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Non-Prog Album Reviews

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halabalushindigus View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote halabalushindigus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Non-Prog Album Reviews
    Posted: February 17 2010 at 18:52
I know this is an album review catagory and not for just yakin' like I am but I can't believe after listening to "Red Rose Speedway" two times over that I have the song "C moon" in my head.
 
"C Moon"  go figure
 
P.S.  thanks Samuel Adams
 

assume the power 1586/14.3
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Tsevir Leirbag View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tsevir Leirbag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 17 2010 at 19:09
As many other people have said, this is a very good idea for a thread. Maybe we should get it stickied?
Les mains, les pieds balancés
Sur tant de mers, tant de planchers,
Un marin mort,
Il dormira

- Paul Éluard
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Post Options Post Options   Quote halabalushindigus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2010 at 02:58
what's it all to you?
 
C"MOON TO ME!!!
 
C'MOON ARE WE!!!!
 
C'MOON IS SHE!!!
 
what's it all about?
 
(repeat)
 
going to bed now which reminds me you british  what should I  say> My name is halabalushindigus
cuz McCartney is playing HI HI HI and you know what progkidjoel and T equality7whatever my pussy face was in his movie shot so dig that

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Post Options Post Options   Quote halabalushindigus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2010 at 03:04
Progarchives needs a Christian Thread
R.I.P. george Harrison
 
and dear johnny too

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Post Options Post Options   Quote TheGazzardian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2010 at 23:13
Band: Death Cab For Cutie

Truthfully, I don't know a lot about DCFC. I got into them several years ago when my girlfriend sent me an mp3 over the internet that got stuck in my head. In my head, they are synonymous with "Indie Pop", and I have heard many bands that remind me of them over the years. Whether or not they are the original pioneers for their sound, or just the first I've heard, I can't say, for it's not a sound I loved quite enough to explore the history of very deeply.

Album: Plans (2005)

Rating: 3 stars (good, but non essential)

Prog Appeal: 1 (no appeal)

Review:

This album re-entered my awareness when Joel mentioned it in some thread, claiming it was a "prog album by a non-prog band". This made me curious enough to relisten and see how much it lined up with my new understanding of what prog was as a genre. This listening session was also prompted by my girlfriend asking to listen to the album.

Right off the bat, with "Marching Bands of Manhattan", I remember this music quite clearly. The ingredients are all here - light guitars, piano, thoughtful lyrics. But at the same time, this is a somewhat interesting experience for me, for I have never paid much attention to this song before. Death Cab For Cutie predates the time when I started paying close attention to albums, back when I used to pick the songs that stood out and toss them into a playlist. Marching Bands is not quite amazing, but it definitely has more to it than I realised before.

Then we are onto "Soul Meets Body", the song that made me buy this album all those years ago. Can you say infectiously catchy? And while this song is arguably a love song, the lyrics don't feel tired or tread over. In fact, this is one aspect of Death Cab For Cutie I remember liking a lot back in the day.

Following Soul Meets body is Summer Skin. This one is a quiet piece, but I remember liking this one a lot before, and I am enjoying it as much now. A nice, dreamy song with lyrics that make me think, just a little bit.

Different Names For The Same Thing is the next surprise for me on this album, another one that I never paid a lot of attention to before. Like Summer Skin, it is a bit quieter, but it actually has lyrics that interest me a bit more.

I WIll Follow You Into The Dark is another track that demonstrates Death Cab's ability to pen love songs that don't sound quite so tired and drab. The introduction of death into this track makes it a bit darker than what many would like from a love song, but in a strange way, it makes it that much more romantic.

Your Heart is an Empty Room, even with me paying attention, seemed to float right on past me, but it is followed by Someday You Will be Loved, perhaps one of the hardest rocking tracks on the album. (That isn't saying a whole lot, for Death Cab For Cutie are unashamedly light, but that also makes this song stand out more). This song is almost a reverse love song - it's a song about how the singer doesn't love the girl, but someday, someone will. 

Crooked Teeth is catchy, although I find it to be a bit less interesting than either Soul Meets Body or Someday You Will be Loved.

What Sarah said starts off with nice pianos, before Ben Gibbard starts singing. The lyrics are good, but overall, it feels like just another quiet Death Cab song, very similar in sound to Marching Bands of Manhattan, Summer Skin, etc., and by this point in the album, the sound is no longer as fresh. Regardless, the story the song tells is quite poignant and sad, and matched with "I Will Follow You Into the Dark", thematically similar (love and death). (In fact, it's similar enough that I'm likely to start paying even more attention to the lyrics of this album to see if there is any narrative that connects these two songs). The song ends on a wistful piano.

Brothers on a Hotel Bed is another song with a somber feeling, although instead of being about death and love, this is about how the burning passion of love burns down over time. Stable Song, too, is quiet, although it emphasizes the acoustic guitar more than the pianos. If it had been the first quiet song in a row, or even not the fourth, I would say that it was an alright way to end the album, but the lyrical content is not as interesting as the three before it, so it just feels like the album is petering out by this point. It does get a bit more energy near the end, with the introduction of some electric guitar, but ultimately by this point in time I'm tired of this sound.

A decent album with some great tracks and some really interesting lyrical content, but by the end of it, too many songs that sound the same for me to give it a lot of praise. 3 stars.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Kotro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2010 at 14:39
Band Name: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, USA rock band.
 
Album: B.R.M.C. (1999/2001)
 
Tracklist:
  1. "Love Burns" – 4:05
  2. "Red Eyes and Tears" – 4:00
  3. "Whatever Happened to My Rock 'n' Roll (Punk Song)" – 4:38
  4. "Awake" – 6:12
  5. "White Palms" – 4:55
  6. "As Sure as the Sun" – 5:52
  7. "Rifles" – 6:59
  8. "Too Real" – 4:55
  9. "Spread Your Love" – 3:45
  10. "Head Up High" – 5:35
  11. "Salvation" – 6:06

Originally self-released in 1999, then re-launched by Virgin in 2001 (which is the edition we're reviewing here), B.R.M.C. is the excellent debut of raunchy rockers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Appearing more or less in garage-rock circuits at the same time as The Strokes, BRMC are actually a lot darker and moody than the New Your group. And that makes them a lot more interesting in my book. 

This debut album is filled with angst and melancholy, all of with are channeled to the distorted electric guitar playing and heavy drumming, creating a wall of sound similar to what one might find in another power trio right here on PA, Amplifier.  As this is a song album, built on the strengths of individual material, there are strong numbers and weaker ones. Of the eleven tracks present, seven are quite sublime: the moody yet catchy straight up rocker Love Burns, the psychedelic Red Eyes And Tears (almost Barrett-era Floyd sounding), the distorted guitar-driven Awake, the somber As Sure As The Sun (again with some very early Floydian riffs and a hint of shoegazing), the eerie epic Rifles, complete with opening vocal harmonies, a ghostly guitar riff and a richly laid bed of synths, the dreamy pop-rock of Too Real, and the heavy take on a standard blues lick provided by Spread Your Love. The remaining four tracks don’t deserve much praise from me, but relegating them to “filler” would be unfair, as some of them clearly fall among fan favorites (for instance, the critically acclaimed punk-rock single Whatever Happened To My Rock ‘n’ Roll is easily one of my least favorites). You can see, however, that there is plenty material here to fully apreciate, and there is no doubt in my mind that this is one of the great albums kickstarting 21st century rock n' roll, while remaining on a niche of its own far from other all-too-similar alternative/indie rock outputs.  

Rating - StarStarStarStarStar: an excellent addition to any self-respecting rock collection.  

Prog Appeal - this album should appeal strongly to the more alternative hard rock-oriented prog fans, as it bring to memory the likes of equally heavy but as diverse bands as The Stooges, psychedelic Pink Floyd at its heaviest, Amplifier or even My Bloody Valentine.
 
 


Edited by Kotro - March 19 2010 at 06:36
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Textbook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2010 at 04:57
 
 
Altars Of Madness (1989)
by Morbid Angel
13 tracks, 51 mins (reissue + 3 remixes)
 
I have not traditionally listened to much  death metal but I think excellence shines through no matter what the genre. I came upon Altars Of Madness after a recommendation from Mikael Akerfeldt, whose band Opeth was the group which made me (and many others here it seems) see death metal and growled vocals in a new light. I became interested in their predecessors, many of whom I had heard of, but not really listened to and wondered if I would enjoy them or find them noisy nonsense.
Well noisy nonsense is certainly out there to be had, but not in this case. Altars Of Madness is arguably one of the best non-progressive death metal albums of all time. It seems to occupy a similar place in death metal to Slayer's Reign In Blood in thrash metal- in some ways what they're doing is quite limited in scope and even iterative but. they. do. it. so. well. Even with such brutal compositions, the musicianship of Morbid Angel comes shining through and is undeniable.
 
 
This is extreme rock, sure to get the blood pounding and the pulse throbbing. Riff after riff comes ripping through the speakers and you start to understand what people in mosh pits are feeling. Unspeakably exciting (especially in the context of 1989) their combination of electrifying guitar solos and beserk drumming (complete with a few complex time changes to engage the brain though things stay too rocking for a proggy atmosphere to ever emerge) makes for granny scaring at its finest. Unfortunately the vocals aren't quite up to the standard of the music- they're not necessarily bad but they have the usual growling issues of being hard to discern and fairly monotonous but the energy of the music carries thing along nicely so it's not a big issue.
Their lyrics tend to be very violent and, as with a lot of these guys, anti-religion which may worry some people. I don't think that they are theatrically posing as bad boys though, I think a lot of the offensive lyrical content of these groups is misunderstood as being either overgrown children trying to shock or monobrowed morons who actually mean it. I think really what's going on is that a lot of these groups came from smalltown conservative backgrounds where their parents through the church often told them what to do and when to do it and suggested that God would punish them etc and this was their way of tearing that down, of pronouncing it false and telling listeners to confront the ugliness in life without using religion to explain it away.
The only problem with the record is that it gets a bit samey after a while and even at only 39 minutes (original album length not including the redundant remixes) it's enough for me. There are a few interesting touches about though, such as the reversed cymbals that open Immortal Rites or the high ghostly vocals that appear in the middle of Chapel Of Ghouls. Chapel Of Ghouls is my favourite track on the album, having a sort of mini-epic quality and some really great playing. Very impressive particularly considering this was their debut- lots of chops for noobs.
 
 
In my opinion, Altars Of Madness is a great record to try if you'd like a real adrenalin, a no holds barred kick up the keister if you're feeling a bit overfed and sleepy after one Yes record too many. It is the rawest of MA's records, not hinting at the more experimental/serious (but perhaps less spirited) vibe of later albums, but that is precisely why it grips me. While not sounding like punk at all, the same attitude of :"f**k you and your ideas about music and life, EAT THIS" is present and accounted for, though unlike many others, Morbid Angel have the skill to approach cacophony but to keep control and deliver the goods.
 
4/5
 
Fun Fact: Each Morbid Angel album title begins with the next letter of the alphabet but they only got as far as H. Sadly, we will never know how they would have handled X. Perhaps that is why they broke up?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Textbook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 18 2010 at 04:09

The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night (2010)

by The Besnard Lakes
10 tracks, 46 mins
 
I heard the buzz around The Besnard Lakes' previous album The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse but never actually got around to listening to it. So when I saw they had a new one out, I thought I may as well give it a try, having had a pretty good time with most things that Jagjaguwar records puts out. And that remains true.
The Besnard Lakes, centred around husband and wife Jace and Olga, make alternative pop music. If alt-pop sounds like an oxymoron, think of someone like Animal Collective- definitely alternative, but definitely infectious and catchy. Besnard Lakes don't sound like AC but the similarity is that they take an unusual route to the usual goal of a pop song- it is enjoyable, deceptively accessible music.
There are really only 8 songs- Like The Ocean Like The Innocent and Land Of Living Skies both feature intro tracks that don't stand as separate pieces- so fortunately the hit rate is quite high. The Besnards tend to take their time on their songs, buildings layers of warm fuzz and beautiful vocal harmonies, often simultaneously invoking sunny days and dark nights, a fascinating and bewitching juxtaposition. At least once though, they just roll out a good little pop-rock song that wouldn't be too out of place on the radio in the form of And This Is What We Call Progress, a toe tapper that doesn't disengage despite hanging around for five minutes. Far more typical of the album however is Albatross with its slow pace and lovely vocal trade-offs between Olga and a multi-tracked Jace.
 
 
Of the longer, more epic tracks, the nine minute opener Like The Ocean Like The Innocent is probably a bit overlong but is a wonderful introduction to the BLs all the same, successfully moving from ambience, to a beautiful keyboard opening, to some sweet high singing from Jace and then drums coming in, the rock factor hitting and a great chorus assisted by Olga. The penultimate track, Light Up The Night, is also a real winner with that soaring, hugely powerful chorus and the rich, careful build-up that lets loose at the end.
Downsides? The other epic, Land Of Living Skies, bores me a little bit, not really seeming to do much not done more memorably elsewhere. And Light Up The Night would certainly make a better closer than the slightly dull The Lonely Moan- it's Olga's solo spot but disappointingly given how much I love her singing elsewhere on the album, she seems to be holding back here but instead of the hushed, mysterious effect I assume she wanted, it makes things uninteresting.
All the same this is some pretty good alt-pop and if you're an old Beach Boys/wall of sound fan, you should definitely check The Besnard Lakes out.
 
3.5/5
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Kotro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2010 at 07:15
Artist: Jeff Buckley
 
AlbumGrace (1994)
 
Tracklist:
  1. "Mojo Pin" – 5:42
  2. "Grace"  – 5:22
  3. "Last Goodbye" – 4:35
  4. "Lilac Wine" – 4:32
  5. "So Real" – 4:43
  6. "Hallelujah" – 6:53
  7. "Lover, You Should've Come Over" – 6:43
  8. "Corpus Christi Carol" – 2:56
  9. "Eternal Life" – 4:52
  10. "Dream Brother" – 5:26

Reviewing daddy Buckley for PA got me thinking about his son Jeff, specifically of his legendary album Grace. Released in 1994, it was considered at the time one of the finest debut albums of all-time, a springboard for greater this to come from this young artist with undeniable musical pedigree. Alas, Jeff died three years later while working on the follow-up to his first album.

So what’s Grace all about?  Well, to begin with, it’s a pop-rock album filled with love-hate tunes. The terrible cover art gives the impression we are about to hear a hippie crooner, but what we get is closer to this wild notion of Tim Buckley fronting Led Zeppelin. The first two tracks are co-written by the legendary experimental guitarist Gary Lucas and, certainly not by chance, are the ones I consider the best among the seven original compositions on the album. They open Grace with a great demonstration of power and finesse, a talent in composition not expected from a debutant – but then again, that’s probably Lucas’ finger. The remaining original material is not that exciting, falling in between rockier love ballads (Last Goodbye, So Real, Lover You Should’ve Come Over) and inconsequent heavier songs all following the same structure (Eternal Life, Dream Brother). The album also includes three cover songs, of which the most famous is the excellent phantasmagoric rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Lilac Wine and Corpus Christi Carol won’t harm your hears, but are really nothing compared to the originals.  

More due to Jeff’s own life rather than his musical talents, this album has gained an impressive following, and much of the generations going through adolescence in the mid-90’s have been hailing it as one of the most perfect albums ever released – it is not. If you scrape the album you will find an album filled with a lot of emotion, but very few focus, treading genres in search of the perfect fit, worrying too much with the beautiful, and not very much with the memorable (the only true exceptions being the title-track and the haunting Cohen cover).

Rating - StarStarStar: a good addition to any rock collection.  

Prog Appeal - Not much. This album should please fans of daddy Buckley, hopeless romantics, women in general, and anyone who enjoys sensible and intelligent pop music. Just don’t go looking for Prog in it.   
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2010 at 02:39
Damn you, I came to this thread to write about this album and I see I was beaten to it.  LOL  Grace is my favourite 90s album forever and ever. Smile  I agree that it doesn't have much prog appeal and perhaps even outside prog, its appeal is not universal but for those who love it, there are few things as precious in life as Grace album. Heart  He doesn't have much in common with Tim Buckley's folk rocking too, save the falsetto wizardry...in general, his music is sentimental, precious and replete with Hindustani/Sufi influences which particularly appeals to my sensibilities. While we'll never know how much he would have built on his promise, he offered a tantalizing alternative to er... the alternative rock music of the time.  I mean, I have a bit of a problem with mainstream rock being all dirty and ugly or lofty and pompous (Radiohead, Muse, U2).  Jeff's music and singing was so beautiful in a very natural and spontaneous way, we needed/need a few more like those. Cry
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tamijo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2010 at 03:08
Great idear - beeing logisticly impossible to include everything on PA this is the way to go.
But maby some ADM would consider splitting it into 3-4 sticky sub genre treads, like :
Classical Reviews
Rock Reviews
Jazz Reviews
Other Reviews   
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Textbook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2010 at 03:15
Actually, the best thing to do (for this idea, not necessarily for PA) would be to give it its own folder, a non-prog reviews folder. Then each review could get its own thread and not be lost in the winds of a single thread.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2010 at 03:28
Artist:  Stevie Wonder

Album:
   Songs in the key of life (1976)




http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songs_in_the_Key_of_Life

His homepage leads to where you buy it from Itunes Shocked so I am posting the wikipedia page for the track listing. 

Hmmm...Stevie Wonder is my favourite Western music artist and certainly one of my all time favourite Western singers.  And this album is his magnum opus.  Suffice it to say that the album truly lives up to its title.  This is indeed an astonishingly diverse collection of tracks which somehow put together produce a consistent and pleasing flavour (that is to say, the idea of putting together a wide variety of music in one umbrella doesn't come off as gimmicky).  It would be an obvious hyperbole to say that there is a song for every key of life here and yet it would not be overstating the case too much, for from naughty (I Wish), contemplative (Summer Soft) to romantic (Knocks Me off my feet) to joyful (Isn't She Lovely), there is a song for every mood here and it all rings true and sincere, as only it can when the man executing it is Stevie Wonder.  The thing that sets him apart - and always has - from much of the pop crowd is the sheer spontaneity of his music craft.  He wrote these songs because he loved them, not to fill disc space and/or generate the 'hit', though succeed it did. So, the proceedings never sound contrived or overdone or plain artificial, if anything the quantity and quality of music gets overwhelming to keep pace with.  It is also worth mentioning here that I cannot think of any other singer who would be able to maintain his distinct personality through such vast and diverse material, but Stevie pulls it off effortlessly. 

What I do have a problem with is the prolonged codas in many songs, be it Love is in need of love or Joy Inside My Tears, not to mention Another Star which simply goes on and on, though the flute interlude is very enjoyable for a prog fan. LOL  But while the album is not as consistent as his previous three masterpieces - Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness's first finale - at its best moments, it surpasses mostly everything on these three, be it Summer Soft, All Day Sucker, Sir Duke, Have a Talk with God, so on.  If I had to pigeonhole the music, I would say it's classic R&B, which means the songs will sound 'happy' and will be piano/keyboard-based for much of the time.  But to reiterate a point already made, Saturn for instance sounds nothing like Pastime Paradise which in turn has nothing in common with Contusion (jazz fusion?).   Also, while the proceedings are largely rooted in pop form, there is yet much compositional complexity to be devoured here, so it's not quite what you'd expect if you have a typical pop album with its assembly line creations in mind.  If my review is not particularly helpful, I am afraid I simply have to throw up my hands in the air, for it's hard to tame this gigantic beast of an album.  It can only be experienced, not explained.  The production is excellent and the long list of sessions performers do their job immaculately, while the blind genius enthralls all the time on mike, keyboard, harmonica and drums. 

Rating:  StarStarStarStarStar  Flawless?  No.  Perfect? Yes.

Prog Appeal:  This is certainly progressive songwriting (in terms of ideas, not necessarily the structures) but the lack of electric guitar/rock influences in most songs and the generally breezy, accessible nature of the music could potentially be off putting for the prog rock fan.  It's not however necessary to be an out and out pop music lover either to like this album, for nor am I.










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Post Options Post Options   Quote Kotro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2010 at 04:16
Originally posted by rogerthat

Damn you, I came to this thread to write about this album and I see I was beaten to it.  
 
Roger, like with normal PA reviews, I don't suppose we are limited to one review per album - you should review Grace if you wan't to, especially since you seem to show a lot more love for the album than I do. Thumbs Up 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2010 at 04:20
Great, will do that, but a bit later...let this thread grow, then I will post mine so that people don't have to turn the pages. Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Kotro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2010 at 04:21
Originally posted by Textbook

Actually, the best thing to do (for this idea, not necessarily for PA) would be to give it its own folder, a non-prog reviews folder. Then each review could get its own thread and not be lost in the winds of a single thread.
 
I was thinking along the lines of a reviews-only topic, sticked, with a review index on the first post, and linked to the Home Page, and a separate, non-sticked reviews discussion topic. But your idea is quite good and really not that hard to implement - perhaps something to take to big chiefs? 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ExittheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2010 at 05:06
Originally posted by Kotro

Band Name: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, USA rock band.
 
Album: B.R.M.C. (1999/2001)
 
Tracklist:
  1. "Love Burns" – 4:05
  2. "Red Eyes and Tears" – 4:00
  3. "Whatever Happened to My Rock 'n' Roll (Punk Song)" – 4:38
  4. "Awake" – 6:12
  5. "White Palms" – 4:55
  6. "As Sure as the Sun" – 5:52
  7. "Rifles" – 6:59
  8. "Too Real" – 4:55
  9. "Spread Your Love" – 3:45
  10. "Head Up High" – 5:35
  11. "Salvation" – 6:06

Originally self-released in 1999, then re-launched by Virgin in 2001 (which is the edition we're reviewing here), B.R.M.C. is the excellent debut of raunchy rockers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Appearing more or less in garage-rock circuits at the same time as The Strokes, BRMC are actually a lot darker and moody than the New Your group. And that makes them a lot more interesting in my book. 

This debut album is filled with angst and melancholy, all of with are channeled to the distorted electric guitar playing and heavy drumming, creating a wall of sound similar to what one might find in another power trio right here on PA, Amplifier.  As this is a song album, built on the strengths of individual material, there are strong numbers and weaker ones. Of the eleven tracks present, seven are quite sublime: the moody yet catchy straight up rocker Love Burns, the psychedelic Red Eyes And Tears (almost Barrett-era Floyd sounding), the distorted guitar-driven Awake, the somber As Sure As The Sun (again with some very early Floydian riffs and a hint of shoegazing), the eerie epic Rifles, complete with opening vocal harmonies, a ghostly guitar riff and a richly laid bed of synths, the dreamy pop-rock of Too Real, and the heavy take on a standard blues lick provided by Spread Your Love. The remaining four tracks don’t deserve much praise from me, but relegating them to “filler” would be unfair, as some of them clearly fall among fan favorites (for instance, the critically acclaimed punk-rock single Whatever Happened To My Rock ‘n’ Roll is easily one of my least favorites). You can see, however, that there is plenty material here to fully apreciate, and there is no doubt in my mind that this is one of the great albums kickstarting 21st century rock n' roll, while remaining on a niche of its own far from other all-too-similar alternative/indie rock outputs.  

Rating - StarStarStarStarStar: an excellent addition to any self-respecting rock collection.  

Prog Appeal - this album should appeal strongly to the more alternative hard rock-oriented prog fans, as it bring to memory the likes of equally heavy but as diverse bands as The Stooges, psychedelic Pink Floyd at its heaviest, Amplifier or even My Bloody Valentine.

 


Really liked the track you posted, sorta That Petrol Emotion via the Velvets via Television. Excellent stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Icarium Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2010 at 09:16
Review Synchronicity - The Police

 http://www.homotron.net/images/homotron/Police-album-synchronicity.jpg

  1. "Synchronicity I" – 3:23
  2. "Walking in Your Footsteps" – 3:36
  3. "O My God" – 4:02
  4. "Mother" (Andy Summers) – 3:05
  5. "Miss Gradenko" (Stewart Copeland) – 2:00
  6. "Synchronicity II" – 5:02
  7. "Every Breath You Take" – 4:13
  8. "King of Pain" – 4:59
  9. "Wrapped Around Your Finger" – 5:13
  10. "Tea in the Sahara" – 4:19
  11. "Murder by Numbers" (Words: Sting, Music: Andy Summers) – 4:36
this is the last studio release from the British new wave, post punk, world, reggae and rock band, with the lineupp Gordon Sumner (Sting), Andy Summer and Stewart Copeland (originaly from USA),  who had some huge hits on radio and there biggest hit come from this album.

I don't know quite what style of music there is on this album but sure it is eclectic, ranging from New Wave,, world, Jazz, Avant garde, pop/rock, reggea, dare I say Neo prog and post punk.
i will guide through a track by track review

1 Synchronicity Prt 1. this is In My Opinin some of the greates rock songs and album starters, some sort of Vibraphone starts this song which will be looped thorough the hole song, then some HI hat strokes by the drumer, then the pounding bass line by Sting, and what follows is greatnes, a solid and agressive track, and then a nice bridge, i realy like the pace of this song fast, agressive (agian), realy interesting sounds from the guitar, Andy Summer is a master of making untradisjonal sound of the guitar and predates Tom Morello in manny aspects. Brilliant track
2. Walking in Your Footsteps - is more in a World music landskape, carribean influeced, congas and other percussive instruments and atmospheres laid by the guitar and bass with simple but efficiant effects. you can almost smell the Amazon Forest. I also think there is some anti war message in the lyrricks  Nice track
3. O My Good - opens with a solid bass groove with some effects (and probably frettless) and saxophone and Synth atmosphere. nice pulseing drum beat, some nice guitar effects, the world music influence is here as well but with more Jazzy approach, also a bit prog influence in an almost post rock fassiond overall atmosphere, nice sax solo and the sax plays the last notes. great song and then .....
4. Mother (Andy Summer) - one song not sung by Sting, well and what a song this is, very strange, Avant Garde, often dissmissed by the pop crowed  and often said to be the weak point of this album. starts of with some sopran sax, frettless bass indo/raga guitar and some untradisjonal drum beat and time sig. verry good guitar solo and mad vocals. I would call this Progressive rock, and sounds a bit like Elephant Talk by King Crimson, Quirk and strange also a bit Gentle Giant ish. raga rock and exotic, interesting song, not great but funny. 
5. Miss Gradenko - very good lead guitar meoldies, melodic bass line, funcky, great corouse, one of the best guitar solos i have heard jazz guitar with a toutch of avant, great song with fantastick guitar solo.
6.Synchronicity II - WOW this song is fantastic, starts off with some guitar strumming, some synth chords, and then a fantastic drum groove, pounding bass (simple but awsome), wonderfull vocal lines, infectios guitar lines wonderfull riff, brilliant tone, great bridge/mid part i can't find anything wrong about this song, my favourte police song. FANTASTIC (not very Objective sorry)
7. Every Breath You Take - the Big hit, nice pop song, mellow not so loud as the previos song and give you a time to think and to reflect, about the message of this song (which are to many to put to words atleast for me) also coverd by P Diddy after the passing of Notourios B.I.G and that gives this song even a bigger impact and momentum. great song (even if it is overplayd on radio)
8. King of Pain - starts off with some bass, vibes, piano, some nice chord changes, nice bass line, then comes the pulseating groove that keeps the attention of the listener wile it builds upp to the corous, with some nice guitar riffs, a lot of temposhifts in this song, slow , fast, intensive but still a lot of space, Reggea influence, nice guitar solo, ambient part that gives you the chills. Art rock: Good song
9. Wrapped Around your Finger - my second or theard favourite on this album, wonderfull atmosphere provided by a frettless bass and guitar, piano a lot of subteltle tones and complex harmonies wile kept subtle, this song demands many listnes, if you want to grasp what is spessial about this song, alot of hidden detales, nice bridge, Sting plays a different bass line on the third verse and the tones he choose ther is just magical, Amazing... great vocal line - Pure Bliss
10. Tea In the Sahara - start wtih some subtle bass groove, atposphere, saxophone, guitar and synth reggea influenced, nice tune, with pre post rock sound, ( i wonder how much the Police have influnced Talk Talk)
11. Murder By Number - fast  rim shots starts this song, this song have an jazz/avant verse, i realy like the corous, almost swing in the verses, nice drumming by Copland he is such a great drummer great song. a bit repetative corous but that is mariginal

StarStarStarStarStar solid five stars or more like 4,30 masterpeace of rock (and did I say that the production on this album is prestine clear)
 
Prog appeal : i'm sure this album have enough progressive elements to appeal to prog-fnas, verry ecelectic album cover a lor of styles, some of them are presented as subgenres on Progarchives. like avant, jazz, indo/raga rock.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Textbook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 22 2010 at 04:34
 
A Badly Broken Code
by Dessa
14 tracks, 47 mins
 
To people who don't pay particular attention to it, hip-hop seems to be a coastal thing. We got the smooth, violent gangster stuff on the West Coast and we got the gritty, violent gangster stuff on the East Coast. Of course things are never that simple and if you look closer you'll find a much more complex musical palette within hip-hop than what is offered up by the mainstream. Of course hip-hop gets made between those two coasts, and I don't just mean Chicago and Detroit which have suitably gangster reps. In this case we're talking about Minnesota which has one of the most active and vibrant alt-hip-hop scenes in the country.
Meet Dessa, a spoken word artist turned rapper/singer who affiliates with the acclaimed collective Doomtree. Doomtree cohort POS hit big in 2009 with his third LP Never Better's compelling mix of rap music with hardcore punk. Can Dessa's combination a Lilith Fair MC and traditional singing of a variety of styles also win the day?
Well, yes and no. A Badly Broken Code is a good album, but it's not a great one. It's a quality product and Dessa is certainly talented and interested but the album lacks the knockout punch needed to break through the sturdy preconceptions surrounding hip-hop which create the situation whereby the very people who would probably like this will never check it out. But for a start off, not only is this not typical hip-hop, a lot of it is not hip-hop at all. The beautiful, cascading vocal work of the a capella Poor Atlas shows that Dessa can really sing and isn't at all confined by the expectation that she only rap due to being a Doomtree artist. Go Home is a straight R&B song- a bit of a dull one but it's no embarrassment. And there are other genre-busting moments but my favourite is The Chaconne, the kind of song I wish they were playing on the radio. A poignant lyric, a fragile hook from Matthew Santos, Dessa's understated and expertly delivered singing on the verses- a real winner.
 
 
However, great though this would be as a single (crazily it isn't one) no other song on the record casts the spell over me this one does.
So we've seen that she can go right outside the hip-hop box, but what about when she gets in it? You'll find her doing the traditional bragging on the swaggering, brass laced The Bullpen and repping her posse Doomtree (though in a genuine, touching way) on Crew. But you'll also find her advising an abused girlfriend on how to get away with seeing that her boyfriend has an "accident" on Alibi or narrating an intense phone call with an ex lover that sees them running through their whole messed up relationship on the tense Mineshaft II. Or there's the quirky opener, Children's Play, where she talks about the odd but anchoring connection she shares with her younger brother even as her parents misunderstood the two of them and eventually divorced.
Musically the beats use a range of instrumentation- the oriental string plucking of Children's Play, the bassoon underpinning the 40's flavoured hip-hop of Dixon's Girl (the actual single), the klezmer inflected Matches To Paper Dolls, the more explosive drumming that comes into play when Seamstress gets angry. Yet as I mentioned earlier, the album still feels sort of grey. Dessa and her team do all these things well, but not excellently- the X factor to make this brilliant is missing.
Still, A Badly Broken Code is a good debut and if Dessa improves on future releases, alternative hip-hop may have a new queen in town, though A Badly Broken Code itself may be a little too niche to give her that push. Thoroughly worth checking out if you'd like to see intelligent rap from a female perspective.
 
3.5/5
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Atkingani Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 22 2010 at 21:16
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