Various Artists

Love Rocks [EMI]

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There are three main possible formulas one can follow with success when composing a power ballad: there is the narrative focusing on the forlorn, angst-ridden lover who has been done wrong, a pledge for everlasting love, or the celebration of a rekindled/brand new love. Usually anything that doesn't fall in between those three options falls by the wayside as a limp piece of filler. Love Rocks is a perfect example of a collection that, while wildly erratic in its curating and sequencing, focuses on the softer side of rock and even wanders into adult contemporary territory one too many times. The cover art is highly misleading, as very few people in this day and age would wear spiked bracelets and hold up lighters at a Donny Osmond, Blessid Union of Souls or Richard Marx concert, but those moments that do hold up (Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" and Slaughter's "Fly to the Angels" being the lead candidates) have earned the right to be called power ballads in every sense of the word. There are far better collections on this theme available, and it's best to seek those out unless you are left with no other bargain-bin alternatives

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