It has been fourteen years since Lita Ford’s last album, Black. In her long absence away from the metal scene Lita has been lost in the Caribbean with her husband Jim Gillette (Nitro), and has been focused on her family, not music. Unfortunately, Wicked Wonderland shows just that. On this new album, Lita Ford has reinvented her sound, and I am not sure which set of music fans she is trying to appeal to. Her old fans will be left scratching their head, and I am not sure how many new fans this music will appeal to.
I have no problem with an artist updating their sound, or trying to stay current. Even though hair metal had made a minor comeback over the last few years, I didn’t expect Lita to put out a disc that sound like her 80′s material. If you go back and listen to her album Black from 1995, you will see a change in her sound. That disc showed a somewhat different direction from Lita’s roots, but it still worked. After a few spins of Wicked Wonderland, I wish she had gone back to the sound that helped make her famous. Some of the songs on Wicked Wonderland work well enough, but most of them are a maybe a little too grungy for their own good. Lita Ford’s husband, Jim Gillette, who was once known for his glass breaking screams in the band Nitro, shares the vocal duties on this CD. The odd thing is, he sings in a gruff, sometimes menacing voice that is completely unlike anything Nitro fans have heard either. Overall, it makes for a strange combination. It almost sounds as if Lita listened to a heavy dose of Rob Zombie in her hiatus.
The opening cut “Crave” is kind of cool. I will admit that this song has grown on me somewhat, even through it has an almost industrial like feel.
“Piece” on the other hand makes me shudder. It oozes sex, but not in a good way. This song has a grungy rap like feel, and for my ears, it just doesn’t work.
“Patriotic SOB” starts off with Lita’s sons pledging the allegiance to the flag. It then blasts off into a grunge filled rocker. This song isn’t great, but isn’t terrible either. It does have some catchy moments.
On the song “Inside” Lita shares the vocals with her husband Jim. This song has a sexual yet eerie vibe. I could actually see this song getting used in a Vampire flick of some sort.
I could almost hear the title track Wicked Wonderland getting some play in the dance/strip clubs. It has a pretty cool groove that is undeniably catchy.
The production on Wicked Wonderland is top notch, but the production can not help the weak songs, and there are far too many of them. I kept trying to find another song or two that might change my mind about this disc, but I could not find one. Overall, I found Wicked Wonderland to be a major disappointment. I still love Lita Ford, and I will definitely catch her on her tour with Queensryche. I just hope she plays more of her classic material.
Rating: Out 0f 10
3. Patriotic SOB
6. Wicked Wonderland