PRETTY MAIDS – Motherland

Pretty Maids - MotherlandIf I could choose only one word to describe Danish rockers Pretty Maids’ career, it would be: Quality! Because ever since they released their debut self titled E.P. back in 1983, non of their albums, and this one is no. 12, has been worse than good. How many bands can say that? Also, Pretty Maids is proof that the world we live in isn’t fair. It is also proof of the fact that quality doesn’t necessarily equal huge sales and world domination. If it wasn’t then boy bands would never become famous, Bon Jovi would be a club band after the release of These Days, hip hop would be seen by everyone as the joke it is and Pretty Maids would headline stadiums around the world. On the other hand, the fact the they aren’t massive may be a reason for their high quality albums and live gigs. The struggle might just keep them focused on writing albums full of killers and with no fillers. Another thing that impresses me with these Danes is that they have managed to develop throughout the years without losing their identity and change of style. They also keep mixing musical styles on every album. There are heavy metal, hard rock, pop, rock, ballads, AOR… But no matter what style they might break into, everything sounds like Pretty Maids. Quite astonishing, if you ask me.

Last time they released anything new was back in 2010 and the brilliant album Pandemonium, one of their finest moments to date, no doubt. By the release of that, fans and critics started to rave about their big come back, how the band hadn’t sounded this great in ages, yatta, yatta, yatta. That’s kind of what happens when an old band releases a truly great album, I guess, but for me it was just another killer in my Pretty Maids collection. I mean, I felt the same way about its predecessor Wake Up To The Real World from 2006. I have felt the same way about every Pretty Maids release except for two, Sin-Decade (1992) and Planet Panic (2002), the only “good, not great” albums in their catalogue. And I feel the same way about their brand new opus Motherland and as well. The first time I heard the first single (and, it turned out, album opener) “Mother Of All Lies”, I knew I could rest assured that they were about to give me yet another dose of first class hard rock once again. The song is brilliant, heavy but still melodic and somewhat commercial. “To Fool A Nation” has a modern touch to it, but still very much Pretty Maids sounding, “The Iceman” is a classic Pretty Maids metal track, hard, fast and angry and “Sad To See You Suffer” is just great, classic Pretty Maids pop metal. The title track is a clear favourite here, an awesome track that has all the ingredients for a smashing catchy hard rock song in the PM world, “I See Ghosts” is heavy and melodic like we love ’em, the ballad “Bullet For You” sounds  like a heavier continuation of “Little Drops Of Heaven” from  Pandemonium and deserves to be a big hit and closing track “Wasted” is another ballad but much on the heavy side – great!

Once again Pretty Maids has provided us with a tasty portion of great hard rock music. In my book this album is just as brilliant as its predecessor, if not better. But my guess is that voices might be raised to the production here. This time they have gone towards a more modern sound, of course without losing their own sound and identity, but the sound here is a bit more slick and (American) radio friendly if you will and I have a feeling narrow-minded die hards might object. I don’t object, because I don’t think it’s disturbing at all. Here’s the deal, bands needs to develop, move forward, try new things and experiment a bit and as long as they don’t lose themselves completely, I’m all for it. This album would probably have worked just as well with a”normal” Pretty Maids production, but the sound here just keeps things fresh and when the music is as strong as it is here, then you won’t get no complaining from this guy.

Jon Wilmenius (9/10)

Track list:
01. Mother Of All Lies
02. To Fool A Natio
03. Confession
04. The Iceman
05. Sad To See You Suffer
06. Hooligan
07. Infinity
08. Why So Serious
09. Motherland
10. I See Ghosts
11. Bullet For You
12. Who What Where When Why
13. Wasted

2 comments on “PRETTY MAIDS – Motherland

  1. This is great. This is quality hard rock with melody, aggression and slick song craft. The only thing I’m not keen on (in the video embedded) is the drum sound. I prefer a less processed drum sound. But I have heard worse on Bon Jovi albums so there you go.

    Great track.

  2. Actually, I haven’t thought about the drum sound. I usually become annoyed when the drum sound is too processed, but it really doesn’t bother me on this album.
    Have you heard their last album Pandemonium? If not, you should. It’s one of their best albums.

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