It’s ironic that I’ve been blasting the first two Bat Out Of Hell albums over the last couple of days. It was totally a whim, a need for Meat Loaf’s distinctive brand of blustery performance rock. I sure as hell didn’t know he had a single coming out, and I sure as hell didn’t need his classic material in my head when I heard this.
Everything about Meat Loaf’s new single, Los Angeloser, is hand-me-down. He’s wearing Elvis’ cast-off costumes (and possibly his accent), he’s got the slutty police costumes from George Michael’s Outside video. And that song! Where did he dredge this from? It’s a country-rock plodder that barely gives Meat a chance to show off his considerable talents. If they’re still buried in there somewhere.
To anyone who saw Mr Loaf’s recent stint as a judge on Britain’s Popstar to Operastar show, this is the next step on his descent into celebrity hell. It’s like he’s been morphing into the rich Texan from The Simpsons – an eccentric, slightly crazy-eyed fella. And I hate saying this, because I’m actually loving the vintage Bat Out Of Hell material right now, but Meat Loaf is making the classic mistake. There’s no “Hand of Steinman” on this material.
I find myself cringing at the sight of the great man mugging around on this video. He looks gray and tired and desperate. And shit, that’s not a good look on him. Where’s the drama and pathos of his best stuff? Has he given up trying to compete with his classic stuff and gone country?
Los Angeloser isn’t forgettable – it’s memorable for all the wrong reasons. If you need me, I’ll be burying myself in Paradise By The Dashboard Light, trying to repress the trauma of possibly Meat Loaf’s lowest ebb yet in a career filled with ups and downs.