Listening to it now (I know I'm late)...
Some starter notes, that have no doubt been mentioned here already, but I didn't read through the whole thread:
-Production is overdone. I don't know why, when Tobias Lindell had done such a masterful job mixing their last few records, he would do this?
-I've always liked H.E.A.T better with Kenny than with Erik. Not because I think Kenny is a better singer by any stretch (though I do think Kenny's voice is underrated when comparisons of the two inevitably arise), but for the same reason I prefer Danger Danger with Ted Poley to Paul Laine. Kenny's voice is, to me, part of the sound of H.E.A.T and I felt like it was missing the longer Erik was the vocalist with the band, even though 3/4 of the records they did with him were phenomenal.
-For the first time, I feel like H.E.A.T doesn't know where they're going. On previous records, there was a distinct direction they were clearly striving for -- the original self-titled album and Freedom Rock were clearly products of their influences and the albums that followed with Erik Gronwall showed the growth and maturity of their playing, songwriting and the budding production skills of Jonah Tee. But I can't figure out if Force Majeure is meant to be a step forward or a step back. I wouldn't go so far as to say that any of the songs are bad, but there's not a single banger present here, as far as I'm concerned, which I was not expecting.
-I also feel like this is the first time you can really hear Eric Rivers's absence since he left the band after Tearing Down the Walls. Into the Great Unknown being an anomaly altogether guitar wise and H.E.A.T II being a phenomenal return to the stage for Dave Dalone, Force Majeure is the first time I've really thought to myself, "Man, there could really be another guitar track here," which might be why they felt the need to compensate with the over-the-top production?
All in all, is it bad? No, I wouldn't go that far. But as far as H.E.A.T albums go, it falls extremely short of the ridiculously high standard they've set for themselves over the course of their career.
But hey, it's better than Into the Great Unknown.
As a few others mentioned, musically it isn't too far off from their early material, but the song itself doesn't do much for me unfortunately. In watching the video it looks like they've got a new drummer.
White Lion's Big Game was a massive letdown after Pride but over the years it's grown on me.
Cinderella's Heartbreak Station was always way too bluesy and too far removed from the debut but again the quality of the songs sunk in after about 15 years.
Spread Eagle's Open To The Public was a bit of a letdown compared to the debut but there's enough strong stuff on it once it gets under your skin to enjoy it.
Whitesnake's Slip of the Tongue was another real letdown post 1987. Vai didn't do the songs any favours but again there's a pretty good collection of songs once I got over my disappointment.
Anything by Harem Scarem after the debut. Still there best for me by a long shot but heaps of solid albums in the mix.
Shotgun Messiahs 3rd industrial album. On first listen wtf but songs are fkn awesome. Same goes with Wasp's KFD.
I've mentioned it before, but I wasn't in love with either Roxx Gang's 'Things you've never done before' or Vain's 'No Respect' when I first heard them. That was in the early stages, though. Vain's in one of my top 10 albums and I love the Roxx Gang one too, so things certainly changed.
Neither are exactly my favourite albums ever, but Cinderella's 'Heartbreak station' and Warrant's 'Ultraphobic' both took a long while for me to come around on. I actually returned the Cinderella CD when I bought that one, and only re-purchased it second hand many years later. Still don't love it, but dislike it less, lol.
To answer Karpetface's question, not to the degree of hatred, but back in the day when all I ever had were CDs and cassettes and once they were bought they were bought, I tended to give everything a lot more chances than I would today, where music consumption is the polar opposite. When I only had dozens, or up until it was a couple of hundred albums... the time to give something a chance again seemed to come around a lot more often than these days, when there's a million songs to choose from all the time.
Now also the official video is out, recorded live in front of large crowd in California. This song seems to be a real grower. Was actually a bit disappointed after first 2 listens. But still played it few more times. And then it happened - when I was doing other things, without music, parts of song started playing in my head ;-).
not quite is accordance with the thread, but I saw Vain support Skid Row back in the day and really didn't like them, then years later actually discovered that I liked the debut - it was after Enough Rope was released and I worked backwards.
Also I returned the John Kilzer Memory in the Making cd, but came to love the album but still don't own the cd