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MICHAEL MONROE ‘Whatcha Want’ (SPV 2003)

Michael Monroe is the singer with Hanoi Rocks and this is his latest solo album. As well as singing Monroe plays guitar, piano, sax and bass. His other main counterpart and co-writer on many tracks is Pink Gibson, who plays guitars on the album. Kicking off in fine style with a cover of Eddie 7 the Hotrods’ ‘Do Anything You Wanna Do’ - a rollicking version and a strong contender as a single release. Monroe plays some tasty harmonica on ‘Right Here, Right Now’, another up tempo tune and the melodic rock sing-a-long ‘Stranded’ follows, with Monroe switching to sax. It’s all out rock on ‘What Love Is’ (originally a Stiv Bators song) and album highlight for me has to be ‘Germfree Adolescents’ - sublime vocal, tasty slide guitar and sax.

Other covers include the punk band UK Subs ‘I Won’t Lie Down & Die’ - not a great song to start with! The up tempo ‘Jimmy Brown’ originally recorded by Casino Steel. But bizarre cover goes to Monroe’s version of ‘Laughing’ Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye’. He puts in a very gentle vocal performance and proves there’s more to his vocal style than punk pop and sleaze rockers.

Hanoi Rocks fans will love this album, as will fans of punk and sleaze rock. An entertaining mix of originals and covers, with plenty of guitar in the mix!


Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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