Having placed himself in a self-imposed exile, the majority of the last decade was decidedly Idol-less. Billy was off losing himself in cyberpunk culture (rather prophetic, considering The Matrix was far from view) and the excesses that defined him as one of the 80s most reckless superstars. Then there was The Wedding Singer and a reunion with guitarist Steve Stevens—the world seemed primed for a revitalized Idol. Does Devil’s Playground deliver? Quite assuredly, yes. Sure, it sounds a bit like a redux of 1985, but it also pulses along flamboyantly like a Billy Idol release should. Even the occasional silly lyric, odd placement of “Yellin’ at the Xmas Tree” and slowing down with “Plastic Jesus” and “Cherie” doesn’t derail what essentially could be the best guilty pleasure of the year. Face it, you’ve always loved Billy Idol and he’s just given you another reason why.
This review originally appeared in Glitter Gutter Trash, April 2005, Issue 196.