Current Album Reviews
Our take on some of the latest material from a variety of artists.
Beatles - New Mono LP’s - a side-by-side comparison
Recently, Capitol Records rolled out The Beatles in Mono Vinyl Box Set, a 14-record collection containing the ten albums the Beatles originally mixed in mono, plus a 3-LP Mono Masters set, which collects all the mono singles. I’ve compared one new LP with both a vintage mono copy, and the recent mono CD version.
I own both the Stereo and Mono CD box sets, plus all the original US LP’s, so I decided against purchasing the entire new vinyl box (haven’t I given them enough money already?). However, the new mono LP’s are also available individually, so I purchased a copy of Revolver and decided to compare it.
TV Eyes - TV Eyes (Omnivore Recordings) review
Supergroup New Wave homage gets it’s first US release
The world should’ve tuned in. TV Eyes was a short-lived alternative supergroup featuring Jason Falkner & Roger Manning, who both spent time in Jellyfish, and Brian Reitzell of Redd Kross. All three members have made careers out of breathing new life into classic styles of music, so TV Eyes made sense. Grabbing their name from an Iggy & the Stooges classic, the band aped the sound of the late Seventies / early Eighties punk/New Wave movement, before the funny haircuts took center stage: vintage bleeping synthesizers, crunching guitars and rhythms that make you want to pogo, all wrapped in catchy melodies.
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble - The Complete Epic Recordings (Epic / Legacy) review
All of the Master’s studio & live material in one place, with a treasure trove of bonus material
Stevie Ray Vaughan rewrote the way the electric guitar was played. He effortlessly blended Texas blues with jazz and rock, and came up with a sound that would influence generations of guitarists. Now, for the first time, Epic & Legacy Recordings are making all of the influential guitarist’s work available in one collection. The Complete Epic Recordings, is a 12-disc set that culls all of Vaughan’s studio work and released live material, and couples it with rare concert performances and unreleased tracks - making for the ultimate fan experience.
Various Artists - American Music Library: The Hits of 1961 (Fantastic Voyage) review
An interesting look at songs that were hits in America, but did not chart in the UK
The British reissue label Fantastic Voyage continues it’s look into songs that were big hits in the US, but for some reason did not enjoy success in England. American Music Library: The Hits of 1961 contains 42 US Top Ten hits that were duds in the UK, plus many other, lesser charting songs.
Devon Allman - Ragged & Dirty (Ruf Records) review
His best album to date - an instant classic
Devon Allman spent the first years of his career running from his lineage (Gregg Allman is his father). But, with 2013’s Turquoise, he learned to finally embrace it. His latest record, Ragged & Dirty, is not only his finest work to date, it’s so good, it stands up to some of the best work of his dad’s band, the Allman Brothers.
The Slambovian Circus of Dreams - A Box of Everything (Red River Entertainment) review
Every once in awhile, you stumble across a great band that’s released a string of albums that you’ve never heard before. The Slambovian Circus of Dreams may be one such band. But, instead of chastising yourself for not discovering them sooner, get caught up with their new compilation, A Box of Everything.
Dream Academy - The Morning Lasted All Day (Real Gone Music) review
Orchestrated melodic pop with cameos from David Gilmour, Johnny Marr & Lindsey Buckingham
In the winter of 1986, while Whitney Houston and Billy Ocean were ruling the airwaves, a curious single from a new English band, the Dream Academy, began climbing the charts. The song, “Life in a Northern Town,” with its wistful verses and pounding, African wordless choruses, managed to lodge itself at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Morning Lasted All Day, a new, two-disc anthology, goes along way toward showing that the band was a lot more than just their one, massive smash.
U2 - Songs of Innocence (Island) review
The band boldly released the album on iTunes FOR FREE
Songs of Innocence, U2’s thirteenth album, is both an in-depth look back and a brash move forward. As the album title implies, many of the songs deal with life in the early stages of the band - something revealed clearly in the frank liner notes. But, by giving this record away for free, it represents a huge risk - one the band hopes will pay off.
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