Megadeth - So Far, So Good....so What!
As Mustaine had to purge the ranks of Megadeth for the sake of the band, so went with it the apparent foundation that was built on prior records. And while So Far, So Good...So What! is by no means a bad album, it is an odd regression in the band's history, less than what came before but almost representing a new birth of a band who, for my money, had their best yet to come.
"Into The Lungs Of Hell" and "Set The World Afire" start the album off in excellent fashion, with newcomer Jeff Young providing some up-to-snuff guitar work alongside Mustaine. Despite the relative unpopularity Young has had in the historic view of Megadeth, I think he did a decent enough job filling in for the one album he's featured on. The cover of the famous "Anarchy In The U.K." is nothing special, and would mark the last time a cover song would be included on an album (besides the occasional B-side and compilation). "Mary Jane" is a bit off-kilter and frantic, recalling some of the band's earlier work. "502" is interesting in that it marks early example of the sort of sampling overdubs he would favor more and more as time wore on, and is beyond that an awesome track in and of itself. "In My Darkest Hour" was always one of my favorite Megadeth songs, a bit of a tribute to Cliff Burton, who had recently died far before his time. "Liar" and "Hook In Mouth" close the album off on the same note it began, quality tracks with some excellent guitar runs.
What hurt this record more than anything was the anonymity in the backend. While Ellefson still had some moments to shine with his bass, the percussion was pretty bland and, overall, the songwriting had taken a bit of a step backwards. That this solid, unspectacular record would soon be overshadowed by one of the best metal albums ever made shouldn't cause one to avoid it. It has it's moments.
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