In 2012, Meat Loaf has scaled down his approach. Keep in mind, though: this is Meat Loaf. There are still plenty of grand sounds that other artists would consider a high-budget production. In Meat Loaf's case, the production by Neverland Express guitarist Paul Crook is tighter and drier, which accentuates Mr. Loaf's angry, lean, and mean vibe. As the album's title implies, he's not happy about things. He enlists Public Enemy's Chuck D to rap in his infamous baritone for a cover of Tom Cochrane's "Mad Mad World," while his friends from his time on Celebrity Apprentice—Lil Jon, Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath, and Trace Adkins—join him for the hard rock/rap fury of "Stand in the Storm." A cover of "California Dreamin'" with singer Patti Russo turns the song into a tough power ballad. "Live or Die" hangs on a rock riff, while "The Giving Tree" builds to catharsis as it tells the story of a man who's had to get used to sleeping on a mattress on the floor.
All of Me
The Giving Tree
Live or Die
Blue Sky / Mad Mad World / The Good God Is a Woman and She Don't Like Ugly