• Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Michael Monroe – Hanoi Rocks Frontman Returns with His Latest Solo Album, Blackout States!

The 1980s ended a long time ago. But nobody tell Michael Monroe that!

Monroe rose to moderate fame in the early 1980s as the frontman of Finland’s influential glam rock band, Hanoi Rocks. The group scored moderate chart success in numerous countries but not the mainstream acceptance they deserved. Even the band disbanding did not stop frontman Monroe from keeping busy in a solo career.

Blackout States marks the TENTH studio album from Monroe as a solo artist (and that, of course, does not include his work with Hanoi Rocks and other side projects and such). Monroe keeps busy, still recording and touring on a regular basis, maintaining a reputation with a loyal fanbase that never seems to let up, and is always eager to see what he releases next.


Blackout States is Michael Monroe's tenth solo studio album.
Blackout States is Michael Monroe’s tenth solo studio album.


I admit I have not followed Monroe’s career as closely as some rock and roll fans out there; I was not introduced to his work (including Hanoi Rocks) until quite a bit later than many of his followers. That said, what of his work I have heard over the past several years has been absolutely infectious and appealing, combining the best of multiple rock and pop genres. Hell, many of the Hanoi Rocks songs would be as at home on a classic hard rock radio station as on an 80s pop/new wave one! If that does not show how musically diverse and interesting Monroe is, I do not know what will.

Prior to writing this review I was aware of Monroe’s solo career, but had no idea how many releases he had done as a solo artist! How is Blackout States? Will long-time fans want to add this one to their collection?

Blackout States is the quintessential throwback album. Right from the beginning, this 13-track package is one that hearkens back to the classic Hanoi Rocks sound, combining the best of so many different rock and pop genres in the best of ways. Monroe sounds just as good as he did years ago, and shows no signs of letting up. From the slower songs to the raw, punky ones, it is a good time that never wears out its welcome. If you have ever listened to any of the old Hanoi Rocks records and enjoyed them, you will be glad to know that this record gives you a long overdue trip back in time.

Blackout States is one of the year’s unexpected rock and roll surprises, and it is great to hear the former Hanoi Rocks frontman still at the top of this game. You get the traces of the best of everything he has done in the past rolled into one in this new album, which promises to be an instant classic. Classic hard rock fans will want to add this one to their collections.



By Taylor T Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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