Review: Modern Vintage by Sixx:A.M.

There are some of us that miss rock’n’roll. I will stand behind the statement I have always made on this blog: Rock’n’roll is NOT dead. You just have to find it.  Sixx:A.M.’s new album will be released on Tuesday, October 7, 2014. If you’re not sure where you can find some rock music with the riffs, hooks, and melodies you’ve been missing, start by picking up a copy of the latest offering from Nikki Sixx and Co. You won’t be sorry. 

“Do you wanna see heaven tonight?” That’s the question  Sixx:A.M.’s James Michael asks listeners in “Stars”, one of the first songs the band previewed to fans for their upcoming release Modern Vintage. In true, the chorus is instantly “singable” and it doesn’t take long to get to that exhuberant feeling you get when you first kiss a new lover you’ve longed for: “Yes! The rest of this is going to be so worth the wait!” Sixx:A.M.’s last album was released in 2011 and many people have been waiting for a follow up.

Song after song, Sixx, James Michael, and guitarist DJ Ashba serve the legions of rock fans that will undoubtedly fall in love with this record very well. “Relief”, “Let’s Go” and “Stars” offer a distinct Sixx:A.M. vibe while breaking some new ground sonically for the band. The band chose to cover a song for the first time and what a choice it was: “Drive” by The Cars was given the Sixx:A.M. treatment and for those of us old enough to remember the classic hit, James Michael definitely gave the vocals the reverence they deserve. DJ Ashba’s brilliantly simple solo does not overshadow the powerful melody of the song, and that can be said of several tracks on the album. The mix is well-balanced and everything works well as a whole as well as on a track-by-track basis. “Miracle” has an almost danceable rhythm with a funky groove that will get even the darkest of souls bopping their heads. “Before It’s Over” has an almost jazz/country vibe that would feel right at home in New OIrlean’s French Quarter. The journey each song takes you on is one that leaves you disappointed when the track comes to an end: the only solace is that it continues with the next song.
Before the haters get started on saying “They totally changed their sound” or “Why isn’t it heavier?” let me set the record straight. Think of every band or album you’ve ever listened to that changed your life or made you love music. Did it sound exactly the same as anything else you had ever heard? Exactly. The point of being an artist is to make art, not repeat yourself.

Nikki Sixx has the industry experience and financial comfort to be able to make an album that sounds like a carbon copy of any successful album he’s ever put together. The fact that he has the inspiration and courage to continue being an artist is what should make rock fans like you and me absolutely ecstatic. Do you want him to fall into the trap of U2, who in this writer’s opinion have made the same album since Achtung Baby?  Sixx:A.M. is not predictable, and that’s what makes them a great band. Modern Vintage holds true to that, and that’s precisely why I’m declaring it a huge success.

Those who know me well and have read my work in the past know that I am not kind to just any album offering. In fact, a lot of what you can purchase these days is horrible because it sounds like everything else. Not so with  Sixx:A.M. What’s even better is that for vinyl nerds like myself, Modern Vintage is going to be offered on vinyl, and you can bundle the music with various treats like t-shirts and turntables. Some “old school” folks like myself like to hold the music we buy, and  Sixx:A.M. has rewarded us by offering their latest album on various formats, and bundles at different price ranges.

In a perfect world, records like this would go on to sell 26 million records, just like Michael Jackson’s Thriller did so many years ago. Sixx, Ashba, and Michael would walk up to the Grammy podium and collect that shiny gold gramophone for the effort that went into this album while the rock community applauds them for their contribution. The fact of the matter is, the industry is a different beast today, and good music is often hidden from the mainstream just like it was when rock’n’roll was a baby. It’s up to you and me to make sure it’s kept alive. If you’re going to buy one album in 2014, Modern Vintage should be it. It is emotionally gripping, wonderfully arranged, passionately written, and the hard work that went into it was well worth the wait. Congratulations, my dear sirs. This is a brilliant offering that will have fans stoked for a tour.

Sixx:A.M. is currently streaming the entire album for free until the October 7 release date, and you can listen to the masterpiece that is Modern Vintage at this link until then.

If you love what you hear as much as I do, head over to the Sixx:A.M. website and order your copy today. Don’t you wanna see heaven tonight? Let us know what you think! Comment below and let's discuss good music!