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Michael Monroe: Horns and Halos
Michael Monroe Horns and Halos Album Review

Michael Monroe: Horns and Halos

Melodic Hard Rock
4.5/5.0

He's back to follow up the success of 2011's Sensory Overdrive, the only guy Def Leppard's Joe Elliot said he would shag, Michael Monroe. Monroe is a bit of a legend in the whole melodic hard sleaze rock fan thanks to his time with Hanoi Rocks and lengthy solo career.

Michael Monroe Horns and Halos Photo

Michael Monroe: with band.

Much of this comes from the simple fact that he's a good songwriter, singer, musician (playing several instruments including saxophone), and surrounds himself top notch talent to express himself. These include three from the previous album bassist Sami Yaffa (Hanoi Rocks, New York dolls), guitarist Steve Conte (New York Dolls, Company Of Wolves), drummer Karl Rosqvist (Chelsea Smiles, Danzig) and new guitarist Dregen (Hellacopters, Backyard Babies), replacing Ginger Wildheart.

Horns and Halos is Monroe's ninth solo album, and I'm sure a debate will rage among press and fans as to whether it's as good as the previous one. Let's just say if you liked the former, you will dig this. Monroe perpetuates his brand of classic American and UK melodic hard rock embellished the glam, punk, and sleaze. Frankly, he's a natural. He's got the voice, the look (possibly with a little help from Botox at 51), and the swagger, and his music rocks.

TNT Diet prove it with it's edge and groove. Ballad of the Lower East Side sounds more like English punk dressed in American glam rock. Hands Are Tied is a chunky rocker with big riffs and accented by Monroe's familiar saxophone. It could have been a Stones song. Another song, Eighteen Angels, is a more subtle rocker where the smooth vocal arrangements trumps the edge. Children of the Revolution is another song with an English feel, like a mash up of the punk of The Clash and The Alarm invigorated by some straight melodic hard rock, but turns mostly on it's catchy refrain. The same could be said for Stained Glass Heart: good melody, groove, and vocal arrangement pitch the smooth chorus. Both songs could be destined for Internet or radio airplay.

Horns and Halos, with his talented crew of musicians, keeps Michael Monroe on a winning streak. This is classic Monroe, and authentic and entertaining melodic hard rock in the best tradition. Easily recommended.


Video: Michael Monroe - Ballad Of The Lower East Side





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In Short

Horns and Halos, with his talented crew of musicians, keeps Michael Monroe on a winning streak. This is classic Monroe, and authentic and entertaining melodic hard rock in the best tradition. Easily recommended.

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