Billy Idol 'Kings & Queens of the Underground' Album Review

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Billy Idol has been gone from the music scene for a long time -- seemingly (but not technically) since the early 1990s.

Now, the "White Wedding" singer is back with "Kings & Queens of the Underground," his first new album in nearly a decade.

The record is his first since 2006's "Happy Holidays," a Christmas-themed album filled with mostly traditional numbers like 'Frosty the Snowman' and 'Silent Night.' The year before, he released 'The Devil's Playground,' his first album of new music since 1993?s much-maligned 'Cyberpunk.'

"Kings and Queens" isn't awful, but it sounds immediately dated, like Idol found the songs left over from a mid-1980's recording session. Lead single "Can't Break Me Down," is mean to be an anthem, but it's a little limp.

It's a very poppy song though Idol's biggest hits were rocking pop. This one isn't quite catchy enough and Idol's snarl has been muted.

Lead track "Bitter Pill," sounds like an outcast from a British pop band strained through Poison. It's not terrible, but it sounds like too many producers were involved.

That's a problem across the whole record. It often feels like an album by committee where Idol is not allowed to sound like himself.

"Save Me Now," is just bizarre. It's closer to a an 80s synth band than it is to the faux rock Idol made famous. It, like much of the album, leaves little impression.

An exception is "One Breath Away," which doesn't rock, but it has a nice tempo and Idol seems to be feeling it.

Overall, the album is a disappointment, There's no comeback single here and really nothing to make a new fan look up Idol's older albums or remind an old fan what they liked about the artist in the first place.