Current Album Reviews
Our take on some of the latest material from a variety of artists.
George Thorogood & the Destroyers
Move it on Over (Rounder / Concord) review
Finally, back in print...classic Thorogood
In 1977, while the world was in the throes of Seventies Excess, a little-known trio from Delaware released their debut on the small folk/blues label Rounder. It was unapologetic roots rock played with reckless abandon - the same approach which brought the Rolling Stones to prominence 15 years earlier. Eventually these records would be hailed as classics. Finally, they’re back in print.
Ben Folds Five - Live (Ima Vee Pee / Sony) review
The reunited trio captured in concert all around the world
Face it. The majority of “live” albums aren’t really LIVE - they’ve been fixed in some way. That’s why they sound so perfect. We’ve grown so accustomed to this that when something comes along that isn’t pristine, we’re shocked. If Live, the first concert album from the regrouped Ben Folds Five, isn’t live, you could’ve fooled me. It’s an bones-and-all look at the band’s recent worldwide trek.
Various Artists - Los Nuggetz: 60’s Garage & Psych From Latin America (Rock Beat Records)
4-disc set of raw Sixties rock n’ roll - with Spanish lyrics!
We have the Beatles to thank for the Garage Rock boom of the mid-Sixties. The four lads from Liverpool were a band, not merely a cute singer backed by professional musicians. And, they wrote their own material. Suddenly, success seemed within reach; at least it was a lot closer than before.
Delbert & Glen - Blind, Crippled & Crazy (New West) review
Getting old never sounded this good
Delbert McClinton and Glen Clark have teamed up again after a short, 40-year hiatus, for one of the finest roots rock albums of 2013, Blind, Crippled & Crazy (New West Records). The record is full of self-deprecating humor - the kind that only comes from those who have lived a lot, and learned very little from it.
ZZ Top - The Complete Studio Albums 1970-1990 (Rhino / Warner Bros) The Big Cahuna from the “Little ‘Ol Band from Texas.” Featuring the original mixes, many for the first time on CD.
The story of ZZ Top is one of the wildest in all of music: how an unassuming trio from Texas, steeped in blues and sounds from the Southern border, became one of the biggest bands of the 1980’s with their unique brand of electronic boogie. The Complete Studio Albums 1970-1990 chronicles their slow rise to fame, with a hefty dose of surprises along the way. All ten albums from their peak years are here - many available in their original mixes for the first time on CD.
Big Star - Nothing Can Hurt Me (Omnivore Recordings) review
I Never Travel Far - Without a Little Big Star
Despite their name, and a glutton of radio-ready songs, Big Star achieved neither fame nor fortune during their brief history. Their stupefying lack of success and subsequent critical acclaim is the subject of a new documentary coming later in the summer. In the meantime, Nothing Can Hurt Me is so much more than just the accompanying soundtrack. In fact, it stands as a very important addition to the band’s small catalog, managing to act both as their first-ever career retrospective, and a treasure trove rarities’ collection for devoted fans. As a result, it makes this disc quite indispensable.
Paul McCartney & Wings - Wings Over America (remaster) (MPL/Starbucks/Concord) review
The remaster McCartney fans have been clamoring for
For whatever reason, Wings Over America has been the black sheep of the Paul McCartney catalog. Put on CD way back in the late Eighties, that version was muddy, lacking any high or low end. When his entire output got overhauled in the Nineties, Wings Over America was sadly passed over. Now, Concord has finally given it the remastering it deserves. And, the new version doesn’t disappoint. The bass is deeper and, finally there’s the crispness that we’ve been missing in the high end.
Linda Valori - Days Like This (LeArt World Music) review
The best blues album we’ve heard all year - and it comes from, of all places, Italy!
She didn’t grow up in America, and English isn’t even her first language, but man, can Linda Valori sing the blues. Her new album, Days Like This, is one of those perfect storms - where fantastic singing meets killer accompaniment. It surprised us - and it will surprise you.
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