By Michael Slezak
Updated March 06, 2007 at 09:52 PM EST

In much the same way as a trip to Taco Bell guarantees you indigestion, taking a musical journey with Meat Loaf guarantees you a whole gordita’s worth of bombast. And on that count, “The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be,” Loaf’s new duet with recent Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson (streaming here at AOL Music), doesn’t disappoint. The lyrics (“Some days I feel so numb and empty/ And those would be the good days for me”) are predictably over-the-top, the vocals start at “full-tilt wail” and eventually get amped-up to “manic shriek,” and the arrangement is like something from the first-act finale of a Disney-on-Broadway extravaganza. All of which makes it that much weirder to me that the whole number is so incredibly dull. The melody on “Future” doesn’t have the same stick-in-your-brain quality that marked Meat Loaf’s previous love-it-or-hate-it hits like “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That),” nor does it have the randy energy of “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.” I’d do anything to see J.Hud find success on the Billboard charts, but while “Future” isn’t as screamingly awful as that “we are a tree” nonsense from Dreamgirls, I am telling you, I’m not going… to be listening to this track again, either. How ’bout you, PopWatchers?

addCredit(“Meatloaf: Eamonn McCormack/; Hudson: Steve Granitz/”)