"Tommyland: The Ride" (TL Education Services, Inc.; 2005)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Motley Crue's Tommy Lee once again re-invents his sound with his solo CD, "Tommyland: The Ride." The CD is notable for its all-over mellower sound, its insightful lyrics and its Beatles-esque production values and songwriting standards. That's right. I said "Beatles-esque" and Motley Crue in the same paragraph.

Of course, some of the lyrics are edited (with annoying beeps covering the dangerous words) and that fucking sucks and costs  the CD a half guitarsaw point. And, as far as I can tell, an unedited version is not available.

"Tommyland: The Ride" is a true achievement (except for the aformentioned bullshit self-censorship) due to the fact that not only did Tommy Lee write, co-produce and record an album that sounds unlike anything he's recorded before, he's even released it without the help of a major record company. "I would personally like to thank all the major labels ..." Lee writes on the back cover art, "...for having absolutely NOTHING to do with this recording, production and distribution of this record."

As likely to annoy as many fans as it engages (due to its fearless and unabashed uniqueness), "Tommyland: The Ride" is solid proof that Tommy Lee is a genuine musician with more talent than even his impressive stint behind the drumkit with Motley Crue ever indicated. With a slew of guest stars beside him (including such varied artists as Butch Walker, Andrew McMahon of Something Corporate, Carl Bell of Fuel, Joel Madden of Good Charlotte, Dirty Harry, Nick Carter, Matt Sorum, Dave Navarro, Chad Kroeger, , "Tommyland: The Ride" does more than entertain. It opens the listener's mind as to whom the real Tommy Lee just might be. 

And you know what? He just might be a very interesting guy.

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"Never a Dull Moment" (MCA)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Tommy Lee's "Never a Dull Moment" is yet another surprise from the former drummer of Motley Crue. Unlike the Crue's party metal stuff and very different than the nu-metal sound Lee reveled in with Methods of Mayhem, "Never a Dull Moment" is simply a rock'n'roll record. It never rocks as raucously as the Crue and it's never as modern as MoM. It simply rolls along at its own pace, telling its tales of life and love.

"Never a Dull Moment" begins with a solid enough rocker, "Afterglow" that is the closest the CD ever comes to Motley Crue. A couple of near Limp Bizkit tunes follow, with track #5 - an update of the classic David Bowie track "Fame" standing out as an excellent cover. The CD next surprises with the sensitive "Blue," an emotional ballad that seems to be truly heartfelt. A little of co-producer Scott Humphrey's Rob Zombie experience makes an appearance on track #10, "Higher." Actually, this track and a couple of others sound somewhat like Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society, and that ain't a bad thing. The final track, "Mr. Sh****," isn't a song at all but a message left on an answering machine that probably should have been deleted.

Motley Crue fans and especially Tommy Lee fans will probably find quite a bit to like with "Never a Dull Moment," although much of the CD will be too "soft" for some. All in all, however, it's a more mature album from the former Crue skinbeater and makes the listener very curious as what to expect in the future.

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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 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 28 Nov 2021 13:23:27 -0500.