68: Chickenfoot III

This is a revised version of my review for Chickenfoot III.  My first review felt like I was using a lot of words without really saying anything, and I also didn't agree with everything I said.  It's hard for me to talk about the band Chickenfoot without some of my subjectivism showing through, and so, rather than pretending to give a completely impartial review, I'll instead explain what I think of them and why I feel that way.

When I listened to Chickenfoot's first album a few years ago, I immediately thought "This sounds like everything that I'm usually entertained by, yet for some reason I am not this time."  It had everything I look for in rock: big, bluesy riffs, good guitar solos, good song structure, and a good singer, but I just couldn't help but feel bored by the end of every song.  They seemed to drag out and become tedious after only four minutes, while a 9-minute Metallica song can keep me interested the whole time.  It did give me one song I sincerely love, the track Sexy Little Thing, but all the other songs I usually skip when they start playing on my ipod.  I would rate their first album as a 5/10 because, though I do have disinterest in the songs sometimes, I still want to keep all of them and listen to them occasionally, and when I do, they really sound like great songs (for a while).

I got very excited for their new album, Chickenfoot III.  A few weeks before it's release, the band began making interview videos about the making of the album and the creation of the songs.  It was a very entertaining insight, and really got me invested in the album's release.  Upon listening to Chickenfoot III for the first time, I was overwhelmed by how much better it was.  I believed they had fixed whatever was off about their first songs and were now making songs I genuinely loved.  Now, at a later time, I still mostly agree with that.  THE SONGS ON THE NEW ALBUM ARE ALL GENERALLY BETTER, they rarely seem to drag out, and there are fewer songs I'll want to skip or not keep.  That part is true.  What is not true is that this album is very different from their first.  Listening to both of the albums on the same playlist, I really didn't notice anything in particular that had changed between the two in terms of musical style or song structure.  So why was Chickenfoot III better?  What was off in the first place?

Generic.  That word kept going through my head whenever I'd listen to them.  Generic.  Their songs didn't sound like Satriani songs, or Hagar songs, or Van Halen songs, they just sounded kinda... generic.  Like anyone could've written them, as opposed to musical legends.  Like the chord structures and lyrics and riffs were all phoned in without much effort into writing them.  I couldn't shake the word, even when finding reasons to argue against its merit.  And so, for some reason, this otherwise monumental and impressive supergroup has been unfortunately branded with a tedious reputation in my mind.  Chickenfoot III, however, is far less generic, and therefore far better.  The lyrics and music now are much more personal to the musicians, and the songs are finally starting to sound like a they're done by a unique band.  I give Chickenfoot III a subjective score of 7/10, which means I still believe that everyone should buy it, and you'll probably love it.

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