The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

SAVING ABEL
MISS AMERICA

 

 

Released June 8 (2010)

 

I really loved the first Saving Abel CD which had some great songs from the cool Sunset-Strip meets post-grunge sleaze anthem ‘New Tattoo’ to the radio-friendly and very cool ‘Addicted’. The other hits ‘Drowning (Face Down)’ and ’18 Days’ were also pretty cool songs that promised a lot. So here we are with Saving Abel’s second release and the question is have they been struck with ‘difficult second album syndrome’?

 

First impression is that they’ve played it pretty safe and stuck pretty much true to the formula that turned their debut gold. There’s the same mix of heartbreak, songs about sex, Southern-fried ballads and catchy modern rock that tips the hat at big eighties sounds without being anachronistic. So if you liked the debut you are sure to like this, but if you were hoping the boys would sway one way or the other, or shoot off in an entirely different direction you will be disappointed. It may be commercial sounding as far as rock sits today, but Saving Abel somehow sits on that fence where they manage to appeal to the chart watchers but also to real rock fans.

 

Marti Frederiksen does a great job in producing sweet layers of clean sound that elevate the songs sonically, and even enhance some of the less successful songs. There are plenty of catchy tunes on offer, lots of big hooks, and Jared Weeks pulls off a great performance, especially on the slower numbers that fit his voice so well.

 

There’s lots to enjoy here: the love song ‘Angel Without Wings’ works well even though lyrically it’s hauntingly similar to so many other songs. With a play on the words ‘Miss America’ the title track paints a nice picture of a soldier writing home from the battlefield, and is particularly powerful.

 

The radio-friendly new rock of ‘I Need You’ will win over a few and ‘Bloody Sunday’ which, sounding like Saving Abel mashed up with Audioslave and Stone Temple Pilots is a little different, though works well …

 

Other highlights for me though are the first single ‘Stupid Girl (Only in Hollywood)’ which grows on me each time I hear it. Then there are the nice, understated ‘The Sex is Good’ and the power ballad ‘I’m still Alive’. Even better are the rockier trio of ‘Tap Out’; ‘Contagious’ and ‘Hell of a Ride’.

 

Better than the debut? I’m not sure. It may not have anything as immediate as ‘Addicted’ or for me the standout ‘New tattoo’ but there are some great songs here.

 

Mark