Kingdom Come

Bad Image

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Years after any remaining U.S. interest in Lenny Wolf and his Robert Plant sound-alike voice had vanished, the singer and his "band" Kingdom Come (really just a solo vehicle for Wolf) continued to release material marketed mostly in the frontman's German homeland. Bad Image, from 1993, is one such collection of forgettable hard rock. The only memorable things about this recording -- and Kingdom Come in general -- are Wolf's timbre and phrasing, which so succinctly ape golden-era Led Zeppelin vocals. The whole exercise seems rather strange, considering that Wolf probably could have made ten times the money impersonating Plant instead of composing music of his own and thereby competing with his idol's historic work. As difficult as Wolf's identity crisis was for rock fans to accept, it's the singer's accompaniment that really limits the appeal of Bad Image. The various attempts at '80s power ballads ("Friends," the stilted commercial hard rock "Little Wild Thing," and others) have a dramatically un-Zeppelin sound that was heavily dated years before this recording hit the streets. Wolf has a unique skill, and probably deserves a little credit for his high-register crooning, but shapeless vehicles like Bad Image failed the vocalist while he struggled for relevancy.

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