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  • This was my fifth official Priest album. I got hooked on them with “Defenders”, had to run out and get “Screaming” immediately after that, dubbed a friend’s copies of “British Steel” and “Hell Bent” (keep your shorts on Sony, I have since purchased the CD’s…twice) and then waited two years with baited breath to get my hands on this classic. Like many, I was initially revolted by what was coming through my speakers. Priest singing songs about love and partying, with glossy synth-heavy production and electronic drum sounds? Even the token teen rebellion song (“Parental Guidance”) is kind of lighthearted and not really an “angry” song at all. It was a little hard to take at first. But it soon came to be my third favorite Priest album, right behind the 1-2 punch of “Screaming” and “Defenders”. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that this album came out right when I was graduating from high school and it served as a really kickin’ soundtrack for my final summer before college (it IS a great driving record, make no mistake). The first four songs on this album are total classics in my mind. “Turbo Lover” remains one the best songs they’ve ever done, I don’t care what anyone says. I put it on one of my jogging tapes several years ago, right at the point where I normally start to lose steam, and let me tell you, that song really kicks in the adrenaline for me. “Locked In” is also a great song, I love those electronically altered wails on the guitar in the beginning. “Private Property” has a cool bubbling synth in the beginning that transitions into a mid-tempo brooding rocker. “Parental Guidance”, despite my earlier comments, is a fun singalong song mocking parents and the PMRC for being so [bad] about rock n’ roll and its supposed influence on kids. “Rock You All Around The World” is my lease favorite song on the album, and “Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days” and “Hot For Love” don’t do much for me either. But “Out In The Cold” is easily the best ballad Priest has ever done, totally blows away “Before The Dawn”, “Night Comes Down”, or “A Touch of Evil”. It was also a great choice for opening number on the “Fuel For Life” tour. If you can get the VHS version of “priest…live!”, check out how well this song works as the opening number. Doesn’t seem like it would since it’s a ballad (although Priest ballads are typically pretty darn heavy), but you’ll see what I mean. The closing track, “Reckless”, is also a great tune, Halford’s voice is great as always and he really know how to emote the lyrics. I don’t care what the naysayers say, this is an essential chapter in the Priest story. If your musical tastes are so stringent that you can’t sit through this one, then don’t bother with Priest at all, go listen to your collection of death metal albums and leave the rest of us alone!

    Posted on January 22, 2010