Meat Loaf still fresh

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    It’s exactly what you would expect it to be – Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster is Loose” is bombastic, over-the-top melodrama and simply one of the best albums to come out this year.In what marks Loaf’s ninth studio album, and supposedly the last in the “Bat” series, this disc delivers the goods. Opening track “The Monster is Loose,” which is about war and famine, is more than seven minutes in length and sounds like something off a Styx record from the 1980s; it is clear that Loaf has been brushing up on his vocal abilities.

    The best way to sum up Meat Loaf for those who may not know is simple, he is what Jack Black strives to be but will never accomplish.

    One of the best compliments one can give to “Bat III” is that it sounds as if you should be sitting in a theater, watching a Broadway play unfold.

    Loaf’s voice comes off as being very operatic throughout the entire disc, especially on a track that seemed like an odd choice to put on a rock album.

    In what may be one of the strangest (and best) covers in recent rock history, Loaf decides to tackle the super-melodramatic song made famous by none other than Celine Dion, “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.”

    Performed as a duet with Norwegian songbird Marion Raven, “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” can easily be stated as one of the discs standout tracks, although not the best.

    That distinction would have to go to either the aria-esk “Blind as a Bat” or “In the Land of the Pig, the Butcher is King.” While one is a sappy love song, and the other is about knowing your place in the world, both deliver on all accounts and will likely incite multiple replays on the iPod.

    While there isn’t a bad song on the album, there doesn’t seem to be any song that could stand as a knockout single on the radio.

    Is the entire album ludicrous? Of course it is; that’s Meat Loaf. But would you really want it any other way to close out the extraordinary rock trilogy? Hell no.

    This album was made for fans, and this is one fan who couldn’t be happier with the end result.