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Sixx A. M.: This Is Gonna Hurt

When Nikki Sixx took us all by surprise with his amazing book and companion soundtrack The Heroin Diaries many thought it might be a flash in the pan. Now he and his band Sixx AM have returned with a second effort that in many ways is superior to their debut. This Is Gonna Hurt picks up where they left off with the last effort but this time Nikki provides us with the music to compliment his photo essay book of the same name. Although I have not seen the book yet it is a soon to be purchase for sure as this album provides an intriguing look at the world around Sixx and his unique perspective of it.

It will come as no surprise that this disc is a much more melodic and lighter sound than he creates in his day job with Motley Crue. Musically they have not moved too far from what we enjoyed on the last album but there is a few moments where they take you in a different direction. One is where he does for Los Angeles what Kid Rock did for Michigan with his song "All Summer Long". "Sure Feels Right" is a slow country tinged ballad that works in much the same way as Rock's piece. It is a change of pace for Sixx AM but you feel as if you are in the passenger seat as they take you on a tour of their base of operation. This is in stark contrast to the vision of Hollywood they deliver on the anthem like rocker "Lies Of The Beautiful People".

Sixx has chosen wisely with James Michael to be the voice of his vision. His vocal talents are given plenty of room to shine and he does on every level. From the tender moments to the heaviest, James delivers another stellar performance. As long as I am passing out kudos it would be wise to mention that the guitar work of D.J. Ashba is outstanding. This trio is able to combine their talents in a way that compliment each other but yet give each the canvas on which to showcase their abilities. This is a tight trio where the chemistry is obvious and what makes this a dynamic album.

There seems to be a few songs that might have been leftovers from their previous outing. "Help Is On The Way" sure sounds lyrically like it belongs on The Heroin Diaries as does "Goodbye My Friends". Even the powerful and haunting piano ballad that closes the disc "Skin" seems more autobiographical but I will have to wait until I get my hands on the book to know for sure.

Once again Sixx AM has come up with a winner. A terrific blend of anthem like rockers mixed with a couple ballads and a few surprises. No worries about a sophomore jinx here. They continue to deliver and I am sure there is at least a few songs on this album we will be hearing on the radio all summer. It is a very welcome addition to the collection and will be on my annual best of list for sure.

Track listing:

1. This Is Gonna Hurt
2. Lies Of The Beautiful People
3. Are You With Me Now
4. Live Forever
5. Sure Feels Right
6. Dedlihood
7. Smile
8. Help Is On The Way
9. Oh My God
10. Goodbye My Friends
11. Skin

Added: December 11th 2011
Reviewer: Scott Ward
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 2054
Language: english

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Sixx A. M.: This Is Gonna Hurt
Posted by Butch Jones, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-12-11 08:28:37
My Score:

Well, I have grown up with Nikki Sixx and have seen him go through a lot of changes throughout his entire musical career. It IS amazing that the guy is still alive, that's for sure and the idea to write a book and then release a "soundtrack"to chronicle his life experiences is pretty damn genius. Sixx:A.M. is the sideproject that brought that idea to life which consists of Sixx and his two songwriting partners, singer James Michael (producer who has worked with MeatLoaf & Papa Roach) and guitarist D.J. Ashba (Beautiful Creatures, touring with Guns n' Roses) and their 2nd installment is entitled, ThisIs Gonna Hurt (Eleven Seven Music). This 11 track CD is once again the accompaniment to Sixx's latest book which tells tales of being honest to ones self,personal pain, as well as societies misjudgment of the different.

This "side project" seems to have taken on a life of its own.Thousands of people claim to have been touched so deeply by Sixx:A.M.'s debut record and I'm sure that those same people will feel the same with this sophomore release. The songs contained within are more of the same, with lyrics that are obviously penned from inner pain and disbelief, feelings that we ALL have. The problem here is not the lyrics that are meant to invoke emotion from you, but the almost generic music that those lyrics are encased in. There isn't anything on This Is Gonna Hurt that you can't already hear on any modern Alternative Rock radio station. Songs go from the Papa Roach or Nickelback sound of "Live Forever" to the most common and oversaturated modern Country sound of "Sure Feels Right". Highlightsof the record are the hard rockin' lead single, "Lies Of The Beautiful People" (co-written by Marilyn Manson/Rob Zombie guitarist John5) and the straight ahead delivery of the powerful, "Deadlihood".

James Michael's vocals remind me so much of Chris Daughtry's that I kept thinking I was listening to Daughtry rather than Sixx:A.M. It also doesn't help that there is so much orchestration on this record that gives it such a super sweet and sticky, over polished feel of desperation to be an overly perfect Pop record. The songs leave this reviewer disappointed and I wouldn't ever find myself pulling this CD out again to give it a spin. I don't think this record sucks, as it does have a very LARGE audience out there, but it does absolutely nothing for me, but the again either does Nickelback or most other Nu-Rock type of bands. This is formula music that doesn'tappeal to me, but I do applaud Nikki Sixx for his thinking outside the box with the book and CD idea. As emotionally obvious as the lyrics are on This Is Gonna Hurt, people eat this sort of thing up, but me, I'drather listen to Shout At The Devil and remember when Rock Stars were Rock Stars. Having said that, I DO get it, I just don't like itmuch.

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