With the opening cut "Super Overdrive," Billy Idol declares himself primed for one more go-around.
With the opening cut "Super Overdrive," Billy Idol declares himself primed for one more go-around. His first studio album in a decade could be the last chance for this aging punk to stand with contemporary acts, reclaim some of his early-1980s spotlight or even the notoriety of his Generation X days. Thankfully, nothing here dips to the low of the 1993 reinvention attempt "Cyberpunk." Instead, "Devil's Playground" attempts to balance his trademark amped, anthem-esque rock with newer tricks. While less successful aping Nirvana's soft verse/howling chorus on "Rat Race" and "Scream," Idol sounds on par with the pop punk riding the charts on "World Comin' Down." And the acoustic, hand-clap love ode "Cherie" is surprisingly heartwarming and fun. Unfortunately, "Evil Eye" is dated cheese, "Body Snatcher" pure hair metal, the country-esque "Lady Do or Die" head-scratching and "Yellin' at the Christmas Tree" at best a silly novelty, making the album an uneven and ultimately unsatisfying return.—BAJ