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Pretty Maids - Wake Up To The Real World (CD)

Pretty Maids
Wake Up To The Real World
by Grigoris Chronis at 04 November 2006, 8:24 AM

The real world is the promise gone. The real world is the illusion of your reflection. The real world is 'stung' by the childhood dreams now lost. The real world is the 'now or never' deceit. The real world is the vacancy of ideals. But, even the real world has missed the savage beauty of this band…
When you have both 'melodic' Hard Rock fans and 'classic' Metal die-hards on your knees, when you see a 100% flexibility in combining harmonia with ruthlessness, speed with hush and 'steel' with 'passion', while featuring one of the most loveable throats around the genre,  then you hail from Denmark and Pretty Maids may be thy name. Giving no sign for the last 3-4 years in the Metal community, their official website was even as 'frozen' as hell. The act mainly responsible - in my humble opinion - for the melody-meets-power frenzy of post-90s European Metal music in countless bands (even if their mark is not that 'visible') strikes back in 2006 with an album having the potential to set things straight again around. 2003's Planet Panic was something we'd call a 'semi-killer', even if any Pretty Maids album should be categorized as - at least - 'good'. So, with the Frontiers label grabbing them (too), Wake Up To The Real World sees the light of day and the smile is wide!
The original believers of European Hard & Heavy music know that the 'truth' of melody does not always need to hide behind songs about booze, women and bikes. Faith, hard work and emotion can be the 'real thing' needed. And Pretty Maids can still be considered - after 23 years of career - the best 'ambassadors' around Europe. Mainly known for anthemic works like Red, Hot & Heavy (1984) or Future World (1987) I see no fuckin' album of theirs lacking honest music. With three out of four 'classic' members (Hammer, Jackson, Atkins) still hanging out together, Wake Up To The Real World surely wins the bet due to its 'typical' Scandinavian mix of a 'heavy' rhythm guitar/bass/drums 'base', the 'chameleon' voice of Atkins (how this man can easily jump from AOR notes to Metal screams is still an unsolved mystery!), beautiful keys 'support' were needed and extraordinary hooks that both e.g. Bon Jovi and Helloween would love to write.
The menu is easy to be read: you can order All In The Name Of Love, Why Die For Love and Brave Young Breed if you wanna raise your need for speed 'n' power, else there's Wake Up To The Real World and Terminal Violence to satisfy your requirement for mid tempo discipline; as a 'desert', there's always the tranquillity of As Guilty As You, Where Beauty Lies and Another Shot Of Your Love (a personal fave) to calm your inner emotions. All these, 'guaranteed' via the 'good ol' wine' voice of Ronnie Atkins (who's remained untouched to his singing in Maids classics like Future World, Back To Back, Love Games, Savage Heart and - even - the excellent remake of John Sykes' sentimental opus Please Don't Leave Me? No hands in the air…) and the 'sharp yet sweet' chords of Ken Hammer. The production - not to forget - is one foot 'to the real world' with the other 'serving' the Maids classix. Good huh? Ah, and the Perfect Strangers cover will tease your brain, it surely will!
The band that has united hardrockers and metalheads all these years releases an excellent album and unveils the potential for good music, if you have the guts to follow. Each and every note in Wake Up To The Real World smells like teen spirit in the hands of wisdom. If you're fond of the Pretty Maids 'CV' so far, you have no choice anyway. The rest, re-estimate your beliefs for Hard & Heavy music and then - if alive from the self-criticism - proceed to 'devour' this excellent album. We really hope Pretty Maids will not disappear again for so much time. The truth is we need 'em around in such tough times…
P.S.: New member Allan Tschicaja comes off the Royal Hunt camp. Way to go, man!

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Wake Up To The World
All In The Name Of Love
I Am The End
As Guilty As You
Why Die For A Lie
Such A Rush
Where Beauty Lies
Brave Young Breed
Terminal Violence
Perfect Strangers
Lineup:
Ken Hammer - Guitars
Ken Jackson - Bass
Allan Tschicaja - Drums
Ronnie Atkins - Vocals
Record Label: Frontiers Records
     


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