Current Album Reviews
Our take on some of the latest material from a variety of artists.
The Doobie Brothers - The Warner Bros Years: 1971-1983 (Warner) review
All nine studio albums gathered together in one place
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 (remastered) (Atlantic) review
The band’s leftovers album gets a big shot in the arm
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 (remastered) (Atlantic) review
Their last studio album is a transitional one, yet still full of greatness
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) (Atlantic) review
Zep’s most underrated album
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.
Jessy J - My One & Only One (Shanachie Entertainment) review
My One & Only One is hands-down the best album of Jessy J’s career. While the saxophonist is known for stretching the boundaries of Smooth Jazz to include Latin and Pop-infused elements, it’s not always made for a cohesive listening experience. Here, with her fifth record, the blend is perfect. The end result is an album that works great as both chill-out music and the soundtrack to your next party.
Jeff Healey - The Best of the Stony Plain Years (Stony Plain) review
The alter-ego of the blues rock legend
Jeff Healey is best known for his Top Five surprise 1989 hit, “Angel Eyes.” Although an incredibly gifted blues-rock guitarist, he found the genre too constraining, and in the early 2000’s, began recording traditional jazz & blues records - even picking up a new instrument in the trumpet. While many artists have tried similar paths, these excursions usually end up as momentary sidesteps, where Healey was all in.
Robin Gibb - Saved By the Bell - The Collected Works of Robin Gibb 1968-1970 (Rhino / Reprise) review
“I’m a dreamer and my hobby is writing”
Robin Gibb stated the above quote during a BBC interview conducted during his brief separation from the Bee Gees, which is covered in a new, three-disc set, Saved By the Bell. Gibb possessed one of the most unique voices in all of popular music. Capable of intense emotion, he took centerstage on Bee Gees’ hits like “I Started a Joke,” and “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart.” Yet this set shows an artist bursting with ideas - an incredible watershed of singular creativity. He released one solo album, recorded music for a second, and wrote songs for a third, all in a span of about twelve months.
Thelonious Monk - The Complete Riverside Recordings (Riverside) review
Grammy-award winning box set is finally available again
Few artists recorded a body of work for one label as important as Thelonious Monk did during his tenure at Riverside Records from 1955-1961. During this period, he went from relative unknown to jazz superstar under the tutelage of label founder Orrin Keepnews. The Complete Riverside Recordings was originally released back in 1986 on 22 LP’s and 15 CD’s. Garnering several Grammy’s, it’s now finally back in print in both disc and mp3 form.
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