Tesla – Shock (Review)

Listen To The Brand New Song "Shock" From Tesla


Well, this is probably the most disappointing rock album release of the year for me .  I’m not sure who to blame the most for this mess of a release, co-writer and producer, Phil Collen (Def Leppard) or the Tesla band members for allowing it to happen..  This is as formulaic as it gets.  It’s as if Phil Collen went into the studio with the Tesla boys and used the same template from the last four Def Leppard albums as a starting point.  Now, let’s be clear….I don’t hate Def Leppard.  But if I wanted a Def Leppard album, I would have bought a Def Leppard album.  I have been a huge Tesla fan since Mechanical Resonance was released and this is by far, their worst album to date, in my opinion.  I’m not sure if Tesla was getting bored and wanted to try something new or maybe saw that Def Leppard’s formula have sold a lot of albums for them, but this is just…not the sound that I associate with Tesla.  At times, it sounds sooooo much like a Leppard clone that I can actually hear Joe Elliott singing the lyrics.

Tesla has always had a great reputation as an organic rock band that owes more to the seventies rock bands than those of the eighties.  If you’ve heard the song “Shock”, it’s one of the best songs on the album.  The gang background choruses and syrupy sweet over produced sound just does nothing for me.  There’s a heavy influence on electronic beats, pop-ish vocals and very little of the trademark Tesla sound makes it through.  It comes through in very small amounts on songs like Shock, The Mission and Tied To The Tracks, but even then,  it feels like it just managed to slip through the mix.

There’s already been some backlash by fans and some not so flattering comments by bassist Brian Wheat towards the fans who also made the connection that it sounds more like Def Leppard than it does Tesla. I really don’t like writing negative reviews. Especially when it’s about a band that I’ve enjoyed and respected for many years.  But, as a reviewer, it’s also my duty to reflect my true feelings and opinion of an album.  I hope “Shock” was just an experiment that went off the tracks and the band return to something that’s closer to their signature sound and former glory.

Sure, there will be some die-hard Tesla fans that will bash me for this review, and of course they’re entitled to their opinions as well.  But, for me, it’s similar to the change that Metallica made when they changed their sound so drastically on the Black album, with producer Bob Rock.  I’m not saying it won’t work on a commercial level, it might. But I still don’t like it.  Creativity is a great thing and helps keep a band fresh, but this was too much, too fast without some minor transitions along the way from album to album to help ease the listener into a new style. Because “Shock” is just that. It’s a shock to the listener to hear a band’s sound change so much in one leap.

Artist: Tesla
Album: Shock
Genre: Hard Rock
Label: UMe
Release Date: March 8, 2019
Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron


Track Listing:

You Won’t Take Me Alive
Taste Like
We Can Rule The World
Love Is A Fire
California Summer Song
Forever Loving You
The Mission
Tied To The Tracks
I Want Everything
Comfort Zone


Band Members:

Vocals: Jeff Keith

Guitar: Frank Hannon

Bass: Brian Wheat

Drummer: Troy Luccketta

Guitar: Dave Rude

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