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Articles Home » 2002 Articles » Lee, Tommy - 2002 Never A Dull Moment
Lee, Tommy - 2002 Never A Dull Moment

ARTIST: Lee, Tommy
ALBUM: Never A Dull Moment
SERIAL: 112 856-2
YEAR: 2002


LINEUP: Tommy Lee - mostly everything

TRACK LISTING: 01 Afterglow * 02 Hold Me Down * 03 Body Architects * 04 Ashamed * 05 Fame * 06 Blue * 07 Sunday * 08 Why Is It * 09 Face To Face * 10 Higher * 11 People So Strange


In the recent best-selling, tell-all Motley Crue biography 'The Dirt', vocalist Vince Neil said about his former bandmate Tommy Lee: 'Whatever is in, he wants to do that. He never stuck to what made him what he was, which was rock and roll. If hip-hop is in, he's a hip-hopper. If punk is in, he's a punk rocker. If Tommy had tits, he'd be a fucking Spice Girl.' Neil is referring to Lee's Methods of Mayhem rap orientated project, but in many ways, his comment is a pretty accurate description of the former drummer's second post-Motley record, 'Never a Dull Moment'. I'm sure Lee cares more about when his former wife Pamela Anderson will get married again than he does about critics' reactions - or Vince Neil's for that matter - to his latest offering, but sadly, the contents of the album aren't nearly as exciting the lifestyle its title refers to. In a genre full of talent-less poseurs, Tommy Lee was one of the most technically gifted drummers of the hard rock scene, and although he has been continually surrounded by controversy down the years, music, rather than scantily clad Playboy models, has always been his prime passion. A serious solo career may have been inevitable following his split with Motley Crue, but perhaps it was also inevitable that 'Never a Dull Moment' would reek of perspiration more than inspiration.

The Songs
Lee has certainly tried hard enough. His chapters in 'The Dirt' reveal he had been considering a solo career for some time during his last years with Motley Crue, and following his dalliance with rap on Methods of Mayhem, his rock roots do show their true colours second time around. Scott Humphrey, who helped produce 1997's alternative-tinged Motley Crue record, 'Generation Swine', co-produces the album, and ironically, material like 'Sunday' and 'Afterglow' sounds like they could have been taken from those same sessions. Those are indeed two of the album's better tracks, and indeed, when the melodies are present, when the familiar power of Lee's rhythm section crashes in, and when the songs stick to what Lee is good at, then this album does live up to expectations. The relatively restrained acoustic vibe of 'Hold Me Down' and 'Why Is It' prove how good this album could have been if Lee had stuck to this formula. The former is interesting as it stands as a real confessional from Lee, with the lyrics complaining of him being unable to express himself freely.

It's unclear whether he is referring to his former band mates, his former wife, his time in prison or the paparazzi that hound him, but it's the clearest glimpse we get at the inner turmoil Lee suffers. The second single from the album, 'Ashamed', is another surprise, sounding mature, yet modern with a Verve-style symphony sample flavouring the intro. Yet, conversely, there are moments of pure dross that almost rank up there with Lee's song 'Brandon', from 'Generation Swine'; a personal song that should have stayed personal. Among the chief culprits this time around are the appalling re-working of David Bowie's 'Fame' and 'Body Architects', a tune containing the refrain 'We rocks the party!/we rocks the party!' which Five or S Club 7 would have left on the studio floor out of embarrassment. Then the forgettable closing trio of 'Face To Face', 'Higher' and 'People So Strange' are just plain bland and boring, no matter how intense the guitars might be.

In Summary
There's a modern vibe all over 'Never a Dull Moment' far removed from Lee's cock-rock days, and although he deserves credit for wanting to move on from his past musical endeavours, it still doesn't alter the fact that most of this album loses its lustre too quickly. Tommy Lee and his band have just been announced as the replacement for Drowning Pool on the Ozzfest tour following the tragic death of vocalist Dave Williams, which will introduce his solo project to just the kind of audience he wants to appeal to. However, given the patchy quality of 'Never A Dull Moment', I can't help but feel that fans who saw Lee originally tour with Ozzy in 1983 got the better end of the deal.

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#1 | jeffduran on July 22 2008 17:46:12
absolute rubbish!
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