Rhythm & Views 

Billy Idol

More than a decade since his last album, the British pop-punk king Billy Idol has returned with Devil's Playground.

Who knew crap took so long to produce?

Maybe his royalty checks are not coming in, or maybe he is waiting for another call from Adam Sandler. Either way, Billy Idol must be desperate. Devil's Playground is laughable at best, mainly a painful listening experience from a has-been attempting to reinvent himself in the new millennium.

A Ramones rip-off if there ever was one, "Super Overdrive" opens the album with Billy trying to make a statement about his presence in today's music scene--"Does he still have the magic? Yes he does, he'll be famous just because, just because."

If that lyric sounded ridiculous, we've only just begun. Lyrically, the entire album makes no sense. During "World Comin' Down," Billy claims, "I can have my opinion and I don't want to win ya / Now I just have to work ... alright!" What the hell is he talking about?

And the lyrics are not the only thing all over the place on Devil's Playground. Musically, Billy and his band cover almost every genre of music since he became a household name. Believe it or not, Billy even tackles country music with "Lady Do or Die" and "Plastic Jesus."

The only comfort in this tragedy comes from the track "Yellin' at the Christmas Tree." Billy hilariously flaunts the innuendo during the chorus that "Santa's balls are jingling." Too bad Christmas was over four months ago.

More by Jon Hobson


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