Album Review: Good < Chickenfoot < Led Zeppelin

I like Chickenfoot, but…

I tried not to compare Chickenfoot to Led Zeppelin.

In my first post about the new supergroup of guitarist Joe Satrani, vocalist Sammy Hagar (Van Halen), bassist Michael Anthony (Van Halen), and drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) I discussed Hagar’s stupid quote:

Chickenfoot could rival Led Zeppelin.

It was a dumb thing to say, and a bad measure of success for nearly any band. I know this. I tried to listen to this without drawing the comparison. I failed.

Think of it this way. I was out with some friends for dinner yesterday and there were a bunch of children playing “duck, duck, goose” next to us in this fairly pricey Princeton restaurant. I didn’t notice the kids (even though they were insanely loud). Then one of my friends pointed out the children and their derelict parents… in an instant they invade and monopolize my attention, despite my best efforts to ignore them.

That’s my roundabout way of saying, if Hagar had never drawn the comparison, I never would have thought to make it.

With that in mind, here are my thoughts on Chickenfoot’s debut album:

  • I like the album
  • I love Joe Satriani’s guitar playing
  • Anthony & Smith lay down a great rhythmic foundation for Satch to build upon
  • The lyrics are way too corny, but Hagar sings them well
  • They are good, but are no where near Zeppelin

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The instrumentals are modern and fun, but the lyrics all sound like they could have been ripped straight from some really cheesey 80s songs… which I guess is understandable given Hagar’s background. Here are some examples:

My Kind of Girl

Sun’s up

It’s 6:30

Fell asleep with the TV on again

Take five

Checkout the weather…

Runnin’ Out

…We’re runnin’ out

We’re runnin’out of time

We’re runnin’ out of gas

We’re runnin’ out of love

We’re runnin’ out

We’re runnin’ out

We’re runnin’ out…

I find Mr. “I Can’t Drive 55” singing “We’re runnin’ out of gas” pretty laughable.

Then there is my favorite from Soap On a Rope

…I’ve got a woman

She’s fine too

Lets me do anything that I want to…

Umm… congratulations I guess…

All told, it’s a good rock & roll album. You probably won’t find deeper meaning in your life through it (and if you do, I might recommend therapy), but it is a fun, different, and energetic album. Most of the songs on here are worth a listen, so I say splurge and help the music industry by picking this one up on iTunes (so you get the extra song Bitten By the Wolf).

Chickenfoot certainly isn’t Led Zeppelin. There aren’t any tracks on here that are so perfect that you will remember the exact place you were when you first heard it… I just don’ think that Chickenfoot is that kind of band, and that’s fine; most aren’t.

In case you are wondering, the first time I heard Stairway to Heaven was in the car with my Father. We were driving along Rt. 9W past Rockland Lake (I thought that the person singing it was a woman. Sadly, I didn’t realize that it was Robert Plant and not a woman until senior year of high school).

Does anybody remember [laughter?] where you were when you first heard Stairway (or any other epic song of that nature)?

2 thoughts on “Album Review: Good < Chickenfoot < Led Zeppelin

  1. I remeber when I first heard Stairway to Heaven. I was in the car with my dad, driving for some reason, and don’t feel bad, I thought Robert Plant was a women too. But I voiced that in front of my dad and the next thing I knew I was givin lecture about “who dropped me on my head as a baby because I must be brain dead.” HAHA! That was the day I decided to do research. I became one of the very very few kids at my school that knows music. When I say ‘very very few’ I mean theres me and one other kid. We became Bestfriends. I guess the phrase “Stuck in the 80’s” is what is my situation except in my case it’s more like the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and late 80’s.
    I don’t understand why people try to compare themselves to Led Zeppelin; its totally insulting!
    It doesn’t matter to me that you were once a Van Halen singer or bassistor that you drummed for The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Yes, that is pretty awesome but come on! That doesn’t give you any right to compare yourself to a guitar god like Jimmy Page. Even Robert Plants’ voice recognizable anywhere! Its like Ozzy Osbourne’s voice. You know it when you hear it.
    Totally insulting to even say that “Chickenfoot can ‘rival’ Led Zeppelin”.
    Unbelivable.

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