How is it that a rock star who looks like John Candy and calls himself Meat Loaf can seem so humorless in song? Maybe it's grim work being colossal. Huge emotions. Epic guitars. Background vocals handled by whole squadrons of wailing women. With one or two exceptions—Phil Rizzuto doing the play-by-play during the middle of the singer's classic "Paradise by the Dashboard Light"—there's usually not much room for whimsy in Meat Loaf's fare.
His fans will be pleased to find that this album runs true to form. "Where the Rubber Meets the Road" delivers the sort of mock-apocalyptic rock one expects, and his delirious duet with Patti Russo, "I'd Lie for You (And That's the Truth)," will mesh nicely in his repertoire with the 1993 Grammy-winning "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)." The faithful will feel right at home in this Neighborhood. (MCA)