Nikki Sixx has turned Sixx: AM into audio accompaniment for his various book projects, first bringing them together to promote his 2006 memoir The Heroin Diaries and now reviving the group for his 2011 photo essay This Is Gonna Hurt. Sixx dips into autobiography on This Is Gonna Hurt, but the book is anchored in spooky black & white photos he’s taken and the music on Sixx: AM’s accompanying album of the same name intends to provide a twisted aural journey inspired by Sixx’s photographs. Thing is, the 11 songs on This Is Gonna Hurt contain very little pain. There are some stylized excursions into streamlined L.A. goth, but for the most part this is anthemic arena rock that would feel right at home in the mouth of American Idol runner-up Chris Daughtry. It’s a record that attempts to have it both ways: it flirts with pain but it’s gussied up for the widest audience possible, which is odd because there’s absolutely nothing about this project, from its theme to its sound, that would appeal to somebody who wasn’t already a Nikki Sixx diehard.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine