Kings & Queens Of
Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Billy Idol chose to release his aptly titled autobiography Dancing With Myself in the same month as his seventh studio album Kings & Queens Of The Underground. A single spin of the record finds the man who cried “more, more, more” throughout the 1980s turning in the most connective batch of arena rockers since his halcyon days. “Bitter Pill” and “Can’t Break Me Down” meet at the axis of hard, glam and modern rock with guitar god Steve Stevens serving almost as essentially in the equation as the album’s main star (who’s still sporting that signature blend of vocal grit and gusto). While “Postcards From The Past” and the title track are both nostalgic in their riff or name checking of oldies such as “White Wedding” and “Rebel Yell,” neither come across as desperate attempts to reconnect with a graying audience, but instead build a reflective and surprisingly relevant bridge between yesterday and today. There’s even some deeper pondering throughout the lushly produced ballad “Ghosts In My Guitar” (possibly another bi-product of the memoir-writing experience), but no matter what the speed, Idol (at 58) sounds just as vital as he did back when MTV (actually) played music.
8 out of 10
Photos of Billy Idol from The Riviera Theater 2/7/15 by Ed Spinelli