The Baron of Bombast himself is back (back again, that is--he's back twice a decade)!
A few weeks ago Meat Loaf released a new single, with the unfortunate title "Los Angeloser," which could be the stupidest West Coast song title since the Red Hot Chili Peppers turned "Californication" into a big single, a major tour and a raunchy cable sitcom.
The video is a little All That Jazz (Bob Fosse Not Dead!) and a little Southland Tales with the man the New York Times famously calls "Mr. Loaf" as a country preacher/angel of death/supernatural dirty uncle looming over a dying soldier. The LAPD is featured too, though mostly as a chorus line of Toni Basil-esque strippers.
Well, Billboard reports today that the new album that includes "Los Angeloser" is ... (you've guessed it) a concept album, and it's called Hang Loose, Teddy Bear!:
Meat Loaf is hoping that Hang Loose, Teddy Bear will have a life beyond its musical incarnation The 13 songs on the new album, which comes out May 11 in North America, are companion pieces to a short story written by screenwriter director Kilian Kerwin about a wounded soldier whose thoughts are flashing forward to a future that may never be. "It's the synopsis for a screenplay," Meat Loaf tells Billboard.com, and there have already been discussions about taking the project to a cinematic level.
Hang Loose, Teddy Bear (the actual album, not the prospective trainwreck of a movie) is already out in the UK and "features songs by Jon Bon Jovi, Justin Hawkins (the Darkness, Hot Leg), Our Lady Peace's Raine Maida, Switchfoot's Jon Foreman, Desmond Child, American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi" and guest appearances by "DioGuardi, Jack Black, Patti Russo, guitarists Brian May of Queen and Steve Vai, actor Hugh Laurie and Meat Loaf's daughter Pearl Aday."
Not mentioned on that list, by the way, are Jim Steinman, Todd Rundgren, Celine Dion, The Rocky Horror Show's Richard O'Brien and his son-in-law Scott Ian from Anthrax. Any or all of the above would have been most welcome, though Brian May and Hugh Laurie could be fun. (The Darkness dude we're less sure about. He did score with "I Believe in a Thing Called Love," but totally screwed up the "turn Glambert into Freddie Mercury" assignment.)
Meat Loaf told Billboard that the change of direction was deliberate:
"Sonically, this record is so far removed from any album I've ever done before, and I wanted it that way," explains Meat Loaf, dismissing some comparisons that have been made to his "Bat Out of Hell" series. "I wanted it to be more organic. I wanted the songs to be about a human condition as opposed to always attempting to get laid, 'cause that's basically what ('Bat' partner Jim) Steinman writes about. Every song with him is about the anticipation of getting laid or wanting to get laid, which is not a bad thing, but everythig is about sex. This one is not. This is about the human condition. The lyrical structures, the character structures, are completely different on this. It's an emotional wave that rides a different side of the brain. It really is a departure."
Oh, and here's the clincher from the Billboard piece:
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Meat Loaf will perform "Los Angeloser" and "Paradise By the Dashboard Lights" when he hawks a special edition of Hang Cool, Teddy Bear at noon Tuesday on QVC.
BONUS TRACK: Here's the video for "Los Angeloser":