The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack

Written by: PP on 15/08/2007 15:01:21

You would imagine an album called "The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack" would have something to do with a movie of some sort. Instead, the renowned Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx has written a heartfelt book documenting his spiral into drug and alcohol abuse in late 80s, and supplemented it with an atmospheric rock soundtrack fitting to be played on the background while reading the book. Something tells me the book, based on his real diaries, is going to be a blockbuster if its anywhere as brutally honest and sinister as the soundtrack, and I wouldn't be surprised to find out that "The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack" merely touches on the surface of the deep-rooted story.

Starting out with cinematic effects and a gloomy, theatric mood, Nikki begins the album with an apocalyptic spoken word introduction in "X-Mas In hell", where he proclaims the purpose for the diary to be a "suicide note of my life" in case he dies, and he continues "It's just me and you diary. Welcome to my fucking life", setting the mood to be one of the darkest I've encountered on record to date. Similarly dramatic spoken word passages are scattered amongst the tracks on the album, acting as the absolute highlights of the album. Nikki's passages are so brutally honest it's difficult not to get cold shivers when trying to imagine the things he's gone through:

"...Day 3: This withdrawal is killing me. It's like shock therapy to my guts. Day 4: Last visit to the clinic. My whole body feels like it's cracking into pieces, fragile doesn't even come close to describing how I feel. Day 5: I'm sick as a dog, with this can full of pain killers to get me through. Day 6: When I'm left in my own devices, I feel fucking insane. I'll never use heroin again..."

All of the above is spoken in a convincing voice filled with desperation and uncontrollable rage. But best of all, it's perfectly fitted into "Girl With Golden Eyes". The music doesn't pause for a moment, getting louder and louder as Nikki's voice gets faster and more filled with desperation, until a point where the song nearly explodes into massive theatrics and a great chorus proclaiming "everything will be okay". It's moments like these that make "The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack" excellent.

It's a great shame they aren't more frequent on the entire album, because they spice up each song with much needed credibility and make the record more interesting than the songs otherwise suggest. Despite all of the promotional hype, songs like "Pray For Me" are basically generic hard rock / alternative rock, offering nothing new than a dozen other bands do already. You can hear there's a million-dollar production budget behind the album, which unfortunately makes the songs inoffensive and tame compared to Nikki's ghastly passages. Sometimes they work, though, like on the majestic "Accidents Can Happen", where the choruses are soaring, but more often than not you end up feeling that the verses are merely platforms to build up the song towards the radio-rock choruses found on every single song. In fact, as soon as the sound sways from the theatrical feel present on tracks like "Van Nuys", it starts stumbling on its lack of originality. The staying power is virtually non existent in songs like "Tomorrow" or "Permission", which are forgettable to the extent that ten minutes after the song you won't remember it anymore. It's like listening to something written by someone like Keane - it receives a lot of airplay but you can't call it a good song no matter which way you twist it.

Nevertheless, "The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack" will surely be fitting for purpose, if the band thought of it as background music while you are reading. That's the vibe that the album gives me four fifths of the time. The last fifth consists of the theatric sounds and the spoken-word passages implemented into songs, which is evidently what the band should have focused on more. I wish I would be able to reward songs like "Life After Death" or even "Intermission" (which says a lot about the album, doesn't it?), but there are simply too many bland corporate rock songs for this album to deserve anything more than a


Download: Accidents Can Happen, X-Mas In Hell, Life After Death
For the fans of: Meat Loaf, Daughtry
Listen: Myspace

Release date 21.08.2007
10th Street Entertainment

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