STRYPER "7 Weeks: Live in America"
by Doro Jett
1 Sacrificial Lamb out of 10
It doesn't even look like this cover was Photoshopped. It looks like someone jizzed out a handful of flames from a Paint Shop Pro tube and called it art. I'm not sure I've ever seen a more boring cover. Unless, of course, it was the Beatles' White Album. But at least that was ironic and fun. This just sucks.
2 Broken Commandments out of 10
The inlay of this CD is yet another example of "Oh, I just got Paint Shop Pro, let me make this look artistic" that only succeeds in looking like shit. A grayscale picture of the boys praying (I guess, their heads were down...maybe in shame because they felt guilty about foisting this off on their 7 remaining fans) with a watercolor effect that doesn't make them look indie or edgy--it just looks dumb. The rest of the booklet is less-annoying--the usual grayscale tour collage with a list of locations played (cities, anyway--they aren't admitting how small the venues were) and a full page of thanks. Completely forgettable.
Souls Saved out of 10
Live albums are dicey to begin with, especially when you're a band that made its reputation on being nonthreatening and glossy. Michael Sweet sounds out of tune on a couple of the tracks, and I guess since they're all now married and can ADMIT to getting regular sex, the harmonies aren't pitched near as high. Then again, I found it hilarious that they would mix it so that the polite applause (and I'm not talking hard-core rock and roll screams, just CLAPPING) was louder than the guitar solos. It sounds like it was recorded underwater, and I really wanna know which crackhead thought it would be a good idea to put "Winter Wonderland" on there? I mean, I can see "Closing Prayer"... even if I skip right over it.... but "Winter Wonderland"? I don't CARE that they did an EP with it--it did NOT need to waste more space on this CD.
Comments: Stryper were way too slick to ever need a live album, especially now, 12 years since they disbanded. I guess this is a nice souvenir for all 7 Stryper fans that might still be around, but it loses some of the fun when you can't see the hairspray disasters strutting around like a bunch of gay bumblebees. I remember them as being good live, but that could just be because I was young and dumb and full of booze at the time.