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Black Label Society: Hangover Music Vol. VI

The rumors that Hangover Music Vol. VI transforms Black Label Society into a fully unplugged, pop-making machine that's forgotten it's stompin' roots have been greatly exaggerated. I mean, who are we kidding here? This is Zakk freakin' Wylde leading this band. Sure, the full-on, biker boot-to-the-throat of Blessed Hell Ride this ain't. Instead it's been replaced with a series of smoky and serious batch of songs that recall Sap/Jar Of Flies-era Alice In Chains. It's the kind of music that eases you out of the bar on Saturday night as you prepare for the harsh-beating but ultimately kind sun of Sunday morning to wash you clean again.

Highlights include the opening "Crazy Or High," "Steppin' Stone" (which wouldn't have been out of place on Ozzy's No More Tears), the passionate and beautiful "She Deserves A Free Ride (Val's Song)" and "Layne," a tribute to fallen Alice In Chains vocalist Layne Staley. It's on "She Deserves" that Wylde gives on of his finest vocal performances to date, bringing the right kind of bruised but unbroken resolve to the song. Same goes for the Elton John-ish "Damage Is Done," a very fine moment indeed.

As for the band's take on "Whiter Shade Of Pale"? Well, the song has been done to death. Or so it seemed until this version came along as Zakk and company give it a fresh and refreshing chance with fine, heartbreaking piano and Wyldeian guitars.

Hangover Music Vol. VI further solidifies Wylde's reputation as a fine and unique voice in the world of rock 'n' roll.

Track Listing:
1. Crazy Or High (3:34)
2. Queen Of Sorrow (4:15)
3. Steppin' Stone (4: 54)
4. Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (3:43)
5. Takillya (Esteban) (0:39)
6. Won't Find It There (6:26)
7. She Deserves A Free Ride (Val's Song) (4:19)
8. House Of Doom (3: 46)
9. Damage Is Done (5: 20)
10. Layne (5:15)
11. Woman Don't Cry (5:39)
12. No Other (4:59)
13. Whiter Shade Of Pale (5:08)
14. Once More (4:10)
15. Fear (4:44)
13. Whiter Shade Of Pale (5:08)
Total Time: 70:00

Added: July 13th 2004
Reviewer: Jedd Beaudoin
Related Link: Official Site
Hits: 2998
Language: english

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Black Label Society: Hangover Music Vol. VI
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-10-31 06:37:04
My Score:

Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society has released a rather unique piece of music with their CD entitled Hangover Music VI. I call it unique in as it is definitely not your typical release from this band. Instead of the ripping guitar work and pounding drums that Zakk and company are best known for we find a more laid back approach on this piece. The CD is filled with piano and a lot of acoustic guitar but fans should not worry all that much for a lot of the CD holds a nice dark edge to it. Songs like "Steppin Stone" have a sinister overtone to them and almost comes across as something we would expect of Alice In Chains. While I feel that most of the CD to toss the typical Metal head for a loop based on these compositions I find that it still succeeds in the aspect of showing us that BLS can do more than heavy material. Ballads like "Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow" seem to work in their simplicity while "Takillya" shows the quickness that Zakk possesses with the pick but only done on the acoustic. I found that I leaned towards tracks like "House Of Doom", "Crazy Or High" and the cover of "Whiter Shade Of Pale" the most when I was listening. Those are among the best numbers on the CD.

Joining Zakk on the recording is James Lomenzo, John Tempesta and Craig Nunenmacher and a couple of other musicians. Zakk performs the piano parts as well. No lyrics are included and that was a shame as it would have been nice to see a little more into this side of Zakk's writing. Fans should consider this the closest thing to experiencing Zakk in the popular "unplugged" setting. True Zakk fans will want this to complete their collection of his music above all but I maintain that newer fans can find some amount of appreciation on it as well. Now regarding the music being suitable for hangovers, well that is up to Zakk on how much that actually works for him. My cure is lots of sleep and water. Check it out.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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