Ted Nugent

If You Can't Lick 'Em...Lick 'Em

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Ted Nugent's final album of the '80s is one of his strongest of the decade, although that isn't saying much. A reunion with producer Tom Werman, it's evident that Nugent had a particular sound in mind when he stepped into the studio. If the album's style marks a return to the classic compact Nugent guitar sound, the songs leave much to be desired. Recorded and mixed at Conway Studios in L.A., Lick 'Em suffers from a lack of consistent material, amplified by the fact that Nugent sings each and every song on the record -- making it sound completely one-dimensional. In an effort to garner FM airplay, the Nuge collaborates with Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora on "That's the Story of Love." Sadly, the track sounds like a bad Kiss outtake. The "Little Wing"-inspired "Spread Your Wings" never takes flight either, and the ridiculously titled "The Harder They Come (The Harder I Get)" is anything but hard or cutting-edge. Once again, hiring the best studio dogs that money can buy, like stellar drummer Pat Torpey or knack engineer John Purdell, hardly helps save Nugent from himself.

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