released July 6th, 2010

from the album - Riding Against The Wind

from all music

With his glammed-up good looks and commercial songwriting skills, Bret Michaels became one of rock & roll's most recognizable frontmen during the 1980s. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Bret Michael Sychak migrated west in 1984, trading the blue-collar ambience of his native Pennsylvania for the seedy gloss of Los Angeles. Along with his three bandmates in Poison — guitarist C.C. DeVille, bassist Bobby Dall, and drummer Rikki Rockett — Michaels became an integral part of the popular hair metal scene, mixing feel-good party anthems and sensitive ballads into some of the decade's top-selling singles. Poison's popularity took a hit in the '90s, however, when the advent of grunge music (not to mention the group's unstable lineup) resulted in sluggish sales. Poison continued to record sporadically, but Bret Michaels also took time to focus on other projects, eventually launching a film company with actor Charlie Sheen. He also made his solo debut in 1998 with Letter from Death Row, the soundtrack to a movie that Michaels wrote, directed, and co-produced with Sheen. Poison reconvened the following year, and Michaels balanced his continued frontman duties with his growing singer/songwriter career, releasing the solo efforts Songs of Life and Freedom of Sound during the first half of the 2000s. He also participated in the 2005 season of Nashville Star, and later returned to reality TV with his own dating competition series, Rock of Love with Bret Michaels. The show ran for two seasons and was followed by 2008's Rock My World compilation, which also featured several new tracks.

album review

As the reigning rock & roll survivor in 2010, weathering everything from dating shows to a brain hemorrhage, winning Celebrity Apprentice along the way, Bret Michaels was in need of new product for the marketplace, so he served up Custom Built in the summer of 2010. Like its 2008 predecessor, Rock My World, and 2005’s Freedom of Sound before that, Custom Built is odds-and-ends masquerading as a new album, rounding up brand-new cuts and leftovers from Michaels’ unheralded pre-Rock of Love 2000s. There are three songs from Freedom of Sound — four, if the new rock mix of “Driven” is counted — adding a remix of the Rock Of Love theme “Got That Far,” and closing with a cut plucked from 1998’s A Letter from Death Row. That leaves “Riding Against the Wind,” which is the theme for the new reality TV series Bret Michaels: Life as I Know It and seems like it could also serve as theme for one of Discovery’s sub-Deadliest Catch series, a silly cover of Sublime’s “What I Got,” the turgid country of “Wasted Time,” the overheated Sunset Strip sleaze of “Lie to Me,” and “Nothing to Lose” as the brand new cuts here. The latter is the emphasis cut, showcased in two versions, one solo the other a quite memorable duet with Miley Cyrus, who seems to be singing along with the song for the first time in her bedroom, repeating the last word Bret sings or moaning tunelessly. Miley’s presence can hardly be called a sell-out for the rocker — anybody prepping for his third or fourth reality TV show sold out long ago — but rather a signal of how Custom Built attempts to serve everyone of Michaels’

Track Listing

1 Riding Against the Wind 3:42
2 Lie To Me 3:07
3 Nothing to Lose 3:55
4 Wasted Time 3:45
5 What I Got Gaugh, Nowell, Roberts, Wilson 3:26
6 Every Rose 4:21
7 Go That Far 3:34
8 Driven 2:59
9 Open Road 3:57
10 Rock 'N My Country 2:50
11 Nothing to Lose 3:43
12 I'd Die for You 3:21