David Hasselhoff – “Open Your Eyes” (Cleopatra Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Well, I never thought I’d be reviewing an album from ‘The Hoff’! Famed the world over for “Baywatch” as well as other cult TV shows like “Knight Rider” and movies like “Dodgeball”, not to mentions roles on Broadway, few may not know the megastar’s singing career, especially his 1989 chart topping single ‘Looking For Freedom’ that became a rallying cry for a reunited Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall! Now, keen to echo the ‘…discomfort felt everywhere by today’s media-saturated, politically marginalized population..’ he’s collaborated with a diverse array of artists ranging from industrial wild child Al Jourgensen of Ministry, major film composer Tyler Bates (“Guardians Of The Galaxy”, “John Wick” franchise), country legend Charlie Daniels, Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame nominee Todd Rundgren, ‘80s new wave icons A Flock Of Seagulls and many more on an album (and soon following tour) coinciding with the 30th anniversary fall of the Berlin Wall. With a choice of songs as widely ranging from The Lords Of The New Church to David Bowie to Whitesnake to The Archies, Hasselhoff as done a pretty respectable job on these renditions, working with renowned musicians to bring out the best in his voice as well as boldly going beyond in some cases like the Al Jourgensen electro’d version of Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’! On ‘Heroes’ he and Tyler Bates maintain Bowie’s original vocal inspiration, but offer more stylish guitar and when Hasselhoff switches halfway into German lyrics, you know he’s onto a winner. Featuring Traci Guns (LA Guns) on ‘Here I Go Again’, Hasselhoff sensibly opts not to challenge the lion roar of David Coverdale, but instead intelligently heads into a light but rocking version that still has plenty of balls but equally lots of rock n roll to make this still a banger. Bringing in two country greats taking on Glenn Campbell’s ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ and working with Charlie Daniels, Hasselhoff keeps the stirring passion of the original while adding his own deep tones with synths in place of the original cellos – well, it works thanks to the magic of ‘The Hoff’! Beyond its social intention “Open Your Eyes” does exactly that in more ways than one….