Tesla – ‘Shock’ – Album Review

Tesla decided to make a new album after saying the last one was…well the last one.  Thankfully, that is not the case.  Tesla’s new album is called ‘Shock’ and there has been a lot said of this new album and about how much it sounds like Def Leppard since it was produced by Phil Collen, lead guitarist of the band.

And let me tell you, they are 100% RIGHT!!  It really does!!  Mostly, it is from the backing vocals.  On a lot of the songs, the backing vocals have been done in the same way Lep does it.  In fact, all the backing singers sound exactly like Phil. Now, I am not saying sounding like Lep is a bad thing.  It is, however, a little distracting and a little detracting. 

From the opening track, “You Won’t Take Me Alive”, “Taste Like”, “I Want Everything” and “Afterlife” it is the classic Lep sound.  They aren’t bad songs at all and they do grow on you with each listen.  It is just strange.  At times I feel like I am listening to a Lep album with a new lead singer.

The album is also very soft at time.  It has several ballads (“We Can Rule The World”, “Love is a Fire” and “Forever Loving You”) and even a breezy little song called “California Love Song”.  At times you could compare this album to Def Leppard’s X (often called the “Love” album for it’s ballad heavy track list).

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My Sunday Song – “Modern Day Cowboy” by Tesla

For My Sunday Song #85, it is time to go with a western feel with “Modern Day Cowboy” by Tesla.  The song was the band’s second single on their debut album ‘Mechanical Resonance’ released in December of 1986. The single was released in 1987 and peaked at only #35 on the US Mainstream Rock chart which surprises me that this song and these guys didn’t blow up more than they did.

The song became an instant favorite of mine the second I heard it with that monster opening guitar riffs with Frank Hannon and Tommy Skeoch.  Then the song changed up the guitars to acoustic and then back and forth with the electric guitars.  The two were simply scary good.  The whole cowboy theme song was probably take due to the success of Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive”.

“Modern Day Cowboy” takes you through some of the bad boy cowboys through time starting with Billy the Kidd; then going to the Original Gangsters Al Capone and Bad Boy Jones; and finally moving to present day with our leaders of U.S.A. & the U.S.S.R. and their six guns or in this case nuclear weapons.

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