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Balls to Picasso Review

Bruce Dickinson - Balls to Picasso

Balls to Picasso

TypeAlbum (Studio full-length)
GenresHeavy Metal
LabelsEMI Records
Ranked#88 for 1994 , #5,425 all-time
Album rating :  81 / 100
Votes :  12  (3 reviews)
Reviewer :  level 4         Rating :  80 / 100
With his second solo album, Dickinson starts to gain his stride. After the mostly atrocious Tattooed Millionaire, it is good to see him adopt more from the genre that made him famous and put out a quality album. I would still hesitate to call this a metal album, but it shouldn’t offend the ears of any but the most hardcore metal enthusiast.

First, let me say that Roy Z knows how to play the guitar. Part of the reason I enjoy Dickinson’s solo albums so much is the mesmerizing leads this guy busts out. The production here is stellar too, even if Roy Z wasn’t heading it as he would later.

None of the tracks here are exceptionally weak, but a few of them truly fail to stand out. I am just going to go through my favorites.

Cyclops – This is an exciting confirmation that Dickinson has abandoned that horrible rock of the last album. He opens the album with an epic 8 minute piece, not your normal opener. This thing stomps all over most of the meandering epics of Iron Maiden. This track highlights the guitars; they really talk to you—screaming out the lines along with Dickinson.

Laughing in the Hiding Bush – Tell me that chorus isn’t infinitely more catchy than the repetitive choruses Iron Maiden has put out recently? Absolutely stellar guitar riffs here.

Change of Heart – Usually look down upon by the metal community, either because of a fondness for the typical faster tempo of metal or because of the stigma attached to them by hair metal bands, Dickinson usually has an excess of ballads on his album. Thankfully, this one nearly surpasses the better-known Tears of the Dragon

Shoot All the Clowns – A silly song. Very hard rock tune with tinges of Guns ‘N’ Roses and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Excellent except for the overuse of the chorus, but at least it is a good one.

Tears of the Dragon – Despite considerable exposure, this song still remains excellent, a highlight of the entire Bruce Dickinson catalogue.

You can definitely see Dickinson picking up steam here for the absolute classics still to come.

Overall, "Balls To Picasso" is uneven, but entertaining and more professional than the debut record. Dickinson's vocal performance is also liberated and very successful. Without a few filler songs, the album could be Dickinson's strongest, now it is slightly overshadowed by later masterpieces. It's still worth a try!
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Track listing (Songs)

2.Hell No5:12865
3.Gods Of War5:02805
4.(1000 Points Of Light4:2582.54
5.Laughing In The Hiding Bush4:21856
6.Change Of Heart4:59845
7.Shoot All The Clowns4:24865
9.Sacred Cowboys3:5478.84
10.Tears Of The Dragon6:2099.411

Line-up (members)

  • Bruce Dickinson : Vocals
  • Roy Z. : Guitars
  • Eddie Casillas : Bass
  • Dave Ingraham : Drums
  • Doug Van Booven : Percussion
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level 21 Megametal   85/100
Mar 16, 2024       Likes :  1
Bruce Dickinson vydal po 19 ročnej pauze novinku "The Mandrake Project", pričom spolutvorcom albumu bol rovnako ako pri predošlých troch radovkách Roy Z. Po viac násobnom vypočutí albumu vidím najväčší problém v nepodarenom (málo vyváženom) zvuku. Niektoré nástroje sú málo čitateľné (počuteľné), niektoré sú až príliš v pozadí a spev je naopak pr... Read More
level 16 랍할포드   55/100
Dec 10, 2013       Likes :  1
Skunkworks [|skʌŋkw3:rkz] (대기업의) 작은 실험실. 브루스 디킨슨의 앨범이라고는 믿겨지지 않는 충격의 앨범이다. 트랙 이름에 있는 space, solar, dream 등의 단어들이 앨범분위기를 그대로 보여주고 있다. 우주적, 몽환적인 음악이다. 멤버 구성을 보면 이 앨범이 Bruce Dickinson이라는 밴드의 Di... Read More
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