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

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

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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.