Loudness – “Hurricane Eyes” (1987)

Japan’s Loudness followed up their very strong Thunder In The East (1985) and Lightning Strikes (1986) albums with this somewhat disappointing LP in 1987.  Possibly in response to the failure of the aforementioned albums to win over the English-speaking audience, Loudness tweaked their sound for Hurricane Eyes.  With Eddie Kramer replacing Max Norman on knob duty, the resultant album suffered from colder production, and the unnecessary inclusion of keyboards.  Akira Takasaki, a phenomenal guitarist, didn’t deliver many great riffs or leads on this album, and his signature tone seemed to be absent.  I don’t want to say the record label was pushing Loudness into a more “marketable” direction, but the record company was pushing Loudness into a more marketable direction.  Except for the ultra-catchy This Lonely Heart, Hurricane Eyes was a lukewarm effort (relative to Loudness’ high standards).  My score: B-

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