Nikki Sixx needs no introduction, and anyone who has squirmed and gawped their way through “The Heroin Diaries” will fully understand that this is a man who does not do things by halves. Excess and extremes have become a way of life and synonymous with the Mötley Crüe icon.
Sixx:AM is what happens when Sixx gets together with James Michaels and DJ Ashba, a union that first happened in 2007 to record the soundtrack to “The Heroin Diaries”. Now once more, these three have joined to create another soundtrack to another Nikki Sixx bestseller; “This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography And Life Through The Distorted Lens Of Nikki Sixx”
I’ve always had an eye for the oddities in life. Even as a kid I saw the world in my own way and thought most things that were different were beautiful and magical. Even things that other people thought were horrifying and disgusting and weird. . . . People say I have a distorted lens. I think I see things as they really are.
This is what Sixx says about the book, but we are looking at the soundtrack here and with those words, we can fully appreciate the canvas that Sixx:AM is working with.
The album is a soundtrack, and as such is genre spanning, exploring and meandering, ranging from Muse-esque histrionics (“Goodbye My Friends”), guitar driven Rock (“Lies Of The Beautiful People”) and tear jerking piano led ballads (“Skin”). Sixx is the central character, his life and perceptions form the focus and the hugely catchy guitar driven opener and title track lays the foundations. It is gonna hurt; perceptions will be challenged and taboos observed. The first single from the album “Lies Of The Beautiful People” (co-written with John 5) follows suit, radio friendly rock, smothering and challenging the “beautiful people”. The perception is that beauty is a visual concept, a perception that these three challenge. It is a little bit cheesy, but it’s executed perfectly, in the opening two tracks Sixx:AM have achieved everything Marilyn Manson based his whole career on.
Musically it really is spot on, DJ Ashba’s guitarwork is flawless without being over flamboyant, the chunky opening to the epic and anthemic “Live For Ever” perfectly compliments Michaels soaring vocals. Switching track to “Sure Feels Right” we have something that would easily sit alongside Kid Rock‘s “All Summer Long”, country tinged summer feel good vibes flowing through the speakers. It represents a central message that flows through Sixx‘s work. No matter how bad things get, how low the lows are, things always work out. The album twists and turns, highs and lows sit together as “It Sure Feels Good” slips into the darkly tainted “Deadlihood” with the opening lyrics “The sun is shining, and everything’s dying”.
Switch off from the lyrics and you have a bunch of hugely impressive tunes that will bounce through your head. You will find favourites, and have those that you skip over, some will embed themselves into your psyche and you will have chorus lines running through your head for days. Sit back and really listen to this album and you have a hugely thought provoking concept in front of you. Lyrically painting pictures that represent “This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography And Life Through The Distorted Lens Of Nikki Sixx”. A book that we cannot wait to get our hands on, but for the moment this album works, and it works well…
“They don’t even know you, all they see is scars. They don’t see the angel living in your heart”.