Before jumping into a quick review of the The Heroin Diaries by SIXX AM, I wanted to give the release a fair chance. So far, I've listened to the disc a total of five times.
It's amazing how my thoughts on the release change with each listen. At first, I thought the work was a little hokey and a too contrived. Now, I've realized that this album may represent the best song writing from Nikki Sixx since Mötley Crüe's Dr. Feelgood era.
Nikki Sixx plays bass on the work, James Michael sings and DJ Ashba plays guitar. There are times when I don't like Michael's voice. At the beginning of "Courtesy Call" I think Michael sounds a little too much like Bono, but then the tempo changes and so does his voice. I've read many reviews on the Heroin Diaries Soundtrack, just to see what other music fans thought about the work. A lot of people seem annoyed by the narration provided by Sixx, but this is where the music actually becomes a soundtrack. I can only assume that when Sixx recounts the days of his addiction - and path to sobriety - that he is reading from the forthcoming book. In many ways, the narration provided between the crescendos makes me more excited for the book. In fact, I was always looking forward to the book more than the CD. Remember: before I became a crazed Metal fan, I was a true English nerd. I feel right at home listening to Poison while reading John Donne, but I digress.
Dedicated readers to this online magazine might recall that I reported a negative view of the track "Life is Beautiful," also from the Heroin Diaries Soundtrack. After listening to the entire release I've decided the song is actually top notch, and it's the video I don't like. In fact, the video incorporates elements of the book and album cover art, which I really dislike. I assume SIXX AM were going for an avant garde element while juxtaposing a clouded photo of the band beside hand drawn skulls and scribbles. These "manufactured scribbles" represent doodles drawn by Sixx in the margins of his real journal, but I think this actually cheapens the product.
Still, the clouded album art doesn't detract from the quality of the music. My favorite tracks on the disc are "Heart Failure," "Girl With Golden Eyes" and "Permission."
A word of warning: the Heroin Diaries Soundtrack does not sound like Motley Crue, or even Brides of Destruction. If you're easily turned off by newer Metal trends (new, not "nu") avoid this release. If you like true rock, this album just might be for you.