According to Lita Ford herself, the last few years have been pure Hell for her. Not only did she and her then hubby Jim Gilette release one of the most horrible albums I have ever heard in my life in Wicked Wonderland, also her gig at Sweden Rock Festival that she played prior to the album release in 2009 was a complete disaster.
On a personal level, her life had fallen to pieces. Lita tells a story of an abusive husband who both physically and mentally tortured her to the point of where she had to escape her home and leave her kids behind to actually survive. Only to find that her husband had badmouthed her so much to their children that they were brainwashed to believe that it was Lita who was the villain in their home. If all this is true, Gilette should be shot on sight!
With all that in mind, it’s a miracle that Lita even found the strength to go ahead and make new music. But she did get together with guitarist and producer Gary Hoey and did just that! I guess this album is like therapy for her as the whole CD is about her feelings about all this and it also brings up the subject of her teenagehood and life before Gilette in small pieces. Lyrically, it’s a tough world that she paints for us, even though some positive things, like her kids, shows up here and there.
Musically, she seems to have left the debacle of her last bombing behind, but she still needs to worry, because no matter how good a record she has made here, people still remember how awful her last album was and it’s not easy to convince an audience who has, more or less, declared her career dead and buried, that she’s back and rocking like it was the good old days.
But that’s exactly what she’s doing here, because this is really a very good album. This time, she’s just doing what she does best, which is to rock. Hard! ”Branded”, the album’s opener takes us back to her first two more metal-influenced albums, ”Hate” is very dark and black, but it still has good, memorable melodies, ”The Mask” is a real killer that reminds me a lot of ”Blueberry”, one of the best tracks off her biggest success Lita and the title track leans more towards pop and I think I can spot a bit of a U2 influence in there. ”Mother” is a ballad that sends shivers down my spine. The song is, of course, about her and her kids and the lyrics are pretty scary. ”Love 2 Hate U” is a great song where she shares lead vocals with Hoey. It’s really catchy and could be a hit with some luck. Also, she has made a cool cover here. The song is called ”Song To Slit Your Wrist By” and is written by Nikki Sixx about his ex and the original is on Sixx’ side project 58’s album Diet For A New America. A brilliant choice that fits the album’s theme like a glove.
With this album, Lita has made a very good album and together with Lita and Dangerous Curves it is easily her best work to date. Still, I’m a little confused about the production, it’s a bit messy and it sounds a bit like a demo at times, and there are some fillers here as well. But if she hasn’t already scared all her fans away, there’s a bunch of good stuff here to sink your teeth into if you take the time to give her one last chance. Because, if she has one chance left, this sure is it.
Jon Wilmenius (7/10)
3. The Mask
4. Living Like A Runaway
7. Devil In My Head
9. Love 2 Hate U
10. A Song To Slit Your Wrists By