Archive for rock

Bon Iver /Bon Iver

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 190000006UTC 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 [!!!!!]

 

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Marilyn Manson / Born Villain

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 70000006UTC 12 by marky7235

Born Villain

Born Villain is the eighth full-length studio album by American rock band, Marilyn Manson. It was released on May 1, 2012 by Cooking Vinyl Records and Manson’s own vanity label Hell, etc.[1][2] Interviews with the band’s frontman described that the record would be in a heavier tone than that of previous works, describing the sound as a “suicide death metal” style.

In November 2010, Twiggy Ramirez was quoted as saying “We’ve got a new album [that we’re working on]. It’s almost done. It’ll probably be out next year. […] It’s our best record yet, I think. I mean, everyone always says that, but I think this is our best work so far… It’s kind of like a little more of a punk rock Mechanical Animals without sounding too pretentious.” It is Marilyn Manson’s first album to be released via Cooking Vinyl.

The album’s lead single, “No Reflection”, received its first airplay on March 7, 2012 on KROQ Los Angeles. It was released in digital format on March 13, 2012 through Cooking Vinyl and Hell, etc., over a month ahead of the album’s release. The single was also released in physical format on April 21, 2012 as a limited-edition white vinyl, available only in the UK and Europe in celebration of Record Store Day. A music video directed by Lukas Ettlin[3][4] was released to promote the single, and also features Roxane Mesquida. The music video premiered on April 4, 2012 on Marilyn Manson’s VEVO channel.

The Analysis:

Hey Cruel World—-Beginning in a slight muted and hushed tone, it is just a huge pleasure to finally hear from the Shock Rock God after such a long silent period. The song comes alive slowly and finds Manson in great vocal form. There is both a metal edge as well as a slight electronic feel to the song….this is classic Manson……finding him seemingly as welcome to be back as we are to have him!

No Reflection—-The lead off single to this release, this track again begins rather slow and quiet creeping up on you before coming more alive. The tempo is magnificent…with Manson giving all types of vocal utterances before the actual vocal. This is classic Marilyn…the voice is in such good form. The song is a bit sedate and not as aggressive as I expected…but definetly radio friendly. This is nice…but I would prefer a bit more intensity!

Pistol Whipped—-Yet another track that begins so odd…..are all of these effects necessary…just get to the damn blow out will ya? Manson sounds a bit particular on this song…it obviosly is not a very favorite of mine…not sure I really appreciate the song content. The chorus is magnificent though…..sounding like classic Manson…but the instrumentation is kept to muted for me…let it rip guys!!!

Overneath The Path Of Misery—-Again, taking forever to get started, this has a bit more of an aggressive instrumentation. Manson almost growls his way through the song and when the band is permitted to, they really let loose. but everything thus far on this release seems so controlled…I much prefer the mayhem of previous releases!!!

Slo-Mo-Tion—-Beginning with a great bass line, the track gives me hope from the onset. The pace is so slow for me though…I keep waiting for all hell to break loose and it never really does. Of course Manson is in control and delivers an almost crystal clear vocal…..but the blues edge to the song is a surprise. This sounds too much like other songs that have been done…..but it is still acceptable.

The Gardener—-For me, this track is rather brilliant….I love it!!!! Manson talk his way through the beginning of the song…..and sounds typically pissed off and demented. This is nice!!! The guitar effects that run through the bottom of the song are almost sonic…this sounds like a movie to me. I really rather like this song!!! When Manson really lets loose with his vocal, I breathe a sigh of relief!

The Flowers Of Evil—-I guess my problem with this release is the damn consistency of the entire thing…there is nothing new or predictable this far into the record. This is just like the 1st, 3rd and 5th track…there is no ingenuity! The aggression is missing so badly from this release…leaving me feel a bit flat and defeated. There are rare glimpses into the older days…but this is pretty sedate for Marilyn…..the track has a really nice melody…but where is the anger?

Children Of Cain—-Offering a bit more of an Industrial lean musically, Manson even sounds a bit more like his old self on this track. The chanting delivery of the song is reminiscent of the glory days…but the aggression is flat and almost absent. i like the chorus a lot…mostly for the sweeping music in the backdrop. The voice even reaches a higher pitch not heard yet on this CD…nice!!!

Disengaged—-Returning to the sing-song delivery that Manson is known for, I have hope for the track…as it reminds me of so many other songs. This has a slight down tempo blues feel to it…and then finally!!!!! the band lets loose with a bit of momentary aggression and the vocal turns into a nice ugly mass of hate……but it is short-lived! What is going on here? This is not bad….but it is by no means stellar!

Lay Down Your Goddamn Arms—-This is nice…..exactly what I have been craving for thus far on this release. The music is huge on this track…the vocal is full of putridity and disgust making me smile in secret. The sentiment is relevant and the music portrays the urgency magnificently!

Murderers Are Getting Prettier Everyday—-Beginning rather slow, the song becomes its own by the second bar….becoming even more alive and aggressive. Manson finally has some venom to deliver and the erratic music makes the track even more intense. this is what I have been waiting for…..the entire track just makes me grin underneath my plaster face…giving me a smile that will last inside for days. This is fantastic!!!

Born Villain—-The title track to this release finds it sounding a bit odd at the onset and my heart falls flat upon the first listen. The vocal enters and makes me feel a bit better…although it seems pushed to the back of the mix a bit. The aggression is absent for the most part…but the sentiment is classic manson…the track sounding much like things that have been done in the past…this is not a bad track, but not really a favorite!

Breaking The Same Old Ground—-Ugh…..not liking this track at all……disappointed. Next…..

You’re So Vain—-Manson does a stellar cover version of this classic Carly Simon track….that also features Johnny Depp on drums and guitar. The interpretation is incredible…allowing a bit more venom then the original ever had. The track has a nice aggressive edge and some vocal overlays that fit the tempo and mood perfectly…this is a classic Manson cover……God knows there are enough of them…but this ranks up there with the best!!!

*** 3/4 out of 5

 

Silversun Pickups / Neck Of The Woods

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 50000006UTC 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…..an 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 270000001UTC 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]

 

 

 

Duran Duran / All You Need Is Now

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 260000001UTC 12 by marky7235

All You Need Is NowAll You Need Is Now is the thirteenth studio album by the British pop/rock band Duran Duran. Produced by Grammy Award-winner Mark Ronson, a truncated version of the album was released as a download on 21 December 2010. It is the band’s first album not released by a major record label; it appeared on the band’s own label, Tapemodern, and Mark Ronson’s Allido Records in the UK. A physical package was released on March 21, 2011 in Europe on the Tape Modern label (distributed by Edel[1]), and on March 22, 2011 in the USA and Canada on S-Curve Records (distributed by Universal),[2] coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the band’s first release. According to Hits Daily Double, the physical release moved 14,642 units in its opening week. [1] Duran Duran are currently promoting the album through the All You Need Is Now Tour.

The Analysis:

All You Need Is Now—-Taking a huge step back into the classic days of the 80’s……peppered with the brilliant production of Ronson and bolstered by Simon Le Bon sounding better than he has in years, the kick off to this release is simply brilliant. I smile every single time i hear this…it is both retro and a step ahead in the new direction of music….simply fantastic!

Blame The Machines—-This begins with a huge retro beat that takes you back to the glory days of this band…do any of you remember when Duran Duran was the biggest band in the world? This is the sound that propelled them to that status…this is reminiscent of that great sound. The vocal overlays are fantastic and the updated technology allows them to sound even more important….this is great!!!

Being Followed—-Carrying a much more typical Ronson sound at the onset of the song, this track quickly falls back into the sound of a OO7 track with an edge that makes you think of an action film. the classic Duran sounding guitar finally emerges and you realize that this band has never gone anywhere. the Ronson touch gives to track a bit of an Euro-Trash sound that makes me smile!!!

Leave A Light On—-Duran Duran was always masterful at delivering a heartfelt ballad in the mix of all the electro driven sound of the 80’s….this song is no exception…it falls perfectly in the ballad catalog. Le Bon delivers a vocal that is a bit deeper and more sedate…but the emotion magically comes through in his voice…this is classic!

Safe [In The Heat Of The Moment]—-This track seems to borrow bits and pieces from every Duran song that managed to crack the top ten and adds a bit more with the Ronson tweak. Le Bon still delivers a vocal that belies his age, and the slight funk of the band is in full swing with the backdrop of female vocalist…..giving the song a nice lift. This is great!

Girl Panic!—-Again, the band returns to the sound of it’s very first LP with what seems like little effort. The guitar is in full swing…Duran always had a very particular guitar sound and it never seems to have left…just got lost for a bit. this is old school 80’s New Wave with the new Ronson touch…why was this not huge? Oh, I forgot….duran is not cool anymore…I still love it!

A Diamond In The Mind—-Much darker from the onset, Ronson seems to add layers and layers on instrumentation to the song…picking a few snippets from the intro track…this is a brilliant interlude…I am floored with this built-in remix!

The Man Who Stole A Leopard—-Slow to begin with, the song never really goes to far for me. This is too soon for another predictable and somewhat boring ballad…there is too much of a morose sound to the song…although there are some bright spots mired throughout…if you have the patience to sit through it.

Other People’s Lives—-Wow…..the onset of the track reminds me of DEVO!!!! As soon as Simon opens his mouth and the familiar Taylor guitar sound begins to surface, you are transported right back to 1983. This is a really cool updated retro sound for this band….I am not disappointed with this…in fact I love it!

Mediterranea—-Another slowed tempo track that is a surprise to me…this soon. But the saving grace are the layers of sound that allow this to remind me of classic Duran Ballads once again….Le Bon sings in that upper strained register of his…reminding me that he is still the King Of Drama…..this is full of drama, and memories…this should have been the sequel to the very first record!

Too Bad You’re So Beautiful—-Once more, the magic direction of Ronson seems like a permission slip for Duran to step way back in time and take us on another retro trip. this is fantastic…reminding me of Rio and Girls On Film at the same time…this has an overt sexual overtone and a magical classic return trip to a decade that is looked upon with scorn….this is brilliant!

Runaway Runaway—-This track is rather generic for me…although the classic guitar sound really shines through the mix of the song and Simon sounds rather fantastic. The track just lacks a substance for me…otherwise it is pretty …well…..Duran Duran……LOL!

Return To Now—-Just Brilliant….this orchestrated version of All You Need Is now is even more emotive with instrumentation and no vocals…a fantastic interlude!!!!

Before The Rain—-Ending this release with another ballad, Simon sounds forlorn and sad and full of emotion…perhaps telling a story of the past decade to us out loud. This is sedate and without pretension…this is heartfelt and touching……a fantastic way to end this release!

**** out of 5

 

Iced Earth / Dystopia

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 3000000010UTC 12 by marky7235

DystopiaDystopia is the tenth studio album from American heavy metal band Iced Earth. Released on October 17th, 2011, it’s the bands first album with new vocalist Stu Block, after former vocalist Matt Barlow left the band for a second time on August 6th, 2011.[2] While not a concept album, many of the albums songs are inspired by dystopian themes and movies, such as V for Vendetta, Dark City, Soylent Green, and Equilibrium.[3] Two of the albums songs (“Dystopia” and “Tragedy and Triumph”) also feature the return of the “Something Wicked” -storyline from previous albums Something Wicked This Way Comes, Overture of the Wicked, Framing Armageddon and The Crucible of Man.

The Analysis:

Dystopia—-True to form and progressive from the very first notes of the song, this is classic Iced Earth. The tempo of the music leaves you on the edge of your seat as you await the entrance of the vocal over the overblown guitar work. Once the vocal enters the track you are left with a huge warm feeling…like coming home after being gone for a very long time…this is an excellent beginning to what is sure to be an epic journey!!!!

Anthem—-Does this guy remind you of classic Hetfield at times or what??? The screams are exquisite…but the clean vocal is just classic heavy metal!!! The onset of this is incredible…there is a slight doom filled aura to the track…while still remaining magically progressive….leaving you thirsty. When the song finally opens up, it is huge…beyond belief. I still think of classic Metallica every time I listen to this release….this is dark…but magically bright…progressive Metal is alive and well!!!

Boiling Point—-Right out of the gate, the progressive speed is overwhelming. You could not ask for more effort from this classic and long-standing band…when the vocal reaches the fever pitch you know that Iced Earth is right back where it belongs…this is incredible…..Ripper who? This is both brutal and beautiful…a classic masterpiece that already has becoming one of my favorites!!!

V—-Beginning a bit calmer, there is no lack of intensity to be found however. The darkness that the band manages to transpose is a new thing for me…I love this new direction…the production on this release is so fantastic…you can hear every single note of every single instrument that is playing. The vocal overdubs or the backdrop vocals add so much to the song…it becomes a huge marching anthem that sticks in your brain and refuses to leave you alone. This is magnificent…a huge release…hoping this elevates the band to a new level here in the US!!!

Anguish Of Youth—-With a nice acoustic introduction, the song is ushered in by a really nice vocal delivery. This is fantastic….the waves that are produced by the instrumentation makes me smile even though the song is pretty dark. The track does open up and is a huge song by the time it all comes to an end…again making me think of where metallica should be right now…this is moody and full of emotional sweeps….just what the Dr. ordered!

Dark City—-Right from the onset, this has a really nice tone to the song….the leads are incredible. The vocal changes shape and delivers a shock to the system…the range is incredible…alternating between a deep mellow delivery to a pitched scream that would make and Metal singer green with envy. This is incredible…another really favorite track of mine from this release…this is a no brainer….CLASSIC!!!! Freakin’ huge riffs……:)

Equilibrium—-Delivered from the onset with a classic driving riff, I can only imagine how a song like this will play live and set a stadium on fire. the vocal is still classic Hetfield/Mustaine…..delivering up the concrete evidence that Metal is alive and well in 2011. This is just fantastic….I guess I’m slow…I have been hit and miss with this band, but maybe it is time for me to pay closer attention…..I freakin’ love this CD!!!

Days Of Rage—-Full of speed and energy, this makes me think of classic stuff from the mid 80’s. Less orchestrated than the past and full of straight up Metal, I can not call this release progressive…this is Metal at its finest and is not to be denied. In fact, this track has a bit of a thrash/anger edge to it that just made me smile…this is incredible!

End Of Innocence—-Fail….really not a favorite of mine, although the track does open up a bit…this is way to predictable to find favor with me.

Tragedy And Triumph—-Clocking in at an impressive almost 7 minutes, you would expect nothing less than a huge epic intro to end this phenomenal release. This is brilliant…delivered with an incredible marching drum beat and a guitar delivery that just builds layer upon layer…leaving you as the intro to the CD began……drooling for the vocal that closes the deal. the song has some really great mood changes….taking you on a pretty wide-ranging journey…the end result is a CD that just lays the groundwork for the future with this new vocalist and direction…can’t wait for more…..hurry guys!!!

**** 1/2 out of 5

Blink-182 / Neighborhoods

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 280000009UTC 12 by marky7235

Neighborhoods

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 [!!!!!]