From the Vault...


Bret Michaels
"Custom Built"

© B*M*B Poor Boy Records

Year of Release: 2010

track listing
  • Riding Against The Wind
  • Lie To Me
  • Nothing To Lose
    (with Miley Cyrus)
  • Wasted Time
  • What I Got
  • Every Rose
    (Country Version)
    (with Brad Arnold,
    Chris Cagle,
    Mark Wills)
  • Go That Far (Club Mix)
  • Driven (Rock Mix)
  • Open Road
  • Rock'n My Country
  • Nothing To Lose
    (Bret Only Demo)
  • I'd Die For You

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    The John Tesh Project--Sax On The Beach
    Bret Michaels
    "Custom Built"

    Bret Michaels first claim to fame was being the lead singer of the 80s band, Poison. With their hard rock style, and makeup looks, you would think they were looking to be the next Kiss. Actually, their makeup was more on the feminine side, in my opinion. That being different than Kiss, and likewise their hard rock musical style, Poison didn't really achieve the superstardom as Kiss did. Yet alone, they were a popular band with hard rocking songs, such as "Talk Dirty To Me," "Nothin' But A Good Time," "Unskinny Bop." But their biggest hit would be a ballad, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," which would be the band's only #1 hit.

    Bret Michaels pursued a solo career -- His first solo album was released in 1998, A Letter From Death Row. (This album was considered a movie soundtrack.) His second album was released in 2003, Songs Of Life, followed by 2005's Freedom Of Sound. Rock My World was released in 2008. Custom Built would be his next album. At the height of this album release, he was currently in the television show The Celebrity Apprentice 3, hosted by Donald Trump. Michaels would eventually win for this season of the TV show, making actress Holly Robinson Peete the runner-up. Bret Michaels was fantastic during this season, as we watched the entire season, (being a fan of the previous two "Celebrity" seasons; I have yet to watch any of the "normal" Apprentice seasons.) The hype was on for the Custom Built release, and although I was never a huge fan of Poison, I did enjoy their music. Bret Michaels was very impressive during the Celebrity Apprentice, so I was curious to listen to his most recent solo release. After trying to locate it in various stores, they were sold out. I was fortunate to find it, at an Indiana store, Best Buy, a particular location I don't normally go to. After listening to this album for this week's review, I can honestly say, I am quite impressed.

    Comparing the music of Poison to the solo Custom Built, it is very quite different. It's more of a Southern Rock/Country/Rock atmosphere. The opening track, "Riding Against The Wind" is more southern rock. "Lie To Me" is hard rock, with it's AC/DC guitar riffs. A good southern rock/country feel has Miley Cyrus joining Bret on "Nothing To Lose" (There's a demo version of this song by Bret, by himself, and just as the duet with Miley, it's just as good.)

    Is it Rap, or "something like that" as Bret says at the beginning of "What I Got" -- but it's not Rap (whew); it's Rock. "Every Rose" (Has Its Thorn) is a country version here, as Bret gets a little help from his friends, Brad Arnold (of 3 Doors Down), Chris Cagle and Mark Wills (both are Country artists). A very good version here, and considered the best track. "Go That Far (Club Mix)" is considered the least favorite track, as it has a "Club Sound," and quite honestly, it gets a little annoying with its constant, pulsating beats. It also almost sounds like a bad version of "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)" by Dead Or Alive.

    The rest of the album are very well done, with Rock and Country sounds. "Driven (Rock Mix)" is a pretty good rock tune, "Open Road" has a more Country feel. A great rock sound (and reminds me of the later John Mellencamp) is "Rock'N My Country." Bon Jovi comes to mind on the last track, "I'd Die For You."

    If you're expecting the sound of Poison, it's not here. It's a very good assortment of Rock, Country, and Southern Rock. This album should get repeated listens, and will enjoyed more and more. Bret Michaels latest album is Jammin' With Friends, which was just released. We'll be looking more at his solo releases in future reviews.

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    Previous Review: #1367
    Next Review: #1369
    The John Tesh Project--Sax On The Beach