Archive for December, 2010

Beth Orton / Pass In Time-The Definitive Collection

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 3000000012-04:00 12 by marky7235

Pass In Time- The Definitive Collection

Beth Orton (born Elizabeth Caroline Orton, 14 December 1970) is a BRIT Award–winning English singer-songwriter, known for her ‘folktronica‘ sound, which mixes elements of folk and electronica.[1] She was initially recognised for her collaborations with William Orbit and the Chemical Brothers in the mid 1990s. However, these were not Orton’s first recordings, she had released a solo album, Superpinkymandy, in 1993. Since the album was only released in Japan, it went largely unnoticed by international audiences. Her second solo album, Trailer Park, garnered much critical acclaim in 1996. Orton developed a devoted audience with the release of the albums Central Reservation (1999) and the 2002 UK top 10 album, Daybreaker. In her 2006 release, Comfort of Strangers, she has moved towards a more folk-based sound and away from the electronic sound of her past albums.

The Analysis:

Central Reservation—-Beginning rather acoustic, but slowly picking up in pace, Beth enters with her trademark vocal that is both breathtaking and unmistakable. The words wash over you like a gentle wave…full of emotions and serenity, honesty and blatant truth. This is remarkable….upbeat and at the same time filled with an overwhelming sadness that is unescapable…Orton is a gem!

She Cries Your Name—-At this point in her career, Orton was fully in her ‘folk-tronic’ era. The music is full of small little intricate musical sounds that only serve to highlight Orton’s melancholy vocal and lyric, while also being accessible as hell. Why this woman was not huge is beyond me. The Orbit sound that is provided via the electronic sounds are trademark…there is no mistaking the homage to bands like Portishead….this is stellar…still sounds fresh and still smacks me in the face with the emotional quality as well.

Someone’s Daughter—-This is full of a nice almost funky folk sound that reminds you of summer days when you were a kid and people actually skipped down the street. At the same time, if this catches you in the right mood, it can bring tears to your eyes and devastate your emotions at the same time. this is a remarkable track…the overlays that are on the vocal track give the song this huge layered sound…making me smile and tear up at the same time…of course, that is what music is all about right?

Where Do I Begin—-Really, one of my favorite Orton songs. This combines the wonderful vocal elements that Beth brings to the table and is so laden with the electronic sounds of her early experimentation…I just smile my way through the tears…this is exquisite and speaks to my life at the moment. This is fantastic…a piece of emotional music that can control your emotional flow depending on where you happen to be at the point you hear it.

Stars All Seem To Weep—-This is a surprise from the onset, the ‘electronic’ sounds that emit from your headphones remind you of the beginnings of a West coast Rap track, then Orton enters and steers you in a total different direction. this is the best of indie Folk that you have ever heard, mixed with a remarkable accessible funk beat that actually allows you to listen to the words and digest them…store them and save them up to a later date when you NEED to pull them out again. Fantastic!

Touch Me With Your Love—-Rather quiet and introspective, this track still manages to provide a nice mix of Folk and Electronica. when Beth enters with the ‘chorus’ of the song, you are swept up in a wave of emotion…you believe and feel every single word that she sings…the ghostly electronica only serves to heighten the words and mood…a nice breath of fresh air!

Safety—-This is pure classic acoustic folk that makes me smile as each word is emitted from the throat of Orton. this is honest emotion, relatable and incredibly poignant. The song has the magical ability to elate me and bring me to a precipice of personal danger at the same time. I am incredibly humbled by the honesty and the truthfulness of the words…I am moved!!!

Sugar Boy—-This is another of those Orton tracks that remains a favorite. This seems to speak to me…God knows I have put enough girls through this shit. I love the loneliness and slight anger feel to the vocal. This is as about as honest and as real as you can get. Kudos Beth… least you tell it the way it is.

Galaxy Of Emptiness—-Heavily steeped in that William Orbit kind of Electronica, this is full of moody and transcendent musical sounds that magically take you to the place that you need to be on the given day that you might listen to this. This is remarkably layered and delivered with a trip-hop kind of sound that was very popular in the underground in the mid-90’s…this still sounds remarkable to me…even now!

Pedestal—-This track finds Orton at her very acoustic, Folky best. Delivering one line after another that are designed to rip your emotion to the very fore-front of your brain, this is remarkable. You manage to question everything that you belive in and that you want to believe…whether it is your life or someone else’s. This is transparent as hell…brutally honest and remarkably devastating.

Dolphins—-I really have never liked this song…only the strings excite me…but the rest is a waste to my ears…Sorry!

I Wish I Never Saw The Sunshine—-Another of those Orton songs that are instantly recognizable and meaningful to me. This is one of the loneliest vocals I have ever heard…beth delivers line after line that reminds you what a broken heart is all about. This is as emotional and real as it gets. Make no doubt that this is a voice that has experienced both joy and loss…welcome to my world!!!!

Best Bit—-Orton delivers a vocal that is almost to full of urgency for me on this track…the hurried-ness of the song seems to allow for a loss of emotion. The musical landscape is much more rock oriented and seems to rob Beth of some of the emotion that she is more capable of. This is nice, but not a favorite…..

It’s Not The Spotlight—-Wow…this is first time listen for me and it literally tore my heart out….you can’t get much more intense than this. This is stripped down, bare and raw…allowing you to feel every single word that is pronounced. This tears me up…soon to be a favorite on my especially bad days.

Don’t Wanna Know About Evil—-Returning to a more predictable Electronic feel on this track, Orton seems very comfortable with this genre…I’m still confused as to why she managed to abandon the whole thing. The vocal is delivered with a nice reverb that adds even more emotion to the lyrics. this is stellar…wonderful and perhaps an artist at her peak!

The Same Day—-From the onset. this reminds me of a classic Rickie Lee Jones track….full of a slight Blues/Folk that touches me and stays in your brain for hours after you first hear it. Orton delivers a vocal that is drawn out and delivered with slight ennunciations that only seem to heighten the emotional quality of the song. This shit is stellar!!!!

Stolen Car—-Another of those earlier Orton tracks that have remained a very favorite of mine…there was a three CD stretch where it seemed like Orton could do no wrong and then the general public abandoned her and moved on to other things…perhaps I am the most fortunate person in the world for still listening despite what the charts and sales dictated. This is fantasitic…Orton delivers line after line in her rough shoved together sentences that fit every emotion possible all together at once…leaving you in an overload that is exquisite and delicious.

Where Do You Go—-Wow….replendant in strings and acoustic guitar, this is a track that touched my heart from the very first note. this is incredible…Beth sings in a voice that is much lower in tone and more expressive than anything I have ever heard. Think of a deeper Enya with words that actually mean siometing…this is incredible…I could not ask for more than this at this moment.

Sweetest Decline—-Delivered with a huge ode to the blues-jazz feel of low dive bars that cater to the sad, this is remarkable. I love the swell of the strings, the jazz infused piano and the remarkable relaxed feel of the song. This is a favorite….the vocal is so pure and real…i xould never ask for more.

Water From A Vine Leaf—-Well, this has a HUGE Electronic infusion that makes the song incredible from the very first notes. Imagine if Madonna would have taken on this song from Orbit on her Music or Ray Of Light record….I can guarantee you that the public would have digested this with little problem. This track has a nice ambient feel that never strays too much from the original Orton sound…that is what I love about her….expansion without compromise!!!!

Pass In Time—-This is a remarkable duet that manages to leave me as devastated and full of feelings as anything that has been ever releases by Orton. The music is a remarkable blend of Alt-Country and gentle acoustic guitar that sucks you in from the very first notes. this is beautiful, emotional and designed for those in pain….and that feel real emotion!!!!

Concrete Sky—-Another of those iconic songs in the career of Orton, once you hear this track you will be hooked and will return time after time. The vocal and the melody is so remarkable….this is a wonderful mix of Indigo Girls vs. Rickie Lee Jones….you can’t go wrong with either of the three. This is fantastic…a stellar cornerstone in a wonderful career.

Thinking About Tomorrow—-Delivered in a remarkably lazy manner, the acoustic style guitar fits Orton and her deliver so wonderfully. The song is laid-back, warm and full of warm melodies that suck you in and allow you to breathe in the essence of the emotions from beth…this is damn magical.

****3/4 out of 5


Weezer / Christmas With Weezer

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 2200000012-04:00 12 by marky7235

Christmas With Weezer

Christmas with Weezer is a Christmas album by American rock band Weezer. It was released through DGC / Interscope on December 16, 2008.[1]

The six tracks were originally recorded for the previously released iPhone OS video game Christmas with Weezer.[2] The Tap Tap versions of these songs lack the background vocals found in the released versions and are different mixes.

The Analysis:

We Wish You A Merry Christmas—-Beginning rather traditional, once the classic Weezer backdrop hum is entered into this song, you are almost instantly in the spirit. there are some great harmonies on this song and a classic sound that automatically allows you to know who is singing this. this is pretty fantastic for Yuletide Music!!!

O Come All Ye Faithful—-This is, from the very first note, so damn addictive you will almost forget that this is a traditional religious song. this is delivered with a joyful abandon and a sentiment that you can actually believe in. Cuomo delivers a nasally vocal that sucks you in and leaves this an instant classic Yuletide track in your CD player. Just wonderful…and the way the guitar transports is incredible…magnificent!!!

O Holy Night—-One of the last songs that you would expect that this band would cover, the slight metallic sound is magnificent. The slow and plodding melody line that runs through this classic, ancient sound is so full of the Weezer sound that this is another that you can not get out of your brain. This is just fantastic!!!

The First Noel—-This is not your traditional First Noel….delivered with a nice slow and plodding Weezer delivery, Rivers delivers a crystal clear and damn pleasant vocal…I was sucked in from the very first note. this is delivered with a sincerity and a truthfulness that allows you to think that the song choice on this EP was very careful and meaningful. This is just brilliant!!!

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing—-Wow…this is just fantastic. Making you think almost instantly of the diner from Happy Days and the song Buddy Holly, this is a nice retro sounding track that still manages to capture the spirit. The vocal is fantastic, but the drums and the slight fuzzy guitar makes the song even more fantastic…this is a piece of brilliance…listen to this twice!!!!

Silent Night—-Only this song seems a bit uninspired to me, perhaps there are too many layers to the song. None the less, it is once again the genuine vocal that reminds me of why I love this band and this mini-release. This is nice, but a bit of a let-down.

****1/2 out of 5

Nitzer Ebb / That Total Age

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 1200000012-04:00 12 by marky7235

That Total Age

That Total Age is the debut album of the British EBM group Nitzer Ebb. After its release, it spawned the hit single “Join in the Chant,” which hit #9 on the US dance chart in 1987.

The Analysis:

Fitness To Purpose—-This band, really was my first introduction to what has come to be known as Industrial Metal….I was amazed and intrigued from the very first notes of this release. The music still remains to this day abrasive and annoying…making it all the more intriguing. I knew from the first moment that this was going to be something important…even now, this early recording still excites me and causes me a great deal of excitement.

Violent Playground—-Delivering an aggressive dance oriented abrasive metal track, the band had me from the first notes of this song. The vocal is remarkable…barked at you from the speakers and delivered with an irritation that resonated with me right away. This is remarkable…although tame compared to many of the releases that you get from the genre today, this was the continuation of the founding sounds of aggressive dance music that was started back with Can and Throbbing Gristle…this still sounds wonderful to me…..

Murderous—-God I love this song….this is like part one on Join In The Chant…just getting you ready for the more aggressive nature of the oncoming single. This is delivered with a fantastic barking vocal that brings me goose bumps and overwhelming streams of energy. I never get tired of this…even though I have not listened to this in some tme….as i re-visit it, it still sound electrifying to me. I am in love all over again……

Smear Body—-This is so full of early day Industrial aggression… just have to love this shit!!! This is one of the bands that really opened up the underground clubs to the whole sound that was emerging from Germany. Trent took many lessons from this I’m sure….this is fantastic…full of driving bass…aggressive drum machines and the most annoying German sounding vocals to emerge ever. Rammstein owes this band millions!!!!!

Join In The Chant—-One of the first songs that I ever heard that convinced me that this was a viable and emerging art form, I still return to this track all the time. The aggression and the energy that it produces makes me smile…fills me with purpose and renews the love that I have for music. This has so many underlying messages to it…you have to embrace the entire song as an ‘experience’….I will ALWAYS love this stuff….fantastic memories and still very viable today!!!

Alarm—-I like this almost more than anything else on this release because it is full of incomprehensible vocals and incredible energy. The conclusion is yours and the process of getting there is full of Industrial Machine Styled sounds that fill you with vigor and energy. This is classic stuff….delivered with a bit of a dub style, this is still aggressive and new.

Let Your Body Learn—-Fresh and exciting, this has a machine progression that is delivered at a frenetic and fast pace that makes me want to almost jump from my chair. This is incredible…the vocal…although a bit removed from the song and all of the machine sounds, still delivers an aggression that brings goose bumps to my arms. this is full of slight and subtle sounds that are all over the place…this is incredible…a true dance track that allows you to be aggressive and much less of the fag you really are!!!! Remarkable!!!

Let The Beauty Loose—-Full of machine generated rhythms that are as addictive as DM and accessible as Kraftwerk, it is amazing to me that this band did not find a huge click in the US? This is short and sweet, but still true to the identity of the band.

Into The Large Air—-Although I like this, this is usually something that I do not listen to as far as the complete release goes. The music is a bit hollow to me…the saving grace being the remarkable and aggressive vocal. I love the vocal from this guy…it is unmistakable and classic…you can never confuse Nitzer with any other band.

**** 3/4 out of 5

Siouxsie & The Banshees / Once Upon A Time – The Singles

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 1200000012-04:00 12 by marky7235

Once Upon A Time / The Singles

Once Upon a Time: The Singles is Siouxsie and the Banshees‘s 1981 compilation album featuring the band’s UK single releases to date. The album featured several songs that had been released as singles yet had not appeared on any of the Banshees’ four albums.

In 2002, Q Magazine named Once Upon A Time: The Singles the 7th Greatest Album of All-Time by a Female Artist.

The Analysis:

Hong Kong Garden—-Combining Asian elements, post-punk giddiness and New Wave energy, Siouxsie proved a force to be reckoned with during these early releases. this is full of the energy of the London Punk Movement but also filled with a dramatic goth edge that immediately caught the attention of disenfranchised american youth as well. This is stellar…delivered with energy and a melody that will stay in your head.

Mirage—-There is an undeniable energy to this damn thing that stays with you…but the remarkable thing, as always, is the vocal from Sioux. This is a voice like no other that was apparent at the time. In fact, there were few female lead vocalist even around at this time…especially in the realm of Goth/Alternative rock….this is the mistress. What wonderful memories!!!!

The Staircase [Mystery]—-The first thing you notice about this song is the much slower and plodding guitar line…the band now moving firmly into a more Goth oriented sound….Sioux sounds remarkably young and fresh to me…that alto tone of hers seems to control every single note that the band makes. The mood is stellar and the feel seems incredibly genuine!

Playground Twist—-This has a nice dark fuzz to the whole damn thing that makes me smile from the corner of my mouth….I love the aggression yet the remarkable accessibility. This is fantastic…full of sounds coming at you from every direction…along with the deep and passionate vocal from siouxsie…this is another of those really great memories.

Love In A Void—-For me, this is a pretty unremarkable track…although it remains consistent to the energy level that the band had proven time after time with many of the releases. Sioux delivers a damn stellar vocal…that consistent tone of her voice is so accessible…i love this older classic stuff….I never get tired of the post-punk London sound!!!

Happy House—-One of my favorites, and one of the songs that really propelled the underground following in the US, this is classic Siouxsie. Full of more Asian musical influences and a lazy vocal that is relaxed but still so damn strong. This is energetic and delivered with a tone that allows for a level of anger and disdain…I love this stuff!!!

Christine—-Always and forever reminding me of my BFF Tina, Siouxsie was one of those bonding moments early on in our friendship…so of course the track remains very important to me. Not only is this track catchy as hell and meaningful, there is a magic to the rhythm section that took the band to a whole new level of sound and energy. this was the emerging Alternative sound and you can recognize a hundred bands in this song.

Israel—-Without a doubt, my favorite track from the emerging Banshees. From the first part of their career, this track is probably one of the best things they have ever managed. The remarkable vocal tone is there once again…Siouxsie always sang so forcefully yet never seemed to be pushing past her limits…the sound was natural and easy. This again delves into sounds that are not mainstream instrumentation…the sounds are much more exotic and rare…this makes me smile!!!!

Spellbound—-Nicely energetic and differing very little from the very successful sound that helped to propel this band, there is a nice acoustic element to this song that lies in the very back of the mix…I’m amazed by how this sounds still so fresh and alive…another great memory and another very large smile!!!

Arabian Knights—-Another stellar single from a pretty remarkable string of releases during the mid 80’s time period. Sioux again delivers a vocal that is unmistakable…there is no other voice like this and you know it the moment you hear it. A timeless classic piece of history…remarkable!!!

**** 1/2 out of 5


Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 1000000012-04:00 12 by marky7235


Oceano is an American deathcore band from Chicago, Illinois, formed in 2006. The band signed to Earache Records in 2008 and subsequently released their debut album, Depths on April 7, 2009. Their upcoming second album, Contagion was released on November 9, 2010.

The Analysis:

Precursor To Enslavement—-Giving you very little time to gather your senses, once this onslaught begins, you are in for a journey of brutality that is unrelenting. The drum delivery from this band is pretty freakin incredible…..once the guitars and the vocal joins in on the onslaught, you are left in a huge sloppy mess on the floor. This is brutal…intense and delivered with an intensity that is rare these days. The guttural delivery gives way to screams at a moments notice and the energy is remarkable…this far surpasses the debut release!!!

Viral Re-Antimation—-One of the other remarkable additions to this secondary release from this band is the inclusion of a huge sense of melody. This is brutal….have no doubt, but the rhythm section of this band provides a nice melodic delivery that makes this even more acceptable than you ever imagined. The vocal is unrelenting….making you wonder how the hell this guy can shift gears so quickly…this is stellar freakin Death….not many US bands are making quality stuff like this anymore!!!!

Regulated Disposal Of Life—-This is incredible…the vocal delivery is so layered that it almost sounds like there are three different people singing all at the same time…I wonder how the band manages to produce this live…and I missed the live show that they had here a few weeks ago. This is brutal…the highs are incredible and the lows are so guttural that george needs to watch out…this is new generation Death and it is shining like a mother fucker!!!!!

Quarantine—-This brings a HUGE smile to my face…this is full of brutality, speed and threat…makiing me wonder why there are not more bands like this around today…what the hell has happened to the death scene in the US???? This is delivered with a ferocity that allows you to live in the past and look forward to the future…all the while delivering a sense of melody and anger that fits the times we live in…this is stellar shit!!!!

The Contaminated—-Beginning with a bass heaviness that only sets you up for the onslaught that is to come, this is incredible. How the hell can this guy sing like this? This is an art…whether people really want to accept that or not…not everybody can do this kind of thing. The movement between the deep bellows and the metallic highs are incredible and precise…I love this. The melody that pervades the song is contagious as hell and it almost makes this a relaxing and acceptable listening experience for the seasoned music fan…this is quality shit!!!!

Exist In Confinement—-Wow…..this is a surprise at the onset…the almost acoustic style guitar is a shock after the previous 4 songs or so…allowing your brain a magnificent deep breath before the bass delivery kicks in. Again, this shows so much growth in the band…allowing you to see the talent that has accumulated,..this is just not an all out thrash Death adventure, but rather a nice excursion of sounds and moods. I am so impressed with this….fantastic!!!!

Persuasive Oppression—-Returning to a much more familiar and brutal style that you are accustomed to, this is a band that is growing and delivering some of the best midwest metal that is available to fans. This is incredible…the short machine gun style guitar blasts are freakin amazing…the drums are huge…delivered at hyper speed and the vocal is unrelenting…I am smiling my way through this release…happy as a freakin lamb being led to slaughter!!!!

Sadistic Experiments—-This track more than lives up to it’s title…the delivery is in short and fast blasts of incredible aggressive music that leaves you breathless…the voacl is incredible…switching between deep growls and huge screams that leave you gasping for oxygen….this is a trip…this song makes the entire release worth the purchase…this is a band at its creative peak…I have to catch this experience live…I can only imagine the reaction of the crowd as it moves to this aggression….shoulder pads and protective mouth guards!!!!!

Remnants Aflame—-This track never leaves you a moment to catch your breath…the music comes at you in these short and machine gun styled blast that makes you gasp for air…this is incredible…the voice is a fresh as at the very beginning of the release…the brutality is just as real and the dedication in more than you could ever ask for…these are my new heroes!!!!

Ending Intellect—-This track, more than almost anything on this release. makes me want to punch things and destroy that which is around me. This is aggressive to a fault….making me boil over with aggression and pure musical excitement. I love this band!!!! This is stellar stuff….other up and coming bands in the US better sit back and take notice!!!!

****3/4 out of 5

Heaven & Hell / Neon Knights [30 Years Of Heaven & Hell: Live In Europe]

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 1000000012-04:00 12 by marky7235

Neon NightsNeon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven & Hell (‘Live in Europe’ for the U.S. market and ‘Live at Wacken’ for the European market) is an upcoming posthumous live album by Heaven & Hell. Recorded at the Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany on 30 July 2009, it was released in the U.S. on 16 November 2010 and in Japan on October 27, 2010 (Deluxe Website Version) and November 10, 2010 (retail version). It includes songs from all 3 of the official Dio-era Black Sabbath albums, as well as songs from The Devil You Know. The album will be released in both CD and DVD formats, and the DVD will also include interviews regarding the 30th anniversary of the release of Heaven and Hell and a tribute to Ronnie James Dio, in addition to the concert recording.

The Analysis:

Mob Rules—-One thing I will say about this right out of the gate…the sound of this recording is less than stellar…the muted sound is even more present than on most Sabbath recordings, and even the vocal seems a bit removed. Regardless, this is perhaps one of the last live recordings from this band it is amazing that Ronnie sounds as well as he does…if he was not feeling well, you would never know it from this. The crowd is damn electric, the band is tight as hell and the energy is palatable…very nice…just add a bit of treble!!!

Children Of The Sea—-This seems to have a bit more of a clear punch to the mix…Ronnie delivers a vocal that is much clearer and so full of vocal emotion. This is perhaps one of the best live renditions I have heard of this song!!! This is full of huge sweeping arm gestures and vocal ennunciations delivered as only Ronnie was able to do. This actually gave me goosebumps…stellar…fantastic and damn near perfect!!!

I—-My all time favorite track from the Dio-era Sabbath, this is nothing less than grand and sweeping. full of stellar vocals and huge emotions, Ronnie delivers his lines as if it were the very first time rather than the 100.000th. There is emotion, grandiosity and a clear definition of metal to the song…this is clear of sludge and delivered with a fairly clear 80’s era Metal sound…but it still trips my trigger every time I hear it….a piece of history!!!

Bible Black—-The only live rendition of this that I have heard, it is delivered with the same commitment as the stellar classic songs…the band fully embraces the new material as if it were and had been around forever. This is classic stuff that is new but still sounds remarkably familiar with a huge fresh modern twist…the sound of a band really coming together again…perhaps a bit too late!!!

Time Machine—-This is a remarkable track….full of the trademark bass sludge the band is famous for, but also delivered in a rather speedy manner that takes you aback a bit in this live setting. Ronnie sounds magnificent…his voice hitting those classic high peaks with little effort and the grand sweeping enunciation on full display. this is stellar…I love this song…the words are incredible and the energy is unforgettable….

Fear—-This is another of those new releases that continues to deliver trademark Sabbath sounds while also updating the sound and allowing for new fans all over the world. the tales that Ronnie is able to tell in just a few moments is incredible…the song is laden with trademark tales of darkness and mysticism…all the while showing off the band and the vocal in an optimum fashion. I love this band…I can’t believe that the entire damn thing is over…but what a hell of a history we have left…this is incredible….sounding even better live than the original recorded version!!!

Falling Off The Edge Of The World—-This is a much more classic DIO song than a sabbath sounding track…this is something that would have for perfectly on any of the DIO solo releases. The vocal is just stellar….and when the band really does finally let loose, the trademark bass sound is so familiar and comforting…you wonder what the rest of the band is going to do now with the rest of their lives…although everyone else seems to be retiring…yes? This is classic stuff…it is amazing to me how good Ronnie sounds…you know he must have not been feeling really great at this point in his life…such is the Rock N’ Roll Dedication…….

Follow The Tears—-With an incredible build-up, the Sabbath dirge is in full force on this song…I never get tired of hearing that deep bass delivery and the slow plodding death march that this band is so masterful at delivering. Ronnie seems as comfortable with this sound as he was with the much more metallic sound of the DIO solo band. This is fantastic and is a favorite track of mine as well…if only for the emotional quality of the song…this is incredible….Don’t drink from the cup of human kindness…….

Die Young—-delivering this classic song in a way that makes it sound fresh and exciting must be difficult for a band with this longevity, but the band manages to do just that with very little problem. the guitars literally soar and the energy is incredible…you can feel the excitement of the crowd and the electricity that the song manages to produce. The sound of the song is huge…as is the crowd and it must have been a pretty big rush to play this festival…even if the band was a little out-of-place with some of the bands that were on the bill…but it seems as if the crowd was right in the palms of their hands….this is just remarkable. Not to mention the incredible vocal from Ronnie…we miss you sooooo much!!!!

Heaven And Hell—-The bands trademark song and new moniker stretches out to an almost incredible 20 minutes in length!!! This is a stellar and landmark recording…allowing all members of the band to have a showcase and to also serve as a reminder of why we loved these guys together in the first place. This is just stellar…..there is a huge crowd response and participation…this is the centerpiece of the performance and still inspires goosebumps from me as I listen back to this as Ronnie speaks to the audience and the members of the crowd speaks right back to him in perfect unison. a perfect moment caught in time….jeez!!!!

Neon Knights—-Closing out the show with another classic track from the back catalog, this is another favorite song of mine that i never get tired of hearing. the speed of the song adds a nice variety…allowing the band to deliver a sound that is much different from the familiar dirge of many of the songs of the past. This is a fantastic live recording…a piece of history at this point and a nice reminder of the huge talent that we lost…as well as leaving a huge question mark in our minds as to what is next for the members of this band.

**** 1/2 out of 5

The Smiths / Singles

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 300000012-04:00 12 by marky7235

SinglesThe Smiths were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1982. Based on the songwriting partnership of Morrissey (vocals) and Johnny Marr (guitar), the band also included Andy Rourke (bass) and Mike Joyce (drums). Critics have called them the most important alternative rock band to emerge from the British independent music scene of the 1980s.[1][2] The group was signed to the independent record label Rough Trade Records, for whom they released four studio albums and several compilations, as well as numerous non-LP singles. Although they had limited commercial success outside the UK while they were still together, and never released a single that charted higher than number 10 in their home country, The Smiths won a growing following, and remain cult and commercial favourites. The band broke up in 1987 amid disagreements between Morrissey and Marr and have turned down several offers to reunite since then.

The Analysis:

Hand In Glove—-One of the very first singles from the band, this united the jangly Marr guitar delivery with the swooning vocal from Morrissey…full of vivid lyrics and a remarkable percussion, this is still a very favorite track of mine. Never was this grandeur oft repeated…this was fresh, new and groundbreaking…seemingly written for the adolescent me….calling my name and allowing me to experience true love for the very first time.

This Charming Man—-Another of those early Smiths singles that was full of melody and a trademark sound that almost came to define Johnny Marr, this is also a very favorite video of mine!!! The lyrics are so typical of Morrissey…full of a slight sarcasm…a bit of heavy self-effacing loathing and a vocal yelp that is just wonderful. Another of those songs that allowed me to know this music would be a part of my life forever!!!!

What Difference Does It Make—-This is another of those classic Top Of The Pops videos that I just crack up over…delivered in a wonderfully lip synched kind of way. The track continues in the magical path of Marr guitar and a hell of a great rhythm section…Joyce and Rourke were more important to this band than they ever got credit for…the song would be entirely different without them. This is a magical moment…delivered with a slight echo and lyrics that are soooo Morrissey, you can’t help but play it a few times!!!!

Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now—-Wonderfully sedate, this song is much more led by the vocal than the earlier overt guitar form Johnny…but the whole damn thing works masterfully well. when Morrissey sings his lyrics full of bereavement and melancholy and interjects that masterful falsetto, I am almost taken to a different place! This is a wonderful example of the future of Morrissey…this was a track that screamed for attention…it certainly got mine!!!

William, It Was Really Nothing—-Returning to full on marr genius, the band never received quite the attention for its musical delivery that it deserved…most of the media attention centered around the loathing and eccentric personality of Morrissey. This was a masterful band….make no doubt and it has proven almost prophetic as Morrissey struggle with his solo career record after record…only hitting the genius mark on rare occasions. Granted, this is a stellar vocal and the homo-erotic overtones are incredible…leaving a world wondering……

How Soon Is Now?—-Perhaps one of the crown jewels of this bands career and the indie scene at the time, this song still manages to produce goose-bumps with me and lives on in my brain on an almost daily basis. This is a brilliant display of remarkable studio magic, incredible lyrics and real emotions that cried out to people more than any Cure song ever managed to. This has an indelible mark on my heart…will never get old and is my #1 song to take with me if I am lost on a deserted island with a radio!!! A true masterpeice…genius and undeniable!!!!

Shakespeare’s Sister—-Another favorite track from one of my favorite smiths releases, this is incredibly energetic and delivered with lyrics that already tell of the disappointment that Morrissey feels before it even happens…talk about setting yourself up for failure!!! The vocal is magnificent…the studio manipulation allowed you to feel layers of the voice and the guitar from Marr chugged along like a medieval Amtrak train….just magnificent!!!!

That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore—-another very favorite song of mine, I can only hope to share the sentiment from Stephan and hope to die with a smile on my face….this is ironic..full of morose lyrics and emotions and delivered with a sound that far belies the fact that this was a four piece band…just magnificent…the best of the burgeoning Indie scene, this is groundbreaking even now and helped to shape a career!!!

The Boy With The Thorn In His Side—-this song managed to make a grand return to the trademark jangly guitar sound that Marr effortlessly produced and formulated for the basis of the future of Britpop. This was a wonderful retro sounding song that three releases in re-reminded us why we loved this band so much.l Morrissey manages some great notes amidst all of the melancholy and still produces a smile from me every time I hear this! Magnificent!!!

Bigmouth Strikes Again—-Little did we, the listening public, realize that this was to be the proper swan song from this rather iconic band. this is just wonderful and I am so glad that Morrissey is finally playing this stuff live again these days. This is a wonderful, sarcasm filled track that pokes fun at both himself and the British press in a sublime yet remarkably obvious way…just fantastic…I never get tired of this stuff!!!!!

Panic—-Never released as a proper song on a full length release, this single has never been a favorite of mine…not really sure why. This attracted a lot of attention in the British press…leading many journalist to declare Morrissey a racist because of certain language in the song…to me, it just sounded a bit uninspired and rote to me. Although the percussive section of the song is pretty damn stellar!!!

Ask—-this was really a precursor to the future sound that Morrissey would take in his solo career…delivered with a remarkable Rock-a-Billy delivery, this is classic stuff. Morrissey seems to be singing about himself…delivering line after line that almost describes himself to a tee. This is autobiographical stuff that is able to stand the test of time incredibly well. This was from the Louder Than Bombs compilation…..

Shoplifters Of The World—-Another of those songs that really never caught in my favorites list, this was a telling single though. Morrissey has always had a fascination for crime and anything associated with the underbelly of society, so this is a pretty appropriate track. This is full of a nice melody that manages to stick in your brain and an overlayed vocal that is magnificent…listening back now, this still manages to produce a rare smile!!!

Sheila Take A Bow—-Full of a nice rhythm that is undeniable, this still never found a place for me. Regardless, the Rourke and Joyce contribution to this track is sooooo important.

Girlfriend In A Coma—-One of the shortest yet most memorable smiths songs ever released, this was an instant hit to my brain the very first time that I heard it. This is remarkable…full of morose lyrics and a slight sarcasm that is classic morrissey…delivered with such a damn pleasant instrumentaion…leaving your brain wondering what the hell…..just fantastic!!!!

I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish—-So appropriate for the last release that this band produced…I’m sure that I’m not the only person who feels like this band started something that they never finished. This is such a classic smiths song, but manages to almost produce tears for me…when you consider the demise that was happening even though we had no idea…the break up of this band was a devastating thing for me….never to be heard from again, I still long to hear that familiar voice with that magical guitar and that addictive percussion….the things that dreams are made of……

Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me—-Beginning with a surprise piano introduction and lots of effects, this is a lush track that captured my attention from the moment I first heard it…especially since many of us consider ourselves ‘Unloveable’…..only the dreams keep us alive. This is a wonderfully morose but emotional song that almost rips my heart right from my heart…..

There Is A Light That Never Goes Out—-Somehow very appropriate as the last single from this iconic band, as the light they made never really seems to go out. This is as classic as the very beginning…you would never know the end was as abrupt as the beginning…the song only leaves you with an insatiable hunger for more….we only have the master himself to satisfy us…but if that is what we have, I will smile and go on…missing them more today than ever!!!

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

Depeche Mode / Remixes 81-04

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 100000012-04:00 12 by marky7235

Remixes 81-04

Remixes 81–04 is an album by British electronic music group Depeche Mode which was released on October 25, 2004.

It was the band’s first release since Daniel Miller’s independent label Mute Records was acquired by industry major EMI in 2002. It features well-known remixes from the band’s back catalog as well as previously unavailable mixes.

There are three versions of Remixes 81–04. The main version has 2 CDs. The limited edition version has the same two CDs, plus a bonus CD with mostly new remixes. There’s also a one-CD release with selections from all three discs.

The booklet, found in all three versions, features an essay by Paul Morley. A special “Secret Website” (now offline) could be unlocked with the CDs.

The Analysis: Disc One

Never Let Me Down Again [Split Mix]—-Beginning with a rather grand and sweeping instrumental introduction, the song is much more bass heavy than its original version. The vocal is unusually sedate…Gahan sounding rather calm and melodic compared to some of the mixes I have heard of this song. This is rather remarkable just for the pronounced bass heavy beat that is delivered.

Policy Of Truth [Capitol Mix]—-Still one of my favorites…simply for the message alone, this comes even more alive under this remix treatment. There is at the onset, a much more funk infused sound to the song and the intro beats are delivered in a very staccato way….there are some nice spoken word overdubs and some remarkable synth effects….giving the song a brand new and updated sound. Simply wonderful to hear this in this form!!!

Shout [Rio Remix]—-Really not entirely familiar with this song, the intro leads to a promising expectation though. The sounds of the song are nice and Industrial in sound…the vocal is VERY removed from the song…..allowing the synth beats to be the star of the show. This has a primitive sound that is very attractive to me….I love this stuff…old school with a nice fresh twist!!!

Home [Air ‘Around The Golf’ Mix]—-This has never been a favorite song of mine, and I remain perplexed that the band actually released this as a single. To me, this is a bit flat…the lyrics are very nice, but I just feel like they could have been presented in a very different way…the music is very sedate and quiet and the mood is even more melancholy than dark….still, nice to have on a collected work!

Strangelove [Blind Mix]—-This takes what has become a rather overplayed club song and turns it into a rather banging track that is bass heavy and infused with fresh club sounds. The song has a remarkable way of sliding wonderfully between retro sounds and a fresh approach that really keeps you interested and feeling like you are hearing it for the very first time. I don’t have this on any of the remixes I own, so this is really a nice find.

Rush [Spiritual Guidance Mix]—-Do I know this song……..???? Oh yes…there are the familiar strains. This remix reminds me of the acid house influenced sounds of the mid 90’s that were coming from the UK in the mid 90’s…reminding me of Jesus Jones. this is nice…even though unremarkable…the vocal is pushed way to the back of the mix…allowing for some nice beats to land right on your forehead…not bad, but not stellar!!!

I Feel You [Renegade Soundwave Afghan Surgery Mix]—-Again, this is full of retro sounds that bring an immediate smile to my face. There are some nice irritating loud Industrialized sounds to this song that are so different from what you would expect…they flow wonderfully in and out of some backdrop female infused vocals that add a huge dance floor appeal to the song. this is a remarkable remix, but what would you expect from Renegade Soundwave…just fantastic!!!

Barrel Of A Gun [Underworld Hard Mix]—-This has been played and overplayed in clubs everywhere in the world and really holds no current appeal for me…this is so ANTI-DEPECHE MODE that you wonder what the point was…to me, this was a mis-step in the remix realm…but it is hear to stay none the less.

Route 66 [Beatmasters Mix]—-This remains my favorite remix of this rather under rated track…simply because it was one of the first of the remixes I really started when I was collecting…all the rest came later. this is a fresh sounding mix…full of classic 80’s sounds but still playing very well in the land of club music if you pop it on the turntable in 2010. Such is the appeal of Depeche Mode…they remain in many ways, timeless.

Freelove [DJ Muggs Remix]—-As you would expect from a Muggs mix, this has a nice bit of funk sound and a bass heavy delivery that gives this rather sedate song a new life. Dave delivers a pretty true vocal, but the sounds that are going on in the background are remarkable…including the surprise inclusion of some rather electric guitars that pump up the song and give it remarkable life. This is fresh, approachable and entirely playable in any party situation…that voice is just ageless and timeless!!!!

I Feel Loved [Chamber’s Mix]—-From the onset, this is full of some rather annoying sounds that really so not do much for the formulation of the song itself. This is an excursion into sound that eventually leads to the outside and a more acceptable beat, but the intermittent annoying sounds are rather distracting and take away from the enjoyment of the song….next…..

Just Can’t Get Enough [Schizo Mix]—-Returning to one of the very early singles, this remix does no credit to the song itself. it is remarkable to me that this was not at least remastered for this release…the song sounds a bit hollow and dated…none the less, it is one of those poppy Mode songs that are irresistible and like a drug you have not had for a long time….still a favorite!!!

Disc Two—-

Personal Jesus [Pump Mix]—-Rather overplayed and a rather generic remix, I much prefer the Manson version of this song….next…sorry guys…..

World In My Eyes—-Still one of my favorite tracks from the very popular period of the band, this almost coincided with the release of New Order’s World In Motion…I’m sure causing some confusion in the UK chart summary and sounding a bit alike at the onset. This is classic stuff, and the minute Gahan opens his mouth, you know that this is the band you though it was….remarkable and still a very favorite song of mine..if only for the sentiment alone.

Get The Balance Right [Combination Mix]—-Another of those songs that has a permanent place in my memory, this remix gives us a much more pumped up and danceable version than the original. This again revisits the prime time of the band when the aim was accessible pop music that the world would fall in love with…and indeed we did. This is full of nice breaks and vocal manipulations that also manage to showcase the remarkable baritone of Gahan while also allowing you to appreciate the wonderful harmonies of the rest of the band. Priceless…..

Everything Counts [Absolut Remix]—-This remix gives this track a much more ‘adult’ sound…full of modern beats and much less poppy than the original appears to be. I love the escalating synth line that Gore and Co. managed to produce…remarkably contagious yet incredibly familiar and comforting!!!!

Breathing In Fumes—-Another track that is rather foreign to me, it seems almost rote as it begins though. This is full of those classic machine generated sounds that the Mode was so good at during the early years of their career. This is classic stuff…where the hell did this come from?

Painkiller [Kill The Pain Mix-DJ Shadow]—-WOW….this has shadow written all over it…with a nice touch of the Boom Boom Satellites….I am amazed by this remix and the version of this song. I have found something that I really did not pay very close attention to when I first got this release…such is the joy of music…it is a constant discovery and joy…just remarkable…I love this stuff!!!!

Useless [The Kruder & Dorfmeister Sessions]—-Beginning in a rather ambient manner, the song ushers in the sedate and intense vocal of Gahan right at the onset…setting a mood that seems to travel through the entire song. this is rather remarkable…it is both retro and rather updated at the same time…giving you sounds from the best of both the worlds…this is a tour de force…Gahan delivers a vocal that is even more depressing and intense that anything ever delivered but still has a nice accessible element to it…this remains…a remarkable band!!!!

In Your Room [The Jeep Rock Mix]—-Again, this delivers a sound that is very reminiscent of that mid-90’s Acid house sound….the synth lines are jagged and abrupt…all the while delivering a sound that is remarkably danceable and accessible. This is the sound of a band that was turned over to incredible remixers and the result is nothing less that stellar and memory laden. Most people never paid attention to this era Mode…but I did damn it!!!!

Dream On [ Dave Clarke Acoustic Version]—-This is nice…even thoug delivered with an acoustic guitar, there is a nice funk element that is included that just manages to kick me in the ass. this is wonderful…expressive and a classic example of how accessible this band truly is. When the song does come alive, it as if they had never been gone…just wonderful!!!

It’s No Good [Speedy J Mix]—-Full of nice Garage Dance sounds mixed with 90’s Acid House, this is a tour-de-force of sounds that leave you almost exhausted by the end of the song. this is so erratic and so ANTI Depeche mode that you have to wonder how the band felt about this presented mix…none the less, it play really well even today!!!!

Master And Servant [An-On-U Sound Science Fiction Dance Hall Classic Mix]—-With a really grandiose remix title, this really does not differ too much from the massive collection of remixes of this song that are available. The vocal seems to be a bit more pronouced…the machine sounds are apparent and the fun edge of the song is everywhere. The lyrics are clear…giving the track a bit more of a sinister and sexual edge…this is huge fun and a great memory in more way than one!!!!

Enjoy The Silence [Timo Maas Extended Mix]—-Perhaps the bands crowning moment gets a huge dum down from Maas…what a disappointment!!!!

****1/2 out of 5