The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack

Sixx A.M.

Eleven Seven Music, 2007

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


I haven't liked a Motley Crue album since Shout At The Devil. I didn't like them either time I saw them in concert. Nor do I care for Nikki Sixx's songwriting, as he relies on too many cliches.

So I'm happy to report that The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack is not only a twist on the cliche of the rock star addict who overcomes his addiction, it's got some fine music to back it up.

On Christmas Day 1996, Sixx was spending his day "Watching my holiday spirit / coagulate in a spoon." A former heroin addict, Sixx explores that theme throughout this disc, a release from his side project that features him on bass, DJ Ashba on guitar and James Michael on vocals and guitars. While Sixx makes it clear that nothing he went through is off limits, the source material for this release is diaries and scraps of paper that he wrote while addicted. This source material became an autobiography called my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 The Heroin Diaries; this release is the "soundtrack" to his book.

It doesn't really matter that his story seems hard to relate to for most of us, since it's told so compellingly. We are all human, all of us have faults, all of us have character traits we wish were not part of us. There are not a lot of clues as to the time period at stake here; other than the Christmas date mentioned, no other time is given. It's not the focal point, however.

This release sounds much slicker than anything Motley Crue has ever recorded. A children's choir on opener "X-Mas In Hell" leads to a chilling effect and the same choir shows up in the final track "Life After Death." As it turns out, the music is not that original, but it's not Motely Crue-esque either. This one works because Sixx is honest and upfront without being preachy. He describes heroin as the "Girl with Golden Eyes," where he documents how he came clean. Covering his ten days to sobriety, Sixx tells the listener how he did it:

"Day one: Dope free. . .. /
Day Two: I can't believe it's been two days without junk / . . . /
Day three: /  . . . / This withdrawal is killing me /
Day four: . . . My whole body feels like it's cracking into pieces. . . /
Day five: I'm sick as a dog / . . . /
Day six: . . ./ I'll never use heroin again / . . .
Day seven: Can't believe I'm clean /
Day eight: everyone says I look better /
Day nine: the parasites are panicking [sic] /
Day Ten: They seemed amazed that I'm alive."

At the end of his journey, and this album, Sixx is sober. He doesn't have all the answers. He ponders "Why I had to go down a dead-end street at 200 miles per hour / screaming for vengeance and embracing death / that's something I'm still trying to figure out / it's not my job to blame anybody anymore / I just need to accept the path I was given." That's the truth for all of us. Accept the path we are given and move on.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2007 Paul Hanson and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Eleven Seven Music, and is used for informational purposes only.