“All songs by Jim Steinman”, which is music to the ears of Meat Loaf diehards.
Back together for the first time since 1993’s Bat Out Of Hell II – an intervening stab at a ‘Bat Out Of Hell III’ ended in legal meltdown – the kings of ultra-OTT Broadway rock return to save the world with pounding pianos, bleeding guitars and Ellen Foley. But with Steinman’s health shaky for some years, and Meat not too clever himself after collapsing on-stage in June, there’s an apt theme of decline, poignantly underlined by the wobble in Meat’s once-imperious instrument and annotated in Brechtian opener Who Needs The Young’s litany of OAP maladies. But sax-exploding Souvenirs is as good a song as any since Bat II, Loving You Is A Dirty Job is an epic/ridiculous duelling-lovers standoff in the spirit of Paradise By The Dashboard Light, and “You’ve got spark/I’ve got wood” could only be a Jim Steinman line. A ton of fun, just like the old days.