Extreme

III Sides to Every Story

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Extreme's brand of hard rock balanced ambitious, progressive tendencies with catchy melodies owing more to the Beatles than anthemic arena rock; on III Sides to Every Story, the former tends to dominate. The album is divided into three "sides of the story" -- roughly speaking, "Yours" concentrates on politically oriented rockers showing off Nuno Bettencourt's virtuosity; "Mine" leans toward pop songs with warmly romantic sensibilities, plus an occasional philosophical lament; and "The Truth" tries to wrap things up into a coherent whole but dissolves into indigestible prog-rock excess. Thus, the thematic material can be likened to a less focused version of Pornograffitti. The album is wildly uneven, but amidst the indulgences there are some fine songs to be found: "Rest in Peace" displays both Bettencourt's technique and melodicism as a soloist, while "Seven Sundays" continues in their occasional lounge ballad vein, and "Tragic Comic" and "Stop the World" are two more intelligent, wounded-romantic pop gems.

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