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62 of 81 people found the following review helpful
Not bad, but definitely not Rob's best
on March 29, 2006
Following the release of 2001's "Sinister Urge," Rob Zombie took a little hiatus away from music. During this five year absence, Rob made two feature films, so it was questionable if he would ever return to music, or just focus on his movie career full time. But now his fans can rejoice because Rob has finally returned with a new studio album.
"Educated Horses" keeps the b-side/horror movie samples to a minimum, so it may very well be the most focused and professional album of Rob's long and storied career. Plus, as songs like the churning "American Witch," and the rhythmic "17 Year Locust" show, Rob still knows his way around a good hook. And there are a handful of standout tracks on here. "The Scorpion Sleeps" features a catchy stop-start beat with stutter-stepping guitars; songs like "Let It All Bleed Out" and "Ride" are backed by a powerful chug and churn guitar lead; and "Death Of It All" has a beautiful acoustic guitar intro/outro and an unexpected, hooky hand-clap pattern.
But, unfortunately, "Educated Horses" has just as many drawbacks as good aspects. Firstly, there are no classics anywhere on here, and no songs that are anywhere near as good or memorable as, say, "Dragula," "Living Dead Girl," or "Never Gonna Stop." It's doubtful that any of "Educated Horses" will stick with you or bounce around your head for very long.
Next, this is doubtlessly Rob's most experimental and least heavy album. The single, "Foxy Foxy," has a syncopated beat and digitized/electronic vocals, whereas songs like the aforementioned "17 Year Locust" and "The Devil's Rejects" feature (what could be) a sitar. Experimentation isn't inherently a bad thing, but most would agree that heavy songs are catchier, more infectious, more exciting/exhilarating, and hold the listener's attention better.
Finally, the biggest flaw this C.D. has is that, like most RZ discs, "Educated Horses" is WAY too short. At a mere 11 tracks (with only nine of those being actual songs) and 39 minutes, it doesn't have time to be to wow the listener or be a satisfying step forward from "Sinister Urge." It's curious that it took Rob this long to make a C.D. that's this brief.
So, there are a few good tunes here, but, as a whole, "Educated Horses" just kind of falls flat and isn't memorable. In fact, it's probably Rob Zombie's weakest album (that he's made by himself or with White Zombie). If you're not a diehard fan who needs a complete collection, you can definitely afford to skip this one or buy it used.