“Uneasy Listening Vol. 2” by HIM

Artist: HIM
Title: “Uneasy Listening Vol. 2”
Label: Universal Republic
Release Date: 5/22/2007
Genre: Gothic Rock
Rating: 4/5

Ville Vallo and his band mates in HIM have clearly dominated the Gothic Hard Rock sound since they first came onto the scene in 1991. Since that time they have delved more into Melodic Hard Rock with slightly Romantic Gothic overtones as they continually play the card of Love and Death with great success. After a number of successful albums with their most recent being “Dark Light” the guys in HIM decided to make available a cornucopia of treasures from their archives. The tracks compiled here on “Uneasy Listening Volume 2” might be songs that you recognize immediately by the title, but that’s where it ends on most of them for any casual HIM fan. The CD is loaded with alternate mixes and extended versions along with some killer live numbers. “Uneasy Listening Vol. 1” was definitely a softer album and possessed more piano driven and acoustic numbers but let me tell you that Volume 2 is the heaviest by far and really rocks when it comes down to it. We get some great renditions of “Buried Alive By Love” and “I Love You” but I have to admit that the main highlight was in the live performances that we get. Given the fact that HIM has never released a live recording to date it is compilation releases like this that allow us to hear just how good a band they are onstage. The non-believers to the HIM cause might actually find this release of interest based on the way the concert pieces sound. The songs are primarily the bands covers and should definitely stymie the non-fans who like to taunt that HIM is not as heavy as they require a band to be to keep their interest. With covers of Black Sabbath and Bad Brains presented in concert in “Hand Of Doom” and “Sailin’” we find renditions that are not lame at all but instead find you pumped with energy. Though I am not the biggest fan of alternate mixes of a track I have listened to for any length of time I have to say that the ones on this CD are pretty good. They show that good songs stand out well in any fashion that they choose to deliver them. I also liked the level of creativity that was given to the numbers I had heard on earlier releases. Envision this as the polar opposite of Volume 1 but just as necessary for your collection.

The album offers you the chance to enjoy a heavier side of HIM that could very well find you looking a little deeper into their back catalog. May I suggest my own favorites of “Razorblade Romance” and “Love Metal” as your starting point. The early talk on the bands forthcoming album “Venus Doom” finds a lot of mention that this will be the heaviest release to date and yet another chance for HIM to show that in music the only true constant – is change.

Track Listing:
1. Buried Alive By Love
2. Rendezvous With Anus
3. Sigillum Diaboli
4. I Love You (Prelude To Tragedy)
5. The Beginning Of The End
6. Again
7. Wicked Game
8. Soul On Fire
9. Beautiful
10. Endless Dark
11. Hand Of Doom
12. Right Here In My Arms
13. Sailin’ On
14. Pretending

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