Archive for January, 2011

Cee-Lo Green / The Lady Killer

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 280000001-04:00 12 by marky7235

The Lady Killer

Thomas DeCarlo Callaway (born May 30, 1974),[1] better known by his stage name Cee-Lo Green or simply Cee-Lo, is an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer. He originally came to prominence as a member of the southern hip-hop group Goodie Mob, later launching a critically acclaimed solo career[2] and forming Gnarls Barkley with DJ/producer Danger Mouse.

Among Cee-Lo’s hits are the singles “Closet Freak” (2002); “I’ll Be Around” (2003), produced by Timbaland; “Crazy” (2006), by Gnarls Barkley; and “Fuck You” (aka “Forget You”) (2010).

The Analysis:

The Lady Killer Theme—-Clocking in at just a minute and a half, this kind of sets your mind right for the entire release that is about to unfold. Cee-Lo manages to deliver lines and a voice that is seductive and fueled by a nice blues piano…leading you into….

Bright Lights Bigger City—-Call this as you will….is it R N’ B, is if Funk, is it Progressive Dance….shit I call it New millennium Disco!!! This is flavored and almost devoured with a throwback Motown sound that is only rescued by the remarkable vocal that this guy is able to deliver. This is huge fun….danceable, groove-able and damn pleasant. This is Gnarls Barkley X 3000!!!

Fuck You—-How audacious to title a song this…how even more incredible for it to become a radio hit. It seems that there is little that Green can do wrong. This has a piano line that runs through it that rivals the best 70’s Elton John and a soulful vocal delivery that rivals even Sam Cooke. This is played on the dance floor and in the dark and dank clubs at  3 in the A.M…..can you say classic?

Wildflower—-From the very first strains of this track, you know that you are in for a treat. Green manages to conjure up his inner romantic freak on this song…leading you down a pebbly path that is remarkably smooth and clean. The voice is just incredible…he never loses a note and delivers every line in a tone that really makes you feel every bit of emotion…this is very danceable, but has an incredible dark feel to it as well…damn near genius!

Bodies—-Every track on this release has that swirling Disco sound that anyone who was around in the 70’s finds instantly recognizable. This track…although it begins in a rather odd fashion, is missing that sound a bit. This is much darker and reminds me of some of the earliest Green material. the voice is incredible…I just can’t believe he hits some of the notes that he does…this is brilliant…I much prefer this over some of the other stuff on here…falling back on my darker side I guess.

Love Gun—-Now, this is Funk…..delivered with gasoline!!! I love this stuff…I love all of the little sounds that go on in the back drop of the song…headphones bring them right to the forefront of your brain. The female vocal…I should know who this is…only adds to the versatility of the track. Green enters with his clear and concise voice and makes the track a huge dark sex romp…could you ever ask for more?

Satisfied—-Returning to that Disco fueled, horn driven funk sound that was huge in the 70’s, Green also adds a chorus that is so damn catchy you will secretly be singing this song for days. This is one of those huge, fun guilty pleasures that you won’t admit you love but sing at the top of your lungs in the shower. Delivered with a nice dance beat…and enough funk to energize you for days…this is a favorite!

I Want You—-From the opening strains of the song you think back to old groups like Blue Magic….when the vocal and the horns enter you think of Mark Ronson and Danger Mouse. This is damn near genius…who would ever imagine such romantic, funky sex appeal from Cee-Lo back in the Goodie Mob days?

Cry Baby—-This is another huge horns influenced R N’ B track that has enough back drop vocals to remind you of those huge hits from the emerging black Radio hits of the late 60’s. This is throwback but comes across remarkably fresh and magnetic….I won’t stop listening to this for quite sometime…no wonder everyone has been telling me to get this CD!

Fool For You—-Building and building until the track breaks wide open, this is another of those songs where you can picture Green in your mind’s eye with his dark shades open on a stage singing to a backing track at a talent show and bringing down the house with his emotional delivery. The notes this guy manages to hit are incredible…you would never, ever imagine his look with his vocal delivery…this takes you to a different place that is wonderfully fun and sexy!

It’s OK—-Beginning with an organ sound that transports you back to much easier days, this is energetic and fun. This is PURE Motown funk that is delivered with purity and a remarkably fresh approach. I am just amazed by how well Green manages to transport a sound that was so big so long ago and makes it sound fresh and updated. This is just pure delicious.

Old Fashioned—-Full of Doo-Wop sounds that bring a smile to my face every single time i hear it, this is an incredible track. I love this stuff…Green delivers a vocal that is much deeper at times and a bit of a surprise…almost bordering on a Gospel delivery. This is brilliant…like he is in a Church full of hat wearing women getting ready to throw down for the Lord…..BRILLIANT!!!

No One’s Gonna Love You—-Still a bit slow and driven by a Gospel tinge, this CD might be about two tracks too long, but I’m already salivating for another release from this guy. There are some real high points to this track…Green sings in a much more natural voice and it is so damn pleasing and full that you almost melt!!! This is wonderful, soft, emotional and full of all kinds of shattering emotions. Just Wonderful!!! Ok, never mind….my favorite song on this whole release!!!!

The Lady Killer Theme—-Ending the release much as it began….big surprise…but at least consistent….the joy of a CD… can listen to this 100,000 times….and I promise you I will!!!!

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

Deerhoof / Deerhoof VS. Evil

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 280000001-04:00 12 by marky7235

Deerhoof vs. Evil

Deerhoof is a musical group consisting of Satomi Matsuzaki, John Dieterich, Ed Rodriguez and Greg Saunier.

The Analysis:

Qui Dorm, Nomes Somia—-Deerhoof pick right up where Offend Maggie left off, with just a bit more atmosphere and noise thrown in for fun. This reminds me so much of The Sleigh Bells CD, minus a bit of the static…but there is a remarkable fuzz that runs through this entire record. For me, the most wonderful elements of this song remain the pleasing, child-like vocal and the incredible bass line that appears and disappears with mastery.

Behold A Marvel In The Darkness—-This is so damn pleasant and poppy at the onset….the slight fuzz and noise drifts in and out of the track…helping to keep you alert and surprised. This is a voice from heaven and a huge conglomeration of sound…coming at you from all sides then sinking into a pleasant pop. I love this!

The Merry Barracks—-This is much more, from the onset, what I expected from this release. The music at times reminds me of the Boredoms so much…minus the annoyance of the vocal. This is distorted and fuzzy but delivered with remarkable clarity. It is so nice to have a varied vocal…this breaks up the release well and keeps me interested. Just fantastic stuff.

No One Asked To Dance—-Surprisingly gentle at the onset, delivered with a nice Spanish flavored guitar, this is almost beautiful! The vocal is so sweet and delivered with a sincerity that will have you listening again and again. This is a nice different sound…again keeping me sitting up and listening to each new sound…fresh and exciting.

Let’s Dance The Jet—-Returning to a full throttle sound of noise and bass heavy music, this is electric and synthesized. The deep bass lines that run through the song are offset by an organ like percussion that brings to mind a 70’s spy movie….freakin’ genius!!!

Super Duper Rescue Heads!—-Again, this sounds like a warped soundtrack to an old action movie that never really made it to the screen. The vocal enters in a sing-song delivery that leaves you nodding your head and having the urge to jump around like an idiot. this is just plain fun….how can you not love this stuff…and I promise you…the more you listen the further addicted you become!!!

Must Fight Current—-This has remarkable vocal play between male and female leads that give this a sound like nothing else so far on this release. The male vocal reminds me of Alan Spearhawk so much….the music is damn pleasant and the song takes on an almost hypnotic quality. This is superb…and remains my favorite track on this release.

Secret Mobilization—-Much noisier and delivered with a familiar sound, this has a slight blues sound to it that is a bit of a surprise. The vocal is fun…delivered with an almost teenage novice sound that sucks you in and has you again bopping your head along to the pleasant fuzz. This is lots of fun!

Hey I Can—-Well, here we go again with the surprises. This track has deeper sound that also features an almost Asian flair to the music…like a xylophone or something ringing through the background and a layered vocal that makes me think of silly bands like The Archie’s or something. This is interesting, fun and never, never boring!

C’Moon—-Delivered in another foreign language, the song is still damn pleasant despite not having any idea what the hell is being said. there is a nice marching drum track that runs through the backdrop of the song that manages to keep your attention despite the rather more than sedate vocal.

I Did Crimes For You—-This begins with an intro that makes me think of Nirvana, and dissolves into an understandable and relatable track of the extent we all go for those we profess to love. This is the most ‘human’ song on the release…leaving me with a smile and an uncanny relateablility.

Almost Everyone, Almost Always—-Rounding out this release with a nice level of noise…as it started. There is an underlying beauty to the song and the male vocal provides a nice change of pace that leaves a delicious taste in your mouth. This is damn near brilliant.

**** out of 5

Cold War Kids / Mine Is Yours

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 260000001-04:00 12 by marky7235

Mine Is Yours

Cold War Kids are an American indie rock band from Long Beach, California. Band members are Nathan Willett (vocals, piano, guitar), Jonnie Russell (guitar, vocals, keyboards), Matt Maust (bass guitar), and Matt Aveiro (drums, percussion).

In my opinion, this is a band that is on the precipice of being huge….move over KOL these are the new kings of Indie Pop!!!

The Analysis:

Mine Is Yours—-This is fantastic….beginning is a dark and menacing way, the music slowly comes out at you from the silence…building and building just giving you hints of the really great sound that is too come. This is power packed with the huge kind of arena chorus’ that made the Kings the Kings…this is subtle, overpowering and all encompassing….moody, sad, elated…. a bi-polar trip through emotions…just brilliant!!!

Louder Than Ever—-A bit faster paced but delivered with that remarkable vocal phrasing that has me in love from almost the first word, this track was made for huge arena and bright lights. I think this record might just propel this band to a place they really might not be ready for…this is huge muscular pop/rock that still has enough of an organic edge to it to still be attractive to the Indie’s…I think this is going to be huge!!!

Royal Blue—-This is phenomenal…delivered with a slight Country twinge…a bit of blues and an extra helping of emotion, this instantly lands in your brain and refuses to leave. this is the band of the year…expect to see this record everywhere…if this does not come to fruition than I don’t know a damn thing. This is freakin; incredible!!! This is magnificent and this is just what I need right now!!!

Finally Begin—-This is LOADED with the kind of style and sounds that made KOL sooo huge…but delivered in a much more muscular and guitar based way. I love this…there is just a bit of static that makes the sound pleasing as hell…the vocal has a slight drawl and the entire thing comes together in a style that heaps emotion all over your plate. Just remarkable!!!

Out Of The Wilderness—-That vocal drawl that has been so prevalent on this record is in overdrive on this song…sounding even sexier than ever. This has a lazy feel that is only broken by the huge drum sound that this band manages to produce. this has layers and layers of emotions to it…taking me far away from this cold lonely winter and firmly planting me in a wheat field full of bright sunshine….

Skip the Charades—-With an intro guitar that makes me think of the SSPU’s, this quickly becomes another guitar heavy anthem that will make kids crazy while bright spot lights sweep around packed arenas. This is emotion fueled…delivered with an edge of energy and all the while still maintaining a authenticity that you could never ignore.

Sensitive Kid—-This is one of those songs that conjures up so many memories of a tortured youth that the memories come flooding back to me in waves in just three short minutes. The vocal is full of the tortured feelings that come up and the music is delivered in a short stop and start kind of way that makes you pause and realize what the impact of the memories are. This is incredible…looking into one’s future and reliving one’s past. Just remarkable!!!

Bulldozer—-One of those memorable songs that takes a single word and manages to wrap all kinds of emotions in it. The delivery is almost predictable…but still feels as comfortable as a warm winter fire in the hearth…allowing you to reflect, relive and reject. Incredible!!!

Broken Open—-This begins in an even bigger anthemic quality than anything on ANY Kings Of Leon record…although the sound is familiar, the the delivery is fresh and more emotionally aggressive. this is loaded with lyrical clichés that will make you relive so much pain…but at the same time give you so much hope for the future. This is just breathtaking…listening to this over and over and over and over!!!!

Cold Toes On The Cold Floor—-Delivered in a blues style laid back feel that just makes you shake your head in amazement, it is obvious that this band has taken huge cues from the Kings!!! This is delivered in a cool and sexy manner…making you almost salivate with every note that is upcoming…the words drawn out in a slow and sexy manner….made to slow grind to in a huge crowd, this is romantic, painful and remarkable all at the same time.

Flying Upside Down—-Delivered from the onset in a manner that is remarkably different from everything else on the record, I admire that. Too many bands begin and end their records in the same way, but this is delivered a bit different and leaves you with a delicious taste in your mouth. The track is a bit dark, but the lyrics give you a feeling of empowerment and hope for the future…I smile, I  frown, I cry and I am elated….what music is all about!!!

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

Smith Westerns / Dye It Blonde

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 190000001-04:00 12 by marky7235

Dye It Blonde

Smith Westerns are an indie rock band from Chicago, Illinois.[1] All of the members in the band are between the ages of 18-20. Their musical influences stem from the compilation albums Nuggets and Back from the Grave, along with David Bowie, Marc Bolan, and T. Rex.[2]

Their self-titled debut album was released on HoZac Records on June 5, 2009.[3] Most of the album was recorded throughout the winter and early spring in Max Kakacek’s basement.[1]

The band is currently on tour with Girls.[2] They released a new single, “Weekend”, on November 4, 2010, from their upcoming album Dye It Blonde, which is scheduled for release on January 18, 2011.

The Analysis:

Weekend—-Some of the remarkable things about this band….they are all youngsters….they all have been listening to their parents record collections….they have delivered a sound that is so throwback it makes me feel a bit old…and they are incredible!!! This track already sums up the content of the entire release…this is full of slight Beatle references, heavy on the Bowie Idolatry and still remains bright and sunny….this is the BEST of the past and the present all rolled together!!!

Still New—-At the onset, this has such a throwback feel to it…the music will remind you of the old 50’s style Doo-Wop….the vocal reminds you of so much of the dreamy Beach Pop that is all over these days…when you combine the two together with a bit of aggressive guitar in the center of the song and you have the stuff that makes you secretly smile on the inside…the release lives up to the hype and even more. This is magnificent!

Imagine Pt. 3—-This has a heavy piano sound that makes you think of the 60’s Blues….but the vocal enters and you think for sure you are listening to a lost Beatles track. The music is just fuzzy enough to allow you to dream of classic Oasis and Stone Roses…trust me, this has something for ANYONE who loves music…past present and perhaps…..future!!! This is freakin’ delicious!!!

All Die Young—-With a deep enough ‘organ’ sound at the onset to conjure up The Doors, the song develops into a huge Bolan/Bowie tribute that catches both artist at their very best. This swims in the psychedelia of The Verve, but still remains poppy and accessible…this is wonderfully throwback pop from kids that are young enough to be our kids….where does the time go. Everything old becomes new again…eventually….well, except me!!!

Fallen In Love—-This has such a remarkable and uncanny Lennon fell to it…it is incredible that these are just kids. This allows you to overdose on the simple idea od further Beatles explorations and expansions. This is easy, breezy and full of that poppy simplicity that set the 60’s on fire…I could never ask for more from a current and up and coming band…this just makes me smile!!!!

End Of The Night—-One of those tracks that is really hard to put into a certain box, the track is piano heavy in a psychedelic kind of way…but has huge sing a long chorus’ that make for a great party atmosphere. This all boils down to one simple thing…really great fun!

Only One—-WOW….right from the start you automatically think of The Roses….this reminds me of Ian so much…but more in tune!!!! The chorus opens up and becomes this huge sunny anthem that makes me think back to the early days when i first discovered Sally Cinnamon…this made me smile more than i have in months…I will return to this over and over…this is a classic mix of old and new and delivered in the most accessible way ever!!! I love me some of this band!!!!

Smile—-This is REALLY nice….built on a melancholy piano sound…a nice drum track and a throwback vocal that again reminds me of Lennon, there are just enough sonic sounds to save this from being ordinary. When the chorus sneaks up and pokes you in the ass you will smile with pleasure and the pain of melancholy. This band truly is extraordinary…..I have not been this excited about a new talent is a long time.

Dance Away—-Again….WOW…. this is incredible….the jaunty beat is remarkable…the sunny sound is relevant and at the same time incredibly throwback. This entire record just makes my very being smile…which is really, really pretty incredible. The breezy sound is fresh, the sound is something even your parents can relate to…and the message is as important as tomorrows paper…this is the best new release I have heard in a while!!!

Dye The World—-Delivered with a nice guitar intro, the song quiets a bit to allow for the introduction of other instruments…but this is so Bowie!!! The vocal enters and takes you back to 1985 when you first heard Brown singing for the Roses….but reminds you of John Lennon at the same time…finally, finally, finally a record that lives up to the hype….I’m head over heels with this stuff!!!!

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

CeCe Peniston / The Millenium Collection

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 190000001-04:00 12 by marky7235

20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best of CeCe Peniston

CeCe Peniston (born Cecilia Veronica Peniston; September 6, 1969 in Dayton, Ohio, USA) is an African-American recording artist and former beauty queen. At the beginning of the nineties, she was considered to be one of the most successful dance club artists in the history of the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play, scoring five major number one hits in the chart within three years.[1] Her signature song “Finally” became one of the biggest dance singles, selling 3 million copies worldwide.[2]

Among those who personally requested Peniston at private engagements are Aretha Franklin at her private birthday party in Detroit, Michigan, the Pope John Paul II in Rome at the Vatican (as a member of the gospel band Sisters of Glory) and a former, the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, during both of his inauguration ceremonies in Washington, D.C.[3] After the abolition of apartheid, Peniston became the first female entertainer ever to visit and perform in South Africa (before incorrectly denoted Whitney Houston),[4][5] and she was crowned Miss Black Arizona in 1989[6] and Miss Galaxy in 1990.[7]

Apart from being a Soul Train Music Award-nominee in 1993, Peniston won two Billboard Music Awards, three ASCAP Awards, three Annual Winter Music Conference Awards, and one BMI Urban Award of Achievement (all for her debut album Finally released in 1992).

The Analysis:

Finally—-One of the best-selling Dance Singles in the US, this song still manages to sound surprisingly fresh and electric all of these years later…it is all because of the magnificent vocal delivery of Peniston. there is a certain vocal phrasing that elevates this track higher than anything that was released before or since. Peniston manages to draw out certain words while singing that made her unique and allowed her to sound like no one else at the time…combine that with a house piano sound and you have a bona fide hit that still manages to live…remarkable.

We Got A Love Thing—-Really never one of my favorite CeCe songs, there are some remixes of this track that I still adore. This release came at a time when the airwaves were full of studio bands that all sounded the same and unfortunately, Peniston tried to be one of them and the song fell a bit flat for me…none the less, this is high energy Dance music that still plays very well and can still be heard at Clubs everywhere on a good Sat. Nite!!!

Keep On Walkin’—-Besides the unique and remarkable phrasing from CeCe, this song has a nice lazy funk bass that runs through the backdrop that makes this track even more masterful. The voice behind all of the processed music is so strong, that I naturally assume this woman could sing just about anything. This is stellar.

Inside That I Cried—-Slowing things down a bit, Peniston still managed a top ten hit with something that was less than dance floor friendly…proving the power of the voice and the vocal emotion could carry her through to the Contemporary charts. This is a nice strong track…delivered with a certain pain, loneliness and sincerity that makes the song wonderfully believable!

Crazy Love—-This is another of those tracks that delivers a nice lazy funk feel that takes Peniston back to her Gospel roots. The voice is a bit removed from this song…which is a bit odd…it seems like the rhythm section of the song is pushed way to the front of the mix…but this is still fantastic…reminding me so much of classic Jody Whately!

I’m In The Mood—-Perhaps one of my favorite songs from this Diva, the song really showcases that lazy drawl that she sings with…set to a high-powered dance sound that makes the track irresistible even today. This hit smack dab in the middle of the House movement of the 90’s and the bars were pounding this song off the walls when it was released…this has a nice shuffling beat that will stick in your brain forever…it is still pounding away in mine….fantastic!

I’m Not Over You—-This is another of those piano heavy Chicago House tracks that allow CeCe to really showcase her vocal to the optimum. This woman has a great range….able to belt out great notes and then dig deep into her belly and deliver those deeper tones that really belie her origins. this is a fantastic track…you could not ask for more…it is full of emotion, plus you can dance your ass off to it.

Hit By Love—-Again, delivering that Chicago house Sound that reminds me of the C+C and Black Box days, this is a floor burner and a Drag Queen favorite even today. the voice is remarkable….the mood is something we can all relate to…full of that tingle of first love and hopeful anticipation. this is a feel good song if there ever was one…combine this with the voice and you can never go wrong!!! Classic stuff…..

Movin’ On—-This is slowed down a bit but still delivered with that almost trademark shuffling beat that made so much of the music behind Peniston’s remarkable voice so important. Never fear, the voice is well intact and back in the front of the mix where it belongs…the backdrop singers only add to the song and make it a huge LaBelle style ballad that manages to make me smile despite the concept. this is stellar…not to be confused with the song by M People!!!

Before I Lay [You Drive Me Crazy]—-This is freakin’ fantastic….I have never heard this song before [?]! This is crazy….this is delivered much more in the late 90’s R & B ballad style…Peniston delivers line after line that is full of a slight sexiness and a desperate plea for much more than that. This is stellar…I really have to investigate some of the later stuff from CeCe…I’m not sure who the male is signing this with her, but it is so damn familiar…this is incredible!

House Party—-This track also has a later 90’s feel to it, although that shuffling bass beat and vocal slowly begins to emerge as the song develops. This is one of those jams that are built for a slow groove Dance Floor but still has a party atmosphere….besides, how can you go wrong with that voice…right? This is nice!

Finally [Remix]—-This is great, although it offers little new from the remixes that I already have.  The main point of the song is the House piano that runs underneath the dance floor delivery. This is hi-NRG at it’s best and will never really fall of the map of great Floor fillers. This is a classic and still manages to sound remarkably fresh to me…just tremendous!

**** 1/4 out of 5

Catamenia / Cavalacade

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 160000001-04:00 12 by marky7235

CavalcadeCatamenia is a black metal band from Finland, founded in 1995 by original members Riku Hopeakoski and Mika Tönning in Oulu. They have been signed to Massacre Records ever since their first full-length, Halls of Frozen North in 1998. As of 2010, they have released nine albums, 1 EP, and one DVD. They are known to frequently use wolves in their album art. Catamenia means “Menstruation”. The band didn’t know about this until a fan pointed it out to them after the release of their debut album.

The Analysis:

Blood Trails—-I have to admit, sometimes I’m slow….I’m new to this band…even though they have been around since 1995…slowly I am managing to discover the back catalog. The remarkable thing about this band, for me, is that the music is damn accessible and melodic…actually bordering on Progressive, all the while the vocal delivers a brutality to keep them in the forefront of my brain. This is superproduced, well delivered and almost mainsteam….with a magical dose of evil thrown in for fun. Fantastic!

Cavalcade—-The intro to this track comes off as much louder and darker than the opener here. The melody is quick to kick in and softens up the delivery a bit, but the band never seems to lose any of its power. When the vocal begins, you almost automatically think of James Hetfield. The vocals manage to switch effortlessly between a melodic singing to a deep growl that causes me to shake my head in wonder. this is the best of all worlds thrown together in a 5 minute excursion that will have you vacationing here again and again.

The Path That Lies Behind Me—-Again, the song begins with a burst of bass driven aggression, when the leads kick in the song calms a bit but the vocal scream that opens the track gives it a much more brutal feel. the drums on this track are like machines…incredibly fast and aggressive with huge breaks that just leave you in awe. The song actually has a chorus that allows for melody AND harmony….I love this band…even though they are more accessible than I normally gravitate towards.

Silence—-Much more somber and falling in the almost ‘ballad realm’, this is nice and bass heavy. The leads enter the song and the track just seems to soar above everything else around right now. At times the voice reminds me of a hoarse Dani Filth…delivered with a slight evil timbre that only causes me to smile…when the guttural growl enters, the song takes on even more atmosphere…this is stellar!

Quantity Of Sadness—-Returning to a more acceptable full throttle Metal delivery, this track is speedy as hell and delivered with what seems to be a much more under-produced sound. This comes across as gritty, dirty and damn evil. The vocal is pushed to the back a bit and the sound levels seemed turned down on everything…but somehow the underground feel leads credence to the band and remains one of my favorite tracks on this release.

Post Mortem—-Returning to the trademark polished Black Metal sound of most of the record, the leads on this song just manage to soar way above your head. The vocal delivery is deep, fast and spit at you like lead bullets…meanwhile the breaks continue and are mixed with a REALLY nice clean vocal that provides an irresistible harmony to the whole damn thing. This is rather phenomenal, this band provides something for everyone but never becomes so overbearing that it will turn off some. Remarkable…why is this band not huge?

The Vulture’s Feast—-Again, the band breaks the momentum of sound and delivers another Metallica styled ballad that almost seems out-of-place once you have finally found your groove. The high points? ….the wonderfully soaring leads that stick in your brain…the constant cymbal crashing in the backdrop and the damn exquisite vocal…delivered clean and with overlays that allow the track to be huge. This is nice, but a bit wimpy compared to the rest of this release.

A Callous Mind—-Delivering a nice return to the more than predictable material on the record, this is Prog-Death Metal at it’s finest. the mood swings that this band manages to produce are incredible…the drums are stellar and when the guitar really lets loose with the vocal you are in the middle of a noise fest. This is what I needed at this moment and the band has not failed me…delivered with venom and speed, I am at once comfortable and smiling.

Reincarnation—-This is a remarkably full sounding song from the very first notes…the guitars are layered and the drum track is pivotal. the scream that leads off the vocal is trademark by now and almost expected…this is stellar stuff. The slight fuzz that runs through the guitar sound is dark and the clean vocal that enters really give the song a nice melody…this is superb.

Angry Again—-Ending the release much as it started, this track finds the band in fine melodic form without ever losing that slight touch of Finnish Black Metal that has steered the group. this is Finland’s answer to Metallica and the band lives up to that moniker in a rather spectacular way…it will be interesting to get the debut release and watch the progression….Onwards and Upwards!!!

**** 1/4 out of 5

Thomas Dolby / The Sole Inhabitant

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 140000001-04:00 12 by marky7235

The Sole Inhabitant

Following his involvement in Headspace, Dolby returned to his musical career in 2006. He performed his first solo public show in 15 years at the Red Devil Lounge in San Francisco, California on January 21, 2006, surprising the crowd who were there to see local band Notorious. He then launched an American tour, the Sole Inhabitant Tour, on April 12, comprising a string of small dates in California, a mall opening in Boulder, Colorado, and gigs across America before receptive crowds.

The US leg of the “Sole Inhabitant Tour 2006” was captured on a “live” CD and DVD. The CD represents a recording of two gigs played by Dolby at Martyrs in Chicago, while the DVD was filmed at the Berklee Performance Center at Berklee College of Music. The DVD also includes a 30-minute interview, and a lecture by Dolby at the Berklee College Of Music. Both the CD and DVD were released in November 2006, and are distributed through CD Baby and iTunes. Dolby autographed and numbered the first 1,000 copies of the CD and DVD.

A show at the 800 capacity Scala club in London was booked for July 3, 2006 as a warm-up for Dolby’s Hyde Park set opening for Depeche Mode. The show sold out in a matter of days and prompted Dolby to reprioritise the UK, resulting in him moving with his family from California back to England, and a nine-date Sole Inhabitant tour of the UK in October 2007, coinciding with the release of a lavish box set of the Sole Inhabitant CD and DVD by UK independent label Invisible Hands Music.

Thomas toured throughout the months of November and December 2006 with electronic musician BT. This tour included a version of “Airwaves” that BT added his own technique to, which was the opening song on the UK leg of the Sole Inhabitant tour (sans BT).

Thomas Dolby’s March 15, 2007 performance at the SxSW festival[13] was released as the live EP “Thomas Dolby & The Jazz Mafia Horns, Live at SxSW” (with musicians from San Francisco’s Jazz Mafia collective, through iTunes and on CD Baby.

The 2007 UK Sole Inhabitant tour included three new songs previously played on the US tour, one called “Your Karma Hit My Dogma” another called “Jealous Thing” and a cover version of The Special AKA’s “What I Like Most About You Is Your Girlfriend”. “Your Karma Hit My Dogma” was inspired by Kevin Federline‘s unauthorised use of a sample from Mobb Deep‘s Got It Twisted which in turn had used an authorised sample of She Blinded Me with Science. The tag-line from that story became the title of the song. The wording was lifted by Thomas from a bumper sticker on a car that he saw whilst living in the San Francisco Bay area. In a move close to performance art, Dolby tried to post a ‘cease and desist’ legal letter on Kevin Federline’s MySpace page when other attempts to contact him proved fruitless.[14][15] The song is on the Live at SxSW EP.

The second new song, “Jealous Thing” was performed at least at The Graduate in Cambridge and London’s Islington Academy on the UK tour in Summer 2007 and features a Bossa-Nova type rhythm.`

The Analysis:

Leipzig Is Calling—-Most of the songs on this release have been played over and over again…the remarkable thing about this particular release is not only the live setting but also the new and improved technology that allowed Dolby to really bring his sound to a mass of people who were very receptive. This is much more updated Kraftwerk and their dream finally coming true than a short show by a ‘one-hit’ wonder from the 80’s…Dolby sounds comfortable, satisfied and a bit at peace. This is a journey…the sounds of the songs are far advanced and the dream is finally realized for this tech-genius. This is fantastic!!!

One Of Our Submarines—-One of my very favorite tracks from Dolby, this is 1000 times better than the original could have ever dreamt of being. Finally Dolby has the live technology to bring his Technicolor dreams to life and it works here like a motion picture. The track is more layered, delivered with more effects and done so in a studio fashion. This is fabulous…..allowing me to realize that despite the 80’s backlash. there were genius’ creeping beneath the underbelly of it all….this is monumental for me!!!

I Live In A Suitcase—-This is so incredibly electronic and full of a deep sounding life…Dolby manages to make his synth sound like a human being, you can almost feel emotion coming from the keys that he pushes. This amazing…if only for the full and complete sound that the music provides…when Dolby opens his mouth and narrates the sound, the song becomes a huge journey…this is stellar…this man needs to be making music….NOW!!!

Flying North—-Full of classic blips and bleeps that are even more possible in the 00’s, Dolby must be like a kid in a candy store these days…this is his dream come to life…and it is full and large with 3-D color images. This is remarkable…stellar, moving and unforgettable. I really need to catch Dolby live…..I am in LOVE!!!

The Flat Earth—-Another of those classic Dolby songs that is now fully realized thanks to advanced technology, Thomas takes full advantage of the sounds and really draws out the introduction. This seems so much more alive now than it did back when it was released…although the track never looses the basic lines that it was designed with, the sound is much more full and alive…reminding us how much more advanced this brain was than the time allowed. The short synth bursts bring a happiness to my being that is rare these days…this is a dream fufilled…giving me even more hope for the future…despite the rather morose vocal from Tom…this is still alive and full of a slight hope!!!

Budapest By Blimp—-The intro to this song is so morose and orchestrated….the sunth line is not far behind though…never letting you forget who you are listening to. when Dolby enters with his vocal, you are comfortable and well at ease. the timbre of the song is layered and intense…lending my mood a much-needed boost…Dolby can write a sad song like the best of them. The piano chord that runs through the back drop of the song allows you to have a bit of hope…there is an almost slight funky feel to the song…never allowing you to dive to deep into darkness…that is the magic of the artist…allowing you to think and feel but not be destroyed…remarkable!!!

Windpower—-This is a huge song….ignored by most everyone but still to this day remaining one of my favorite tracks from the Dolby catalog…I never get tired of it…in this setting, with new and improved technology. It is even better than the first time I ever heard it. I literally adore this song…it seems, to me, perfect in just about everyway…from the electronics to the vocal, I would never ask for more from this man or any other…this is historic. timely and still a masterpiece!!!

Europa And The Pirate Twins—-Another song that was largely ignored by most people, this is another of those Dolby songs that long lives in my memory…you cannot deny the genius behind the entire thing. It is no wonder that Dolby became disenfranchised with the industry…not being able to produce the sounds that he knew were there  but without the technology ro make them. this is a dream realized…that is what this WHOLE record is all about!!! This is just fantastic!!!!

Hyperactive—-Who can ever forget this great video? Here, this song is truly realized…..Dolby is finally allowed to make the sounds that he knew he wanted to make in 1984….this is what DOLBY always WANTED….listening to it now, I just want the whole entire world to hear it…this is far better than any recorded version you could ever find…this is technology realized and a man who is finally at peace…this is as it was meant to be!!!

She Blinded Me With Science—-This is far better than any remix or updated version of this classic 80’s song that you can find ANYWHERE….you could not ever ask for a better rendition of this song EVER!!!! This is brillaint…the effects that Dolby brings to the forefront of this song are magnificent….you are in heaven if you are  true 80’s fan…..there is NOTHING better than this particular version of this classic track!!!! Trust me!!!!

Airhead—-Rounding out this show with a great track, Dolby again reaches for the ceiling as he tries to bring his dream to a live stage…the result is nothing less than stellar. the effects that are produced as he pushes buttons and presses keys are magnificent…ten years prior to this would have been impossible…but this man is a genius and he lives on the edge…producing sounds that were far beyond his time but sound rather commonplace in the sound scape of listening today…just remember…this was being attempted between 1982-1986……..we have come a long way and the dream is finally realized!

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