A record born of obligation turns into a career-defining effort.
Justification for the validity of the album format has arrived…from New Jersey.
Before this year closes, here are some more releases we should talk about…
The cover is very pink, but don’t let that fool you…
After an 11-year hiatus, Enchant return with “The Great Divide”
Sometimes “more” equals brilliance. Sometimes more is only more.
Following the releases of new albums by David Bowie, My Bloody Valentine and Justin Timberlake, 2013 might go down as the year of the unexpected comeback (your move, Dr. Dre). For lovers of lush, harmony-laden orchestral pop, the most pleasant return may be that of Halifax, Nova Scotia’s the Heavy Blinkers, whose ten-years-in-the-making Health was finally released on July 30. Fans of the group could be forgiven for having given up thinking they’d ever hear the long-gestating follow-up to 2004’s The Night And I Are Still So Young. After all, despite occasional reports of new songs and sessions as far back as in 2005, a blog dedicated to the recording of the album (which optimistically promised that Health would “be mixed and mastered by Oct 31 2008”) had last been updated in August 2008. In fact, the group was dormant for so long that Jenn Grant, who joined the Heavy Blinkers as an unknown singer following the release of The Night… and who shares vocal duties on Health with Melanie Stone and Stewart Legere, found …
At a time when albums are teased, hyped, leaked, dissected, discarded and re-evaluated before they are even officially released, it has become increasingly rare to be able to approach one with fresh ears, no preconceptions and little baggage. Perhaps that’s why I was so pleasantly surprised last month when I came across the sounds of one mysterious Orval Carlos Sibelius just as a pair of French robots were setting the Internet ablaze with an album that seemed equal parts new music and marketing plan. Perhaps it’s also because his most recent full-length, Super Forma, offers an hour of music brimming with ideas, richly inventive arrangements and layer upon layer of ingenious hooks that demands – and rewards – multiple listens. Super Forma is French multi-instrumentalist Axel Monneau’s third release under the Sibelius moniker (the con extends to the liner notes, which are written in Portuguese) and follows a self-titled album and an EP of the kind of home-recorded folk music that suggests hundreds of hours spent listening to scratched copies of Fairport Convention or Tyrannosaurus …
Does the new AIC stand up to a nearly-two-decade legacy?
Kenny Vance and the Planotones showcase their amazing group vocal harmonies once again on their 2013 album Acapella.
Was Fandango Herb Alpert’s last great album?
Trying to listen to a classic, groundbreaking album like Rage Against the Machine with fresh ears two decades after its release can often pose a bit of a challenge. On the one hand, you probably remember the first time you heard a Tom Morello solo and wondered, “Wait – is this a keyboard? How did he do that?” To an entire generation of guitarists, that sound is as important as “Purple Haze” or “Eruption” may have been to the previous ones. Unfortunately, just like Van Halen I begat an army of melody-deficient two-hand tappers or Ten paved the way for Scott Stapp and his man-voiced acolytes, Rage Against the Machine‘s legacy includes Limp Bizkit or Papa Roach’s adolescent whining, an Ayn Rand-loving Wisconsin Representative who clearly pays no attention to lyrics and a legion of lowest-common-denominator rap-rock followers whose output still lines the dollar bins of the few used records stores left standing. Revisiting the album in 2012, it remains hard to deny the instant appeal of the fusion of Zack de la Rocha’s lazer-guided …
Dave Steed presents his top 10 metal albums of 2012.
Isis and Kylesa dip into the vaults while the insanity continues with my favorite band, Anaal Nathrakh.
“Americana” is all the rage right now, and Dennis takes a look at a few of the best releases (including the latest album from Drive By Truckers frontman Patterson Hood) to come from the genre these last few months.
Another Cavalera with metal chops, Max’s step son Richie prepares the sophomore release from Incite!
The Flip is Another Honey is less a “covers album” than “another Mike Doughty album”.
Does “III” meet electronic act Crystal Castles’ high standards?
After a lengthy break, do rock titans Soundgarden come roaring back with their new album, “King Animal?” Check out our review.
Singer/songwriter Ne-Yo’s fifth album, “R.E.D.” is another chapter in the career of one of modern pop music’s finest talents.
Aerosmith returns after a decade-long hiatus with “Music From Another Dimension.” Do the Boston bad boys still have the goods?
Damn, Christina. Why are you so damn defensive? She’s a Grammy winning bombshell with a shelf full of Grammy Awards and platinum albums. Rolling Stone named her one of the 100 greatest vocalists of all time before she turned 30. She has a cus…
Singer/songwriter Matthew Ryan delivers another outstanding album of confessional music with his latest, “In The Dusk Of Everything.” Check out our review.
It’s almost impossible for the deftones to make a bad album at this stage of their almost 20-year recorded career. However, it’s not impossible for them to continually raise the bar in heaviness with each album. On the bands seventh alb…
Reunited and it feels so good, Shiny Toy Guns are back with their third album, III. See what we have to say!
Because Macy Gray covering Stevie Wonder was *such* a good idea.
Frontier records unleashes the fantastic new solo disc from Survivor’s Jimi Jamison as well an album of obscure ’80s AOR covers by Issa!
Five songs is all it takes for one to completely fall under the spell of North Carolina’s Irata. On their latest EP, produced by Kylesa’s Phillip Cope, the duo masterfully create a sonic maelstrom of tribal beats and intricate riffs tha…
Boots Riley is just as pissed off as ever on “Sorry to Bother You”. Check out our review.