Lita Ford – Wicked Wonderland (2009, JLRG Entertaiment)
- Piece (Hell Yeah)
- Patriotic S.O.B.
- Scream 4 Me
- Wicked Wonderland
- Garden (bonus track)
- Push (bonus track)
Lita Ford – Lead Vocals & Lead Guitar
Jim Gillette – Vocals
Greg Hampton – Bass, Synth, Rhythm Guitar
Stet Howland – Drums
Chris Collier – Drums (tracks 1 & 11)
Producers: Lita Ford, Jim Gillette, Grag Hampton
Total Time = 65:35
I have been a Lita Ford fan since the ’80s so I was pretty psyched to hear that she was finally going to make a new album after 14+ years since she released BLACK (1995). Where has Lita been? She’s been living in the Caribbean and raising a family with her husband Jim Gillette (lead singer of Nitro). Lita’s been out of the spotlight for years, even turning down offers to do VH-1 reality shows! The only thing that had me interested in this comeback was her appearance on Twisted Sister’s A TWISTED CHRISTMAS (2006) dueting on ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’. Outside of that, my only interest in Lita was getting some of here older albums on CD to fill the holes in my collection. When I heard that we were getting a new album, I was pretty psyched. I still like most of Lita’s older albums like DANCIN’ ON THE EDGE (1984), LITA (1988) and STILETTO (1990) so I was hoping we would get a new album that kind of reflected that signature sound.
So I put WICKED WONDERLAND in the stereo and I was shocked at how different Lita’s sound has become. I have nothing against artists/bands updating their sound to be more modern or relevant but there usually is an underlying part of their classic sound. Typical Lita Ford fans, and your average Hard Rock fans, are going to expect some of that popular ’80s Hard Rock sound that made Lita the success she is. Not on this album! Lita and her husband Jim have taken all our expectations of big guitars, soaring vocals and melodic Hard Rock anthems and replaced them with an alternative/industrial sound complete with multi-tracked vocal enhancements, sound effects, fuzzed guitars and rap/dance style flourishes kicked in. Add in co-lead vocals from Gillette and then take the overtly sexual lyrics about Lita & Jim’s private life and you get a mess. I’m all for Lita collaborating with her husband (who has an enourmous set of pipes, remember Nitro and the wine glass shattering?) but Jim really doesn’t add anything here except for growls and enhanced grungy singing…..I wouldn’t even call it singing, more spoken word at times. I’m all for sexual lyrics, that’s what 90% of the ’80s were about, but I really don’t need to get a musical snapshot of Lita & Jim going at it. I’m just not really sure what kind of direction Lita was going for. She says she wanted to make a heavy modern album but does that mean you take out all of the elements that make a good song? Even her vocals are spotty and I thought she had a good voice back in the day. I would go song by song but everything sounds the same to me and that’s definitely not good. The production is good but the material is awful.
A wasted comeback. I expected a heavy album, a modern Hard Rock album, but where is the Lita Ford we all knew from back in her ’80s heyday? Is she still in the Caribbean? This just isn’t a Lita Ford album. I’ve given this a lot of spins so I could find something positive but I just can’t find one song I remotely like. Everything sounds the same from the down-tuned guitars, to the vocals being messed with, to the industrial metal feel, to the terrible lyrics. Did I cover everything? Lita had the chance to make a good Metal record with an updated sound showcasing her excellent talents on guitar and vocals but she has easily squandered the opportunity. This has to be one of the biggest disappointments for me of the last four years of this website…..if this isn’t my Worst Album of 2009 then I don’t know what will top it!
Favorite Songs: none