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Tesla – Shock

Label: Ume
Format: CD
Released: 2019
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Rating: 6/10

This album should be called Bland, because I’m in shock (wink wink) how boring it is. I mean the last three albums, “Into the Now”, “Forever More”, and “Simplicity” weren’t much better, jumping on the 2000s American rock trends. But “Shock” continues to be too mainstream by today’s standards, no hard rock or metal edge guitar crunch, nor the attack. ‘You Won't Take Me Alive’ is an acceptable safe rock tune, for radio. It’s not on the level though of a ‘Modern Day Cowboy’, ‘Hang Tough’, or ‘Edison's Medicine’. ‘Taste Like’ is a fun upbeat pop song, but really??, “I’m on your sugar rush, I need your candy crush”? Boy, that’s some bad lyrics. And the guitar solo section is so country flavored.


Third song in, ‘We Can Rule The World’, already flat and lifeless and brings down the energy, and the title track while has a little more bite, follows with an opening build that goes nowhere for the chorus. Already half way through the tracklist, ballad ‘Love Is A Fire’, ‘California Summer Song’, and ‘Forever Loving You’ really puts the album into the pooper, and shows how much an influence producer/ co-writer Phil Collen (Def Leppard) had.
Second half the album, ‘The Mission’ at least kicks in with some of the “Mechanical Resonance”/”Great Radio Controversy” punch on the chorus and balances things out with the clean guitar during the verses. ‘Tied To The Tracks’ is the winner of the lot and has balls in the romp and riffing, cool slide guitar accents. But, where is the solo? This album on the whole just has none of the twin guitar lead/solo shredding tradeoffs?? Opening twin guitar on ‘Afterlife’ are very Leppard, ‘I Want Everything’ is average and could have been a left over from one of the previous three albums. Closer ‘Comfort Zone’ has some of that self titled Motley Crue rhythmic Tommy Lee drum groove.
New, post 2000’s Tesla have fallen into the Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, safe contemporary rock pile. I’m glad at least fellow peers Stryper, Warrant, Dokken, Whitesnake, Winger, and Y&T have not lost their edge.

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