Finnish melodic rock/glam metal stars Reckless Love returned in 2011 with Animal Attraction, the follow-up to their acclaimed self-titled debut. Reckless Love is more or less the Finnish equivalent of Sweden’s H.E.A.T. They play a ridiculously catchy brand of `80s style “hair metal” that apparently is tearing up the charts in Europe.

With Animal Attraction, Reckless Love dials the pop crossover factor way up. There’s still a melodic rock backbone, and the hooks and vocal harmonies are as infectious as ever, but there are times when the band goes too far in the pop direction. Maybe it’s the ultra-slick production or the electronic sound the drums have, but songs like “Hot” and “Fantasy” are just one synchronized dance routine away from being a Backstreet Boys (or their 2012 equivalent) single. It reminds me a lot of Def Leppard’s Adrenalize album, which was very poppy and very successful, but is still pretty embarrassing all these years later. Maybe that makes Reckless Love a guilty pleasure?

This is a tough one to call. Animal Attraction is a totally fun album, and one that’s easy to get into. And I’m glad that there are bands like Reckless Love (and H.E.A.T, White Widdow and Houston) that are so unashamedly influenced by the kind of melodic rock I grew up loving. It feels like cotton candy though – a fluffy, pastel-colored sugar rush without any nutritional (or rock in this case) value. Hell, maybe I’m over-thinking it and should just enjoy Animal Attraction for what it is – harmless fun.

01. Animal Attraction (3:27)
02. Speedin’ (3:53)
03. Born To Break Your Heart (4:01)
04. Hot (3:22)
05. Fantasy (5:12)
06. Dirty Dreams (3:31)
07. Dance (3:28)
08. Fight (3:04)
09. Switchblade Babe (4:56)
10. On The Radio (3:37)
11. Coconuts (4:05)
12. Young N Crazy (UK Only Exclusive Bonus Track) (3:22)

Olli Herman vocals
Pepe Reckless guitar
Jalle Verne bass
Hessu Maxx drums, percussion

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