Hell in a Handbasket

Hell in a Handbasket

by Meat Loaf
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Arriving hot on the heels of 2010's highly conceptual Hang Cool Teddy Bear, Hell in a Handbasket feels like an intimate affair but that assessment is relative. Coming from any other artist, Hell in a Handbasket would sound overblown but for Meat Loaf, it's relatively reflective, containing thunder in its production but lacking melodrama in its composition. Despite the strategic deployment of "hell" in its title, this album has nothing to do with the three previous Bat Out of Hell albums, including 2006's Jim Steinman-less The Monster Is Loose, but it has Meat Loaf's signature everything-plus-two-kitchen-sinks approach, sometimes stretching past the point of parody as when he brings in his fellow Celebrity Apprentice contestants John Rich, Lil Jon, and Mark McGrath in for the nonsensical cluster-duet "Stand in the Storm." There, more is most definitely too much, but elsewhere on Hell in a Handbasket, Meat Loaf drifts into appealing strange territory, like the truly bizarre splicing of a galloping Tom Cochrane rocker and a muscular Chuck D rap on "Mad Mad World/The Good God Is a Woman and She Don't Like Ugly," a pairing that doesn't sit easily but is oddly compelling. But such an extreme is actually a rarity on Hell in a Handbasket: much of the record, produced by Paul Crook, is as straight down the middle as could be expected by an album that features a cover of the Mamas & Papas' "California Dreamin'," the beefy guitars eventually giving away to a procession of power ballads. Stripped of some of his bombast, Meat Loaf sounds contemplative, almost sincere, even when his material is overheating, trying desperately to convey big emotions on a grand scale. If the songs don't quite deliver upon their promise, at least Crook's production and Meat Loaf's performance keep things interesting.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/13/2012
Label: Sony Legacy
UPC: 0886919327328
catalogNumber: 193273
Rank: 57769

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Meat Loaf   Primary Artist
Glen Duncan   Mandolin
John Miceli   Percussion,Drums
Jerry Flowers   Background Vocals
Patti Russo   Vocals,Background Vocals
Danny Miranda   Electric Bass,Upright Bass
Caitlin Evanson   Fiddle
Randy Flowers   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Justin Avery   Organ,Synthesizer,Piano,Keyboards,Background Vocals
David Luther   Saxophone,Background Vocals
Paul Crook   Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Keyboards
Ginny Luke   Violin
Bruce Bowden   Pedal Steel Guitar
Jamie Mulhoberac   Synthesizer,Keyboards

Technical Credits

Tom Cochrane   Composer
John Phillips   Composer
Michelle Phillips   Composer
Barry Dean   Composer
Doug McKean   Engineer
John Miceli   Engineer
Carlton Ridenhour   Composer
P.R. Brown   Art Direction
Bobby Huff   Composer
Tom Consolo   Management
Dave Kushner   Composer
Bill Luther   Composer
Wade Bowen   Composer
Ken Levitan   Management
Dave Berg   Composer
Franky Perez   Composer
Troy Verges   Composer
Ethan Carlson   Engineer
Randy Flowers   Engineer
Sean McConnell   Composer
John Paul White   Composer
Justin Avery   Engineer
Justin Weaver   Composer
Andrew Schubert   Engineer
Brad Townsend   Engineer
Dan Chase   Engineer
Nathaniel Alford   Engineer
Paul Crook   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Loop Programming
Peter Pappalardo   Booking
Deborah Gillespie   Creative Assistance
Peter Nash   Booking
Sean Giovanni   Engineer
Greg Becker   Composer
Evan Watson   Composer
Dennis Arfa   Booking
Tommy Henricksen   Composer
Kelly Wold   Personal Assistant
Jonathan "Lil Jon" Smith   drum programming,Additional Production
Jenna Gray   Artwork

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