Release Date: Oct 31, 2006
Record label: Virgin
The singer the New York Times calls Mr Loaf has released eight studio albums, not counting this one, which will surprise those who thought there had been only two - Bat Out of Hell I and II. So completely has the Bat series dominated the big man's career, it's hard to name anything else he has done - a cameo as a bus driver in the Spice Girls film comes to mind - but those other six albums (including the most recent, Couldn't Have Said it Better in 2002, and Welcome to the Neighbourhood in 1995) are stubbornly unmemorable. It's not the fault of the albums themselves, but of the looming Bat shadow, which effectively cancels out everything else.
For one, this Bat is quite obviously a patchwork, pieced together from things borrowed and re-created, never quite gelling the way either of the previous Bats did. And if there's one thing that theatrical rock like this needs, it's a narrative through-line or at least a concrete goal. Child and Meat Loaf do have a goal, but it's merely to re-create the glory days; they're not quite so picky on how they get there.