Unusual Heat (1991)


  
1. Only Heavn Knows 2. Lowdown and Dirty 3. I'll Fight For You 4. Moment of Truth 5. Mountain of Love 6. Ready For the Rain 7. When the Night Comes Down 8. Safe in My Heart 9. No Hiding Place 10.Flesh Wound 11.Unusual Heat

 

I have very bad feelings and memories about this album. When Foreigner's previous studio album, Inside Information came out four years prior to this one in 1987, there was very little fanfare or publicity around the release. Being a fan, I snagged the CD the first day that it came out and was blown away by how good the album was. Well, when 1991 came around, the same thing basically happened with this one. I knew the album was coming out, but didn't hear any hoopla because, well, Foreigner had "passed" their heyday. I figured it would probably be just as good as its predecessor. Well, what I didn't know, was that Lou Gramm was no longer a member of the band. Word travelled slowly in the days before the internet.

Some people (including me, possibly) might say "so what - he's just the singer." To my knowledge, I never saw Lou Gramm play anything but a tambourine, so the music really shouldn't suffer. Right? Well, whatever Lou Gramm did contribute to this band, it was obviously an awful lot, because this record badly suffers in his absence. He is very sorely missed, and this was a bad case of $14.98 that I lost and would never get back.

The new guy, Johnny Edwards, really does do an adequate job sounding similar to Mr. Gramm, but he wasn't Lou Gramm, and the overall work suffers badly. They went from sounding like one of the best arena rock bands of the last decade to a sad, dull, thick, boring replica of every other hard rock lifeless caricature that filled the waves of mediocrity on the early 1990s. The rest of the Foreigners are here - Dennis Elliot, Rick Willis, and front man Mick Jones, but Lou Gramm was too big of a puzzle piece to have absent.

There really isn't anything at all memorable on the record. They sound tired, and like they're just going through the motions. The very first track Only Heaven Knows is the least offensive thing here, and had the whole album had been as good as this track, they may have managed to pull this off somehow. Sadly, though, the rest of the album is just a boring, tedious experience. Not surprisingly, the album flopped, Edwards was soon given his walking papers, Lou Gramm eventually came back (albeit briefly and sporadically), and every song here has basically been forgotten by just about everyone.

I guess they had to try.

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