1. Lies Of The Beautiful People 2. This Is Gonna Hurt 3. Life Is Beautiful 4. Help Is On The Way 5. Sure Feels Right 6. Pray For Me 7. Accidents Can Happen
Sixx: AM 7
Following the release of This Is Gonna Hurt, Sixx: A.M. has issued an EP consisting of stripped down versions of some of their finest tracks. “Pulled apart and reconstructed,” 7shows a whole new side of Sixx: A.M., and also gives listeners a chance to appreciate the splendor of their songwriting. It is a decent sized EP, consisting of seven (get it?) tracks.
However, don’t be misled by the phrase “stripped down”. Yes, the down n’ dirty guitars are essentially replaced with more relaxed acoustic guitars. There are is also a larger presence of the piano, along with some cool orchestral sounds. The songs themselves are fantastic, and I cannot deny the prowess of the men behind the songwriting, as they have had many years of good experience. Yet, for a fan who has already heard the other albums, 7 may be a bit underwhelming. While the songs are indeed stripped down, the dynamics haven’t changed much.
The opening track, “Lies of the Beautiful People” displays this perfectly. The ups and downs of the song haven’t changed much. The chorus is still big and soaring, and the solo is still electric. It almost sounds like they just took out the drums, and replaced electric guitars with acoustic guitars. The song as it is simply doesn’t feel like it’s meant to be stripped down without some major tweaks, and unfortunately the much needed tweaking was omitted. Such is the problem that plagues nearly the entire EP. “Sure Feels Right,” an already stripped down song by their standards, sounds virtually the same. The same goes for “Accidents Can Happen”. Now, all of this would be ok, if it weren’t for “This Is Gonna Hurt”.
Puzzling enough, it is clear that these men know how to rework these songs, because the second track does it flawlessly. They took the hard rocker, “This Is Gonna Hurt,” and turned it into a subdued, piano-infused ballad. Just hop on YouTube and compare the two versions. Now that is my definition of stripped down and reworked. Even James Michael’s vocals were redone for the chorus to fit the mood of the song. This raises the question, why didn’t they do this with the rest of the tracks? Was it laziness? Whatever the thought process was, “This Is Gonna Hurt” is a cruel tease of how fantastic 7 could have been if they put more time into modifying the songs.
Despite the shots I’m taking at the EP, there are still enough pluses to warrant a purchase. Michael’s vocal ability is absolutely stunning, and you can hear the more intricate qualities of his voice now that it isn’t surrounded by a massive wall of sound. “Life Is Beautiful” lends itself nicely to an acoustic background, and the inspiring lyrics seem to take on a deeper mean. “Help Is On The Way” also has some gorgeous piano work that is enough to make me want to listen again and again. None of the songs as a whole are bad. They are all fine, catchy songs that I could only dream of writing. I simply wish that Mr. Sixx and company put more time into making these versions. Still, all Sixx: A.M. fan’s should give it a listen, because who knows, you may appreciate it more than I did.
Key Tracks:This Is Gonna Hurt, Life Is Beautiful, Help Is On The Way