Meat Loaf - Braver Than We Are album review

Loaf and Steinman: reunited and (gloriously) overexcited

Meat Loaf Braver Than We Are album cover

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For one of the best-selling artists ever, Loaf’s had one turbulent career. It always seems that just to float, he has to run like some kind of winged mammal out of Hades. He continues to gig, act and have health scares. Now, 39 years after Bat Out Of Hell and five years after Trump fired him from The Celebrity Apprentice for being too emotional, comes his thirteenth album.

My voice just isn’t what it was,’ he sings on the Sparks-meet-Brecht cabaret of the opener, but the good news is that these are all Jim Steinman songs – which means over-the-top lyrics, grandiose bombast and, in an uncommon phrase, songs previously recorded by Bonnie Tyler and The Sisters Of Mercy.

Despite Paul Cook’s oddly muted production, the 11-minute Going All The Way is, we’re informed, ‘just the start’. The chorus is so great they deliver it copious times with increasing hysteria. As Meat’s voice is shot, Ellen Foley, Karla De Vito and Stacy Michelle offer uplifts. Loving You’s A Dirty Job cleans your clock; Andrew Eldritch’s More roars. A mad, florid knockout. Strength through absurdity.

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Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.