Returning to solo action after over a decade of rest and/or membership in Damn Yankees, Tommy Shaw came up with his best solo album to date with 7 Deadly Zens. Granted, that's not necessarily an earth-shaking accomplishment. While each of his albums had its moments, they were brought down by uneven songwriting and a canned AOR sound. With 7 Deadly Zens, he turned things around somewhat. While he didn't leave behind the arena rock, power ballads, and AOR crunch that made his name, he managed to refine the sound and, more importantly, turned in his best set of songs ever. There's nothing revelatory on 7 Deadly Zens -- just a sturdy set of hard rock that has effective, memorable hooks and riffs. If he does sound a little old for all this stuff, he makes up for it with his solid songs. It's a trade-off, but one that's worth making.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine