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Tesla
Simplicity

Company: Tesla Electric Company Recordings
Release: 2014
Genre: Hard Rock
Reviewer: Eric Compton

  • Lifeless songs



  • I advised a lot of people how great this new Tesla album was going to be. I advised that same lot of people how disappointed I was after spending the first week with it. For decades this California band have released an appreciable amount of adroitly played hard rock regardless of trends or fashion. While some bands were gingerly passing around hairspray, Jeff Keith and the boys were passing pens and instruments. Respectfully, albums like "Mechanical Resonance" and "The Great Radio Controversy" have passed through the ages as more relevant and timeless than the "Pyromania" and "Out of the Cellar" ilk of the world. With the last two Tesla endeavors, "Into the Now" (2004) and "Forever More" (2008), the band regaled fans and critics alike by simply staying true to their roots and perfecting great songs.

    So how do I, as a sincere fan, dismiss this Tesla entry as submissive? What right do I have to cast doubt and upbraid a band nearly thirty years removed from their debut? It's simple; I know they can do better than this.

    "Simplicity" is the conceptual theme for the band to preach their concerns for our fast paced, technology driven society. On effective opener "MP3", Keith warns us of an anonymous society that utilizes smart phones and digital media as communication. It's this opening statement, paired with the album's title that conveys the band's rearward progress. "Simplicity" is an attempt that retroactively journeys to 60s and 70s rock more so than the electric intensity this band is known for.

    While "Time Bomb", "Break of Dawn" and "Ricochet" are auriferous sections of the record, three stout numbers that stanch the subdued nature of the overall album, a majority of the record is ballads. While historic tracks like "Love Song" are as important to the band's legacy as Frank Hannon, I wasn't ready or prepared for a half dozen of them. Even southern rock styled "Cross My Heart", with accompanying "saloon" piano, is just dreadfully slow. Same can be said for the bluesy Aerosmith-like "Flip Side!" and its lack of spark or the piano led "Life Is a River". These are just lifeless songs that refuse to showcase a brilliant and electric band doing what they are so good at.

    With a discography as strong as Tesla's, this album will still find its way to the light again. Much like their previous work I can always find bits and pieces of albums that I will play here and there ("Mighty Mouse", "Shine Away") more so than the more familiar songs ("Modern Day Cowboy", "Signs"). Tesla are bodacious. They are unmistakable. They are the emissaries for those blue collar rockers that are playing a bar in your town tonight. Yet, like many well established veterans, they just made a bad record. It's happened to Van Halen, Dokken, L.A. Guns and now it's happened to Tesla.



    About this Writer:
    Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: TESLA
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Comin Atcha LiveTesla
    2008
    Kim Thore8/22/2008
    Into The NowTesla
    2004
    Vinaya Saksena4/7/2004
    SimplicityTesla
    2014
    Eric Compton6/27/2014


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: TESLA

    No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: TESLA
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE
    Frank HannonTeslaKim Thore8/20/2008


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