Meat Loaf

Live Around the World

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Deliberately theatrical, over the top and overblown, Meat Loaf's unapologetically '70s-sounding arena rock is exactly the type of music rock critics love to loathe. But what separates Meat Loaf's music from so much corporate rock is the amount of conviction he brings to it. Live Around the World may be campy, but it's an honest campiness -- never does this live two-CD set come across as contrived or formulaic. When Meat Loaf rips into "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," "Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through," "Bat Out of Hell" and other odes to the suburban adolescent experience, his sincerity is hard to miss. Even so, the package is unlikely to change anyone's mind -- Meat Loaf lovers will find much to admire, his detractors much to lash out at.

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