Archive for June, 2009

Black Tide/Light From Above

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 300000006-04:00 12 by marky7235

Black Tide are an American Heavy Metal band from Miami, Florida. Formed in 2004, the band is currently signed to Interscope Records. The band, notably all under 20 years of age, released their debut CD in 2008. The band is featured on this summers Warped Tour.

Shockwave—-From the onset, the music and the voice take you back to the glory days of 80’s metal and bands like the Crue. The music is heavy, but not burdensome. The drums propel the song at an acceptable pace. Nice!

Shout—-With an odd vocal intro, you almost expect a Sabbath dirge to begin, but the song instead becomes suddenly alive and electric with very little bass. The guitar runs are extraordinary for guys this age, and the vocal is vintage!

Warriors Of Time—-The intro goes on and on, the guitar is Spanish flavored for a good minute before drums smack you in the head and an unforgettable chant kicks in. Containing all the elements of vintage 80’s glam bands, this band will take you back to the days when metal ruled the charts. A great song with huge energy.

Give Me A Chance—-With a slight ballad edge, nice harmonies and double tracked vocals, the song is a masterful landscape of metal. Pleasing in every way, the song reminds me of Queensryche.

Let Me—-Aggressive and with a slight blues tinge, the song is just different enough to appeal to me. The vocal is a great journey back in time, and the double harmonies are masterful. Beautifully delivered with a lot of balls!

Show Me The Way—-Straight up Metal with a blues edge, the vocal plays between mutation and clarity. It is an odd kind of effect, but the band pulls it off nicely. Hard to believe this is just a bunch of kids!!

Enterprise—-Nice in your face [pop] metal. The song is pleasant and listenable, but it just does not do anything new…too much of the same….I would like to hear a scream or two?

Live Fast, Die Young—-The motto of metal heads everywhere, the concept has been played out! The band continues in the neo-modern Motley Crue landscape, although the song opens up with a nice blistering guitar led bar that almost gets to that screaming phase for the vocalist. Nice!!

Hit The Lights—-A passable cover of the Metallica classic, the song only falls short because of the timbre of the vocal. The song screams for a lower register and this version does not deliver. The music is masterful and the talent apparent.

Black Abyss—-Slightly different in feel, the song falls between a fine line of metal and a grungy feel. The vocal has some nice double tracking that adds life to the mix. Nice but not unforgettable.

Light From Above—-As the title track to the issue, you would expect something huge and grandiose. From the onset, the musicianship is at a masterful level, gliding from speed to speed and sound to sound. The drums enter and the song kicks into a comfortable gear. The vocal delivery is great, but not exceptional. The song stands on it’s own because of a damn catchy chorus!

*** out of 5

The Fray/The Fray

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 300000006-04:00 12 by marky7235

The Fray are a Grammy nominated Piano Rock Band. Formed in 2002, the Denver, Co. based band released their debut CD in 2006 and promptly rode the sales charts to 2 million units! The Fray released their sophomore release in 2009. The self-titled release debuted at #1.

Syndicate—-Almost immediately, you know exactly who you are listening to. Joe has a way of emoting with his voice that sucks you in makes you a tad introspective and thoughtful. A wonderful song.

Absolute—-Beginning a little more electric, the song has a nice tempo and uses the piano as a background instrument instead of being right in your face. The voice carries the song along nicely and has yet another ‘tender’ edge to it.

You Found Me—-The lead off single from this release, the video still remains in high rotation, months after it’s debut. The song returns to a familiar tone with it being more piano based. The song opens up with the chorus and becomes more electric and falls just as sudden for the refrain. The vocal is inspired and heartfelt, full of feeling and a sense of pleading. Nice.

Say When—-Even more acoustic in nature, the musical scenery is stripped bare. As the song progresses, it slowly builds and maintains a nice balance for the duration. Nice, but too much of the same sometimes.

Never Say Never—-With a ghostly, sparse introduction, the voice is really up front in the mix. Joe again displays a certain emotional quality to his voice that just makes you hurt. The song maintains a very low level of sound even as it progresses.

Where The Story Ends—-Surprisingly, the drums seem to take the main focus of this song. The percussion section is very front in the mix and as the song progresses, the piano grows a little louder. The rhythm section of the band is tight and it shows in this song.

Enough For Now—-Suffering from the ‘sameness’ curse, this song sounds so much like every other Fray singles, that it could be any of them. The lyrics are very colorful and match the emotion of the vocal nicely though.

Ungodly Hour—-With an odd, subtle percussive marching beat, the song features a bare piano and a vocal that is quiet, clear and strong. The song is bare and raw, but made for a huge arena show.

We Build Them We Break—-This song is just different enough to really appeal to me. The entire composition has an electric edge to it that is a nice change. The vocal still maintains that ‘certain’ tone that Joe sings in, but the adventurous musical score makes this a winner.

Happiness—-Bare and melancholic, the song is tender and too sweet. The band will have to get more adventurous, in my opinion, in order to have a longer career.

*** out of 5

Pet Shop Boys/Bilingual [Further Listening 1995-1997]

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 280000006-04:00 12 by marky7235

The Pet Shop Boys are legendary, pop icons hailing from England. Since hitting the charts in 1986, the duo has sold in excess of 50 million units. The electronic dance unit has scored 42 top 30 hits, 22 top 10 hits and 4 no. 1 singles. Bilingual, released in 1995 and the accompanying extra disc features the influence of Latin music at the time, although the pair often return to the dance friendly powerhouses that we are accustomed to.

Disc One:

Discoteca—-The low synth hum that radiates from the speakers assures you that you are listening to the Boys! The musical landscape has a decidedly Latin tinge to it, but Neil delivers a vocal that is classic PSB. There is no mistaking the sound…the song has a mellow feel but an underlying tone that wants you to dance like a madman.

Single—-Beginning with a nice segue from the previous song, the neww addition is able to keep the Latin flavor. The music has a nice shuffle beat to it that drives the song and gives it a nice mood. You want to snap your fingers and sway your hips while you hold a thorn less rose in your mouth. WONDERFUL!

Metamorphosis—-With a brilliant slide back into the Danceteria,  the Boys deliver a diva styled romp. The vocal is reminiscent of very early material, and the music is a perfect 90’s style Euro dance hysteria.

Electricity—-Beginning as odd as you would expect, the musical landscape is a down-tempo-ed affair with some interesting soundbites from somewhere or the other. Neil delivers a vocal full of content that brings no doubt to his preferences. The song dirges along, with a wonderful mundane beat throughout. Tennant more talks than sings and I just want to hug him….AWESOME!

Se’-a-vida-e’ [That’s The Way Life Is]—-Another of my all time favorite PSB songs. This song is not, I suppose, a happy song. For an odd reason it fills me with a joy and elation. Perhaps it is the realization that someone else in the world actually feels the same way I do. The song has an almost, militaristic, marching tone to it. The horns add life to the mix and the overdubs are masterful.

It Always Comes As A Surprise—-Again, relying somewhat on a latin flavor at the onset, the song takes a dramatic turn with a nice piano interlude and some Maracas in the very backdrop. The piano becomes more lush as the song continues and the vocal enters with a typical Neil delivery that is somewhat morose and melancholy [surprise!]. A beautiful break in the CD, this song provides a nice ‘cooldown’.

A Red Letter Day—-If there were only 20 songs I could hear over and over for the rest of my life, this would be one of them. A perfect storm, the song combines the genius musical architecture of Chris Lowe and the practised delivery of Neil on Vocals to create something that could have been a masterpiece on the charts. What are you listening to DJ’s? Listen to this and allow it to take you over…you will be amazed at the euphoric journey you could take!

Up Against It—-Again, a nice powerful dance track that retains vocals that you need to listen to and think about, The delivery, as usual , is stellar and the music has a nice house style pounding piano that is present but pushed to the back. It serves as a means to move the song along, despite the low sad hum that runs through the entire journey.

The Survivors—-Wonderful in emotion, the song delivers a great dose of melancholy. The back dub vocal is masterful and it is nice to hear Neil in that higher register that has been missing from this release. The song is so intense, yet in an odd way…danceable. Part of this duo’s talent.

Before—-My least favorite track on this release, it felt way to safe for me. I would like some expansion…part of my attraction to this band. This track is too safe and seems like an effort to make a chart single. Disappointing.

To Step Aside—-An absolute masterpiece of dance art that I have ever heard. I never could figure why this was not a huge hit…even on Indie Dance Charts. The Boys really deliver on this composition, a song full of vocal manipulations and a Euphoric dance beat. Neil delivers a vocal that to this day provide me with a huge dose of goosebumps. This is classic and a must hear for any casual listener.

Saturday Night Forever—-A return to a dance fever beat, the musical landscape lives up to the title of the song. You really do want it to be Saturday Night Forever!! Masterful!

**** out of 5

Disc Two:

Parinaro ’95—-A re-release of the classic song for it’s 10th year anniversary. The new version offers little new besides the expanded technological atmosphere the re-working is give. Still sounding fresh and unique, the new version is successful.

In The Night ’95—-Another re-working…the song was the B-side to Parinaro. The song has that trademark quality that the Boys have…a low hum of melancholy through the backdrop, almost overrun by a huge dance beat. This is remarkable!

The Truck Driver And His Mate—-Somewhat rock influenced, the song begins with an abrasive sound. The electronic aspects are very pleasant, and the song waits until .40 to really come alive. Neil delivers a vocal that is so fresh and invigorating, I wonder why this was a B-side. The song drives and drives and drives until you are in China. This is Fantastic!

Hit And Miss—-Taking an almost 60’s psychedelic feel to the music, it swirls around and around your head in layers. Beautifully constructed and vocally sublime.

How I Learned To Hate Rock n’ Roll—-A contradiction from the word go…the song does contain some key elements of rock n’ roll….huge chorus, an underlying bass line and a driving beat. Oh…those Boys…always so tongue in cheek!

Betrayed—-Again….wondering to myself why this song was a B-Side…..somewhat hyper in musical delivery, the song has lots of mood swings and interesting turns. The vocal is very sedate….I think it must be difficult to sing to a track like this. Perhaps the vocal was done to the underlying orchestrations and the hyper beats were added later….Marvelous!

Delusions Of Grandeur—-Wonderful…Marvelous….Bravo….the song has all the components we love…sometimes sounding like a Broadway play of some perverse nature. Wonderful how the music is in your face on this track and the vocal is almost muted in the very back. Wonderful!

Discoteca [Single Version/Previously Unreleased]—-A bit more stripped down musically at the onset, the song comes alive with some nice background vocals from Sylvia, the song quickly reverts to the original. The differences are sublime and after a few listens you recognize them.

The Calm Before The Storm—-Another B-side release, it’s nice to have everything in one place. The song begins with a nice guitar intro that evolves into a nice vocal that is relaxed and natural. The song is pleasant and a welcome change to the hyper dance floor hits. It only accentuates this pairs talent.

Discoteca [New Version]—-Taking the song to new aggressive heights, the song is hyper and incredibly fast…at least 135 BPM. The vocal is still matched perfectly and it is as if the vocal was overlay ed by a producer over this crazy beat. WOW!!!! I’m glad to have this!

The Boy Who Couldn’t Keep His Clothes On—–A silly, fun song that just solidifies the Tennant sexuality early on….we all knew, but he has become more and more blatant as time goes on…this is just an example. A fun silly song, but really nice to have.

A Red Letter Day [Expanded Single Version]—-A wonderful and delicious remixing of the original…add a few more strings, but keep the attitude and euphoria and you have yet another catalog classic!! Wonderful!

The View From Your Balcony—-A B-side from the ‘Before’ recordings, the liner notes list this a previously unreleased, but that is incorrect. I have this on an import EP. The song is nice mix of uptempo beats and an overwhelming emotive vocal that makes you want to introspect and dance at the same time!

Disco Potential—-Heavy and dense, the beats and instrumentation have a really dark overture to them. The song is very fast and moves at an almost overwhelming pace! The vocals are minimal and distorted. A nice acid house romp!

Somewhere [Extended Mix]—-The beginning of the never ending remixes of the Boys rendition of the West Side Story classic. The Boys treat the song with respect and class….the interpretation takes many interesting turns, but always keeps the basic elements of the song intact. Neil delivers a delicious vocal that matches the mood of the song perfectly. Really Wonderful!!

**** out of 5

3 Doors Down/3 Doors Down

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , on 280000006-04:00 12 by marky7235

3Doors Down are an American Rock Band from Mississippi. Formed in 1884, the band released their debut release, The Better Life, in 2000. Sporting impressive sales of 16 million units, the band’s newest release [their 4th] was issued in 2009.

Train—-Riff heavy and slightly blues-tinged, the song travels along at a nice pace. The vocal is natural and un-forced, giving it more of a listenable quality.

Citizen/Soldier—-Sounding much more in the vein the vein that we are accustomed, the band rages with a quasi-metal alt-rock sound that does not disappoint. Masterful in delivery…very nice!

It’s Not My Time—-Sounding slightly generic, the problem with this band, is that it does not break barriers. The band as a whole need to take more risk in order to remain alive. The sound, as it is, disappears in the landscape of up and coming artists.

Let Me Be Myself—-Again, sounding to generic, the band takes little risk in this landscape. Although I give the band kudos for the slight alt-country feel to the falls flat with the chorus though.

Pages—-A little darker in sound, the song has a heavy bass feel that matches the lyrical soundtrack. The vocals are passable but never gain the intensity I’m begging for.

It’s The Only One You’ve Got—-More typical Alt-Rock ballad fare. The music delivers an epic touch to the song, but the vocals are to relaxed and emotionless.

Give It To Me—-Beginning with a heavier sound, the song quiets too  rapidly and never really recovers. This is disappointing for me.

These Days—-Generic and disappointing, the song has few highlights. I like the vocal harmonies that are either added or are a backtrack. The harmonies blend almost perfectly with the guitar leads and it sounds fresher than anything else on this release.

Your Arms Feel Like Home—-Stripped down and almost acoustic, the music is masterfully delivered. The vocal stays in the same safe tone that every song is delivered in…this is sad for me.

Runaway—-The song has a nice almost retro edge to it that is appealing to me. The guitar hits a certain chord at times that takes you back to the mid-80’s. The song opens up nicely with the chorus and delivers a more pleasing song than earlier on this release

When It’s Over—-The vocals, I could do without. Musically, the song shows how popular this band is and how it needs to insist on expansion in sound.

She Don’t Want The World—-Beginning with an odd tempo and sound, the instruments are almost introduced one at a time as the song opens up. The vocals are flat and predictable.

** out of 5

Michael Jackson/HIStory Vol. 1

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 280000006-04:00 12 by marky7235

Pop Culture Icon, Recording Superstar, Musical Genius, Ground Breaking Artist….all adjectives used to describe Jackson at one time or another. Beginning his career at age 10 with The Jackson 5, Jackson honed his craft and talent with his brothers before embarking of a hugely successful solo career. With 14 Grammy Awards, the biggest selling Album in recording history and an incredible sales record of 750 million units, Jackson long ago cemented his place in musical history. Jackson died suddenly on June 25, 2009 at age 50.

Billie Jean—-From the mega selling Thriller release, the song contains one of the best bass lines in recording history. Jackson delivers a vocal that is full of anger, disbelief and incredible funk. Ushering in the age of African American videos on MTV, Jackson made history with this release.

The Way You Make Me Feel—-From the album Bad, Jackson produced a funk-fueled pop gem. With a happy edge to the music, the song immediately makes ones smile and think of the first time they were in love. An undeniably catchy chorus that won’t leave you alone, the song remains a top forty radio staple.

Black Or White—-Single from the DangerousCD, Jackson delivers another funky overture that manages to cross over to all sectors and audiences. Somewhat preachy, emphasizing the importance of diversity, Jackson manages to get his message across while still delivering a fun, danceable mega-hit.

Rock With You—-From the album Off The Wall, Jackson made a huge splash with his solo debut…I will never forget the first time I heard this as a youngster and thinking…what is this!!! I was hooked from the onset and continue to love this release almost 30 years after its initial release.

She’s Out Of My Life—-Another single from Off The Wall, Jackson delivers a tender ballad that can bring immediate tears to your eyes. Full of emotion and quivering vocals, Jackson can be as emotive as he needs to be, when he needs to be. With stark instrumentation and a strong piano base, you hurt with the lyrics as Jackson masterfully delivers them.

Bad—-Title track from the CD of the same name, Jackson somewhat pushes the envelope when it comes to believability. Jackson can hardly be considered ‘bad’, but never the less, the song contains all the elements that make up a huge single.

I Just Can’t Stop Loving You—-Another huge single from Bad, Jackson duets with Siedah Garrett to monumental effect. Another tender delivery with a vocalist that sounds so similar to Jackson, it’s easy to get them confused. With nice instrumental overtones and a nice slow funk beat, Jackson scored yet another classic.

Man In The Mirror—-Yet Another release from Bad, this song remains my favorite Jackson single ever released. With a huge message of ‘self’ and empowerment, Jackson reminds us in a grand way that change starts with you…look in the mirror….if you don’t like what you see…change it! Incredible and powerful.

Thriller—-Title track from the album of the same name, the song broke ground on many levels….featuring vocals from movie monster man Vincent Price, the song was followed by a video, that at the time was the longest video ever played on MTV. The video only made the response to the song even more grand thanks to it’s masterful visualization. Maintaining a very 80’s feel to the music, the song was able to appeal to listeners from every walk of life…if you said you did not like it, you were lying!

Beat It—-Another single from the 30 million selling Thriller, the song features a beat that is undeniably and addictive. Featuring guitar from Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen, the song was yet another single that had huge cross over appeal. Again, the song keeps an 80’s element to it while also appealing to pop freaks. This is masterful and still sounds fresh today!

The Girl Is Mine—-Also from Thriller, Jackson scored a huge coup with this duet featuring legendary Paul McCartney. With a fun, silly video, the song scored high on the charts and helped Jackson to score 8 Grammies at that year’s awards.

Remember The Time—-From Dangerous, this song primarily written by Teddy Riley, rides high on the heels of the New Jack Swing style of R n’ B. With an irresistible beat, it is fun to listen to this now and realize how fresh it sounds. This is remarkable!

Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough—-Another single from Off The Wall, Jackson scored big with a AOR hit that still rode subtle hints of Disco as well as danceable R n’ B. The song has the production style of Quincy Joneswritten all over it…occasional strings, Korg effects and a nice ‘cow-bell’. Mag-freakin’-ificent!

Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’—-Yet another SMASH single from Thriller, the song is a high powered romp through post-Disco fun. The vocal is somewhat forceful and pleasing to the ear. The music is hyper and unforgettable. Sampled over and over…this song is indeed history.

Heal The World—-From Dangerous, the song begins with a nice orchestration and vocal entries from a lone child. Jackson sounds inspired and somewhat fey! A nice tender, feel good message…but not a favorite.

**** out of 5

Martha Wash/The Collection

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , on 250000006-04:00 12 by marky7235

Martha Wash is a R n’ B/Soul/Gospel/Dance  singer/songwriter known for her distinctive voice. As a backing vocalist for Gay Icon Sylvester, Wash along with Izora Rhodes, formed the group Two Tons O’ Fun. This group eventually became famed one-hit wonder The Weather Girls. Exploding on the charts with a worldwide hit, It’s Raining Men, the group later dissolved and Wash went solo. Lending her voice to a number of Dance oriented bands in the early 1990’s, Wash preformed on three top ten hits for Dance band Black Box as well as lending vocals to the #1 hit by C+C Music Factory’s ‘Gonna Make You Sweat’. Irritated because she was not credited properly for her vocal additions to these songs, Wash sued both bands to receive proper credit and money for her work. Because of this lawsuit, legislation was passed making any Artist contributions notable on all releases and royalty payments. Always an Icon in the Gay Community, Wash continues to record intermittently and still has that superstar voice.

It’s Raining Men [The Sequel featuring RuPaul]—-RuPaul is no kind of substitute for Izora, but the song does take on a new modern feel to it at times. Wash maintains that superstar vocal that she is known for and the song sticks to the original formula. It fares well…

Gonna Make You Sweat [Everybody Dance Now]—-What can be said about a timeless dance circuit classic. The song came along at the perfect time, it combined sublime vocal images of Rap/Dance/R n’ B. It was energetic, addictive and unforgettable. Wash should be proud to have been a part of this!!

God Bless The Road—-Regressing back to her Gospel roots, Wash delivers a vocal that is not to be ignored. Yes, the song is a down tempo pop fueled Gospel dirge, but again, the vocal carries the whole thing. When Wash really gets going, you just can imagine her at the front of the church raising all kinds of Alleluias and Amens!!! Awesome!

Give It To You—-A Black Boxclassic, the song combines an American flair to it while including the Euro-Disco that was so popular at the time. Wash delivers a vocal that will live forever on dance floors around the world. This is a mover and a shaker and inspired lots of fun club nights for me back in the day!

Someone Who Believes In You—-Wash delivers a Soul/R n’ B inspired track that is worthy of Aretha[seriously]! When the song adds horns and strings to the mix, Wash raises her voice right with them. A great feel-good song with a positive message.

Taking Away Your Space—-Make no doubt, this woman can sing. To quote Disco Superstar Sylvester“…..She don’t need that hair, she don’t need that jewlery…..this girl can sing y’all…”. The song has an underlying Jazz feel to it that marches the vocals so well. Wash can really let out a bellow when she wants to and you really feel this song!!

Strike It Up—-Another Black Boxclassic, this is a song that will never go away. Perhaps the biggest hit from the Black Box CD, this song again combined all of the things that were going on in mainstream pop at the time. The Euro feel to the music, the added rap lines…the galloping rhythm. Masterful….Indelible!!

Come—-Maintaining a dance floor friendly sound, the song also includes a nice World feel to it. With African voices in the background, Wash is at the very front of the mix but the production works really well.

Keep On Jumpin’ [With Jocelyn Brown]—-A HUGE dance floor hit, charting on Billboardat #1 for weeks, the song is a nice mixture of Dancefloor Divas, a pulsating, driving beat and a Gay sensibility. This is classic dancefloor euphoria!

It’s True I Do—-Musically, at times, the song reverts to the glory days of Sylvester and Two Tons O’ Fun. Wash is in great vocal form, and the music is an old fashioned disco beat that never grows old!

Catch The Light—-ABSOLUTE DANCEFLOOR BLISS!!!! Need I say more?

Takin’ Over—-An absolute exquisite vocal that lulls you into ballad mode from the onset, the song surprises you and opens up into a dance floor stomper that will not leave your brain. Magnificent!

Carry On—-Very reminiscent of the material that Wash did with both Black Box and C+C, the song is high energy and Euro in feel. The music rarely lets up enough for you to catch you breath. This is classic Diva!

Catch The Light—-Combining both her Gospel roots and her Dancefloor sensibilities, Wash delivers yet another classic dance floor stomper. The lyrics are positive and reinforcing, the beat is undeniable.

**** out of 5

Gary Numan/Telekon

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 250000006-04:00 12 by marky7235

A constant and influential recording artist for over 30 years, Numan was at the forefront of Electronic music from the early days. Along with bands like Kraftwerk and Can, Numan helped to set the footprint for the future of Electronic music. Telekon, released in 1980, remains my favorite Numan composition. The copy being reviewed features extra tracks as it is a new re-issue.

This Wreckage—-Featuring the most vintage synthesizer sounds, the song takes on a life of it’s own. Adding some guitar effects and a drum machine, Numan began to create a masterpiece. When Gary enters with his robotic, cold, yet emotion filled vocal, you ache with him…you feel his isolation and his coldness. This is a masterful delivery and a timeless classic.

The Aircrash Bureau—-From the onset, the song reeks of alienation. The synth effects are primitive, yet completely modern in sound. I guess that defines the word ‘timeless’. Numan delivers a vocal that is slightly muted and distant. The British accent is so present, and it just adds to the overall feel of the song. Numan really never actually sings…he has an odd talk/sing kind of vocal delivery that fits the mood of the song. The synths just swirl around the top of your head and draws you in. WOW!!! STILL!!!

Telekon—-Reeking of the early 80’s synth sound, Numan delivers an almost robotic vocal that talks it’s way through a song filled of loneliness, alienation, and pain. The song carries a message of non-emotion, but Numan manages to invoke a high feeling of emotion through his vocal delivery. This is great!

Remind Me To Smile—-The very favorite Numan track of mine of all times. Probably because everyone is always reminding me to smile. When I saw Gary a few years back, I decided to wait for the very last encore of the show before leaving, and lo and behold he performed this song. It was almost as if he knew I was there. I feel that much of a kinship with him. Featuring a darker synth sound, the song open up and delivers a great energy! Unusual for Numan to say the least. A tale of how one responds to the mega stardom brought by a song such as Cars, the year before, you believe that perhaps Numan really does feel as alienated as he proposes to feel.

Sleep By Windows—-A remarkable composition, stark musically but reeking of distance and loneliness. The vocal is so filled with pain, that it actually makes you sad from the inside out. The song mopes along and gradually, slowly inches towards a manic type musical delivery as the song ends. Numan sings “….But, I don’t love you, I don’t love you. Do You Dream?…” and my heart bleeds.

We Are Glass—-Never a favorite song of mine, obviously people felt an affinity for it since it is on ever compilation ever issued. The music is more human and upbeat, even the vocals seem to sneer at times. Perhaps a song about the fragility of life, perhaps a song about the joy of being young. I’m not to say, but the song leaves both of these impressions on me.

I’m An Agent—-A more musically upbeat song musically, Numan again sings in a voice that is higher than usual and one that really fits him. The song, to me, again smells of alienation and loneliness…feelings that are transported to your ears in grandiose effect.

I Dream Of Wires—-An odd song, but when I first heard this [I first bought it on vinyl!!!], it spoke to me because of the in-humanness of the song. The song has a disconnect in the delivery that makes you feel the alienation, distrust and paranoia of the lyric. Fantastic in form and wonderful for the musical sound effects that Numan was able to create at the time.

Remember I Was Vapour—-Featuring lots of synth effects, the refreshing part of the song is the actual piano line that is played through the effects. The song speaks again of emptiness and emotional desolation, but the music overrides the sallow vocal with swirls and pushes of effects that keeps a very slow song moving along. This is incredible!

Please Push No More—-Yet another incredible composition that speaks to the fragility of youth and the undeniable fact that we all begin to grow old as each day passes. The song again features a really beautiful piano line that carries the song. The vocal is much quieter and pushed to the back a little more…Numan is masterful in his funny way of delivering cataclysmic lines….he seems so unaffected. It’s Amazing.

The Joy Circuit—-Another of my very favorite Numan tracks…the song remarkably fills me with energy and happiness…it gives me goosebumps and makes me smile. Perhaps my own alienation is as perverse as Numan’s? I’m not sure of what the song means…and that drives me crazy to a point. The delivery is so great…there is an effect in the song that sounds like strings or cellos or something….the song would not be the same without it.

I Die: You Die—–Another song that carries no happiness, but inspires in me a slight amount of joy and elation. Perhaps it is the delivery, perhaps it is a complete misunderstanding of the song. The music is much more upbeat and human in the way that it drives the song…Numan delivers a vocal that includes actual singing in parts and to a wonderful effect. I love this track!!!

A Game Called Echo—-This entire song…although somewhat sublime in musical delivery, reeks of machines. The lyrics are distant and unintentional, the vocal style returns to an even colder, more distant delivery. I really like it when Numan uses his upper register. It is very becoming of him to here him in this register and allows for an even colder sound. Nicely done….!!!

Photograph—-A piano based instrumental that only justifies my exclamation that this man is a genius. Even using the most stark instrumentation, Numan projects his unhappiness. When the strings are added to the mix it takes on an almost beautifully melancholic sound.

Down In The Park [Piano Version]—-A re-working of the classic song from the Replicas release, the song acoustically takes on a even more sinister, edgier sound. Without the lyrics…you imagine them in your head….the music takes on a whole life of it’s own. I would love to hear this with really simple vocals…no vocal inflections….just a flat recitation.

Tros Gymnopedies [First Movement]—-How can I explain this….it is just simply beautiful and genius. Numan should make a pure, instrumental CD just for the hell of it. He is so capable, and so underrated. This is magnificent.

***** out of 5

Does It Offend You, Yeah/You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 250000006-04:00 12 by marky7235

Does It  Offend You, Yeah are a British Electronic band from Reading, England. The band, formed in 2006, released their debut CD in 2008.

Battle Royale—-From the onset of the song, you know that you are in for a spectacular ride, the music swirls and bleeps along as it just seems to get bigger and bigger. The song has masterful mood changes, the music moves you into a frenzy and then a comfortable chill mode. Very Nice!

With A Heavy Heart—-Beginning almost from the start with an interesting vocal that is reminiscent of 90’s rave music, the music is more brash and in your face. This borders on quasi-dance rock, but is pleasant enough for a few listens. Think of The Prodigy.

We Are Rockstars—-Very much in the vein of Daft Punkand at the same time incorporating sounds of Disco and Rave. The song is a sweaty journey into the nightlife of Britain. Masterful!

Dawn Of The Dead—-This is a pleasant almost poppy romp with dance overtones. The vocals are passable, but I truly think the music could stand on it’s own alone. The chorus is comprised of that catchy hook that will stay with you for awhile, and the music is pure ecstasy!

Doomed Now—-Again featuring Daft Punk robot-vocals, the song shifts between a medium paced dance romp into a higher energy rave stomp er. Pure Bliss!!

Attack Of The 60 ft Lesbian Octopus—-Kudos for the title alone!! The music of the song has strong B-52’s overtures and whips your mind and body into a frenzy. Think of Rock Lobster on acid… got it!

Let’s Make Out—-Rather abrasive and bordering on Punk-Dance Rock, the song is a waste of my time for the most part. The band does much better without vocals!

Being Bad Feels Pretty Good—-The dance beats are exquisite and the guitars show the bands British roots. The vocals are more acceptable with a catchy chorus that remains with you for a while. Not bad at all.

Weird Science—-Definitely showing the influence of bands like Daft Punk or Digitalism, the track is a robot styled frenzied journey of dance beat and computer blips….completely enjoyable.

Epic Last Song—-Full of British Alternative energy, the song has a nice dance beat, but also a more upfront guitar sound that really accentuates the mood of the song…great closer.

*** out of 5

Brand New/The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , on 230000006-04:00 12 by marky7235

Brand New are an Alternative Rock band from New York. Formed in 2000, the band has a huge indie following and was voted Alternative Press Artist Of The Year. The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me was the band’s third proper release, and popular website AbsolutePunk.Netreports the 4thinstallment of their catalog is to be released withing the month.

Sowing Season—-Beginning quiet and with an Indie introspection, the song opens up with the slow emergence of more instruments and a growing emotion to the vocal. The song becomes an almost noisy tirade at points…beautiful!

Millstone—-Again, inrospective and intense, the lyrics must be heard to be appreciated. The vocal harmonies that emerge are exquisite and one of a kind. Combing all the great things about Indie music and making it there own is this band’s forte’. Incredibly moving.

Jesus—-Reminding me from the onset of Blue October, the harmonies are again a must hear to be appreciated. The band manages to keep a fresh sound while digging back into the sounds of past glory days of music. This is fantastic!!

Degausser—-Beginningalmost silent, the song slowly comes to life with a nice guitar and drum track…the vocal again relies on a mix of Indie masterpieces and a sixties inspired trippydelivery. Wonderful in it’s simplicity, the band has never sounded better. When the chorus kicks in with a quasi-choir, you will not forget it anytime soon. WOW!!!

Limousine—-Again, with an almost silent beginning, the song is intense in mood and delivery. The double tracked/layered vocals are masterful and well delivered. Although the song becomes more electric as it progresses, the mood sits deep in your soul and is difficult to shake.

You Won’t Know—-At once spacey and emotive, when the song opens up with actual violence and anger, you are at once taken aback. The emotion is almost overwhelming and the delivery is freakin classic.

Welcome To Bangkok—-Lighter in sound, almost sounding like The Bravery at times, minus the angry yelps and emotion. The song is not a favorite but flows very nicely with the rest of the CD.

Not The Sun—-Nicely constructed with pleasant guitars and a more forward drum track. More experimental in sound but again fits nicely with the mood of the release.

Untitled—-A pleasant but unremarkable instrumental that fits well but is unnecessary.

Archers—-Driving and reeking of Indie spirit, the vocal is superb. The delivery is so emotional and expressive that you can not escape the disdain and angst. Masterful in the way that it congeals with the instruments, I have high, high hopes for this band.

Handcuffs—-Almost acoustic from the onset, the vocal is very quiet and pushed to the back somewhat. As the song progresses, the vocal becomes more clear, yet still quiet in delivery. The band has made huge footprints in the music world…it will be interesting to see how their future progresses.

**** out of 5


Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 230000006-04:00 12 by marky7235

Innerpartysystem are  an American Rock/Dance band formed in 2007. The band claims that their name is based on an Orwellian class system from the book 1984. The band released an EP in 2007 and their debut album was released in 2008.

Die Tonight Live Forever—-Beginning with a low hum that gradually grows and grows into a frantic beat, the vocal emerges with a warmth reminiscent of great 80’s bands. The song has some great ebbs and flows and sounds NOTHING like an American band. This is pretty fantastic stuff, although it took some time to grow on me.

Last Night In Brooklyn—More dance oriented than rock, the definition ‘rock band’ is very confusing to me. The band has a great electronic sound that is accented with great English styled vocals. The hype of the song is invigorating and pleasing. Nicely done!

Don’t Stop—-Hyperkinetic and full of pulsating bass, the vocal at times is muted and pushed far to the back of the mix…to great effect. The song is so energetic, you CANNOT sit still. The pulsating of the beat just sucks you in and makes you want to rock-rave. Great!

Structure—-If I did not know for certain that this was an American band, I would argue that point to no end. The feel is so British, that you can not escape it. The song has a nice fluid musical sound scape, but the vocal is relaxed and almost sad. The lyrics are heartfelt and somewhat intense. The music swirls around you head and lifts you into the purple lights. Magnificent.

Everyone Is The Same—-Beginning with a minimal soundtrack, the song maintains a low level of hype. The vocals again, are more laidback and relaxed but extremely potent. The lyrics are again…intense and heartfelt.

Obsession—-Great computer generated blips and bleeps begin and the song returns more to the hyper edge of earlier tracks. The vocals are undeniably catchy and pleasant. Nicely done!!

This Empty Love—-The first single released from the CD, the song is somewhat dark and dreary compared to the first half of this release. The lyrics in turn are dark and on edge. The song almost reminds me of later Human League releases, without the unmistakable vocals of Phil Oakey.

New Poetry—-Wow…this reminds me of 80’s one hit wonders Naked Eyes, even the music transports me back to that time. This is excellent. The music is damn catchy and the vocal is relaxed in delivery but still maintains a high level of emotion. Really nice.

This Town, Your Grave—-Swirling successfully between a dancier edge and a darker sound, the song is a nice mixture of the bands specialty. The vocal is a bit more forceful and angry. Very good!

Heart Of Fire—-The latest single from this release, the track features a more heavy dance riff, and the vocal is more English in feel than ever. Nice display of versatility as the song ebbs and flows with energy and down tempo’s…this is great!! My favorite track by far.

What We Will Never Know—-Suffers a little from too much sameness, the chorus opens up nicely with a breezy, melancholy feeling. The song is not bad by any means, it just is too much of the same.

Track 12—-An instrumental track that is ambient and trancy in sound….just a waste of space…it generates little emotion. For a debut release, this CD is packed with pleasure and I eagerly await a follow up.

**** out of 5