"My Midnight Things"

By Theron Moore

It’s difficult to deconstruct “My Midnight Things” into a single review because of all the moving parts involved.  It’s a concept record written around “love” and it’s many way, shapes and forms it can manifest into.  Musically it’s a hybrid of power pop and commercial metal but, not to beat around the bush, it’s the best thing Lizzy Borden has ever made.  “My Midnight Things” is his career defining record that stands firm alongside “Visual Lies” and “Master of Disguise.”  I look at these three records as the mind, body and soul of that which is Lizzy Borden himself.

From a purely architectural standpoint, the song writing / song arrangement skills demonstrated on this disc are beyond phenomenal.  Every song is written in such a way that it tells a story and flows seamlessly into the next track.  Achieving continuity on a concept record is harder than you can imagine; ask Roger Waters how hard it was writing the Floyd epic, “The Wall.” 
Not surprisingly, this record exudes a strong 80’s power-pop-rock / commercial metal vibe but doesn’t feel dated, in fact, it feels relevant and ‘now.” That’s a reflection of how well-crafted the songs are, how strong the music is, and how white hot Borden’s creativity is at this stage in his career.  Think about this for a second.  How many times has Quiet Riot or Ratt or LA Guns attempted to re-invent themselves and failed?  A lot.  Bands fall back on formula and what’s worked in the past.  Borden took that notion and threw it out the window with “My Midnight Things.”  And that’s a risk.  But it paid off in dividends.

Remember, this is a concept record dealing with love themes. The phrase, “my midnight things” is spoken, whispered and otherwise mentioned in various songs throughout the record.  What the midnight things are, we’re not quite sure.  Components or facets of love, maybe?  Borden never comes out and tells us what this phrase means or refers to, and I’m glad he didn’t.  That’s for you and I to decide.  “The midnight things,” whatever they may be, could be psychological factors inside each of us, or, external metaphors, vampiric in nature, that represent something else entirely. You decide.

Every song is about love, or more aptly, a type of love – romantic, desperate, true, even psychosexual and obsessive.  It’s presented from both an interpersonal perspective as well someone on the outside looking in, possibly a voyeur who can only experience love through other people. “My Midnight Things” is Lizzy Borden peering through my skull, your skull, and re-interpreting what he sees through us. 
This is probably the most mature, well-polished, well-crafted record Lizzy Borden has ever made.  “My Midnight Things” finds a place inside your psyche and lives there.  It’s an easy, natural record to get into even if you’ve never heard Borden before.  It’s catchy, hooky, power pop / metal that does what Lizzy Borden does best – rocks your ass off.

I don’t want to sound too cliched but this record is stunning.  And rock radio will ignore it because it’s that good.  And MTV is dead and buried at a time when Borden could make so many cool, insane videos off this record that would blow you away.  Be better than corporate America and appreciate “My Midnight Things” by buying it and going to see Lizzy live.  He’s a genius.  This record is genius.  This is about as good as it gets.  Perfection?  This is it.  Ass kicking rock N roll?  This is it.  “My Midnight Things” is as good as anything Red Kross or Cheap Trick ever made themselves.  It’s that caliber of a record.