(You like what I did there to make the tiny, alternately colored album covers seem bigger? )
The blue album cover was the UK release and the red one was for the rest of the world.
"Couldn't Have Said It Better" is Meat Loaf's 8th studio album and one of his only albums to not feature any songs written by the brilliant Jim Steinman. Despite Steinman's lack of involvement I would venture to say that "Couldn't Have Said It Better" is Mr. Loaf's finest album released outside of the "Bat" trilogy (though upon "Hang Cool, Teddy Bear"'s release I may have to retract that statement).
Leading up to it's release Meat Loaf claimed that this album would be "the most perfect album [he] did since Bat out of Hell", which is a mighty large claim that the album of course failed to live up to. Ridiculous claim aside "Couldn't Have Said It Better" is a fine album that should have been much bigger than it was when it was released. Three singles "Did I Say That?", the titled track, and "Man Of Steel" (which were all written by musician/songwriter/producer James Michael, who was originally nervous about writing songs for Meat Loaf) were released but sold very poorly because the record company neglected to distribute singles. Despite that set back the title track reached #1 on the UK rock charts and was minor radio hit in other parts of the world with the album managing to climb to #4 on the UK charts, his largest market.
It was also during the recording of this album that James Michael and Nikki Sixx met and would later form the group Sixx A.M. together with DJ Ashba.
This song is the annual duet that is found on every Meat Loaf release and like every duet on every Meat Loaf release this is one of the strongest songs on the album. This duet partners Meat Loaf with Patti Russo who has been touring with Meat for over a decade for good reason. She rocks! This song has the huge choruses that Meat is known plus powerful guitar chords mirroring the harmonized vocals of Meat and Patti. There is also a gospel inspired choir singing backing vocals and a solid guitar solo in the middle of the song. This is a gem for any Meat Loaf fan and even I think would be a decent listen for even those who don't really care for his work.....unless you're Magic.
This is the first song I heard from this album and my favorite. It's about the regret one feels after going through with the "if you love something you must set it free" scenario with someone you love. The song starts off very softly with piano but then kickstarts into into an uptempo, piano driven rock song (There aren't nearly enough uptempo, piano driven rock songs anymore) with Meat Loaf singing perfectly in the choruses, which like most of his songs, are
my favorite parts of the song because they are SO good and just crave to be sang along with. One negative of this song though is that I don't like how it ends. It just sort of fades out abruptly at the end of the song and it just leaves me craving a more proper ending to the song.
This song slows the pace of the album down with a slow piano ballad (As if damn near everything Meat does isn't part ballad anyway). This song continues what is a lose story of the album with the lyrics being about wanting, needing, and loving someone so much but sometimes that just isn't enough.
"Love You Out Loud" restores the tempo of the first two songs on the album and has a strong chorus and while I enjoy this song it doesn't exactly have too many distinctive things about it to make it stand out on this album.
This song's intro just oozes of "Objects In The Rear View Mirror...." off of "Bat II", which I love since that's a favorite of mine in Meat's. One thing that stands out about this track is that it features co-lead vocals from Meat Loaf's daughter Pearl Aday (whom is married to Scott Ian of Anthrax) and I think she does a great job.
A brief instrument track.
"Testify" kicks off part two of the album and stands out on this album and in Meat Loaf's entire catalog because it's stylistically based around southern music with bluegrass like guitar work and a choir that is delightfully soulful.
This is one of three covers on this album (one is the hidden track) and my personal favorite of the three since it's got two scoops of awesome (not raisins). This song is the opening number to the award winning, off Broadway musical "Hedwig and the Angry Inch". Upon hearing this song the first time in it's original version from Hedwig I immediately thought "This sounds so much like a Meat Loaf song." and I suppose Meat thought so too. This is a great piano/guitar rocker that originally had a section in the middle that discussed the Berlin Wall and it's comparison to the main character Hedwig, but in Meat Loaf's version it was rewritten to be about the Alamo since Meat Loaf is originally from Texas. In this mid section it goes "Yeah, everything from Texas is big, larger than life and none bigger than little Marvin Aday. So big his daddy called him Meat Loaf. He grew into a big man, with a big voice. And he sings big songs and has big hits. You can try and tear him down." which basically sums up Meat Loaf perfectly. Also the songwriter for "Hedwig and the Angry Inch", Stephen Trask, has stated that he was largely inspired by Meat Loaf's music growing up and has said how touched he is that Meat Loaf covering this song.
8. "You'reRight, IWasWrong"
Another slow number like track three. This is a decent track but not one of the best on this album at all.
"Because of You" features some pretty cool guitar fills, a pretty decent solo, soft verses and big choruses. This is the sort of song that one should play for their sweetheart with it's namesake line "Life is beautiful because of you" being laced with the cheesy love song cheese that makes me love Meat Loaf.
This is the worst song on the album by far. It has this weird Meat Loaf meets industrial feel to it with Queen style overdubs and a riff that sounds like an ugly rip off of "Radio GaGa". This is a track that I think hurts the album more than anything. It'd be better off without it as this is by far one of the worst songs in Meat's whole catalog.
Now I'm SO sure you've all been thinking for years "When the hell is Meat Loaf going to do a Bob Dylan song?". Well fret not as your prayers have no gone unheard. The "final" track on the album is a cover of Dylan's "Forever Young" off of "Planet Waves". Now I know, a Bob Dylan song being rewritten to include the big sound and incredible bombast of Meat Loaf sounds like a disaster but don't worry your pretty little heads over it. The cover is actually good. Meat Loaf did the original version justice while reworking it in his signature way. It's worth the listen, if anything to just appease curiosity.
Hidden track. "MercuryBlues"
Two minutes of silence after the end of "Forever Young" the hidden twelfth track kicks off, a cover of K. C. Douglas' (though his is not the most well known incarnation) "Mercury Blues". A great piano/rock song that just tops off the record. The album doesn't really need this song but it's a cool number to stash away at the end.
(The video version shortened from the version on the album)