Thursday September 29

Current Album Reviews

Our take on some of the latest material from a variety of artists.

America - The Warner Bros YearsAmerica - The Warner Bros. Years - 1971-1977 (Warner) review

You’ve heard the hits - now dig a little deeper

 

View this box set on Amazon.com

America was one of the biggest bands of the early Seventies, placing six singles in the Top Ten.  Yet their albums were also successful - with their first seven studio records hitting the Top Thirty.  These have been compiled, along with their Live album, in the new America - The Warner Bros Years - 1971-1977.

 

2Ton Bridge - "Pennies on the Shore" single2Ton Bridge - “Pennies on the Shore” / “I’m a Hoot Owl” (Alexander Wright) review

 

This little appetizer is meant to whet our whistle for a 2Ton Bridge long player due sometime in 2016.  If the two songs are any indication, we’re in for quite a treat when it does come out.

 

Great music has the power to transport you through time, space, or both.  2Ton Bridge’s music isn’t necessarily tied to a particular era - the earthy instruments give off a timeless quality.  The real strength here is these songs’ ability to take you out of your current surrounding - away from the constant dinging on your phone; the tweets, likes and noise - to what’s really important - human contact.  Close your eyes and prepare to be lifted away - maybe not too far,  perhaps just to the rafters in your garage, or the woods behind the mall, but just far enough for a moment of solace.

Various Artists - Please Mr. Disc JockeyVarious Artists - Please Mr. Disc Jockey: The Atlantic Vocal Group Sound (Fantastic Voyage) review

Three discs of stone-cold classic R&B vocal glory

 

View this collection on Amazon.com

When it came to R&B vocal groups, nobody could touch Atlantic Records in the Fifties.  There was something magical about that red & black label that meant you were getting music that was a cut above the rest.  From the Clovers, the Drifters, & the Coasters, to lesser-known artists, the high points have been collected in Please Mr. Disc Jockey from the British Fantastic Voyage label.

Now That's What I Call New Wave 80'sVarious Artists - Now That's What I Call New Wave 80’s (Universal / Sony) review

Remember when MTV actually played videos?

 

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Now That’s What I Call New Wave 80’s transports us back to a time when the synthesizer was the lead instrument, crazy haircuts meant everything, and the stranger your video was, the better.  The disc brings together 18 songs from the glory days of music videos, with some surprises as well.

Doozie Brothers - The Warner Bros Years - box setThe Doobie Brothers - The Warner Bros Years: 1971-1983 (Warner) review

All nine studio albums gathered together in one place

 

View this box set on Amazon.com

 

You'd be hard pressed to name another band that changed more stylistically, yet remained successful, than the Doobie Brothers.  Over the course of twelve years, the group morphed from an acoustic-based folk rock band, to blending elements of hard rock and jazz, to finally becoming a full-blown, blue-eyed soul outfit.  All of this transformation can be heard on this new box set, The Warner Brothers Years.

Led Zeppelin - Coda (remaster)Led Zeppelin - Coda (remastered) (Atlantic) review

The band’s leftovers album gets a big shot in the arm

 

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Of all the Led Zeppelin remasters, Coda benefits the most from the bonus material, featuring not one, but TWO extra discs of unreleased tracks.  The original album came out in 1982, long after the band's demise and was meant as a clearinghouse for everything that was still left in the can.

Led Zeppelin - In Through the Out Door (remaster)Led Zeppelin - In Through the Out Door (remastered) (Atlantic) review

Their last studio album is a transitional one, yet still full of greatness

 

View this album on Amazon.com

The polar opposite of Presence, In Through the Out Door is dominated by John Paul Jones' exploration into synthesizers, and contains several of Zeppelin's catchiest songs.  It has just been reissued as part of the band’s remaster series, including an entire disc of unreleased bonus tracks.

Led Zeppelin - Presence (remastered)Led Zeppelin - Presence (remastered) (Atlantic) review

Zep’s most underrated album

 

View this album on Amazon.com

Containing no hits, Presence is probably Led Zeppelin’s least-appreciated record.  Only the ominous "Nobody's Fault But Mine" even gets played on Classic Rock radio these days.  Which means this record still sounds fresh.  Presence has just been remastered with an entire disc of bonus material.

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