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Extreme - Saudades De Rock (2008) Retail CD
I guess the first thing to do here is explain the rather odd title of this, Extreme's comeback album after a 13 year hiatus. For "Saudades", read "Sow-Dodge", and as a result you can laugh scornfully at people who get it wrong. Apparently it's Portugese for (roughly) "Nostalgic Yearning For Rock". Okay, so we know how to pronounce it, what it means and the undeniable fact that Extreme are still capable of disappearing up their own intellectual arseholes, but is it any good? Well, yeah.
If this had been thrown at me in a plain brown wrapper with no explanations or marking I really wouldn't havemore… pegged it straight away as an Extreme album. There must have been some temptation to just rewrite "Pornograffitti" and be done with it, but that's not what you have here. "Saudades de Rock" is 13 tracks of sometimes inspired eclectic rock music, flitting from mood to mood like a butterfly being chased by a kitten. There's an underlying funk root to most of the songs, accentuated by Pat Badgers thumping basslines, but in the end there's more to this than Extreme trading on past glories.
The album starts off with the catchy harmonies of "Star", perhaps the most atypical Extreme song here. This is the one that will be hurled at radio stations to get people interested, mainly because it's very good, very catchy and comes complete with the requisite Nuno Bettencourt solo. In fact, there's plenty of time throughout the album to appreciate Mr Bettencourt and his fingers of bedazzlement, because there is (and rightly so) shedloads of really cool solos, each one trying to outdo the others with it's inventiveness and intricacy. This isn't to do down the contributions of singer Gary Cherone, who still possesses a fine pair of pipes. He can still pull off some pretty impressive notes, although if I'm honest he doesn't seem to have all of the power he used to. Hopefully I will be proved wrong when the band tour later this year.
The plain truth is that this album nails it's colours to the mast with the frantic playing of Bettencourt and Badger, whether it's a the Suvvern tinged boogie of "Take Us Alive" or the pure funk rock of "King Of The Ladies", whilst Cherone gets his moments in the spotlight with some great vocals on the moody "Last Hour" and the worthy attempt at "More Than Words" part 2, "Interface". There's a lot of creativity here, and it helps that it's played by such talented guys, including new drummer Kevin Figueiredo. For European fans there's even a cool bonus track in the shape of "Americocaine", a 1985 demo of a fantastic old style Extreme track that reminds you just why they were so popular in the first place. Twenty three years on, the band have lost some of the exuberance that trademarked their sound, but it's been replaced with a more insightful look at the world that is just as entertaining when everything comes together.
|3||Learn To Love|
|4||Take Us Alive|
|8||King Of The Ladies|
- Extreme - Saudades De Rock (2008) Retail CD
- 1398 x 1402 px
- 461 KB
- 1611 (0 today)
- 15/08/08 by DOCROCK
- Quality Rating:
Rated 4.5 of 5 (2 votes). Click CDs to vote!