Michael Monroe ‘Not Fakin’ It’ (Lemon)
From page 90 of Classic Rock Magazine Christmas 2003
Hanoi Rocks’ recent re-formation, tour and subsequent hot reviews have meant that a whole new audience are hearing the Finnish rockers for the first time. It doesn’t take a Harvard business graduate, therefore, to suss out that now would be a good time to stick ol’ cheekbones’ back catalogue back on the shelves. Originally released in ’89, ‘Not Fakin’ It’ is a much slicker affair than the gloriously disjointed punk-sleaze mess that Hanoi created, but it manages not to suffer for it, partly due to the charismatic vocals of Monroe himself, but also because of the talent that he roped in to help him. Little Steven, Ian Hunter and fellow former Hanoi boy Nasty Suicide all weigh in with healthy contributions, with Suicide in particular giving a bit of extra zip to semi-classics like ‘Dead, Jail Or Rock ‘N’ Roll’.
Elsewhere, the MTV-focused ‘Man With No Eyes’ may have been a little too polished for many of the Hanoi faithful at the time, but in retrospect it’s a poignant little gem of a song. With new sleeve notes by our very own Ian Fortnam, ‘Not Fakin’ It’ is an essential acquisition for newcomers to the man.
★★★★ ★ Brett Callwood