Poison - Hollyweird

Heee's baaaaack! Of course I'm talking about Poison's energetic guitarist C.C. DeVille, who added more to Poison's sound than many people realized. Over a decade has passed since 1990's 'Flesh and Blood', and from the opening riffs of the title track to the closing notes of 'Rockstar', it's clear just how much Mr. DeVille means to Poison, and not just instrumentally.

The title track is followed by an uninspiring version of The Who's 'Squeezebox', 'Shooting Star' is reminiscent story-wise to 'Fallen Angel' and 'Wishful Thinking' and 'Get Ya Some' follow in typical old school Poison fashion. Then comes the surprise of the album… C.C. CAN SING, and very well as he lends his vocal talents to 'Emperor's New Clothes' and 'Livin' In the New'; which are probably my two favourite songs on this disc. Kudos to Bret Michaels for having the balls to let C.C. sing, knowing that there was a possibility of being upstaged by his band-mate, if not for the vocal talent, then for the different sound. Another interesting twist is the two different versions of 'Home' (Bret's story and C.C.'s story) done back to back. Both are done extremely well, and it's neat to hear the differences.

All in all, this is probably the best Poison album since 'Open Up and Say Ahh'. About the only downfall is that Bret is using a different vocal approach these days, using a more mature bluesy voice, as opposed to his old party type vocals, which would probably kick a few of these songs up a notch, but that's a minor point, because the disc is solid from beginning to end, and it's nice to see the original band back together and still kicking ass.

by Dan Earley

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