Tommy Lee

Tommy Lee has never been one for subtlety, whether with music, wives or lifestyle. His 1999 solo debut, issued under the moniker Methods of Mayhem, leapt onto the rap-rock bandwagon with both feet — with dismal results. This time, Lee is trading under his own name, and there’s a lot less b-boy tomfoolery. Instead, the former Mötley Crüe drummer opts for the latest resuscitated rock trend: the power ballad. (Hey, it worked for Dave Grohl, right?) But titling his lighter-lofting new record Never a Dull Moment, Lee’s practically begging for a critical beatdown. He’ll get it, too, especially after charting with the blunt-edged single “Hold Me Down.” Lee alternates wading-pool-deep philosophy (“Why Is It?”) with woe-is-me whining (“Blue”). Sorry, but people just don’t get choked up when centerfold-dating, suite-trashing, Porsche-crashing millionaires complain about their hard lives. When he’s not bemoaning his place in the world, Lee can’t resist turning around his baseball cap and kickin’ a few verses for the homies. Unfortunately, he’s no Eminem — hell, he’s not even Fred Durst. Lee wanders squarely into Vanilla Ice territory on an insipid cover of David Bowie’s “Fame.” (Ice took a similar stab at the tune on 1994’s Mind Blowin’.) As a tabloid topic, Lee has the right stuff. But as a soul-searching frontman, he’s about as interesting as Pam Anderson’s acting career.

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