If you are new to the flamboyant eighties, an egregious decade of guts, glamor and goofy movies Wake Up The Nations atavistic effort Sign Of Heart is a diverse study on what epitomized the era of flux capacitors and flaxen volumizers. Pantera started off here.
It is not a comprehensive study of what made hair metal great; most of the album is filler content, running from ballad to ballad and quintessentially cheese. It would be plausible to assume that after thirty years the sound would have matured, like cheese, but instead sounding like it has been left in a dark cold place to grow legs and wings, and develop nuclear fission.
A concept album musing about institutional love, while thematically making an aberration of Celine Dions’ entire career, as a formula in this broken age, love is not enough to float this resurrection of Saturday morning synth sounds and creepily romantic poetry.
Featuring several singers devoid of feeling and lusting with narcissism, the change of timbre is endearing but makes the piece lose is aural cohesion. Late night TV has advertising space dedicated for albums like this with rolling canvassing and weird, staged, relationships.
If there was anything to be learned from the fantastical decadence of the eighties, it was that you cannot go back, no matter what Crazy Hair Guy says. It is a welcome trip in nostalgia, one that sounds like a compilation of unreleased karaoke tapes from eighties hair metal tribute acts.
Whereas Pantera still had attitude back in the day, Wake The Nations have been whipped by nostalgia like you people wouldn’t believe; like tears in the shower.