"7" (Eleven Seven Records; 2011)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This iTunes exclusive is an acoustic disc with (you guessed it) ... seven songs. Taken from the studio offerings "The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack" and "This Is Gonna Hurt," Nikki Sixx and company slow things down but don't water them down. The lyrics don't change but the mood is somewhat mellowed to give you, the listener, a chance to absorb these poignant tracks on a different level.

The first two discs from Nikki Sixx's Sixx A.M. were in-depth looks at his life outside of music, but put to music so it's told as a story. In the same vein as an acoustic set, "7" gives you a chance to listen to these songs with more clarity. The song structures don't change and on the harder tracks you still get a guitar solo and these would probably sound really great as an encore after a show.

Here is the track listing of "7". 1. Lies of the Beautiful People. 2. This Is Gonna Hurt. 3. Life Is Beautiful. 4. Help Is on the Way. 5. Sure Feels Right. 6. Pray for Me. 7. Accidents Can Happen.

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"The Heroin Diaries" (Eleven Seven Records; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx tells the true story of his near death and ultimate recovery from heroin addiction with "The Heroin Diaries."

Billed as the soundtrack to Sixx's non-fiction book of the same title, "The Heroin Diaries" CD is strong enough without the book. In fact, it's a mesmerizing standalone concept album featuring haunting melodies, introspective lyrics and a brutal honesty -- in both the relating of events as well as the revelation of soul-baring emotions -- that makes it both fascinating and poignant.

"The Heroin Diaries" tells its tale of a rock star spiraling out of control with eerie, slow-paced spoken word tracks, the faster-paced rockers that you might expect from Motley Crue and the "ballad"-type songs that the Crue has had such success with in the past (i.e. "Home Sweet Home"). Thankfully, the album is perfectly balanced, and lets its cautionary story unfold at exactly the right pace.

As I mentioned above, the lyrics here are startlingly personal and introspective. That's probably due to the fact that the inspiration for this recording (and for the companion book) came from actual diaries that Sixx kept so that, as is explained at the beginning of this CD, "One, I have no friends left; two, so I can read back and remember what I did the day before; and three, so if I die, at least I leave a nice little suicide note of my life."

One of the best albums of the year, "The Heroin Diaries" not only succeeds in its musical merits, but gets major points for its unflinching honesty and depth of emotion. One can feel Sixx's pain here and, unlike some typical after school special, the CD doesn't end on a sugary, upbeat note but rather a cautiously optimistic one. 

With "The Heroin Diaries," Nikki Sixx has done exactly what an artist is supposed to do: Communicate to his audience in a way that makes them feel what he feels or has felt. This CD won't leave you elated, depressed or disgusted but it will leave you with the feeling that you've experienced something. 

Special kudos to vocalist James Michael, who brings the immensely varied emotions and unwavering depth of "The Heroin Diaries" to life. 

Sixx A.M.: Nikki Sixx - bass; James Michael - Guitar, Vocals; DJ Ashba - Guitar.

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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 2012 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:21 -0400.