By Jason Wellwood
First off, the world does NOT need another version of ‘Round and Round’. Yes, this version features The Donnas (who I love) but enough is enough! Between Stephen Pearcy himself and his Ratt brethren, there are over six versions out there. That’s not including covers not related to the band. It’s a great song and it’s the one that most people know Pearcy and Ratt for but, I just don’t see the need for it here. That being said, it’s the strongest song on the album which is unfortunate to say the least! A solo record from someone with a voice as distinct as Stephen Pearcy’s needs to be completely different from the band that he or she fronts in order for the album to really be a solo disc. That’s one of the things that a lot of people from the hard rock world don’t seem to take in to account when doing something solo and Pearcy definitely ignores it here. Under My Skin sounds like it could be a compilation of Ratt rejects.
All of the songs on this album sound like pretty generic hard rock without much effort put towards flash or being particularly good. What is being played as (I’m assuming) a memorable, sing along chorus ends up coming off as simply annoying. Pearcy’s sneering voice is grating from the beginning and by the time he’s singing “throttle up, pedal down” repeatedly on ‘Injector’ I was sure that I was going to have to stop the album to stop the pain. Mercifully, the songs on Under My Skin are very short, the longest being the cover of ‘Round and Round’ and ‘Injector’ is the second last song.
All in all, though the production was good, the musicians were there, but the song writing was not. I found the entire thing to be dull and annoying, a very poor showing all in all. It even actually sounds like his vocals on ‘Round and Round’ may have been done at a different time because he sounds 100% better on that song than on the rest of the album. Sorry Ratt fans, this is pretty awful.
(Great American Music Company)
* – for the cover of Round and Round only, though I should actually be deducting points for doing it AGAIN!