Sixx: A.M., ‘7’ – EP Review
Sixx: A.M. recently surprised fans with word that a new EP was in the works. However, this isn’t just any EP, it’s a collection of previously recorded songs, that are stripped down, dissected and built back up again by the band, giving a totally new spin on old favorites.
The songs on the collection feature fan favorites from Sixx: A.M.’s two albums – 2011’s ‘This is Gonna Hurt’ and 2007’s ‘The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack.’
The EP, simply titled ‘7,’ is anything but simple. ‘7’ is not just an acoustic take on existing songs, it’s a reinterpretation of them, breathing new life into tunes that were already complex and adding new depths to songs that already told intricate stories of their own. While the stories don’t exactly change, you could say that each newly spun song provides an alter ego for the song it was derived from.
While lyrics have always been something that Sixx: A.M. have grasped on to with clenched fists, these new arrangements add a whole new level of tangibility to the words, allowing the lyrics to jump to the forefront, finding the beauty often hidden amongst the pain.
‘Lies of the Beautiful People’ kicks off the EP in rocking fashion. The song, the band’s first No. 1 rock single, is a favorite to many Sixx: A.M. fans, so how would the band approach it? Well, gone are the chugging bass lines, driving guitars and lush choruses. They’ve transformed the song from a rocking anthem to more of an infectious acoustic melody, giving it a tribal feel while maintaining the theme of finding true beauty within our differences.
‘This Is Gonna Hurt’ starts out with a haunting piano intro intertwined with warm guitar tones that come to life wrapping around the song like a long lost friend before the strings chime in. The dark lyrics are enhanced by James Michael’s vocal range dropping to almost a whisper at some points throughout the song, while still holding the melody, showing how truly talented he is as not only a producer but a vocalist.
‘Life is Beautiful’ from Sixx: A.M.’s soundtrack to Nikki Sixx’s book ‘The Heroin Diaries,’ has always been a song that delivered a strong message of searching for internal faith and in a more literal sense, finding the light beyond a near death experience. This new version acts more like a direct ray of hope, the pain is felt from the first note yet there’s an overshadowing beauty in the message that gives the listener the feeling that it’s all going to be alright. “To make me feel alive, just open your eyes, just open your eyes, and see that life is beautiful.” This song alone is worth the price of admission.
‘Help Is on the Way’ combines acoustic guitars with beautiful strings, allowing the song soar to new heights. Possibly the poppiest twist on the EP, it’s an interesting take on a song that still has a darker message but is almost infectiously uplifting, providing the perfect juxtaposition to turn the song upside down.
‘Sure Feels Right’ is a driving (literally) love song. Again, the strings are prevalent and add a rich texture to the song that really becomes just a sit back and feel good tune.
‘Pray for Me,’ another song from ‘The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack,’ is driven by the lyrics, “Cross your heart and pray that I don’t die before the best day of my life,” and highlighted by the guitar breakdown mid-way through, courtesy of guitarist DJ Ashba. It’s a sexy little number that leaves a mark.
‘Accidents Can Happen’ still proves to be a heart-breaking tale, but in this version it is powered by James Michael’s vocals, which prove to be one of the most powerful instruments on the whole EP. Late in the song, Ashba lays into a beautiful guitar solo, but the song lives and dies with the infinite power of Michael’s vocals.
Aside from giving Sixx: A.M. fans seven additional songs to add to their playlist, ‘7’ shows how well Nikki Sixx, James Michael and DJ Ashba work together as one. It’s hard to take a successful song and spin it into yet another masterful tune with as much passion and force, yet the trio seem to do it seamlessly, bringing Christmas a little early to Sixx: AM fans worldwide.
‘7’ is available to the masses on Tuesday (Dec. 13), and don’t forget: Sixx: A.M. are up for Rock Song of the Year and Artist of the Year in the 2011 Loudwire Music Awards. Click here to vote now!