For all its self-absorption, The Wall does make for an instructive contrast with Meat Loaf's latest, which covers much the same territory but without any depth or desire to understand.
Meat Loaf doesn't write the songs, which are vague expressions of angst, insecurity, disgust and rejection, pumped up to stadium size by his usual bombast. Everything from grand celebrations of romantic solitude and failure, to inchoate bluster about the way things are going, to a baffling cover of "California Dreamin'", is put through the Meat Loaf tenderizer, subjected to chest-beating riffage and delivered in a voice at once tremulous yet megaphonic. Only occasionally, as when the guitar break in "Forty Days" gives way to a lone mandolin, is there any hint of tenderness; and there's never any attempt to fathom things out. No solution, just problem.
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