Archive for alternative music

Band Of Skulls / Baby Darling Doll Face Honey

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 120000008-04:00 12 by marky7235

Baby Darling Doll Face HoneyBand of Skulls are an English alternative rock band from Southampton, consisting of Russell Marsden (guitar, vocals), Emma Richardson (bass, vocals), and Matt Hayward (drums). The group formed after meeting in college, although Marsden and Hayward have been friends since school.

The Analysis:

Light Of The Morning—-This begins with such a nice fuzzy sound and quickly dissolves into an almost blues laden delivery. The sound of the band is raw with a nice garage edge to it…at one point the song just stops…and returns more magnificent than ever…..just perfect.

Death By Diamonds And Pearls—-Beginning with nice short bursts of guitars, this turns into yet another great Garage style sound that reminds me of the stripes. This entire song has a certain attitude that makes me smile….at times the track is rather loud…..adding to the atmosphere…this is wonderful!

I Know What I Am—-With no pretense…..this delves into a nice duo vocal track that is breath-taking. I’m not sure where that other magnificent voice came from…sounding so much like Siouxsie Sioux…this is breath-taking!!!!

Fires—-Delivering a bit more of a mainstream sound, this is simply wonderful. The entire track has an almost Alt-Country sound to it that is rather unique when mixed with the female vocal and the intermittent bursts of guitar. This is fantastic!!! The chorus is addictive as hell!!!!

Honest—-Beginning unbelievably quiet and serene, the female vocal introduces the song and gives the band an entire different dynamic….this is a favorite of mine. the sound is quiet, ethereal and beautiful…with exquisite words to match…!!!

Patterns—-Returning to a more straight forward, post-punk sound, this band will always keep you guessing as to what is coming next. I swear this lady sounds so much like Siouxsie!!!! This has great short bursts of energy…making it hard for me to sit still. Nice!!!

Hollywood Bowl—-Becoming rather predictable at this point, it is nice that they mix the vocal back and forth though…it does keep you guessing a bit more. I like the dual delivery…this is a bit darker and offers up short bursts of energy…….mired with some nice fuzz and distortion…I rather like this!

Bomb—-This begins a bit odd, but turns into a rather recognizable song this far into the release. There is some really nice aggressive guitars and drums spaced out through the track…making me smile inside at the energy. This is pretty damn nice!

Impossible—-Returning to a more sedate sound, this band is still full of surprises for me. I rather like the pretty jangly feel of this song…reminding me of the 90’s shoe gaze sound. The vocal is sedate but delivered with a pained feel that almost makes my eyes fill up…that is what music is all about…it is all about the emotion!!!

Blood—-Blues driven and delivered with that by now familiar Garage sound, this is slow to begin and is rather choppy to me. This delves into a rather sexy and sleazy sounding song……bare and stripped down…this is alt-Rock at its best!

Dull Cold Heart—-Delivering another layered and beautifully sedate track, this band is full of surprises. The quiet is intermixed with nice tempo changes, but is led by the sedate female vocal lead…..adding emotion on top of emotion. i rather love this song…..making my mood today even more concrete!

Cold Fame—-Ending the release…far differently than it began, you would be hard pressed to believe you were listening to the same band. This is wonderfully written…the words tear at me and make me think…..the instrumentation is beautiful. The entire thing leaves me with a real taste for this band…..urging me to go out and investigate the 2012 release….it is nice to be reminded of what you love….

**** out of 5


Sinead O’Connor / So Far…..The Best Of Sinead O’Connor

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 60000007-04:00 12 by marky7235

So Far: Best of Sinead O'Connor

Sinéad Marie Bernadette O’Connor (play /ʃɪˈnd ˈkɒnər/;[1] born 8 December 1966) is an Irish singer-songwriter who rose to fame in the late 1980s with her debut album The Lion and the Cobra. O’Connor achieved worldwide success in 1990 with a cover of the song “Nothing Compares 2 U“.

Since then, while maintaining her singing career, she has occasionally encountered controversy, partly due to her statements and gestures such as her ordination as a priest despite being female with a Roman Catholic background, and her expressed strong views on organized religion, women’s rights, war, and child abuse.

In addition to her nine solo albums her work includes many singles, songs for films, collaborations with many other artists, and appearances at charity fundraising concerts.

The Analysis:

Nothing Compares 2 u—-Perhaps one of the most stirring videos of the early 90’s , Sinead takes this Prince penned saga and turns it into a tear jerker even all these years later. The incredible orchestration, combined with the melancholy delivery of the voice…come together and create a memory for every single person that has ever heard this song. The stirring video with the teardrop…makes it even more iconic……unforgettable!

Mandinka—-Delivering a remarkably different track from the same release as a single, O’Connor showed her diversity and mass appeal with this song. This has been masterfully remixed numerous times and never seems to lose the energy that it had the very first time I heard it. The vocal is incredible…the instrumentation incredibly contagious and the memory….neverending.

The Emperor’s New Clothes—-From her second release, this is perhaps my favorite release from Sinead……it has depth and growth…although she derailed her career a bit during this time period with her Saturday Night Live Fiasco…..none the less, the music speaks for itself. This track is able to move you…gives you a nice edge and allows you to really think about the words you are hearing….fantastic…..I love this!!!!

The Last Day Of Our Acquaintance—-Probably my second favorite track from O’Connor…you cannot deny the anger…the emotion and the hurt…..all which are real and heartfelt. The vocal is displayed with full histrionics…..never has she sounded better or more genuine…the range is perfect. The music is in line and just feeds the emotion…this is pretty much a masterpiece!

Fire On Babylon—-Yet another track that allows for a huge and fantastic vocal…..there have been some great remixes to this track as well. Sinead is able to be quiet and accelerate so effortlessly…it is simply amazing. I’m flabbergasted by the voice and the content….most all of these tracks really mean something…that is incredibly important!

Troy—-Venturing back to the debut release, this is perhaps every fans favorite track….except mine…lol! None the less, this is an extraordinary song…filled with emotion, vocal stylings that only hinted at the future and an underlying mine field of talent that was to be yet unleashed…this was the beginning….and unforgettable!!!

I Am Stretched On Your Grave—-Returning to her second release, O’Connor delivers a track that really tends to rip my heart out. when you have been close to death or experienced death after death…..I have lived through the AIDS epidemic……lost about 60 friends…..these songs take on a whole new meaning…I have had these very moments that are expressed in this song….so this is very real to me……I understand…..and the instrumentation…full of a nice Celtic flavor adds to the atmosphere!!!!! Very nice!!!!

Success Has Made A Failure Of Our Home—-Written by Johnny Mullins and recorded by Loretta Lynn, O’Connor gives a nice twist to this song that was also covered by Elvis Costello on his Almost Blue release. This loses almost all of the Country edge and instead takes on a big Band feel that fits Sinead’s voice remarkably well. This is fantastic…but I think it surprised many people at the time of the release!

John, I Love You—-Without a doubt, my favorite released single from O’Connor… is easy to replace the name John with any other and carry the sentiment in you pocket with you the rest of your life…which I have quite successfully done! the song has a bit of stripped down feel…but the vocal adds layers and layers to the song…it becomes huge when O’Connor really opens her mouth…this is beautiful…magical…mystic…forlorn and REAL!!!!

Empire—-One of the few tracks on this release I was not really familiar with, the electronic delivery resonated with me right away. The track has a nice Reggae feel to it that makes it very easy to digest….i really like the ‘World Music’ feel to the song….it is no wonder it is included on this compilation…it is a triumph…I really like this!

I Want Your Hands On Me—-Another throwback track that still sounds fresh at this very moment I listen to it…sometimes there is music that is made that is timeless…..this is one of those tracks….there are some great remixes to this song as well…the breaks in the song are incredible…the energy is never ending…..when Sinead hollers…it is real and stays with you….a classic track!!!!!

Heroine—-Just remarkable…..leaving me aghast everytime I hear this…….truly a masterful interpretation!!!!

Don’t Cry For Me Argentina—-Taking on the most famous track from Evita, O’Connor has the advantage of huge orchestration…..a flowing symphony that matches the emotion of her vocal to a tee. This is a masterful delivery…..I know it has been done before…but this is special….although I love the Donna Summer version more…..this is a damn close second!!!!

You Made Me The Thief–Another of those songs I’m not entirely familiar with, I greeted it with open arms though…I have missed a few releases here and there……shhhhh….don’t tell!!!! Sinead sounds a bit thin here…..the vocal lacks the full feel of her usual delivery….it is pushed way to the back of the mix and the electronics threaten to take over the song…not bad…but not a favorite!

Just Like You Said It Would Be—-Ending this collection much as it started…with an older emotional track, this is another real favorite of mine. Sinead sounds so pure….so concise…so perfunctory and solid. The swan way of singing makes me almost excited…this is a brilliant track…the overlays are extraordinary…the emotion is what i live with everyday……truly magnificent!!!!

****3/4 out of 5

The Rapture / In The Grace Of Your Love

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

In The Grace Of Your LoveIn the Grace of Your Love is the third full-length album by dance-punk band The Rapture and the first without former bassist Mattie Safer.[8] The album was released on September 2, 2011.[9] The album marks their return to DFA Records after leaving Universal Music Group.[10] The cover features a picture of band member Luke Jenner’s father.

The Analysis:

Sail Away—-At the very onset of the track, that familiar voice comes out of the silence and comforts you….the beats add layer upon layer…becoming a magnificent solemn dance track that is full of emotion and a remarkable underlying energy. This is a magnificent start…..this has an EPIC synth line!!!!

Miss You—-Beginning a bit more sedate, the bass line that leads in the track sets the tone for the entire track. This is a bit more of a punky track at the onset…..the attitude is incredible. The synth line enters and travels me back in time to the 80’s with little effort. The vocal is amazing…sounding much thinner than the previous track…but conveying the sentiment wonderfully well!!!!

Blue Bird—-These tracks seem to start so suddenly…..little or no introduction!!!! This has an even more energetic and fast tempo than anything thus far on this release…the beginning drums are wonderful. the track takes a wonderful spacy turn that reminds me of beginning Stone Roses…..this is really a favorite track of mine…the layers and layers of sound are incredible….it makes the song small……but HUGE!!!!

Come Back To Me—-This really has never resonated with me….it is not a bad track, but it offers to much of what I have heard before. I like the vocal…but the stripped down instrumentation leaves me a bit hollow……

Grace—-returning to a nice 80’s inspired synth lead in, this resonated with me right away!!!! I love the vocal….this is incredible…the histrionics give me chills…there is an almost laid back reggae beat to this track……got in my head months ago…and has never left…..this is a favorite band of mine…so versatile and real!!!!

Never Die Again—-Energetic…..with a slight punk influence…but full of 80’s style synth lines….can a human being ask for more or try to write more? I think not……marvelous!!!!

Roller Coaster—-Yet another amazing track…full of rather mundane lyrics…but the energy and the feel of the song are incredible….as the song progresses. the words sink in a bit and the track becomes more meaningful to me…this is exquisite…I love the mood of the song…amazing…..I really like this band!!!!

Children—-Rather laid back and with a slight retro feel, this is a fantastic track. There are nice layers to this song as well…..the synth line leads the song…but the vocal overlays makes the song much larger. The drums are present and the cymbal taps make it extraordinary…..this is energetic…fun and also though provoking…….I love this!!!

Find A Way—-Really not a favorite track of mine, it is a bit erratic for me…the saving grace is the almost Duran Duran inspired synth line that runs through the track and adds energy to the delivery. The vocal is nice…the double style really appeals to me…..I like this…but it has been done many times before…..

How Deep Is Your Love?—-The lead off single for this release…..and a damn magnificent song….this is a favorite and will be for a very long time! This is energetic….danceable and has a synth line to die for…..I am amazed at the talent of this band…eventually people will wake up and catch on…..this is an amazing band!!!!

Take Time To Be A Man—-Interesting at the onset, this has a slight jazz edge to it that includes the Blues and a Orleans style of slow delivery…..not sure what that is all about…but the lyrics are outstanding… it makes the song a triumph for me!!!! Wonderful.

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


Bon Iver /Bon Iver

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 190000006-04:00 12 by marky7235

Bon IverBon Iver (play /bn ˈvɛər/ Bone ee-VEHR) is an American folk band founded in 2007 by indie folk singer-songwriter Justin Vernon. In addition to Vernon the band includes Michael Noyce, Sean Carey and Matthew McCaughan. Vernon released Bon Iver’s debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago independently in July 2007. The majority of that album was recorded while Vernon spent three months in a remote cabin in northwestern Wisconsin. Bon Iver won the 2012 Grammy Award for Best New Artist and Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album for their self-titled album.[1][2][3] The name Bon Iver is derived from the French phrase bon hiver (French pronunciation: [bɔn‿ivɛːʁ]), meaning “good winter” or “have a good winter”.

The Analysis:

Perth—-Wonderfully layers and filled with a nice winter silence at the onset, the double tracked vocal enters and delivers a melancholy sound that sets the tone for the rest of the release. The marching drums are magnificent, and the slight Alt-Country sound is brilliant. I love the voice..the layers…the actual textures!

Minnesota, WI—-Although the track picks up the pace a bit…a nice jangle runs through the backdrop, there is still a quiet about this whole release that is phenomenal. the vocal is SUPERB…..I love the mood change, the tone change and the utter display of diversity. This is phenomenal…I have not listened to this is quite sometime…and for the moment I’m so sorry for not doing so…..

Holocene—-Many of the opening strains on this release take me back to the most classic Simon & Garfunkel records that I loved so much as a yuongster…this track is no exception. The vocal is ghostly, sad and haunting…the content is real as fuck and the music is damn serene! This is and remains one of my favorite tracks on the is release…because it is so real. I love this guy…..

Towers—-Building up the tempo and changing the mood a bit, production is outstanding on this release. The double tracked vocal is amazing to me…..Vernon has the voice of an angel and when you combine two or three of them together it becomes a choir. This is fantastic……the instrumentation is simple…alloowing the music to take the spotlight…outstanding! When the track picks up the tempo and adds some strings……wow!

Michicant—-From the very opening strains of this song, it is as depressing as the situations in Michigan. This has great strings that run throughout and a shifting beat that makes me smile despite the melancholy of the whole damn thing. I believe this just might be brilliant!

Hannon, Tx—-Full of reverb and instrumental emotion, Vernon returns to his baritone voice and makes the song even more intense. It is amazing to believe he recorded this almost by himself in a far away cabin. This track is pretty damn contagious….reminding me of the best Alt music available to a more sedentary audience…one that prefers to think rather than necessarily move. This is brilliant!!!

Wash—-Returning to full on depressive introspection, perhaps this is what was needed today and thus the reason for my revisitation….this is again…remarkable. The violin is so haunting…the single strands from the piano…lead me to a deeper thought. the gentle shift of the music only prevents it from becoming suicidal music…but instead beautiful and though provoking…..

Calgary—-Again, layered and full of beautiful instrumentation, the voice just naturally becomes a part of the instruments used to deliver serene story…one after the other. This is a remarkably beautiful release….never doubt the wonder of a man who is driven to deliver his thoughts and feelings to the world….just beautiful!

Lisbon, Oh—-This track begins in a rather sonic and slight electronic way….surprising even me…this is brilliant!!!! This sounds like a robot gone wild…all the time clinging on to an Alternative feel to carry it through to the finish….just wonderful!

Beth/Rest—-Ending this incredible release with another track that has become my favorite, Vernon returns to his deeper vocal and carries with it an emotion that permeates my entire being. this is haunting….beautiful and magically joyous!!!! What a nice revisit this has been!!!!

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


Best Coast / The Only Place

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 90000006-04:00 12 by marky7235

The Only Place

The Only Place is the second studio album by American indie rock duo Best Coast, released on May 15, 2012 on Wichita Recordings. Produced by Jon Brion, the album features a more polished aesthetic than its lo-fi predecessor, Crazy for You (2010).

Regarding the album’s lyrical and thematic content, songwriter Bethany Cosentino noted, “It comes from a point of view of being very homesick and feeling like my feelings were all over the place because of the fact that I was so busy and scatterbrained and traveling all the time.”

The Analysis:

The Only Place—-From the onset, it appears to me that this favorite band of mine has taken a bit of a turn. Not concentrating as much on the low fuzz ‘beach-pop’, this release has an almost Country flair to it….but not in a bad way! This first track, is perhaps my favorite…as it shines with a nice gloss that makes me smile. This is so damn pleasant, it is hard to find fault with the whole damn thing. I miss the slight Alt feel of the previous release, but this is still stellar!

Why I Cry—-Again, can anyone find fault with this release? This is shiny and full of pop hooks. The vocal overlays that are throughout the song give the entire thing so much body…this is wonderfully warm, bright and sunny despite the somewhat downer lyrics…you can’t get past the shiny feel of the whole thing…polish away!!!

Last Year—-this has a really heavy 50’s Country lean to the entire thing. Makes me think of old-fashioned Prom songs from years gone by. I can almost envision the old 50’s tuxedos in my brain….the track paints a huge vivid picture…this is magnificent! “What a year this day has been, what a day this year has been”…..incredible!!!

My Life—-Returning to a more pop edge, the vocal layers on this track are fantastic…wondering how this band pulls this off live? This is so damn pleasant…depite the fact the the lyrics are rather dark. The music has a nice jaunty beat to it…making me smile….as the vocal wraps itself all around the music…this is bright…and brilliant!

No One Like You—-With virtually no b ass on this release, it is hard not to be bright and shiny! This is another of those tracks that from the very first listen made me think of old-fashioned 50’s school dances full of angst and revelries. This is just brilliant…the simple fact that they are making music like this in 2012 is remarkable….and doing it well is even better…I love this!!!

How They Want Me To Be—-Beginning a bit sedate and quiet, the track turns into a nice mellow interlude that allows you to sit back and actually catch every single word that is offered up. As the percussion enters the track it becomes a bit more lively, but there is an underlying sadness that makes you pay attention….

Better Girl—-Wow…..from the first guitar chords of the song…I fell in love. This is much more reminiscent of the first release….the vocal is so damn clear and the emotions are everywhere…intrumentally and lyrically. This is another of those favorite tracks of mine that screams sunshine and bright lazy days outdoors…..just wonderful!!!

Do You Love Me Like You Used To—-Another track that uses the magical vocal overlays to make you think about the fun Girl Groups of the past…this is full of built-in harmonies and a bright sunny sound. I love the retro feel to the whole damn thing…maybe that shows my age? This is brilliant…when the chorus opens up, the song becomes an entirely different animal…I love diversity!!!

Dreaming My Life Away—-Beginning much more gentle, the vocal has an almost slight echo to it that catches my attention right away. The drums are pretty fantastic on this song…I know this band has revolving drummers…but they should hang on to this one. This is not a happy song…but the poignancy makes it so attractive to me…another favorite!

Let’s Go Home—-This track returns to a much more jaunty and fun sound…the music is fast paced and bright as hell. I love this song!!!! The music is much more aggressive and the drums are surf all the way! This is what I have been waiting for…this is why I fell in love with this band!!!! Again……brilliant!

Up All Night—-Rounding out the release with a return to the pure 50’s sound that has carried most of this release, it only makes me sad it is the end and hungry as hell for the next chapter. There is a part of me that thinks this band could be very loud and aggressive if they wanted to be…for now…this is too damn pleasant to walk away from….I will be listening to this for a while…..

**** 3/4 out of 5

Silversun Pickups / Neck Of The Woods

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 50000006-04:00 12 by marky7235

Neck of the WoodsNeck of the Woods is the third studio album by Los Angeles alternative rock band Silversun Pickups. The album was produced by Jacknife Lee (R.E.M., Bloc Party) and was released on May 8, 2012 through independent label Dangerbird Records. Lead single “Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)” was released via the band’s official YouTube channel on March 25th. On May 2, 2012 MTV Buzzworthy posted a full stream of the album online.

The Analysis:

Skin Graph—-Beginning with an almost ghostly dirge, the opening track is slow to come to life. As the track builds..the familiar sound of the band comes to light and you are once more secure with the sound. When Brian opens his mouth to sing you again feel comfortable. The classic Silversun melodies…intermixed with the experimental fuzz are all in place…I smile to myself….knowing I will once again enjoy this journey.

Make Believe—-Continuing in a familiar yet bit more aggressive manner than the previous release, I am always amazed with Brian and his voice and the wonderful bass leads that drive almost every track this band manages to produce. This is the sound of a well driven machine….and like those machines it produces one smile after the other. The melodies are beautiful…the words introspective and the feeling ethereal!

Bloody Mary [Nerve Endings]—-With a bit more of a shimmering sound, this track was the lead-off single for this new CD and showcases the band at their very best. The sound is very deep at the onset…there seems to be layers and layers of sound going on all at the same time…until it magically ebbs and allows the entrance of a crystal clear vocal. The chorus brings back a bit of the fuzz…but the melodies remain intact. One of the greatest tracks this band has produced!

Busy Bees—-A fantastic bass driven intro begins this track as the drums join in and set the melody from the very onset. Brian enters with a much clearer vocal than on previous releases…you catch almost every word as the noise levels seem much more produced. This is a bit sedate….like the recipe calls for…with just intermittent fuzz and raucous playing. Masterful!

Here We Are [Chancer]—-Minimal at the onset, other tiny sounds enter into the track as it progresses…allowing it to become larger and larger. There is still a remarkable quiet to this entire CD….if you compare to previous releases. The stripped down sound of this track is so attractive to me thouigh….I love the sedate vocal delivery and the beautiful words….a master storyteller!

Mean Spirits—-Returning to a much fuller and noisier delivery, this is a fairly fast paced track for this band. The rhythm section is outstanding! The vocal is pushed to the back of the mix…much more removed and allowing the percussion to be the star of the show. This is great production and song placement……insuring the listeners attention is kept fully intact.

Simmer—-A great title for this track as that is what the song literally does….slowly simmers with a nice fuzzy delivery as it slowly becomes alive. But the track shimmers as well…with a slight sunny sound that makes me smile. This is classic SSPU…..they never disappoint me!

The Pit—-Delivering a slight electronic sounding intro with an entering bass line that makes you think of New Order, even the vocal is a bit different from anything we have experienced before. This is catchy as hell…not a happy song…but still comes across as pretty pleasant. This is melodic, beat driven and contagious as all hell!

Dots and Dashes [Enough Already]—-Seeming to carry the same energy from the previous track, this again has a real 80’s-90’s feel musically. Brian has a vocal with a slight echo added to it…making it seem even larger. This has an irresistible melody….a driving bass line and will stick in your brain for days! Superb!!!

Gun-Shy Sunshine—-Returning to the slower dirge that is this bands specialty, this is exquisite. The layers of sounds and percussion makes this remarkable. I love Brian and his voice…he has a pitch that seems even higher on this track. The music goes in and out….the bass ebbing and flowing between a sedate beat and an aggressive flurry. This is fantastic!

Out Of Breath—-Closing out this release with yet another classic sounding track, the bass is prevelant at the onset of the song…with nice controlled drumming that builds anticipation. Brian enters and delivers a vocal that even though pushed back is still the star of the show. this is intense, lyrically, allowing you to lose yourself in the words without becoming over excited and obliterated by the music… great ending to another stellar release!

**** 1/2 out of 5


Angels & Airwaves / Love Album Parts One & Two

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 270000001-04:00 12 by marky7235

Love Part One & Part Two

Angels & Airwaves is an American alternative rock supergroup led by Blink-182 guitarist and vocalist Tom DeLonge. Other members are guitarist David Kennedy (from Over My Dead Body, Hazen Street and Box Car Racer), bassist Matt Wachter (from 30 Seconds to Mars) and drummer Ilan Rubin (from Lostprophets and Nine Inch Nails). Former original members are bass guitarist Ryan Sinn (formerly of The Distillers), who left the group in 2007 for reasons which are still unclear, as well as drummer Adam “Atom” Willard (formerly of The Offspring), who amicably parted ways with the band in fall 2011 after completion of their fourth album.

Formed after the break up of Blink-182 in 2005, the band has continued to record and tour despite DeLonge reigniting his career with Blink-182 in 2009. For the five years cade of the band’s existence, they have established themselves as extremely prolific artists, having released four studio albums We Don’t Need to Whisper (2006), I-Empire (2007), Love (2010) and Love: Part Two (2011). The project also resulted in the documentary film Start the Machine (2008). In 2011, accompanying the two Love albums, the group scored and produced the science fiction drama film Love by director William Eubank in 460 theatres nationwide during their multimedia event, Love Live. Tom Delonge has said in an interview that the band is working on two new films with accompanying studio albums.

The Analysis:

LOVE Pt. 1

Et Ducit Mundem Per Luce—-My favorite band on the face of the planet does not dissapoint….even with the few opening strains that begins this epic journey! If you are at all familiar with this band, the opening strains allows you the knowledge that you are home again and that this not intend to disappoint. The sound is huge and epic…the strings and keyboards move with little effort…..and causes me a smile within the first 30 seconds of the track…the smile only continues as we move into…..

The Flight Of Apollo—-The slight blips and beeps that introduce this track are so exciting….delivering an amped up feeling that I can’t ignore. Tom enters with his vocal…a bit muted and displaced but soon comes out with a full force and the majesty of the band is right in your face. The melody of every track on this release is incredible…but this…the epic beginning is so important to me….tom delivers line after line of love forlorn and yet sounds hopeful……my band of the future…I am sure there is much more to come!!!!

Young London—-Never losing the energy or the melody of the previous track, Tom continues to weave his magic story of love and the search for it in a magical and seamless way. The entire release never once loses a bit of energy or intensity…this is simply magical…the drums on this track are outstanding……and the emotion blows me away!!!

Shove—-Many could complain that this track is rather predictable in it’s beginning….but none the less, this is just what i expect and demand. There are certain bands who give you everything you need with the same delivery…this is one of those. when Tom enters with his slight whine and laments on love and distant girls, you feel his feeling and his need. When the melody and the chorus kicks in, you are on a beach with a magnificent sunset…reminding you that you should never see such a site alone….magnificent!

Epic Holiday—-With an almost seemless segue, this is another of those tracks that I tend to listen to over and over and over. tom has a clear and concise vision for this band and he has never faltered from it…in fact the newest release from BlinK 182…..sounds much more like an AVA record than ever! It takes a few moments for this to really pick up and start…but the bombast is there from the very onset….there is an underlying melody and energy to the music that this band produces and you never get lost in the layers and layers of different sounds that come at you from a million directions…this is not happy music…per se….but it makes me feel so damn good!

Hallucinations—-Perhaps one of my favorite releases on this entire double disc, this shows Tom and the band at their very best! This hearkens back to the earlier days of the band…when the music was less epic and more heartfelt….not to say that this is any less epic!!!! The guitars are huge…but there is so much going on in the backdrop of the entire thing…I’m just amazed at the versatility of the band…Tom leads but is empty without all of this magnificent sound…and the sound IS magnificent. This is incredible…I can listen to this 100 times in a row……no problem!!!

The Moon-Atomic [Fragments and Fiction]—-Another epic, almost 7 minute track that is full of bombastic beats and a vocal that almost makes me weep. Some of my friends complain about the whiney mode of vocal delivery from Tom….I call it emotion. you really seem to feel that this guy is singing about stuff that is important to him and in a way that allows you, the listener, to really feel it! This is exquisite!

Clever Love—-Evolving seamlessly from the previous track, this is a bit morose and pretty damn intense. I don’t know who tom is singing about in some of these songs…..I only wish I had someone who felt this way about me. When the chorus hits, I have goose bumps all over my ENTIRE body…this is real and not contrived…if tom & Co. is pulling a big trick on us…consider me fooled as hell!!!

Soul Survivor […..2012]—-The intro gives a nice nod to the 80’s……and as the song progresses, it just grows larger and larger. This is a bit morose…via the vocal. but the music in the back drop is huge and moving. When Tom really comes forward, the track just gets even larger…speaking of love….but on the downslide…love is not always grand…sometimes it hurts damn bad….and this is a good example of that feeling!

Letters To God Pt. 2—-With some really fantastic guitar riffs, this song moves at a really nice pace…….Tom enters with his vocal and again takes me some place that I don’t often visit….emotion. I try to hide the fact that I feel anything….but this guy makes me realize how deeply I do feel…..this band makes me want, makes me need and makes me lonely…..and happy!

Some Origins Of Fire—-Ending Part One with incredible energy….AND ……MELODY. this band never disappoints me…only leaves me so hungry for more. Although this is pretty reminiscent of other things the band has released, the energy makes it new and fresh…..I love this band……..

LOVE Pt. 2

Saturday Love—-Kicking off Part 2, it is like a constant continuation…..that is what i love about this band…you can listen from the first release to the last…and never skip a page or lose your place. This is a huge song…epic and reminding me of U2 or such…there is such energy and intention. tom has never sounded better and the harmonies and melodies carry from Pt. 1 to Pt. 2 with ZERO effort!!!!

Surrender—-Feeling much more 80’s oriented than the previous part of this release, there seems to be much more keyboard influence on this record. this takes me back to the energy of the very first release as well….tom seems to be invigorated and further propelled by his Blink influence…this song is simply fantastic!

Anxiety—-The mood…..the music…..the urgency…the vocal….the words…..the entire thing reminds me why I take so many drugs…thanks for the huge validation Tom…..someone, somewhere…is like me…..! THIS SONG ROCKS!!!!

My Heroine [It’s Not Over]—-Delivering a rather morose vocal, tom manages to deliver a song with little or no whine!!!! Instead, the song is full of huge emotional words and intense vivid imagery of sadness and despair. Tom reminds me that I’m not the only desolate person in the world…my emotions are ok…and others feel like me….I could never ask for more…EVER!!!!

Moon As Witness—-Creeping up on you, yet still congealed with the previous track, AVA manages to agin create a landscape that is brilliant…like a blank canvas being met with 20 paintbrushes at once. This is full of deep synths that seem to get louder with every measure, but never grows in sound…just emotion….I fuckin’ love this band!!!!!

Dry Your Eyes—-Tom falls a bit on familiar territory…..seemingly repeatind some of the stuff we have received in previous release…..the beauty is that the lyrics are new and the energy is still as intense…so who am I to complain….I would never. This track has a rather nice tempo…moving along at an incredible pace….nice all the way around!

The Revelator—-A bit more bass heavy, the band still manages to keep the original sound they have always had. The drums are monumental…..right up in the front of the mix and in your face. Tom never let up…delivering line after line that makes you think, reflect and question….all the while trying to escape the melody that will be with you for the next 48 hours…this IS music!!!

One Last Thing—-A bit of a surprise. the song starts rather drum heavy and continues that way throughout!!!! Even when the vocal enters, the synth and the drums are in the very front of the mix…this is melodic and another catchy as hell track…thanks to the vocal overlays and the melodic quality of Tom’s voice. When DeLonge reaches for that upper register…you feel pain, emotion and feelings I wish he never disturbed…fantastic!!!!

Inertia—-This seems to me, yet another retread with a fresh and new sound though. I love the way the vocal manages to creep up on you….emerging from the back drop. the band freakin’ rips at times on this song…sounding even better than the full on Blink….the only thing that separates them are the emotions in the lyrics and the vocal…..the new Blink 182…..melds these two rather nicely!!!!

Behold A Pale Horse—-Returning to a more morose sound at the onset, I pause and wonder if I can think about feelings that much in one day….but Tom comes through with lyrics that remind me that it is not all about me but the world in general. this is epic…full of energy and reminding me of the synth from classic Asia songs….really a retread….but this song really works for me right now!!!! Phenomenal!!!!

All That We Are—-Rounding out and ending this collection, the band only leaves me thirsty….almost parched……wondering when I will get the next release! This is typical…but special…..piano laden with wisps of synths and morose sounds…you just wait….and Tom enters and delivers yet more sentences that leave you questioning and asking and wondering……BECAUSE MUSIC MATTERS!!!!!!

***** out of 5 [Perfection]




Florence + The Machine / Ceremonials

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 1300000011-04:00 12 by marky7235


Florence and the Machine (stylised as Florence + the Machine)[1] is the recording name of English musician Florence Welch and a collaboration of other artists who provide backing music for her voice. Florence and the Machine’s sound has been described as a combination of various genres, including rock and soul.[2][3] The band’s music received praise across the music media, especially from the BBC, before they gained mainstream success. Specifically, the BBC played a large part in their rise to prominence by promoting Florence and the Machine as part of BBC Introducing.

The band’s debut album, Lungs, was released on 6 July 2009, and held the number-two position for its first five weeks on the UK Albums Chart.[4] On 17 January 2010, the album reached the top position, after being on the chart for twenty-eight consecutive weeks.[5] The album has been in the top forty in the United Kingdom for sixty-five consecutive weeks, making it one of the best-selling albums of 2009 and 2010.

Lungs won the MasterCard British Album award at the 2010 BRIT Awards. At the 53rd Grammy Awards, Florence and the Machine was nominated for Best New Artist. Additionally, the band performed at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards and the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Concert.

The group’s second album Ceremonials released in October 2011 debuted strongly.

The Analysis:

Only If For A Night—-From the very first notes of the song and the entrance of the vocal, you know right away that Florence has no intention of letting fans down or delivering something that is too unpredictable….this voice is so strong…making me think of Siouxsie Sioux so much…the music is ethereal and contained with a nice haunt to it…this is just about perfect.

Shake It Out—-I love the lack of instrumental introduction on most of this release…the vocal just begins from the very first word. This is a bit more Bohemian…including some nice drums and tambourines with lyrics that are full of vivid imagery and thought-provoking words. the chorus is huge and powerful…I see her swirling all over the place in my minds eye….the new Nicks!!!

What The Water Gave Me—-This has a bit more of an intro, but quickly gives us what we want the most….the voice. The slight shaky quality and the powerful chorus makes for a natural lead off single…making me smile everytime I hear it….this is a bit more calm than most of the material on the debut release….but still as powerful and quirky! This is brilliant!!!!

Never Let Me Go—-Calm and with a nice ghostly feel, this is piano driven and really allows the spotlight to be on the voice of florence…..this is pretty remarkable from the word go. The chorus enters and takes you on a nice melancholy journey….just fantastic…the track leaves me cold…but manages to make me fuzzy and warm all over….!

Breaking Down—-I love good production and direction! This song is just different enough to keep you as the listener, very interested in the next thing to come along on the CD. This is upbeat and a bit synth driven….and I just love when Florence sings in that deeper alto vocal of hers….this is brilliant…..still!!!

Lover To Lover—-This is another of those tracks that gives you very little introduction before the voice enters the picture….there is a nice alt-sound that reminds me of Kate Bush or some other classic 80’s quirk band…I love this CD…who knew a sophomore release could be so fantastic!!!

No Light, No Light—-This is full of so many Annie Lennox sounds you get confused as to whom you are really listening to. This is orchestrated and HUGE….florence conjures up so many vivid thoughts and images…all through the power of the voice…you hear the moods and the MOVEMENTS and not even really the lyrics…just incredible!!!

Seven Devils—-Heavily piano driven with huge keyboards sounds, the song suffers a bit from the ‘sameness’ sound of most of the release…but the voice saves it from the mundane catagory…this is a bit boring for me…but still powerful as hell and with a fantastic chorus!

Heartlines—-Some really great drums and chants introduce this song and give me the change-up I have needed after the last few tracks. The voice flows and delivers on emotion right after the other…but it is the instrumentation on this track that really keeps me listening…this is fantastic!

Spectrum—-Returning to a more predictable sound, this is moody and full of atmosphere. Not that this is a bad thing….but perhaps too much of a good thing. I still love the ebb and flow of the emotion in the vocal and the way that the chorus comes ALIVE…just remarkable…..but still a bit of overkill. The backdrop vocals are fantastic though….

All This And Heaven Too—-This has a much more powerful sound to it….I love the drums and the slight driving force of the track…nice…..I’m not mad at ya…I could not ask for more from this release! The chorus of this track is just huge…provoling both tears and goosebumps….my hair is literally standing up!

Leave My Body—-Rounding out this release with a pretty epic closer, this is florence at her finest…delivering line after lines of epic words that rip your heart out and leave you lying on the floor. I don’t want your future, I don’t need your past……what a great line!!! This is nice…the huge chorus of backdrop vocals add so much to the song….just incredible.

**** 1/2 out of 5

Coldplay / Mylo Xyloto

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 2600000010-04:00 12 by marky7235

Mylo Xyloto

Mylo Xyloto (pronounced /ˈmaɪloʊ ˈzaɪlətoʊ/) is the fifth studio album by English alternative rock band Coldplay. The album was released worldwide on 24 October 2011 by EMI.[2] It was preceded by the lead single, “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall“, on 3 June 2011. Upon its release, Mylo Xyloto received mixed reviews from critics.

The Analysis:

Mylo Xyloto—-This 42 second intro is full of the lush classic Coldplay sound…..warming me and making me salivate with anticipation…..almost magical.

Hurts Like Heaven—-The first proper track on this release is nothing less than spectacular. Carrying the traditional Coldplay sound while immersing itself in a retro sounding 80’s delivery, this makes me think of The Furs without the accent. The guitar is wonderfully jangly and the drums are in the forefront of the mix…this is warm and sad at the same time…just magical.

Paradise—-Beginning with a sound more lush than a hot summer forest, there seem to be layers and layers to this track. There are strings, keyboards, electronics and the wonderful sedate voice from Martin. This is fantastic…not nearly as sedate and depressing as many of the other material from this band, there is depth to the lyrics…and they are vivid…almost making me lose myself while i am writing. This really is my favorite  Coldplay release….critics be damned!

Charlie Brown—-With varied electronic effects, this begins with a nice magical and mysterious air before opening up into a nice Alt Rock layered Coldplay track. The vocal is mixed to the very front and Chris has rarely sounded better….he keeps the overwhelming falsetto to a minimum…making the track even more accessible. This is extraordinary!

Us Against The World—-One of the few tracks on this release that actually begins with a solid guitar, the acoustics fall into place rather quickly. This is sedate and introspective…quiet and thoughtful at times and coming alive at the right and appropriate times. this is phenomenal…..I’m pretty impressed by this entire adventure!

M.M.I.X.—-Another short interlude that is layered and heavy…setting you up for…..

Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall—-The first proper released single from this CD, this is acceptable. By far the least of my favorite tracks on this release, it will be interesting how they follow this single up and with what track. The guitars are driving and the vocal is somewhat generic…this was a safe track for the band to record. there are slight electronics involved and some fantastic bass drum….the track is layered and pretty…at times a bit loud. Surprisingly the first single…next!

Major Minus—-Another track that begins with some nice guitar, the sound is a bit odd for me…like Martins vocal is pushed way to the back of the mix for the first part of the song…and then suddenly emerging out of nowhere to become the lead! The guitar is at times loud and suddenly takes on an acoustic volume…this is magical for me…I could not be happier with this release.

U’F.O.—-Returning to a full acoustic and stripped down sound, this is introspective and vivid. the words fly at you like picture after picture…the slides of life are on full display.  There is a nice lush sound to the entire damn thing…the kind of song that brings tears to your eyes at the right moment of your life…I will turn to this time and time again…there are lessons in this song.

Princess Of China [featuring Rhianna]—-Noisy and a bit bombastic, Chris sounds so level and at peace with his delivery. The driving sound of the song keeps your attention and makes you wonder what is coming next….Rhianna does not disappoint…delivering a vocal that blends with Chris in a magical way. This is stellar…if this is not a huge track for this band…well, then there is something wrong with the ears of the world!

A  Hopeful Transmission—-Another 30 second interlude that leads us into…..

Up In Flames—-Beginning heavy with an electronic feel, this is just a classic track…reminding me of both Coldplay and U2 at the same time. Even though the music is stripped down, the sound is very large and layered…providing pounds of emotion with each bar. This is simply fantastic…..

Don’t Let It Break Your Heart—-This makes me think of later day Verve right from the onset…the sound is a bit snaky and layered with attitude and emotion….the entire thing makes me a bit sad and magically smile all at the same time…exactly what music is all about!!!

Up With The Birds—-Ending the release on an incredibly sedate manner, Martin almost reminds me of a younger Roger Waters on this track…this is a missing track from The Wall!!!! Remarkably emotive and sedate with a slight movement of happiness…this is wonderful….rounding out things in a fantastic way!!!

****3/4 out of 5


Blink-182 / Neighborhoods

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 280000009-04:00 12 by marky7235


Blink-182 is an American rock band consisting of vocalist and bass guitarist Mark Hoppus, vocalist and guitarist Tom DeLonge, and drummer Travis Barker. They have sold over 27 million albums worldwide since forming in Poway, California in 1992. With original drummer Scott Raynor they released their debut album Cheshire Cat in 1994 and achieved moderate success with its follow-up, 1997’s Dude Ranch, which went on to sell over one million copies. Raynor was replaced by Barker midway through a 1998 tour.

The band achieved greater success with 1999’s multi-platinum selling Enema of the State, which reached number 9 on the Billboard 200 on the strength of the singles “What’s My Age Again” and “All the Small Things“, the latter of which became the highest-charting song of their career by reaching number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Blink-182 gained popularity for their irreverent sense of humor, and the follow-up album Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001) reached number 1 in the United States, Canada, and Germany. The eponymously-titled Blink-182 followed in 2003 and was a stylistic shift for the group, infusing experimental elements into their usual pop punk formula which resulted in a more mature sound.

DeLonge left Blink-182 in early 2005, sending the band into indefinite hiatus. He went on to form Angels & Airwaves while Hoppus and Barker formed +44. Hoppus also pursued a career as a television host while Barker continued working in music as a producer and solo artist. Blink-182 reunited in February 2009 and their sixth studio album, Neighborhoods, was released on September 27, 2011.

The Analysis:

Ghosts On The Dance Floor—-With an intro that reminds you of early Blink, the tide turns suddenly and becomes a much more AWA flavored romp through post-punk fun. The sound of the band has changed…but to my delight, but much to the disdain of die-hard fans. This reminds me so much of AWA but the added backdrop vocals and the frantic drums from Barker keep it all legit. The chorus on this track is huge and addictive…this is just magical for me.

Natives—-With a much more upbeat tempo that hearkens back to the mid 90’s, this is really nice. Trading vocal duties, it is amazing how much different the band sounds and the energy it produces when Hoppus in charge of the vocal. The drums are incredible….as always and the noise generated by the band is sublime, all the while still holding on to the direction Hoppus took when he left the band.

Up All Night—-Churning out incredible energy from the very first chord, the song suddenly takes a more mellow turn, but manages to keep a focus on energy and mayhem also. This is perhaps a favorite of mine….I love when you get that huge overblown AWA sound with Barker pounding the hell out of the drums in the backdrop. The sound has huge effects and the atmosphere is thick as hell….I fucking love this CD…many will hate it!!!

After Midnight—-This is another of those tracks that magically and successfully mixes the old with the new. The saving grace for this entire release as far as old fans go is Travis. If you love Angels the way I do, this will be in your ear for many months to come…iof you are looking for old school Blink…you will be sad and confused.

Snake Charmer—-From the onset, this is flooded with great atmosphere and a Cure inspired bass line that lets me know this is right where I want it to be. the static and energy is fully intact….all the while, Barker is lost in his own groove. The vocal enters and this is straight AWA…but the energy is all Blink….the best of both worlds come together to put a smile on my face that will last for an eternity. This is remarkable!!!!

Hearts All Gone Interlude—-This 2 minute interlude is moody and circumspect. A nice piece of music, it makes you wonder where the whole thing is going as it slowly merges into…..

Hearts All Gone—-Full of high throttle energetic music, this is what all of the die hards have been waiting for. This is so high-powered and energetic, you wonder how the hell these people have come back together to form this very different record. This is frantic and hight powered old school energy. I love this…the magical thing is how well it all works against and with each other.

Wishing Well—-This is another of those songs that reminds you of the early days but later in the band’s career. this would have fit perfectly on the last proper release from this band before the split. This is very much in the same vein….and can I ever say enough about the wonders of Barker and his pummeling….no, probably not!!!

Kaleidoscope—-OMG…..this is fantastic……Imagine AWA with Hoppus as the lead singer and in comes DeLonge to add his whine…..this is almost brilliant. the lyrics are poignant and meaningful and the tempo is led by the cymbal crashes and cow bells from Barker. Jeez……I am so in love with this CD!!!!

This Is Home—-This is another of those phenomenal tracks that seems to meld the best of the two separate bands into one huge sound. This track has a nice energy, but the vocal is pure AWA. All the while Barker reminds anyone listening who is in charge…despite the added keyboards and atmosphere. This is just incredible…as my dude Sean says….jizztastic!!!!

MH 4.18.2011—-Plain out-and-out high energy post-punk rock!!! This is a lot of fun and nice to hear….this is remarkably placed…breaking up the record rather nicely. This is energetic and full of that almost surf sound…how nice to know the old grown up boys can still find a common place to play together and produce a rather eclectic record. Fantastic!!!!

Love Is Dangerous—-Delivering a bit of a deeper sound, this is still classic. The amazing double vocals and harmonies makes this almost addictive from the very first listen. i could not ask more for a return release. this is def in the AWA vein, but still manages to hold on to a bit of cred at the same time…I love this CD….now one of my favorite Blink releases!!!!

Fighting The Gravity—-Probably one of the most surprising tracks on this release, the entire band seems to try to fall into the AWA vibe and it ends up rather than stellar. If there is a least favorite track on this CD, this would be it. The bass is incredible, but the muted sound and the quasi-pychedelia is really odd for me…..not really a winner…but I’m not ruling out that it will grow on me…..

Even If She Falls—-Ending this release in high energy mode, the song seems to level off just to allow for the AWA vocal……thanks you!!!! I love this CD….this is an amazing adventure that i will have the privilege of re-living a million times more for the next forever!!!! Thanks boys…even if there is nothing else…this is just incredible!!!!

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