On his latest CD Hell In A Hand Basket, Meatloaf decided to use his live backing band, The Neverland Express, and it was a smart move on his part.
Beginning with some lush opening vocal chorusing on â€œAll Of Meâ€ (vocalist Patti Russo and guitar/singer Randy Flowers sound great backing Meat throughout these 12 tunes) we get that Meat sound we know so well, straight ahead solid drumming from John Miceli and tinkling piano droplets played by Justin Avery. â€œMad Mad World/The Good God is a Woman and She Donâ€™t Like Uglyâ€ has Meat singing in his lower range (something he does well here) has Danny Muranda on funky bass and Chuck D from Public Enemy rapping in the middle.
There is a lackluster version of â€œCalifornia Dreaminâ€ here, only notable for a Dave Luther sax solo but â€œAnother Dayâ€ is notable for being maybe one of the best Meatloaf songs I have ever heard (and I am an old Bat Out Of Hell Meat fan from way back, so thatâ€™s saying a lot!); itâ€™s a mature take on a very serious subject sung perfectly.
â€œOur Love and Our Soulsâ€ a cool shuffle, sees Meat once again using his female vocal foil Patti Russo to fine affect. Over all, Hell In A Hand Basket is a decent release, about half of the tunes work but Meatloaf is in fine form, his band sounds great and â€œAll of Meâ€ really is a great tune.