Current Album Reviews
Our take on some of the latest material from a variety of artists.
Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti (Deluxe Edition) (Swan Song / Atlantic) review
Epic double album gets remastered and includes disc of rare versions
Physical Graffiti, the latest in the Led Zeppelin remasters series, arrives exactly 40 years from the album’s original release, back in 1975. Originally a double album, it finds the band at its absolute zenith. The inclusion of a third disc of bonus material makes this a must-have for Zeppelin fans.
Various Artists - Cut Pieces: A Tribute to Yoko Ono (Main Man Records) review
Seriously - one of the best tribute albums we’ve heard in years
The problem with most tribute albums is that they suck. What was once an unique idea has now been beat to death. And the end result is usually the same: it just makes you want to go listen to the original artist. That’s why Cut Pieces: A Tribute to Yoko Ono is such a welcome surprise. An eclectic array of artists each give their individual spin on this polarizing figure’s music. What you get is a great collection of songs - whether you like Yoko Ono or not.
Tinsley Ellis - Tough Love (Heartfixer Music) review
A near-perfect, enjoyably diverse, blues album
In a genre littered with color-by-numbers knock-offs, Georgia guitarist Tinsley Ellis has not only just released the best blues album of 2015, Tough Love may very well be the finest album of his long career.
The Unforgiven - The Unforgiven (Real Gone Music) review
Hard rock meets spaghetti westerns - only in the Eighties!
The Unforgiven’s debut arrived in 1986, amid an unprecedented record company bidding war. The concept was certainly an intriguing one - take LA rock and infuse it with spaghetti western and surf music. The band boasted FOUR guitar players, and donned long dusters and cowboy hats, creating an MTV-ready image. All the elements were in place for this band to be huge. Yet, after all the hype, the album completely tanked. Almost 30 years later, Real Gone Music has made this curious album available again.
Now That’s What I Call Music 53 (Sony Music / Universal) review
Get through the cold Winter blah’s with the hottest hits of today
The latest in this quarterly hit collection series, Now That’s What I Call Music 53, kicks off with the Prince-inspired, retro R&B of “Uptown Funk,” a transatlantic collaboration between Brit producer Mark Ronson and US old school soulman Bruno Mars. This killer track is reason enough to grab the disc, yet there are plenty more surprises here too.
Various Artists - Now That’s What I Call Movies (Sony Legacy) review
An Ipod Shuffle through Tinsel Town's biggest tunes
Bruno Mars sharing the same disc with Van Morrison? How about Pharrell Williams and the Beach Boys? Anna Kendrick and Queen? The hugely successful Now series, known for compiling the latest hits, turns its attention to film soundtracks for Now That’s What I Call Movies, and the result is a collection that just about anyone will enjoy.
Jellyfish remasters (Omnivore Recordings)
Bellybutton and Spilt Milk View these albums on Amazon.com
I recently did an interview with original Jellyfish guitarist Jason Falkner, who posed the question:
“What if Jellyfish had dressed more like Guns n’ Roses”?
Axl, Slash & Co. looked like they just crawled of the gutter, while Jellyfish wore costumes straight out of Saturday morning cartoons. The former had immense success, while the latter…well, the problem was, the goofy hats and colorful shirts confused a lot of listeners - were Jellyfish a novelty act? All those nostalgic references - were they to be taken seriously?
Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers - Living By the Minute (Silver Street) review
Nebraska got soul!
The home of Spam and Kool Aid might seem like a strange place for a great soul band, but Nebraska is where Josh Hoyer & the Shadowboxers call home - and they’ve just put out a fantastic new album, Living By the Minute. What makes this record refreshing is that they’re not aping a classic style; they’re playing soul music, but it doesn’t sound like it was recorded at Stax or Hi Records, it just sounds real.
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