was starting the shatter. My misconceptions about The Hoff were changing.
Then I heard “Lips Like Sugar” with A Flock of Seagulls. It had the electronic/dance vibe and honestly, not bad either. David really gets into it with the chorus and dang it, another one I enjoyed. And then we get to the David Bowie cover of “Heroes” and damn it, he did it again. Tyler Bates really put his composer spin on it and there were effects on his vocals, but still amazingly enjoyable. The song was even half English, half German as The Hoff seems to be a successful pop star in Germany (or at least was).
We are five songs and I have thoroughly enjoyed this record. And next up was Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again”. And to my surprise…it sucked. Big time suckage. David is not a rock singer at all. The first 5 songs work as they were all pop songs. David doesn’t have the range of Coverdale so it didn’t work. Even Tracii Guns on guitar (who was great) couldn’t save this.
Okay, one bad egg, right. On to the cheesy “Jump in My Car” with the incredible Todd Rundgren. And how was this one? It was basically really bad karaoke. Really Bad!! And basically, that is how the rest of the album went. Really, really bad karaoke. To give you an idea of how bad, my 12 year old daughter and I were going to pick up some Chinese food for dinner and I tortured her with listening to this and the song “If You Could Read My Mind” was on and she turned to me and said “Dad, can we turn this because this really Sucks!!”. Yes, she said sucks! She has never said that about my music (she has used other colorful words, but this was the most harsh).
I didn’t turn it, but when we did get to “Sweet Caroline”, she asked me if this was THE “Sweet Caroline” (you know, the one by Neil Diamond, she couldn’t remember his name, but she recognized the song…color me impressed). I told her it was but that The Hoff was singing. She did enjoy that and when we hit the chorus her and I belted it out in the car and had a good laugh so I will give it a point for that even.
I have to say, this thing started out really enjoyable, but that enjoyment faded after 5 songs and faded fast…real fast. I will say it is better than the last couple Michael Bolton albums and that ain’t saying much. The track score is 6 out 13 Tracks are Keepers or 46%. As far as an Overall Album Score, The Hoff gets a 2.0 out of 5.0 Stars. What started out as fun, ended in a pit of bad karaoke so I think I will stick to the first 5 songs and when my daughter is in the care, I will throw on “Sweet Caroline” for some good fun. So, you can say it is save to skip this one.