Brett Michaels – Show Me Your Hits: A Salute to Poison

Every musical trend has two stages.

The first stage is when a new sound or style is created. Whether or not you like them, I’m using Korn as an example. When I first heard Korn, they didn’t sound like anything else I had heard at that time. Once an album like this gains popularity, stage two will quickly follow.

The second stage begins when a million other bands jump on the bandwagon. Korn had an innovative sound; Linkin Park does not. When Korn first came out, you couldn’t say “they sound like [insert band here]”, because frankly, they didn’t sound like any other band out at the time. Now, of course, when describing Linkin Park, you can say, “they sound just like Korn, except …” and add your own caveats.

There are a few musicians however that are so desperate to regain stardom, popularity, and probably income, that they will do whatever it takes to regain the spotlight. They will totally change their musical style and image to shed their past and try and hop on whatever bandwagon is out there. You can always tell when they’re getting really desperate, as they’ll grab any artist with any credability whatsoever, and do “collaborations”.

There are three big examples I can think of off of the top of my head. The first, and king, is Vanilla Ice, for doing this not once but two times. After his original gig went up in smoke, Ice reinvented himself as a hardcore rapper, only to later reinvent himself as a nu metal act. Ouch. The second example I can think of is MC Hammer, who after staring bankruptcy in the face, came back as just “Hammer”, and gave up his dance act for a tougher gangster image (and later dropped that for his holy act). Notice how this never seems to work?

The third member of this trinity is Brett Michaels, lead singer of Poison.

I make no apologies for my past (and present) love of hair metal bands. It’s okay to love butt rock, people. Motley Crue’s Generation Swine might not rock, but Shout at the Devil did, and still does.

But, back to the hair rocker at hand. Brett Michaels has released another solo album, this one titled “Show Me Your Hits – A Salute to Poison.” I can only imagine “A Salute to Poison” means “money for Brett.” I doubt very seriously CC DeVille is getting a fourth of this disc’s profits (not that a fourth of the profits, or even all of them, would probably pay a month’s rent.)

I would tend to think someone like Brett Michaels could whip out pop songs on a whim, but instead of coming up with some new original offerings, Michaels retreds on safe ground with 11 tracks that even casual Poison fans would be familiar with. The more I listen to it, I’m wondering why the hell this was even recorded? None of the versions are better than the originals. If you liked the originals you’re not going to like these versions, and if you didn’t like the originals chances are you’re not going to be checking out this disc anyway.

Slaves on Dope, Great White, and Pauly Shore are just a few of the people Michaels collaborated with on this disc. Of course, I had to figure this out by checking the web, because the booklet that comes with the CD doesn’t have much more than song titles and a small thank you section.

Note to self: If you have dug such a hole so deep in your career that you feel the need to use PAULY SHORE to help pull yourself, give it up. Lots of us have worked in fast food restaurants, now it’s your turn.

Musically, this CD is all over the map. Slaves on Dope puts out a very nu metal sounding “Look What The Cat Drags In,” so if you want to hear Brett Michaels scream “Look what the cat … DRAGS … IN … ARRRRRRRRGH!” then this is the song for you.

It just goes on and on and on. Talk Dirty To Me is presented as a sloppy punk song. I Want Action has some of the worst production ever heard (imagine a slow, muddy mix with the bass turned all the way up and the speed turned down to half speed). The most confusion part is, most of the rest of the songs sound very close to the originals. Most of the guitar work is close, but not dead on. It’s like when you’re playing guitar in your room, and you play along with the easy guitar riffs, and when the hard part comes along, you just play the easy part some more because well Hell, no one’s listening. Well guess what kids, when you play guitar on a Brett Michaels solo album … wait, no one’s still listening, nevermind.

The album’s strangest moment appears on track 7, with Pauly Shore singing lead vocals on “Unskinny Bop,” which he reworks into “Unskinny Cock.” Ya know, on a Pauly Shore album, maybe funny, but on this it just comes off as just another sad moment. To say that he’s no Weird Al is probably the understatement of the century. Shore throws in lines like “let me hear all the mother fuckin’ dogs out there!” Wow, is that from this decade? Is it even from the last? The first line of the song is, “What’s got you so stony?” Is he still talking like that? He also says stuff like “Fuck da ho, It’s all about bitches and money ya know”. Again, if this is what you’re counting on to pull your career back, it’s time to learn how to say such cool phrases as, “you want fries with that?”

Brett Michaels has a recording studio in his home – I can understand that. He wants to have some fun with some friends, and re-record some versions of his old songs for fun. I can understand that. Then, for some reason, he puts those on CD, and puts it up for sale. You lost me there.

This disc was a late 2000 release, and just showed up on eMusic for download. I went to Brett Michael’s homepage – no mention of this album. I went to Cleopatra’s homepage – no mention of this album. I searched CDNow for information on this disc – no mention of this album. Maybe everyone already knows what I said in my review about the disc.

You know, I will defend 80’s hair metal until the day I die. Maybe not the Trixters and the Firehouses of the group, but stuff like Motley Crue, Ratt, LA Guns, Twisted Sister, and other bands of that ilk still rock.

But with releases like this, it makes it harder and harder for me to keep defending it.

01. Look What The Cat Dragged In
02. Talk Dirty To Me
03. Fallen Angel
04. Something To Believe In
05. Nothin’ But A Good Time
06. I Want Action
07. Unskinny Bop
08. Stand
09. So Tell Me Why
10. Doin As I Seen On My TV
11. Every Rose Has Its Thorn

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