Tommy Lee has really stumbled into a no-win situation with his second solo album, Never A Dull Moment. If he puts out another shitty techno album, it’s simple. I slam the album and it’s all over. If he puts out a hard rockin’ classic metal album that rocks like the Crüe did, my job becomes a lot more tough. Is this the real Tommy Lee, and was the last album just an experiment? Or, was the last album what Tommy really wanted to record, and this new rockin’ album is just a way to appease the masses (aka: Vanilla Ice)?
Fortunately for us, Lee has released another shitty techno album, making everything extremely simple for the reviewers of the world.
Lee’s come a long way from the days of Mötley Crüe. Mötley Crüe had lyrics like “now I’m killin’ you, watch your face turnin’ blue” and “God bless the children of the Beast.” The first track of Lee’s latest album opens up with “We’re back again, let’s begin, never left you …” and “You know it’s on ’til the break of dawn …” Mötley Crüe also maintained a certain level of musical quality — even though they played hard, they played well.
For his second release, Lee has dropped the moniker ‘Methods of Mayhem’ (didn’t he get that tattooed somewhere? Youch.) and released Never A Dull Moment under just his name, Tommy Lee. Listeners may have been fooled until the moment they hit ‘play’ — this is Methods of Mayhem, part II (save for the fact that TiLo is no longer collaborating with him).
Actually … and this is hard to say … it’s not even as good as the last Methods of Mayhem album. Maybe good’s not the best word as we’re comparing two piles of crap side by side here, but let’s definitely say that the new album is not as aggressive. Four of the ten songs (“Hold Me Down”, “Ashamed”, “Blue”, and “Why Is It”) are slow power ballads. Four tenths. Forty percent. That’s a lot of slowness for such a seasoned rocker.
The problem is, Lee has surrounded himself with SO many people SO willing to suck his cock that no one will tell him the truth. If someone DOES dare to venture out an unfavorable opinion, they are immediately shot up with crack and then escorted out to the swimming pool — face down.
It’s like Janis Joplin releasing a instrumental album. It’s like Jimi Hendrix releasing an album containing only bongos. It’s like Lieutenant Dan being a spokesman for Nike shoes or James Earl Ray being elected the president of the NAACP. IT JUST DOESN’T MAKE SENSE! WHY on Earth would Tommy Lee, one of the greatest drummers of the 80’s and possibly of the rock era, put out an album on which he DOESN’T PLAY DRUMS.
One point I’d like to make is, I think this is another case of why it’s bad to own a music studio in your own home. You go into a studio paying $100 bucks an hour for some studio time, you’re gonna hopefully lay down some good music. You put a studio in your house where you can record whatever you want, whenever you want, without any of your peers or other people offering opinions or getting feedback from people, well, you’re gonna become Tommy Lee. And the world knows we don’t need another one. Go listen to Dave Navarro’s album; same problem.
“Face to Face” kind of rocks in weird sort of nu-metal way. Similarly, “Higher” (which also sounds like it may have (gasp) real drums in the background) is an up tempo song. But no one up tempo song could save this train from derailment. It’s still Methods of Mayhem. It’s still techno dance poppy rockish something. It’s not even enough to qualify as nu-metal. It’s not even metal. It’s just quick blasts of guitars layered over fake drums and Tommy Lee rapping into a computer. One more time, I said Tommy Lee RAPPING. And when he’s not rapping, he’s SINGING, and all I can say about that is, it really made me want to hear him RAPPING some more.
In eleventh grade I stood among a sea of mullets and watched Tommy Lee’s drum kit first rise, then float out over the crowd. I stood there, looking up in the air, watching a true hero of the genre pound the skins and play a massive drum solo as his drum kit flew over my head. I think that’s why this hurts so bad. It isn’t just the album, it’s Tommy. If nothing else, Mr. Lee has answered the burning question that at least I had — is this a phase, or is it all over for him? At least for me, I can officially give up hope now. There’s no happy ending here. Luke Skywalker doesn’t jump out and force Darth Lee to find the good in himself. It seems we’ve lost him to the dark side for good.
Final thought: If you put out a shitty album, don’t make it easy for a reviewer to slam your album name. There’s so many jokes that could be made out of Never A Dull Moment. For example, Plenty Of Dull Moments or Never An Exciting Moment both come to mind. At least give us a challenge!
03. Body Architects
05. Face To Face
06. Fame ’02
09. Hold Me Down
10. Why Is It
11. People So Strange
12. Mr. Shitty