What a shame. A concept with vast potential is met with poor execution to equal a sonic travesty…
When I first mentioned back in January that there was a metal tribute to FRANK SINATRA on the way, I said I’m not quite sure how I feel about this – curious, worried, or excited. When we previewed the first three tracks a few weeks ago, I was fairly confident that my answer was disgusted. Now, with the release of SIN-ATRA (out today via Eagle Rock), that feeling has been amended to be disgusted and angry.
The entire album is an absolute disaster, led by the ghastly arrangements of the source material. Reworking standards is never easy, but it’s done all the time. The “superb” (according to the press release, which I hope was implying sarcasm) band led by notorious studio guitarist Bob Kulick, producer of the equally horrible KISS tribute SPIN THE BOTTLE (ironic, since he played on some KISS records) and BUTCHERING THE BEATLES (should’ve called this one “Butchering Sinatra”) should be offended at the way their performances have been presented. The mix is terribly cluttered, overloaded with high-end frequencies, and comes off as remarkably amateur.
The opening track, New York, New York, is perhaps the most flagrant offender on the album – cranking the worst elements into the red. Vocalist DEVIN TOWNSEND takes this thing well over the top, eventually crashing it into ground zero 9/11 style. Hard to call this a “tribute” while forcing it’s namesake city to weep.
On-again-off-again ANTHRAX frontman JOEY BELLADONA should be checked for an abdominal hernia after his painful performance on Strangers in the Night, while former JUDAS PRIEST screamer TIM ‘RIPPER’ OWENS likely pulled a groin muscle on Witchcraft. Shockingly, those are two of the better tracks on the album.
Oddly, the best vocal performance on SIN-ATRA comes on a song that’s been reworked to include a Kashmirknock-off for it’s opening riff.
TWISTED SISTER frontman DEE SNIDER (whom I’ve never met, but we were both employed by the same shysters at one point) delivers what is undoubtedly the most straight-forward interpretation on the disc, belting out It Was a Very Good Year in a manner both rocking and respectful.
Everything else is just pure garbage.
I don’t know who is ultimately to blame for this mess, but I sure hope that the vocalists that generously lent their names to this were well-compensated for their efforts.
Rating: 1/5 Stars
Complete SIN-ATRA Tracklisting with Vocalists:
- ‘New York, New York’ (Devin Townsend, Strapping Young Lad)
- ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’ (Glenn Hughes, Deep Purple)
- ‘Summerwind’ (Geoff Tate, Queensrÿche)
- ‘It Was A Very Good Year’ (Dee Snider, Twisted Sister)
- ‘Witchcraft’ (Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, ex-Judas Priest)
- ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ (Robin Zander, Cheap Trick)
- ‘The Lady Is A Tramp’ (Eric Martin, Mr Big)
- ‘Strangers In The Night’ (Joey Belladonna, Anthrax)
- ‘High Hopes’ (Franky Perez, Scars On Broadway)
- ‘I’ve Got The World On A String’ (Dug Pinnick, King’s X)
- ‘Love And Marriage’ (Elias Soriano, Nonpoint)
- ‘That’s Life’ (Jani Lane, Warrant)