Sixx: AM - Prayers for the Blessed, Vol.2 album review

Second album in nine months from Nikki Sixx’s productive post-Crüe crew

Sixx: AM Prayers for the Blessed, Vol.2 album cover

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Nobody expected Nikki Sixx to hang up his bass after Mötley Crüe’s drawn-out farewell, but churning out two sister albums just months apart shows dedication.

On this sequel to April’s Prayers For The Damned, the sleaze-metal legend deals in a different kind of escapism to the Crüe, laying defiant pop-metal battle cries about seizing the day and fighting back against dystopian despair over pummelling melodic beasts like Barbarians and We Will Not Go Quietly. James Michael’s voice also has a cleaner, crisper, more soulful quality than the growling hard-rock norm.

Sixx: AM’s love of blustery power ballads is commendably shameless. The epic orchestral blow-out of Helicopter invites November Rain comparisons while Maybe It’s Time, yet another soul-searching confessional about getting sober, sounds like Celine Dion reworking Metallica’s Unforgiven for a Las Vegas audience.

Without You, the 1970 Badfinger classic made famous by Harry Nilsson and Mariah Carey, also gets the full windswept turbo-weepie treatment without a flicker of irony. All this chest-beating bombast may ultimately be just as hollow as Vince Neil’s sleazoid party anthems, but it positions Sixx and his new crew in a more contemporary metal league alongside the likes of Avenged Sevenfold or All That Remains. Shallow spectacle, maybe, but never less than entertaining.

Stephen Dalton

Stephen Dalton has been writing about all things rock for more than 30 years, starting in the late Eighties at the New Musical Express (RIP) when it was still an annoyingly pompous analogue weekly paper printed on dead trees and sold in actual physical shops. For the last decade or so he has been a regular contributor to Classic Rock magazine. He has also written about music and film for Uncut, Vox, Prog, The Quietus, Electronic Sound, Rolling Stone, The Times, The London Evening Standard, Wallpaper, The Film Verdict, Sight and Sound, The Hollywood Reporter and others, including some even more disreputable publications.