Tuesday, 4 May 2010

CD Review: Still Climbing, by Cinderella (1994)

Arriving long after the glory years of glam metal had faded, Cinderella attempt to produce one more successful album: artistically they half succeeded, but commercially Still Climbing proved to be a disaster and one more rusty nail in the coffin of the bands that dominated 1980's.

Heartbreak Station from 1990, although achieving Platinum status, had already seen a dramatic dip in sales compared to the massive triple-Platinum hits Night Songs (1986) and Long Cold Winter (1988). Still Climbing dropped to a disastrous 100,000 units sold, or one tenth of Heartbreak Station, and proved to be the band's last studio release.

Which is a bit of a shame. Still Climbing showcases a proud band that is undoubtedly smooth, polished, and capable of good song-writing. Operating as a tight threesome with Tom Keiffer's unique high-pitched vocals as the clear focal point, Cinderella deliver five more-than-decent tracks: Bad Attitude Shuffle rocks with a nasty, infectious southern-tinged riff. All Come Down and Talk Is Cheap are solid, up-tempo and crunchy. Still Climbing drops down to a much slower pace but uses it to buy a hypnotic groove, and the title track is followed by the enjoyably turbo-charged Freewheelin. On these five tracks, there is no questioning Cinderella's abilities as a good quality blues-inspired heavy metal band.

The other six tracks are a whole different story. A mostly inane collection of filler songs, they are instantly forgettable and regrettable. If ever there was an argument for trimming the length of CDs to match the available quality, then Still Climbing is it. But in all likelihood, no matter what the quality of the CD, 1994 was never going to be a kind year to bands from the second-tier of the glory but vacuous days of hair metal.


Tom Keiffer - Vocals, Guitars
Eric Brittingham - Bass
Jeff Labar - Guitars

Songlist (rating out of 10):

1. Bad Attitude Shuffle - 9
2. All Comes Down - 8
3. Talk Is Cheap - 8
4. Hard To Find The Words - 7
5. Blood From A Stone - 7
6. Still Climbing - 9
7. Freewheelin - 8
8. Through The Rain - 6
9. Easy Come Easy Go - 5
10. The Road's Still Long - 7
11. Hot & Bothered - 6

Average: 7.27

Produced, Recorded and Mixed by Duane Baron and John Purdell.
Mastered by George Marino.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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