6.5 out of 10
Let me say I am probably one of the few people that was really excited at the prospect of a new Lizzy Borden record. Visual Lies & Master of Disguise are genre classics while 2000’s Deal With the Devil and 2007’s Appointment with Death were both strong outings. When I heard Lizzy was back after a 11 year absence with My Midnight Things I couldn’t wait to listen.
Much like his previous records, My Midnight Things is a conceptual record, this time each song is a tale about the sometimes dark side of love. The record opens with the title track, a slice of classic Lizzy with his trademark layered vocals that haven’t lost anything, a big, sing along chorus sets up high hopes for the record. “Obsessed With You” again follows traditional Lizzy format with a more modern sound that leads into one of the album highlights “Long May They Haunt Us”. This song is exactly what you want from Lizzy in 2018. It evolves the theme of the record into past loves that are now gone. “Midnight things” is a recurring phrase throughout the record, almost too many times, reminding us that love and obsession can be pretty dark.
Unfortunately, after “Long May the Haunt Us” the record begins to slide down hill. Ranging from just dull, “Scars Across My Heart”, to forgetful, “Our Love is God”. One of the hallmarks of a great Lizzy Borden record is a killer last track (see “Visions” and “We Got the Power” from Visual Lies & Master of Disguise). The last track here, not counting a reprise, “We Belong To The Shadows” goes nowhere lyrically and never reaches the climax that past efforts brought us to.
The ending does feature two “reprise” versions of the best songs, “My Midnight Things” and “Long May They Haunt Us”. Both alternate versions are good, but ultimately not needed. On a more head-scratching note is the weird, piano-based cover of “Silent Night”. No idea why it was included here. The same can be said for a rerecording of the classic “Waiting In The Wings”. The original on Visual Lies is amazing, not sure why he felt we needed another version.
One thing this record lacks in comparison with classic Lizzy Borden is the band. Joey Scott is back on drums as he has been on every Lizzy release, but Lizzy himself plays all guitar, bass and keyboards. Lizzy records have always had a great guitar player, from Alex Nelson to Joe Holmes to Ira Black, the musical foil to Lizzy’s voice and lyrics is definitely missing here. There are a few great songs, but not a great record. Hopefully it won’t be another eleven years before we hear another Lizzy Borden record.