Rock My World

Bret Michaels

VH1 Classic / BMB Poor Boy Records, 2008

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


The single adjective for this release is “embarrassing.” Bret Michaels has had to deal with embarrassing his entire career, suffering through the backlash of the alternative rock explosion that drove Poison into irrelevance. Poison hasn’t been able to rejuvenate its career -- I hear that snickering and you can stop now -- so it’s time for Michaels to try it solo. His VH1 show Rock Of Love brought him the attention he needed to get VH1 to release this sleazy disc. It is unbelievable that Michaels compromised his integrity this much. This could have been a decent four or five-song demo but less than half of this release is worth your ears.

The first two tracks are pitiful, cocky struts that are a struggle to listen to repeatedly (though maybe with a cold beer in hand and followed by Cinderella and Warrant.) First, “Go That Far” and then “Driven” are crap. Relying on clichés that have been professed by other Los Angeles-based rockers like Motley Crue and Ratt, these songs offer nothing -- not even a cool guitar riff -- that you can use to qualify them as being worthy of ever having been recorded.

Then Michaels seems to have been hit with a brick because the next two, “Fallen” and “Raine,” are decent pseudo-ballads that are okay. The latter plays off the name and talks about how “I’ll be the sun, you be my Raine.” Raine, apparently is the name of a girl and Michaels likes her. The next track “Bittersweet” is more cock rock but actually tells a story about his ex-girlfriend leaving and Michaels not really caring. In fact, he declares, “She sucked in the sack / Want my ring back.” He goes on to describe how she goes out with “my ex-best friend Jack” who, Michaels confides in all of us, is about to get his ass kicked. The fact that the guitar solo on this track is decent helps. So far, Michaels is three for five. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Michaels returns to the pseudo-ballad style of “Fallen” and “Raine” with “Songs Of Life,” proving three is the magic number of songs in this style I can tolerate. He would have been better off with just two. “Songs” is in the same vein and is mostly forgettable. Then the acoustic guitar gets plugged back in for “Strange Sensation,” which is more drivel like “Go That Far” and “Driven.” The count is now three for seven.

Thank goodness Michaels sings a duet with Jessica Andrews during “All I Ever Needed.” What a classic ballad with just the right touches! Poison could have released this song in the ‘80s and it would have been all over the radio and played at weddings and proms and all high school dances in-between. As it is, married Poison fans may play this at their wedding anniversary party as a tip of their hat to Michaels. Michaels is four for eight.

Given how much I liked “All I Ever Needed,” it’s sad to say the last three tracks are pure awful. There are so many clichés and shoddy lyrics in “Menace To Society,” where Michaels bitches about his job and declares, repeatedly, that his situation of having a no holiday “makes me feel like raisin’ hell.” Sigh. Leave the hell raisin’ to ZZ Top. The final track, “It’s My Party” attempts to update the oldies hit because the official title is “It’s My Party [2008 Mix].” There’s that word again -- embarrassing. Didn’t Faster Pussycat play crap like this on their self-titled debut?

I have a friend that is going to want to kick my butt for not worshiping this release like it is gold. I can’t do that. I refused to bash this record too severely but it was very tempting. Bret Michaels is Poison but this release is not Poison in the same way that the Gene Simmons solo release Asshole was not KISS. Frankly, Poison would be embarrassed to release this recording. The shoddy lyrics are a dip even for Michaels, who once sang about an “Unskinny Bop.” I only liked four out of 12 songs on this release. The rest of the material should never have been released except as a B-side to a Poison single.

Rating: D

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2008 Paul Hanson and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of VH1 Classic / BMB Poor Boy Records, and is used for informational purposes only.