RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Lita Ford – Living Like a Runaway


Rating: B

Lita Ford released her comeback album in 2009, titled Wicked Wonderland. She released the album with her then husband, Jim Gillette. Lita and Jim have since divorced over allegations of abuse. It turns out the industrial rock sound of Wicked Wonderland was more about Jim wanting to cash in on Lita’s fame then it was about actually being a new Lita Ford album.

To correct that problem, Lita has released Living Like a Runaway. The album is a return to her hard rocking style that made her famous in the 1980’s. The album was written and produced by Lita and guitarist extraordinaire Gary Hoey. Ford admits this album is a return to form, “Gary Hoey and I wanted to approach this record by getting back to basics. We want to strip away all the electronics and plug-ins and keep it to vocals, guitar, bass, and drums. Going back to basics is going back to what punk, metal and The Runaways was for me."

Gary and Lita prove to be a winning combination, as the album is the best thing Lita Ford has released since 1990’s Stiletto.

The lyrical themes on the album often refer to her gut wrenching divorce from her husband and the pain she feels being away from her children. That may sound like the album is a downer but the opposite is the true. The music is full of riffs and solos and Ford’s vocals sound as crisp and clear as on her debut album.

The album starts with “Branded” as a hard rocking riff blasts the songs along while Lita recounts her dysfunctional relationship. The best tune on the album is the autobiographical “Living Like a Runaway.” If this was 1985 this would be a Top 10 single. “Hate” would be a wonderful Alice Cooper track. “Mask,” “Relentless,” “Asylum” and “Love 2 Hate U” are all great rock songs, as well.

Look, Lita is not reinventing the wheel here, but the music is really good. The songs each have an identity and an emotional attachment to them. The song “Mother” is a message to her children that is very bittersweet as she lays her soul open on the song.

The album contains a punky rock song written by Nikki Sixx titled “Music to Slit Your Wrist Too” and two bonus tracks, one co-written by Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich titled “Bad Neighborhood” an the other a perfectly remade hard rock version of the Elton John classic “The Bitch is Back.”

The bitch is back, indeed, but she is older, wiser and willing to lay it on the line as she resurrects her career.

This one is worth checking out.

By Jeb Wright