"Livin' Out Loud" (Shock Pop; 2009)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

Johnny Lima has done several solo albums over the last thirteen years. He has also spent the last few years lending his production skills to artists like Dirty Penny, Miss Crazy, Diamond Lane and the new supergroup Freakshow. Now he returns with his latest solo album.

Lima obviously grew up on steady diet of '80s hard rock. He has taken the sounds of Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi and '80s KISS, then mixed them just enough to make his own sound. The finished results remind me some of Trixie, but more guitar-driven. Tracks like "Wildflower" and "Caught in the Middle" are just downright catchy, melody-driven rockers.

Lima's vocals work perfectly for this style of music. Okay, the lyrics are largely the same old cliches that have been attached to this type of music for the last twenty-five years, as we get entries about wanting to rock and relationships gone wrong, but the music and vocals more than make up for it.

What sold me on this album was that I was instantly sucked in by every song primarily due to the catchy choruses and cutting guitar riffs. I kept expecting a track that was a little off to come on, but that never happened because every track is strong. Now I was also hoping for a song or two that would step up the pace a little and that never happened. So a slightly faster song or two on the next album might make it even better.

Johnny Lima is not doing anything new, but he knows what it takes to make the kind of songs that are easy to get into . That's why I have been playing this disc over and over since I received it.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 28 Nov 2021 13:23:28 -0500.