What a Great Album, April 26, 2003
By D. Rausch "myspace.com/rauschofficial"
Not so long ago, rock bands made albums that contained musical muscle, healthy diversity, good lyrics, creativity, high emotional content, a big dose of asskicking, AND the ability to sell. It should be noted that such albums then got satired, forgotten, and essentially crapped on by the public just a few short years later.
"Heartbreak Station" fulfills the critera to count as such an album. This is the only album I ever bought used, as I never happened to catch Cinderella on the radio or MTV, and I just wanted to make sure I WOULD NOT like them and I wouldn't have to waste my time with their catalog (giving them a chance had much to due with my love for Bon Jovi). I put the cd on and even before the first chorus, I new this band would immediately jump into my "top 20" and I felt embarrassed for not knowing them earlier.
Today, the music industry has gotten so hollow, many albums only have a song or two that are even marketable, let alone musically viable. By sharp contrast, "Heartbreak Station" had (and still has!) the elements that were helping to make rock music taken more seriously as an art form. While maintaining all of the raw and gritty adrenalizing elements of soulful rock and roll, this album contains songs that speak the truth in a most musically motivating manner ("Shelter Me" and "Sick for the Cure"), a nod to funk ("Love's Got Me Doing Time"), a soft, tender title track that even my father of 60 years can verify as aesthetically pleasing, a short and simple nod to what really matters in life ("One for Rock And Roll"), a respectable answer to 'Blaze of Glory' ("Dead Man's Road"), and one of the most emotionally gutwrenching songs ever ("Winds of Change"). Oh, right, and heart-stomping kickass rock and roll ("The More Things Change" and "Make Your Own Way"). This is one of the more solid albums in existence.
The ways in which a) this band should be taken seriously and b) this band has subsequently been laughed out, could not be more opposite, except for maybe occasionally in the case of Poison. "Heartbreak Station" is a very strong album that makes me embarrassed for ever predicting otherwise. It got me into the band, made me buy the rest of their albums, and helped me learn that had they not been stopped dead in their tracks by shallower musical trends, each new studio release was proving Cinderella to be one of the best bands in rock history in terms of musical evolution. Though still alive and kicking, I mourn this band's creative spurt. At least we have this music, and it can be listened to forever. If you think that purchasing this album will uncomfortably stick you in "hair band land", take it from me; the music is real, the songwriting is of a very high level, and the album speaks for itself once you've heard it. Everyone should check this out.