Ratt's fifth album, Detonator, finds the band breaking a long running relationship with producer Beau Hill, who helped develop the band's sonic trademarks through the '80s. The results on Detonator are clean and focused, but lack some of the live-sounding energy of the band's earlier work. What's more, the presence of hit makers like Desmond Child and Jon Bon Jovi suggests that the band has lost some confidence in its abilities to write songs -- and ironically, Detonator was the first Ratt album not to achieve platinum sales. Still, there are some strong moments here, including the crushing, detuned guitar riff of "Shame Shame Shame" and swaggering "All or Nothing," which (along with the rest of the album) spotlight the considerable skills of guitarist Warren DiMartini. The lyrics, as usual, are dumb. Detonator, released on the eve of the grunge explosion of the early '90s, would represent the end of Ratt's golden era.
by Andy Hinds