All posts tagged: CD Reviews


ALBUM REVIEW: The Heavy Blinkers, “Health”

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 …


Album Review: Orval Carlos Sibelius, “Super Forma”

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 …


CD Review: Rage Against the Machine, “Rage Against the Machine XX (20th Anniversary Box)”

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 …