Archive for May, 2010

Jimmy Somerville [Bronski Beat And The Communards]/The Singles Collection: 1984-1990

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 310000005UTC 12 by marky7235

The Singles Collection 1984-1990Bronski Beat was a popular British synth pop trio who achieved notable success in the mid 1980s, particularly with the 1984 chart hit “Smalltown Boy“. All members of the group were openly gay and their songs often contained political commentary on gay related issues. Although many groups in the early to mid 80s had an openly gay image, Bronski Beat was one of the first groups to address the issues of gay people. At the height of their popularity the band consisted of singer Jimmy Somerville backed by Steve Bronski and Larry Steinbachek, both of whom played keyboards and percussion.

The Communards were a British pop duo active from 1985 to 1988. They are most famous for their cover of Thelma Houston‘s song, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” as well as “Never Can Say Goodbye“.

Jimmy Somerville (born 22 June 1961, Glasgow) is a Scottish pop singer and songwriter. He had considerable success in the 1980s with the pop groups Bronski Beat and The Communards, and has also had a successful solo career.[1]

He is known in particular for his falsetto singing voice.

Somerville’s latest album, Suddenly Last Summer was released in May 2009 as a digital download only.

Smalltown Boy—-Despite the wonderful swirling synths and the hyped Dance Floor beats, this is perhaps one of the most intense dance songs I have ever heard. Somerville delivers a vocal that has gone down in the history books as classic while reminding us that not every journey for Gay people is a happy or easy one. The catchiness of the synth and the irresistable looks of Somerville helped makes Bronski one of the best unknown bands of the 80’s. This still sounds remarkably fresh to me…this is genius….despite the heartbreaking story that Jimmy tells.

Don’t Leave Me This Way—-As a ‘gay icon’. it was inevitable that Somerville would tackle this classic dance floor hit that still pounds off the walls of any respectable gay club today. Somerville delivers perhaps the best cover version of this song I have ever heard….coming close to eclipsing the original in terms of pace and energy. This is remarkable….when you hear the opening strains of this track, you know you are in for a treat…I never get tired of this….Somerville has the pipes and he delivers on this with little problem.

Ain’t Necessarily So—-This borders on brilliant….the song remains full of dance grooves but is plush with jazz sounds and reminds me of something Sade would sing. The vocal, as always is masterful. Somerville tells a story that reminds us to never, ever judge a book by the cover lest you be surprised. The ending of the song…when the gang chants come together remains brilliant. This is fantastic!!!

To Love Somebody—-Somerville covers the Bee Gees with a huge Reggae beat that is splendid. Why did no one think of this angle before. Even the magnificent incorporation of the horns is brilliant. The relaxed 3 beat bass matched with the backdrop of female singers is magnificent….only Jimmy would dare try to pull this off AND succeed. This is brilliant!!!

Comment Te’ Dire Adieu—-This is classic sounding manufactured dance music ala the 90’s with a tremendous gay twist. Singing in French, but with C + C Music Factory beats, Somerville actually reaches way down and delivers a vocal at times sounds foreign and strange…but it is nice none the less. This is a huge dance floor track with both modern dance grooves and synth swirls that remind me of the excess of the 70’s Disco at the same time…fantastic!!!

Run From Love—-With a huge deep dance floor beat and a space filled synth line, Somerville enters the song with a relaxed yet familiar vocal. This is nice, but has never been a real favorite of mine as Jimmy delves into the deeper realms of his voice and in the process looses some of the magic. Nice, but lacks a bit for me.

Never Can Say Goodbye—-Covering Gay iconic songs like the Gay icon he is, Somerville again steps on the Thelma Houston ground with this remarkable cover version of the disco classic from one of the original Divas…and the result is nothing less than spectacular. The swirls of synth and atmosphere are magic…the voice is even better than any human being can imagine…this is classic, well done modern-day Disco that rivals the original in every form.

Why?—-I can remember the first time I heard this song and the effect that it had on me during my initial coming out process…this was as important as acceptance from friends. This helped me to realize that the way I felt was real and ok. Somerville tells a tale that any person can relate to…but for Gay people, this was a step beyond. This was something real that we could relate to and live through and grow from…this is a classic masterpiece!!!

You Are My World—-This is nice…the entrance synth line is heavy with a nice bass beat in the backdrop….and a mellow piano sound leading the way to the entrance of the vocal. This is down tempo music that still fits the vocal of Sommerville remarkably well. There is little doubt about the point of a love song when it is delivered by Somerville and the intensity and aim is clear on this one…if only i could find someone like this to feel about.

For A Friend—-The track is ok…the sunth lines are apparent, but the energy is absent and the song falls a bit flat for me. I love the chorus…it has a bright moment but overall, this seems to lack a real meaning for Somerville and it comes across in the recording in a glaring way.

I Feel Love/Johnny Remember Me—-Perhaps one of the best renditions of this song I have ever heard, I prefer this over the Summer original hands down. The passion and the intensity that Jimmy delivers the song with has rarely been matched. This is musical history…depending on what book you are reading…LMAO!!! None the less, this stands up as well today as it did back when it first surfaced in the early, early 80’s. This is magical. Pure brilliance. The synth lines on this track travel about 150 miles an hour…who caould ask for more???

There’s More To Love Than Boy Meets Girl—-This is magnificent!!! So steeped in the mid-80’s synth line, Somerville delivers a track that is here and there and to the new comer might make them wonder where this guy is coming from…for the fans, the direction is clear. this is addictive synth-pop that sticks in your brain AND to your bones. Classic…wonderful and poppy…this is a piece of magic.

So Cold The Night—-This is bloody marvelous…..with a huge India style flute playing in the backdrop, the bass heavy synth line comes forward and introduces Somerville as he tells a romantic tale of love in the night. This is so fresh and magical for me…I love the exotic feel and the renewed energy of Jimmy…A wonderful journey.

You Make Me Feel [Mighty Real]—-Jimmy takes on the Disco Queen..Sylvester….and emerges unscathed as the version of this song is so huge and masterful you wonder Sylvester who? Nothing comes close to the original, but this is pretty damn close. The energy and the huge synth lines give you a magical euphoric feel that you will keep with you for days after listening to this. This is pure magic…I could not think of a better person to cover this song than Jimmy…wanna get married Somerville????

Tomorrow—-Bass heavy and full of dance floor grooves, this is still slightly sad and over whelming. This comes across as a sadder sound than what I expected…Somerville delivers a classic vocal, but the emotion drips off the edge of the song with a heaviness that you can not ignore. This is great!!!

Disenchanted—-This is great dance floor synth pop that still hangs on to a slight jazzy feel that reminds you of a nice uptempo club act that lands in an out-of-place bar to play. The vocal is nice but differs little from the past 15 songs…a little variance would be nice, but I am not complaining by any means as the lyric is a lesson for every homophobe in the audience to pay attention to. This is great!!!

Read My Lips—-WOW….the music on this is extraordinary….the Euro-Disco sounds are incredible….this is bright and shine and delivers enough euphoric feeling to keep you dancing all night. This is magical and a really great taste to leave in your brain as this release comes to a close…I could not ask for more…this might border on brilliant!!!

****3/4 out of 5

 Th

Advertisements

The Cars/The Complete Greatest Hits

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 310000005UTC 12 by marky7235

Cars - Complete Greatest Hits

The Cars were an American rock band that emerged from the early New Wave music scene in the late 1970s. The band consisted of singer and rhythm guitarist Ric Ocasek, singer and bassist Benjamin Orr, guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes and drummer David Robinson. The band originated from Boston, Massachusetts, and were signed to Elektra Records in 1977.

The Cars were at the forefront in merging 1970s guitar-oriented rock with the new synth-oriented pop that was then becoming popular and which would flower in the early 1980s. Robert Palmer, music critic for The New York Times and Rolling Stone described The Cars’ musical style by saying: “they have taken some important but disparate contemporary trends—punk minimalism, the labyrinthine synthesizer and guitar textures of art rock, the ’50s rockabilly revival and the melodious terseness of power pop—and mixed them into a personal and appealing blend.”[1]

The band broke up in 1988, and Ocasek has always discouraged talk of a reunion since then, flatly telling one interviewer in 1997 “I’m saying never and you can count on that.”[2] Easton and Hawkes, however, joined with Todd Rundgren in 2005 to form a spin-off band, The New Cars, which performs classic Cars and Rundgren songs alongside new material.

Complete Greatest Hits is a compilation album by the New Wave band The Cars, released in 2002 by Rhino Records, and contains 20 singles in chronological order of their original release.

Just What I Needed—-This, like most of the releases from this band, carries a trademark sound that allows you at once to know whom is playing. With a gentle AOR sound, Ocasek delivers his lines in an almost deadpan way while the music builds and swirls around him. This is fantastic…the band was at a creative high with this first release and the hits just continued to pile up. The sound is decidedly 70’s oriented, but still has a fresh and fun sound even now.

My Best Friend’s Girl—-With a topic that most every teenage boy could relate to, The Cars again climbed the charts with this classic tale of unrequited love and sexual fantasy. Who could ask for more? Again, Rik delivers a deadpan vocal that is bolstered by the band in the backdrop…the beginning chords of the song sound remarkably like Jesse’s Girl…but that is forgiven as the song develops into an instant classic. This is freakin’ wonderful to hear again.

Good Times Roll—-This song, a mainstay on 70’s FM radio, has always been a very favorite of mine. It conjures up memories of summer, heat and juvenile parties. The synth swirls that are present were almost unheard of at this time in the evolution of New Wave….the vocal is cold and distant but the timbre of the song speaks for itself. When the voices all join together, it is a pretty good Queen impression. Classic.

You’re All I’ve Got Tonight—-With a bit more of an aggressive guitar sound, this does not fall into the typical landscape of most of the bands songs…this is nice though. I love when the band all harmonize together and the primitive synth line kicks in and drives me close to ecstasy. The music alone saves this from obscurity. Classic stuff!!!

Bye Bye Love—-This, a really less known single, still carries the trademark synth sound of the band although I believe this is Benjamin Orr on vocals…not coming across as mechanical and disembodied as usual. The synths remind me of this time period of Rush….primitive but remarkable for the time period. This is fun and a forgotten song that is nice to hear again.

Moving In Stereo—-I really am unfamiliar with this song from the title alone…as I hear it, I recognize it a bit, but this is almost brand new to me. The swirls in the synth are huge…the bass kicks in and you have a pretty typical Cars song. The vocal is again different from Rik’s monotone delivery…which is nice…you need a little differential now and again. This is nice, but I’m not sure why it is one here?

Let’s Go—-This was the beginning of a stretch of singles released by the band that really cemented them in the New Wave/Rock community of the very early 80’s. It was and remains rather difficult to pigeon hole the sound of the band into just one catagory…..the jangly guitar, and the irresistable synth line created a huge reaction here in the states. The vocal is fantastic…the song is layered in warmth but still has an icy cold element to it that is amazing. I love this…..everything about this is feel good!!!

It’s All I Can Do—-With a rather surprising subtle intro, the guitars are nicely defined and the synths are not as pronounced at the onset. the vocal is cold and with little emotion. when the chorus and the real synth line emerges, you are treated to an instant classic that lives on and on even today. One of the foremost FM radio bands, this is clearly an example of why they resonated all across every musical line during the late 70’s to mid 80’s. This is just wonderful!!!

Dangerous Type—-With a nice bass intro, the predictable guitar sound of the band fully emerges and the disembodied vocal comes from the drakness…the accelerating guitar sound accompanied with the synth and guitar lines gives us another classic single that never grows old for me. This is so reminiscent of the typical crossover New Wave/Rock sound of the 80’s decade…these guys made lots of money off of us with this contagious stuff.

Touch And Go—-With a fairly simple arrangement and lyrics, this song still remains one of my favorites. This is heavily steeped in bass and synth….the vocal is so removed it is as the recording is done in a separate room….when the chorus comes in and the jangly bass guitar enters you have a different song all together. This is freaking brilliant. I love it when the whole band sings together…it creates a full sound that really compliments the music. This remains a very favorite of mine if only for the accelerated synth line and bass guitar alone. Remarkable.

Shake It Up—-Perhaps one of the premier singles in the band’s career, this managed to take them to a nice crossover status that they enjoyed for the next few years to come..allowing them to saturate rock stations and dance floors as well. This is remarkable. Combining the best elements of Rock FM radio and the New Wave flooding the market…combined with a classic video guaranteed the band a place in musical history for this release alone…I never tire of this…the best of both worlds!!!

Since You’re Gone—-This remains SUPERB….the slow and agonizing build-up is just classic…the removed and cold vocal allows the song to rely on the music alone and the music is GRAND. The handclaps and finger snaps creates a whole different landscape for the song…this is just masterful. Rik has never sounded more frustrated and cold…the music….lighter on the synths still claims a magical spot simply for the integrated sound alone…this is just classic!!!

I’m Not The One—- This is much more sedate and sublime than what the public was used to from the band…allowing us to realize that the guys were more than just a party, feel good band. This is sedate and introspective with a nice shuffling beat that pleases the listener at this point in the recording. It is wonderful to hear such diversity and talent from one band…remarkable.

You Might Think—-Perhaps one of the defining singles from the band, this began a stretch where you were hard pressed not to find the band on the radio or on MTV. This is huge fun and the video was just classic…you can not deny the magic and talent of this little band that really never intended to be the biggest band in the land…well they were and we reap the benefits of the output. This is just a wonderful memory all the way around.

Drive—-One of the biggest singles of the band’s career, this single..sung by Benjamin and accompanied by a ver disturbing video shook the fans out of the comfort zone of happy, easy-going music and allowed them to dwell on the emotional aspects of the times with this sedate and somber single. The synths are light, but the atmosphere is heavy. Every single listen to this song leaves me devastated and remembering something I had long ago forgotten…this is history.

Magic—-Again, powered by the success of a classic video, this song was huge for the band even as it was dissolving and the members were intent on going and doing their own thing. Ocasek in this video was the world-wide epitome of chic geek and the synth lines from the band are more powerful than on any song up to this point. This is a remarkable and apt combination of guitars and keyboards that produced a fun energy that resurfaces at the beginning of every summer season…this is just fantastic!!!

Hello Again—-The beginning of this track for me is the best part of the song all put together. The keyboard/synth line is huge and the song becomes this fun pseudo-Devo track that is full of pogo rhythms and fun lyrics. This is a piece of magic…the band coming together on the chorus gives the track a huge fun sound…hard to believe they were close to the end…we will reap the benefits for many years to come…thanks be to God!!!!

Why Can’t I Have You—-Never a favorite track of mine, I’m not even sure this was a hit for the band? The vocal is very nice…the synths are great but there seems to be an emptiness that you can’t get away from on this track…perhaps it was the condition of the band or a simple lack of inspiration. The chorus comes together nice, but the rest of the song sounds like a half done composition.

Tonight She Comes—-This track is a nice return to form for the band…combining the elements that made them huge to begin with. the instrumentation is grand…the synth lines are spectacular and the vocals are so cold and removed you know for sure the band was in a great frame of mind during the composition of this song. This combines everything into a nice package that found them a spot once again on the pop chart with little problem.

You Are The Girl—-The last proper single that the band ever released, the song lacks some of the shine and luster of other tracks. The vocal is nice, but seems uninspired and as if the band was just going through the motions. The chorus comes together rather nice, but there still seems to be something missing from this. A shining career, not overshadowed by a few off kilter singles…they have their permanent place in pop history.

 **** 1/2 out of 5

The Jesus & Mary Chain/Stoned & Dethroned

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 300000005UTC 12 by marky7235

Stoned & DethronedThe Jesus and Mary Chain are a Scottish alternative rock band formed in East Kilbride, Glasgow in 1983. The band revolves around the songwriting partnership of brothers Jim and William Reid. They released a string of albums, singles and EPs between their 1983 formation and their 1999 breakup, and gained notoriety in their early days for short sets and violence that became common at their live shows. In 2007, the band reunited.

Stoned & Dethroned is the fifth album by the Scottish alternative band The Jesus and Mary Chain. After spending most of 1992 touring, including a slot on that year’s Lollapalooza tour, the Mary Chain went into the studio in January 1993 with the notion of recording an acoustic album. For the first time since Psychocandy, JAMC recorded with an actual full band with Monti from Curve playing drums and touring bassist Ben Lurie. The recording took longer than planned, lasting the better part of a year. The album also features lead vocals from guests Shane MacGowan from The Pogues on “God Help Me” and Mazzy Star‘s Hope Sandoval, duetting with Jim Reid on “Sometimes Always“, which was the album’s first single.

Dirty Water—-If you are or have been a fan of JAMC, the first thing you notice from the very first notes of this release is how sedate it is…the distortion and feedback is not oft heard here. The band takes a turn with the more archaic notion of actually making a record you could listen to all the way through and actually understand the words. This only shows that despite the contention between the brothers they are an intelligent and introspective lot that just had to let it out. This is brilliant.

Bullet Lovers—-This is awesome….this has long been my favorite JAMC release….I love the noisy and distorted masterpieces they produce…to see them like this is the middle of the whole British ‘Oasis Movement’ I would consider that genius and right on time. The band never loses the majesty of their sound despite all of the fuzz and feedback…the sound is there and you can hear it strong and clear.

Sometimes Always—-This remains one of  my favorite track on this release. I reach for this so many times…the contrasting vocals between Hope and Reid are incredible…they produce a She & Him song 15 years before they even though about it. This is a piece of magic….the guitars are so pleasant and the gentle sway of the song is perfect for that look down at the floor persona…magical!

Come On—-It is amazing how the band can still sound like the band after removing all of the elements you are so familiar with. This is amazing…this sounds nothing like JAMC but sounds EXACTLY like JAMC….remarkable…..did that make sense. This is gentle with an underlying aggressive sound that is muted but feed by slight familiar feedback. Brilliant!

Between Us—-This is slow, rocking and rhythmic. You find your groove with the present bas that runs through the backdrop…the drums are easy and the vocal is just wonderful…every word is right there for you to hear, process and digest. This is great. You have to look this up and get a listen!!!

Hole—-With a bigger guitar sound, the vocal hearkens a bit back to the golden days as it is presented more removed and with a slight hollow echo. The guitars are more layered and you get a thicker feel from the song. This is nice and full of sludge at times…but still clearer than anything they had done to this point.

Never Saw It Coming—-This is freakin’ fantastic….the low hum runs through this truly acoustic track. This is quiet, gentle and screaming of 90’s UK. This is almost brilliant…Reid sings with such clarity and the underlying energy is kept so in control…remarkable. These guys can get pretty emotionally intense sometimes….jeez!!!

She—-This has a really nice percussion sound…the drums and the bass work together like a machine. The vocal sounds like two…like it was studio overlayed…this is cool though, giving the song a bigger sound. I love this CD…call me a wimp…it’s my favorite.

Wish I Could—-With a slight louder and larger sound, the vocal is at a tone that you know this will open up some. The amazing and introspective lyrics are really a surprise…you feel like you are eavesdropping. The low hum runs through the song…a slight electricity and you are rewarded with a nice heavy guitar line.

 Save Me—-This is fantastic….Reid goes about confessing himself and asking for saving in 4 minutes…WTF….a really great sound with a strong  too loud guitar…typical…this is masterful just for the musical interlude in the middle of the song. Check this out!!!

Till It Shines—-This is, ironically, nice and shiny and full of that late 80’s early 90’s emerging Brit sound. This is nice and melodic and the guitars are well under control. I love this stuff.

God Help Me—-This remains and has always been my favorite track on this release. I always reach for Honey’s Dead and then this….the vocal…with Shane from The Pogues, is brilliant. The guitar is so gentle with an almost country twang to it….the vocal enters and mutters the line “God help me through this day”…..how many times have you said that??? Shane delivers a great vocal…this is magical…I never, never get tired of this and listen to it more often than I should.

Girlfriend—-This is bright and jangly with a deep dark undertow that even lends itself to the deeper vocal. This is louder, the guitars a pit more present and the heavy chords vibrating nicely through the song. This is just about as good as it gets….why have I not listened to this for so long….remarkable!!

Everybody I Know—–This begins with a rather breezy sound…the vocal enters and you catch every single dark word that gives the song a whole different meaning. Some of the tracks on this release are pretty poppy…the lyrics always rear the head though and you realize this is a pretty dark record…wonderful…what else would you require!!!

You’ve Been A Friend—-Gentle and flowing from the onset, the electricity is kept at a minimum but the band does not abandon it altogether. This is nicely done…one time you listen to the song and you concentrate of the musicality and the next the lyrical brilliance. This is a treat.

These Days—-Again, you get a song with an almost Country twang to it. The vocal enters and the lyrics are intense…this was all designed to make you really think about your life. There seems to me…from some of the lyrics….a religious lean to the song…it all serves to make you sway back and forth and think about your life….because Music Matter!!!!

Feeling Lucky—-Rounding out the release as sedate as it began, this is almost bare with no overlaying loudness or even constrained energy…this is a pure slow almost bluesy jam though introspection-land. Just what I needed. This is Brilliant!!!!

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]

The Stone Roses/The Remixes

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 300000005UTC 12 by marky7235

Remixes

The Stone Roses were an English Alternative rock[2] band formed in Manchester in 1984. They were one of the pioneering groups of the Madchester movement that was active during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The band’s most notable lineup consisted of vocalist Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Gary “Mani” Mounfield, and drummer Alan “Reni” Wren.

The band released their début album, The Stone Roses, in 1989. The album was a breakthrough success for the band. At this time the Stone Roses decided to capitalise on their success by signing to a major label; however, their current record label Silvertone would not let them out of their contract, which led to a long legal battle that culminated with the band signing with Geffen Records in 1991, and then finally releasing their second album Second Coming in 1994. The group soon disbanded after several lineup changes throughout the supporting tour, which began with Reni first departing, followed by Squire.

The Remixes is a 2000 release compilation album featuring 12 tracks by The Stone Roses remixed by various artists such as Utah Saints and Paul Oakenfold.

Shoot You Down [The Soul Hooligans Mix]—-With a huge shiny sound, and a lazy trip hop beat playing in the backdrop, the vocal from Ian is moved way to the front of the mix and delivered in perfect pitch…this is bright, sunny and relaxed…building on the psychedelic feel of the original…to be honest, I could not ask for more…this takes a stellar track and only makes it more classic. When the bass hits in the song, your hair moves from the power of it…magnificent.

Fools Gold [Top Won Mix]—-This is MARVELOUS!!!! The heavy but unobtrusive bass beat keeps true to the original version of the song. The vocal is a bit softer but still sounds a brilliant as ever. The beats continue to develop as the song continues…adding more sounds and a more erratic beat that never looses the basic melody line of the original. This is so pleasant, it has replaced the original on the I-pod. Brilliant.

Elephant Stone [808 State Remix]—-With a sound that reminds me of those little play pianos at the onset of the song, the track continues to grow and grow as it progresses. the bass beats become heavier and faster and you are just smiling from ear to ear as the vocal enters the scene reminding you of how FREAKIN” FANTASTIC and important this band was. This is magical…the remix keeps all of the basic elements of the original and only builds on the sounds to make it even more modern and important. the bass hits on this song are monstrous…genius!!!

Waterfall [12″ Remix]—-This is WONDERFUL!!!! Keeping much of the original sound intact. This remix only takes the most sonic parts of the song and evolves them into modern day sound…and in the process loses nothing of the original charm. Brown sounds so good on this track and it only makes me mourn the passing of this band even more. This is a moment caught in time…the movement that started the whole Shoe Gaze movement of the 80’s and 90’s and made us loudly beg for more. Brilliant!!!

One Love [Utah Saints Remix]—-In typical Utah Saints fashion, this song is given an almost Acid house treatment that keeps the general melody, but layers the back drop with manic beats and sound effects. Brown is pushed to the very rear of the mix and the musical interludes take the long ambling approach before the song returns to its original beat. This is nice, but to be honest…it is a bit to hyper driven for me.

I Wanna Be Adored [Rabbit In The Moon Mix]—-This is deep in bass and ambience from the onset….from the very back of the song the familiar sounds of Squires guitar slowly emerges and allows this song to take on some of its original form. The bass heavy beats run on top of everything else and then in comes Brown…sounding disembodied and even more dis-interested than ever. I have to be honest…I much prefer the original.

Fool’s Gold [Grooverider Mix]—-This is full of moody synths and really hard to grasp movements…from the onset the Industrial sounding noises are almost foreign to me. The familiar sounds of brown come forward and allows the song to take some form and fashion of the original, but overall the remix misses the grandeur and mastery of the original. not bad, but not a favorite by any means…give me the original please.

I Am The Resurrection [Jon Carter Remix]—-Now, this is and has always been my favorite roses song ever…I waited with bated breath the first time i heard this…wondering if someone was going to butcher the wonderful memory I had. From the onset, this seems to miss the mark…the sound is full of tin and too much treble and goes on forever…as the remix continues, there is a nice gradual introduction of bass that brings the track back to some of its original splendor. The vocal is way removed and sounds distorted and the synth line is a bit too happy for my taste…this was more intense than joyful for me. This really misses the mark by removing the all important chorus….sad!!!

Waterfall [Justin Robertson’s Mix]—-With a nice Jungle Beat, this kicks off in fine form and refreshes my belief in remixes. keeping the guitar line intact through a comfortable synth line, the song is nice lazy journey through the original that makes me smile from ear to ear. the real guitar lines surfaces and allows the song to progress before another jungle excursions explores the bass line of the song. When Ian begins his vocal you feel a warmth and wonderment at the innovation and brilliance of the band in its original form. My…how I miss the sound of this groundbreaking band. This is a nice reminder of why I loved them so much. Masterful!!!

She Bangs The Drum [Elephant Remix]—-From the onset, this song robs the listener of the grandeur of the original…turning this into an even more psychedelic hyper mis of the original…slowly the elements of the song begin to surface but in the end this leaves me cold and reaching for the original release to satisfy the thirst that it has awakened.

Elizabeth My Dear [Instrumental]—-Another of my favorite tracks, this short little interlude always has brought a smile to me face….this almost 5 minute version is literally brilliant……although listed as an instrumental, there are a few snippets of the vocal. This is full of atmosphere…swirls and magical moments. This is brilliant…in both its original version and the remixed version. I never, ever tire of this masterpiece of a song.

Elephant Stone [Mint Royale Mix]—-With huge synth swirls, the vocal enters right away and the clarity is perhaps better than any i have heard…allowing you to hear every word and revel in the true beauty of the lyrics. This is a nice orchestrated remix with strings and atmosphere that make you really yearn for the true Alternative sounds of the late 80’s and early 90’s when it was all ours and not belonging to the masses. This is brilliant.

****3/4 out of 5

Motley Crue/Red, White & Crue

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 300000005UTC 12 by marky7235

Red, White, & Crue

Mötley Crüe is an American heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1981. The band was founded by bass guitarist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee, who were later joined by lead guitarist Mick Mars and lead singer Vince Neil. Mötley Crüe has sold more than 80 million album copies worldwide,[1][2] with 25 million in the U.S.[1]

The band members have often been noted for their hard-living lifestyles, and the persona they maintained. All members have had numerous brushes with the law, spent time in jail, suffered from alcoholism, long addictions to drugs, had countless escapades with women, and are heavily tattooed. Their ninth studio album, Saints of Los Angeles, was released on June 24, 2008, while a film adaptation of their best-selling autobiography, The Dirt, is due to be released in 2011.[3]

Red, White & Crüe is a greatest hits compilation album by the hard rock Mötley Crüe, released on February 1, 2005 by Mötley Records. To coincide with the album’s release, the band reunited with drummer Tommy Lee, who left the band in 1999. Bassist Nikki Sixx commented on the band’s reunion, comparing it to “seeing Mike Tyson fight. He probably won’t bite anyone’s ear off — but you’re there in case he does.”[1]

According to vocalist Vince Neil, the early stages of the band’s reunion were “kinda’ strained. I hadn’t talked to Tommy Lee in years. Everyone was really guarded and had their managers there. It was very strange. Mick Mars was home, I guess. Either there or the hospital.”[1]

Red, White & Crüe features three new studio recordings: the album’s lead single, “If I Die Tomorrow“, co-written by pop punk band Simple Plan, “Sick Love Song” and “Street Fighting Man“, a Rolling Stones cover. Tommy Lee does not perform on the cover of “Street Fighting Man“; drumming duties were handled by Josh Freese of The Vandals.

Red, White & Crüe is certified platinum.

Disc One:

Live Wire—-One of the first times the band was heard my the mass public, this song still remains fresh, raw and defining of the 80’s hair metal sound. Vince sounded so great…these were a bunch of kids with a dream and they were going to make the dream happen…with talent, Metal and a pretty good dose of talent. Even on this very early track, you can’t ignore the drums of Tommy Lee…this is so great to hear.

Piece Of Your Action—-Vince Neil….in the early days of the band had one of the defining voices of Metal…his tone and trademark quasi.nasal delivery worked so well. This is balls to the walls Metal with just a slight blues Continue reading

Morphine/At Your Service

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 290000005UTC 12 by marky7235

At Your Service

Morphine was an alternative rock group formed by Mark Sandman and Dana Colley in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, in 1989. The band ceased to be in 1999 after frontman Mark Sandman died of a heart attack while performing onstage.

Morphine combined blues and jazz elements with more traditional rock arrangements, giving the band a very unusual sound. Sandman’s distinctive singing was described as a “deep, laid-back croon,”[1] and his songwriting featured a prominent beat influence. When asked by reporters to describe their music, the band created the label “low rock”. One critical appraisal suggests that “Morphine immediately established a minimalist, low-end sound that could have easily become a gimmick: a ‘power trio‘ not built around the sound of an electric guitar. Instead, with sly intelligence, Morphine expanded its offbeat vocabulary on each album.”[2]

Although Morphine was critically lauded throughout their career, it is difficult to measure their success commercially. In the United States the band was embraced and promoted by the indie rock community, including public and college radio stations and MTV‘s 120 Minutes (which the band once guest-hosted), but received little support from commercial rock radio and other music television programs. This limited their mainstream exposure and success in their home country, while internationally they enjoyed mainstream success and support, especially in Belgium, France and Australia.

Singer Mark Sandman coined the phrase “low rock” to describe the sonorous, languid groove he created with the acclaimed Boston band Morphine. This 34 song, two-disc collection contains all previously unissued studio tracks, alternate takes, and live performances, and takes its name from the line Sandman used to kick off most shows, “We are Morphine at your service.” The music spans the group’s entire career and features founding members Sandman (two-string slide bass, vocals),Dana Colley (saxophone), original drummer Jerome Deupree, and his successor, Billy Conway.

Disc One: Shadows

At Your Service—-Beginning with a live cut and the trademark introduction, the band is truly loved by the crowd. the enthusiasm is contagious……

Come Over—-With an almost Rock-A-Billy sound, the band has successfully incorporated strings and standing bass into their repertoire with little problem. This is an Alt-Blues fest as the band jams on and enjoys long jamming musical interludes. This is nice!

Come Along—-The intro to this track is really nice…the drum track reminds me of Mani and the deep bass immediately finds a place in my memory. I could do without all of the horns……the vocal seems pushed to the back of the mix, but it works well with the groove and jammy nature of the band.

It’s Not Like That Anymore—-Again with the long drum intro and the excessive horns…this was not what i expected when I picked it up…it may take me a while to really appreciate this. The band has an almost too eclectic feel for me…the horns and the bass blues groove all sounds the same to me.

Patience [Alternate Version]—-This is really great…playing like a huge Alt-Country song with heavy 60’s overtones, the song is gentle and full of simple guitars and drums…thanks for leaving the horns at home…at least most of them. This is almost brilliant!!!

Call Back—-Again, this reeks too much of the down south blues to really appeal to me…I like the vocal, but all the saxophone and standing bass…this all sounds like on long tedious song.

Bye Bye Johnny—-Gosh….not knowing what I was getting myself into when I started this review, I will stick it out to the end…but this really is not my cup of tea…I really do not like the heavy blues lean on every single song. Expect my comments to be brief…..

Hello Baby—-This really wears on me…this is tedious and hard work to set through some of this stuff. This song has a manipulated blues vocal and you even hear sounds like record scratches running through the song. This really is not my type of music…sorry to the fans of you that love this band….not for me…see what I get for going and exploring.

Women R Dogs—-This, from the onset is a little bit more mainstream…until the huge Tower Of Power horns begin to play and ruin the whole thing. The vocal really, really reminds me of The Doors…the main saving grace of the song…nice.

You’re An Artist [Alternate Version]—-Still reeking of the Delta Blues sound, I have been moving through this rather quickly…there are few songs on this compilation that really appeals to me…I like the muted and sarcastic vocal/lyrics on this track. Other than that, I could do without it.

5:09—-With a rather nice bass line and minimal horns, this song is almost fun for me…the vocal s muted and lazy…the drums are smooth and seamless…I like this until the horns really kick in.

Lilah II—-The lead bass line on this sounds remarkably familiar to me…but I can’t quite place it. The gentle horns are more acceptable and the vocal is again lazy and fun to listen to…this is not bad….that is a very familiar horn line.

Moons Of Jupiter—-This is noisier and more erratic and borders on mania for me. I really do not ike this….I just feel the hairs all leaning the wrong way when I hear stuff like this….next…please…..

Lunch In Hell—-This is better…delivered with an element of darkness that appeals to me. I like the gentle sax that plays in the backdrop…the bongos are masterful and give the song a very accessible feel. This is much better for me…more like this please.

Imaginary Song—-Jumping right back into the jazz influenced sound with horns and snares, this song manages to be remarkably fun with some nice 80’s overtones to me…think of a drugged out Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Not bad!!!

Shadow [I Know You Part V]—-This really reminds me of more subtle Lou Reed…the horns and snares are really low-key and the overall tone of the song is relaxed and serene. I love this….not a bad way to end this side…..

Disc Two: Shade

Good [Live]—-This is nice….the live form of the band seems a bit more lazy and not as sonic as some of the annoying recorded blues that it produced. There is a certain feeling in the air that reeks of relaxation and an easy Summer groove that I really like…better for me.

Only One [Live]—-This comes across as really ska influenced and determined to work against the grain of my preferences….the vocal is delivered in a great style…lazy and relaxed that falls into the musical groove really well. overall…this is irritating to me.

Shoot ‘Em Down [Live]—-No….no thank you at all….this is too erratic and jam based to appeal to me…the reasons I do not like The Dead or Dave Matthews or Phish or Ekoostic Hookah…….not my style!!!

Saddest Song [Live]—-Love the bass line on this song….the lack of horns please me a great deal and the vocal again borders on a Morrison style that really works…hard to tell that this is live…no audience noise or interaction, but this is at least something I can take, love and move on with.

Claire [Live]—-Ugh…..not my cup of tea again….the sax is too heavy and the guitars are absent altogether. Sometimes this reminds me of the more experimental sounds of Henry Rollins.

I Had My Chance [Alternate Version]—-I like this…..with a slight resemblance to a long ago vocal by Glenn Danzig, this could have fit on any of his records if you through in a little evil in the process. This is nice…I love the laid back and lazy feel.

Buena [Alternate Version]—-This is nice, but leans a little too hard on the blues side for me once again…this review has really been a chore for me!!!

Empty Box [Alternate Version]—-This is odd…but I surprisingly like this vocal narrative set to music. The pace is jam heavy and you can only imagine what is going on with this sort of jam live…this is deep, dark and sexy. I like this!!!

All Wrong [Alternate Version]—-This is so Mark Ronson inspired I almost expect to hear Amy start to sing…this is irritating to me, but the only intermittent horns are in favor with me. I like this, but only as an occasional listen.

Put It Down [Live]—-Now this, I like. Even with the ever-present saxophone playing, the remarkable thing for me about the song is the damn pleasant bass line that fills up the song and dictates its progression and sound. this is really nice….

Free Love [Live]—-This is a little too down and dirty blues for my taste…I really don’t like this…the whole texture of the song is chaotic and free based for me…where is the structure and the direction?

Sexy Baby Christmas Mine [Live]—-No….No…..No!!!!

Scratch [Live]—-There is really heavy sax on this track, but the pace of the song is faster and the construction appears more practised. This could be Beck on any given release….this is stellar…love this.

Super Sex [Live]—-The drums on this track are super fantastic…the guitar actually shows up and drives the song…despite the heavy jazz overtones, this appeals to me. This is fun.

Radar [Live]—-Although this has a really nice pace to it and the vocal again makes me think of Glenn Danzig again, the horns are too present and the drum high hats get on my nerves…next….

I’d Catch You—-This is Sunday Brunch jazz heavy…really nothing about this makes me respond in a positive fashion…this is just not my kind of band…so much for investigation and surprises.

The Night [Alternate Version]—-This is really nice…the slow and seductive quality of the sax is really nice as are the sexy drums. The vocal is on reverb and only adds to the sweet and seductive qualities of the song….this is nice..I could reach for this from time to time…what a great chill-out song.

Take Me With You [Alternate Version]—-Ugh…..no, no, no……the very onset of the song almost makes me fast forward the disc…the the vocal enters and sways my mind and I continue to listen…it gets in you and feel compelled to listen for awhile…nice…I like this.

Shade [I Know You Part IV]—-This is nice…the vocal is manipulated and put in the very front of the mix…the horns have become so irritating to me, they pound like hammers in the front of my brain…lessons learned.

** out of 5

Melissa Etheridge/Fearless Love

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 280000005UTC 12 by marky7235

Fearless LoveFearless Love is the 10th studio album by American rock/pop musician Melissa Etheridge. The album was released on April 27, 2010 by Island/Def Jam Music Group, produced by John Shanks. Melissa said in an interview the album is “about being fearless. It’s about choosing love over fear. It’s a way, a philosophy of living life that suits me well.”[1] The album was recorded at The Document Room in Malibu, and Hensons Studios in Hollywood, CA.

Fearless Love—-The title track and lead off single to the CD finds Etheridge in familiar territory. She always manages to do her best work with minimal instrumentation and her vocal as the main driving force. This is nice….the build-up to the chorus almost drives you to madness…you know a big chorus is coming and it is worth the wait. this will get into your head and lay there for awhile…rearing it’s head when you ned it the most. The power of music…..because music matters!!

The Wanting Of You—-Creeping up on you, the song begins in a rather sedate and gentle way…the vocal enters and you think about everything that has been going on in Melissa’s life and you recognize some stuff….like you are eavesdropping!!! Melissa sounds fantasic…even when the rasp is not evident, her voice is pure and real…..as are her lyrics.

Company—-This has some really familiar guitar leads…I’m just sayin’……Etheridge begins in a classic and wonderful Alt-Country delivery that really has you slowly rocking back and forth. The instrumentation is pretty consistent and I sit here thinking that Melissa is the Springsteen for ‘The Community’…..truly. The Who……

Miss California—-This begins in a rather odd and unnecessary way….ethridge enters pretty soon afterwards and delivers a Janis style soul, southern dirty song. This has never been my style of music…I really never got the meaning of the Blues movement…none of that stuff made me blue…it made me irritated. Add in that slow sleazy guitar and I am gone. This song is just that…the vocal is nice, but I really do not like this.

Drag Me Away—-Now, this stuff I really get into. This is a nice Alt-Country feel good song that makes me think of Etheridge playing the guitar in a huge wheat field with the sun shining…this is fantastic….really makes up for the previous song. This gets so big….this will be a single….trust me and I think it will do really well.

Indiana—-Wow….beginning like a ‘Church Song’, Etheridge enters with a vocal that is pure and beautiful. This is wonderful!!!! You wait to see how the song is going to develop…..the band comes alive after the first refrain and chorus….Etheridge plays story-teller and paints great pictures with her words. This is fantatic…this may be my favorite track on this release. It is a nice combination of Alt-Country and grass-roots Rock. Nice!!!

Nervous—-I like the nice jaunty bass that leads off the song. This is almost bordering on pop music!! The vocal is seductive and full of sex…the groove is dirty and bluesy but accessible and mainstream at the same time. This is nice….different for her.

Heaven On Earth—-Wow….this is really nice….Etheridge delivers a vocal that is so clean and pure, you would think this was a 20 yr. old. At the same time there is an air of experience that allows the song to be real. This is pretty freaking fantastic!!

We Are The Ones—-OK….all of the weird soundbite business at the onset was odd….the song is a bit to gentle…the placement of songs are so important and we needed something harder at this point…this will be ignored because it is cemented in between two other rather sedate songs. Regardless,I hope people pay attention to this…the message is clear and the chorus is pretty damn catchy. This really does develop into a very nice track…..great!!!!

Only Love—-Wow….really great intro line…banjo or mandolin or something…damn pleasant. Melissa again seems rather sedate and introspective…but you know how her songs are…you have to wait to get the reward. The twang in the voice is awesome…..the gentle guitar is relaxing and allows you to soak in the words. This is nice. no big surprises, but consistent greatness.

To Be Loved—-Again…..WOW….this is really nice….what a great vocal delivery…it is rare today to catch every single word…this song is perfect. You wonder and wonder about the meaning of the song and the recent things and you feel sad because the pain is really real!!! Fantastic….Etheridge is more intense than Alanis ever tried to be. This song is a lesson.

Gently We Row—-Nice…..gentle acoustic guitar really does show the true voice. This is so stripped down and raw…you hear every word and you fall into the story…the nominal instrumental distraction is almost a distraction. But the electricity is not here…this is Indigo Girls inspired folk rock.

**** out of 5