The Cult-Born into this
The Cult had some lukewarm releases in the 1990's, but they returned with the surprisingly spectacular "Beyond good and evil" in 2001. I was hoping the new release would pick up where left off. That's not the case however as they have opted once again for a more straight forward approach. I was somewhat letdown that they didn't follow in the tracks of their previous release yet I do think that this is a decent hard rock album. Ian Astbury is one of a handful of singers who has the capability to so easily elevate the level of the material. His voice seems to be as strong as ever and he is able really milk so much out of every word. Billy Duffy has always had a rather basic style, but it works because he stays in his comfort zone. The rhythm section of the Cult has normally been a strong point no matter who the players at the time happen to be. This album is no exception as the drums and bass help to give a number of the songs a layered feel that always helped to define the Cult's sound. The production is sharp, but allows room for each instrument to shine through as needed. The Cult have usually managed to stand apart from other rock and hard rock acts due to the vocals and their refusal to completely follow passing trends and this no exception. A good Cult album is usually better than a good album by most other hard rock acts. I wish that they had attempted to take a few more risks here, but generally the band plays it fairly safe. Still "Born into this" is an enjoyable rock album and I think that's all the band set out to do.