X SELL THEIR SOULS! But make a pretty great album.
Jim Allison | rochester, ny United States | 10/20/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ok, ok. This is not X's greatest album ("Wild Gift"). And even though at the time it was made, it was a rather desparate attempt at an ultra-modern, 80's sound, it is their most dated sounding album. Sure, I was pretty peeved back when this album first came out that my favorite band had "sold out" and made a "big-hair" record. But you know what? I got over it. This album rocks! It's still better than just about any other music that was around at the time and its aged better too, just not as well as the other X albums. The songwriting is actually just as good as anything that came before it. What keeps "Ain't Love Grand" from being another X classic is the BIG 80's production. It's got the huge drum sound so popular then and it's so echoey it could have been recorded on the main altar of St. Peter's Basillica. And those choruses are straight out of a Journey album (eeeewwww).
Still, turn on a song like "Little Honey" or the duet "I'll stand up for You" (which could have been such a huge hit for Peter Cetera & Cher!)(just kidding) and you'll hear for yourself, "Ain't Love Grand" is grand 80s rock from X. Just not their best."
The Overlooked Album
Robin Lowe | Chicago | 06/22/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While X is one of the most influental punk bands in the US, this album is usually overlooked by many. That's a shame. While 'Burning House of Love' was primed to be the hit maker of the album, songs like 'My Goodness' and 'Around My Heart' show the maturity the band finally reached with the release of "See How We Are". Although my favorite is the flat out honesty of "What's Wrong with Me". I still play that song full blast on those days when I need to blow off steam."
Messed up by a bone-headed producer
Robin Lowe | 07/23/1998
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This album was produced by heavy-metal producer Michael Wagener, and it is obvious he didn't have a clue about who X is and what they should sound like. He tries to produce this album like a Dokken or Motley Crue album. DJ Bonebrake's great drumming gets the heavy-metal thud treatment, and he gets lost in the mix. The guitars sound a lot less edgy, and the whole thing sounds a bit heavy-handed. Having said all that, there is still nothing wrong with the songs included here, many of which are great X classics: "Burning House Of Love," "What's Wrong With Me?," and "Love Shack" are all worthy of the purchase price of this CD. I just wish the CD had been produced by Ray Manzarek or someone who really understood the band."
Their worst, but has moments
Robin Lowe | 12/22/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Arena rock, X style. In other words, a messy contradiction. I love a couple of cuts, but really, do we need "Burning House of Love"?"