Friday March 06

Current Album Reviews

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

Revolver - Original mono vinylRevolver - New mono vinylBeatles - 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 EyesTV Eyes - TV Eyes (Omnivore Recordings) review

Supergroup New Wave homage gets it’s first US release

 

View this album on Amazon.com

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 - Complete Epic RecordingsStevie 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

 

View this box set on Amazon.com

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.

American Music Library - The Hits of 1961Various 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

 

View this CD set on Amazon.com

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 & DirtyDevon Allman - Ragged & Dirty (Ruf Records) review

His best album to date - an instant classic

 

View this album on amazon.com

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 EverythingThe Slambovian Circus of Dreams - A Box of Everything (Red River Entertainment) review

 

View this album on amazon.com

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 - CD reviewDream Academy - The Morning Lasted All Day (Real Gone Music) review

Orchestrated melodic pop with cameos from David Gilmour, Johnny Marr & Lindsey Buckingham

 

View this album on amazon.com

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 InnocenceU2 - 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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