Thursday, January 21, 2016

POISON-Flesh & Blood [Remastered] (2006)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: January 21, 2016

There's the 80's pop group called PRETTY POISON, and then there's just POISON, the 80's American rock band who now gets its turn to be in the center spotlight here at "The Music Spectrum". Listening to POCO got me back in the rock spirit, so I kept that spirit alive while I stayed up until the wee hours of my Thursday morning by tuning in to their third album, "Flesh & Blood". Gotta rave a bit about the cool album artwork pictured above, first and foremost. A creative idea, using actual skin flesh as the background and having 'Flesh & Blood' tattooed on it, the green color used for 'Poison' seeming to signify a venomous snake while the red color used for the album's title seeming to represent that snake's poisonous venom. Then as for the music itself, well, let's say it was nice to be 'snake-bitten' by the hair band bug all over again, indulging in the loud guitars and the even louder, gritty vocals of Bret Michaels (odes anybody else sometimes get him confused with WWF wrestler Shawn Michaels?) and his backup crew. The band's biggest hit from this album, without a doubt, is and has always been "Unskinny Bop". It was such a thrill to bask in its super-catchy greatness after not having had the pleasure of hearing it for quite a while. Funny thing is, what does 'unskinny bop' even mean? I've never really grasped the true meaning of the song, but once again, that's the cool thing about rock music from decades ago and just hair band rock in general: lyrics not always making much sense to me but sounding good enough to keep your ears tuned into the music! Still, the only part of it that I can ever remember is the memorable hook with the unified chants of 'unskinny bop!', 'unskinny bop-bop!' and 'unskinny bop-bop-bop-bop!' (the best is when they shout it four times). Since I've owned POISON's "Flesh & Blood", I've gotten hooked to a couple of others that I can place in the same esteem as "Unskinny Bop". There's "Sacrifice", which literally led me to 'sacrifice' four-and-a-half extra minutes of my leisure time so that I could spin it again. It's got every much the catchy big-time hook, too, me especially liking the metaphor of flesh and blood to fire and ice. Then there's "Something To Believe In", the most beautiful of mellow power ballads—surprisingly mellow, as my glam rock-listening experiences have always led me to associate hair hands with gritty vocals and screaming guitars. And with this special 2006 sixteen-track remastered edition, I got to enjoy its refreshing acoustic version, which is a lot more touching on the spirit with the main beats stripped down. Instantly loved "Poor Boy Blues" the moment the bluesy rhythm kicked in, then loved every minute of it thereafter when the heavy rock swept in for the kill. As for my other favorite, "Come Hell Or High Water", well, the energy's definitely high and mighty all throughout this one, another great hook with the chanting of the song title giving me plenty of reason to keep it on playback. It's not just the awesome sound of the hook I'm attracted to here; it's that 'come hell or high water' phrase I've heard so often, which brings to mind too many of those humorous "Divorce Court" cases on TV where the husband and wife are recounting the quarrels and disputes in their marriage that got them to that boiling point. So on that note, I can say my own blood was boiling with this injection of POISON into my listening veins, enough to keep that high water on the rise:

1. Strange Days Of Uncle Jack
2. Valley Of Lost Souls
3. Sacrifice
4. Swampjuice (Soul-O)
5. Unskinny Bop
6. Let It Play
7. Life Goes On
8. Come Hell Or High Water
9. Ride The Wind
10. Don't Give Up An Inch
11. Something To Believe In
12. Ball And Chain
13. Life Loves A Tragedy
14. Poor Boy Blues
15. Something To Believe In [Acoustic Version]
16. God Save The Queen [Instrumental Demo]

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