Current Album Reviews
Our take on some of the latest material from a variety of artists.
Various Artists - Now That’s What I Call Music 55 (Universal / Sony) review
The soundtrack of the Summer of ’15
We’ve come to expect a new Now compilation about every three months or so, and the latest, Now 55, brings together the biggest hits of this summer - many of them coming from all over the world. The set kicks off with English singer Ellie Goulding’s majestic “Love Me Like You Do,” which was co-written with Swedish vocalist Tove Lo, who turns in “Talking Body,” her second hit single.
America - The Warner Bros. Years - 1971-1977 (Warner) review
You’ve heard the hits - now dig a little deeper
America was one of the biggest bands of the early Seventies, placing six singles in the Top Ten. Yet their albums were also successful - with their first seven studio records hitting the Top Thirty. These have been compiled, along with their Live album, in the new America - The Warner Bros Years - 1971-1977.
2Ton Bridge - “Pennies on the Shore” / “I’m a Hoot Owl” (Alexander Wright) review
This little appetizer is meant to whet our whistle for a 2Ton Bridge long player due sometime in 2016. If the two songs are any indication, we’re in for quite a treat when it does come out.
Great music has the power to transport you through time, space, or both. 2Ton Bridge’s music isn’t necessarily tied to a particular era - the earthy instruments give off a timeless quality. The real strength here is these songs’ ability to take you out of your current surrounding - away from the constant dinging on your phone; the tweets, likes and noise - to what’s really important - human contact. Close your eyes and prepare to be lifted away - maybe not too far, perhaps just to the rafters in your garage, or the woods behind the mall, but just far enough for a moment of solace.
Various Artists - Please Mr. Disc Jockey: The Atlantic Vocal Group Sound (Fantastic Voyage) review
Three discs of stone-cold classic R&B vocal glory
When it came to R&B vocal groups, nobody could touch Atlantic Records in the Fifties. There was something magical about that red & black label that meant you were getting music that was a cut above the rest. From the Clovers, the Drifters, & the Coasters, to lesser-known artists, the high points have been collected in Please Mr. Disc Jockey from the British Fantastic Voyage label.
Various Artists - Now That's What I Call New Wave 80’s (Universal / Sony) review
Remember when MTV actually played videos?
Now That’s What I Call New Wave 80’s transports us back to a time when the synthesizer was the lead instrument, crazy haircuts meant everything, and the stranger your video was, the better. The disc brings together 18 songs from the glory days of music videos, with some surprises as well.
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.
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