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Motorhead - "The World Is Yours" (CD)

Motorhead - "The World Is Yours" CD cover image

"The World Is Yours" track listing:

1. Born To Lose
2. I Know How To Die
3. Get Back In Line
4. Devils In My Head
5. Rock 'n' Roll Music
6. Waiting For The Snake
7. Brotherhood of Man
8. Outlaw
9. I Know What You Need
10. Bye Bye Bitch Bye Bye

Reviewed by on March 13, 2011

"Phil Campbell not only played through the pain of losing his father; he delivered what is arguably his best performance in the 27 years he's been slinging his ax with Motorhead."

With all of the attention — including a most excellent full-length documentary film — being lavished on Motorhead mainman Lemmy Kilmister, it can't help but come as a bit of a surprise that so many of the best moments on the band's latest album, "The World Is Yours," come flying off the fretboard of guitarist Phil Campbell. That fact is even more impressive when one considers the circumstances in which the album was recorded.

Campbell's playing on the album is dedicated to his father, Jack Campbell, who died during its production. In order for Campbell to be near his father, he recorded guitar parts in a studio in Wales while Lemmy and longtime drummer Mikkey Dee completed their parts in Los Angeles. Under the circumstances, it would be forgivable by even the most ardent fan if Campbell delivered a performance that felt phoned-in. His performance here is anything but. Phil Campbell not only played through the pain of losing his father; he delivered what is arguably his best performance in the 27 years he's been slinging his ax with Motorhead.

Campbell's solos are stronger than they've ever been, with those on "I Know How To Die" and "Get Back In Line" especially standing out. Even the album's most filler-ish tracks — especially the rock-as-religion boogie "Rock 'N' Roll Music" — are livened up by Campbell's solos, which blend the speed of his predecessor "Fast" Eddie Clarke with the sheer joy of Angus Young.

That's not to say that Kilmister and Dee are left completely in the dust. Dee's drumming on "Born To Lose" and "Outlaw" is nothing short of phenomenal.

Those who appreciate the poetry of a great Lemmy lyric will mostly be pleased with this offering. Whether it's the observation that "All things come to he who waits, but these days most things suck" on "Get Back In Line," or that "We are worse than animals" in the slow, dark "Brotherhood Of Man," when he's firing on all cylinders, there isn't a better lyricist in metal than Lemmy. That said, "Rock 'N' Roll Music," with its "rock as the only true religion" message treads overly familiar territory, with Lemmy even relying on some of his lyrical cliches (making the "blind to see" and the "lame to walk").

On the other hand, Lemmy's bass playing takes more of a center-stage role than it has on the last couple releases — especially 2008's "Motorizer." Check out the bass-and-guitar duel on "Brotherhood Of Man" and the way Lemmy's bass line dances through "Get Back In Line."

As with all of the band's albums since "Inferno," Cameron Webb's in the producer's chair, and he does an excellent job, creating a warmth of sound that benefits the album's lean toward the punk rock side of the Motorhead equation.

As is true with all Motorhead albums, on "The World Is Yours," you're dealing with a refinement of one particular kind of sound rather than any leaps into unknown territory. That said, especially when it comes to Phil Campbell's guitars, the band hasn't sounded this good since at least 2005's "Inferno."

Highs: "Brotherhood Of Man," "Get Back In Line" and "Outlaw"

Lows: Some weak lyrics mar "Rock 'N' Roll Music"

Bottom line: It's the patented Motorhead blend of speed-fueled punk and metal, livened up with a best-ever performance by Phil Campbell on guitar.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)