Archives for album

The Walking Dead (AMC Original Soundtrack) Vol. 2

by Jason Lightner April 16th, 2014| Album Review
twd albumWith the fourth season of AMC's incredible zombie drama behind us, fans of Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead have a lot to consider. The season finale left us with an incredible cliffhanger after an episode which even Kirkman himself described as "savage." What will become of our group? What do we have to look forward to in October? Honestly, your guess is as good as mine at this point. As a big fan of the comics, I'm just surprised at how visceral the series has become.

Undoubtedly one of the most incredible aspects of Season 4 was the
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Lake Street Dive, Bad Self Portraits, 2014

by J Frazzetta April 11th, 2014| Album Review
DSCF6667Several weeks ago there was a bit of an uproar in my Facebook feed as a particular Boston based group was going to be playing a song on an episode of the Colbert Report.  A few were very excited to see a longtime local group take a step toward a larger audience, and on the other hand there were those that threw up their hands calling "sellout", since the band would never be as good ever again.  Up until that evening, Avid Reader, I had never heard of Lake Street Dive, so I struck out to a local
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Warpaint, S/T, 2014

by J Frazzetta April 4th, 2014| Album Review
DSCF6662I feel pretty bad about this one, Avid Reader, and I can explain.  Several weeks ago, maybe January, I picked up this album with the best intentions to let you know all about it, but it got buried.  You might think this was bad, but it turns out that the extra time I’ve had to listen to this album helped me open up more to the rather seductive sounds of the band Warpaint.  In the past I’ve talked about other female rock groups such as Wild Flag and Savages, but Warpaint take punk into a different direction. 
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Skrillex — Recess

by Jason Lightner April 2nd, 2014| Album Review
recessIt's interesting that Recess marks dubstep superstar Skrillex's first full-length studio LP since he began his craft. The 26-year-old producer has been making music for the better part of a decade, with his solo career launching in 2008. He's been the recipient of six Grammy awards, including awards for Best Dance Recording (2012, 2013), Best Dance/Electronica Album (2012, 2013), and Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical (2012, 2013). My fascination with these details stems from the fact that Skrillex was — and remains — a superstar not in spite of, but because of the incredible staying power of his singles and EPs.

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Elbow, The Take Off and Landing, 2014

by J Frazzetta March 28th, 2014| Album Review
DSCF6656Back in college when I was a radio DJ, almost 10 years ago, I can remember coming across the band Elbow and spinning some of their tunes in the early parts of the 2000’s.  I thought they were pretty good as a new wave of British bands were starting to make it big over here, and when I graduated they fell out of my peripheral vision.  Time moves forward, Avid Reader, and I began to hear that their new album was going to deal with a topic all too familiar with this writer: growing up and confronting middle age. 
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Pharrell Williams, G I R L

by Louise March 19th, 2014| Album Review
pw girlLast week I covered longtime producer and somewhat part-time artist Pharrell Williams. Though the artist has been active in the music industry since 1992, his newest album, G I R L, is only his second studio album as a solo artist. (The first was In My Mind from 2006.) I speculated that this album would find more success than his debut attempt. The sophomore album still needs some more time on the charts to see just how well it fares compared to its predecessor, but things are looking good for Williams. "Happy" has topped the Billboard Top 100 chart for several
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Cheesy Country

by J Frazzetta March 17th, 2014| Featured Artist
DSCF6651You can stare at that album cover all you want, Avid Reader, but we will never know what that cowboy is looking at or if he’ll get his herd back to the farm.  Oh, were you looking at the other cover?  I should have known.  For years I’ve seen the cover for Ween’s classic Chocolate and Cheese at record stores and I thought that the album would be about sex, debauchery and other things your mother told you stay away from; boy was I wrong.  Let’s continue our look at Dean and Gene.

With the small success of Pure Guava
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Babymetal — Self Titled

by Jason Lightner March 14th, 2014| Album Review
bmetalWhat does one get when one combines catchy Japanese pop idol music with the pummeling sounds of death metal? This is the very question Amuse talent agency sought to answer when they created Babymetal. The group was formed in 2011, initially as a subunit of the pop group Sakura Gakuin. Like most Asian pop idol groups, Babymetal consists of a rotating cast of members with three girls being the primary focus. The standing tally of both current and former members includes 17 members, with 12 of the girls remaining as active within in the group.

Babymetal released their
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A Pod of Guava

by J Frazzetta March 10th, 2014| Featured Artist
DSCF6650When you strap your headphones on and listen to an early Ween album you might wonder if you’re in on the joke.  I had mentioned that band started as two 14-year-old kids getting high and recording themselves in a four-track to pass the time.  At some point they added a drum machine for beats, but as their voices stretch to sound high pitched or deep, you have to say to yourself: is there something I’m missing?  Should I be huffing Scotch Guard or something?  I didn’t go that far, Avid Reader, but I did try to think of what
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Beck, Morning Phase, 2014

by J Frazzetta March 7th, 2014| Album Review
Morning PhaseAnticipation is a killer, Avid Reader, and I’ve been waiting for this day for almost six years.  When we last talked about Beck he was living a Go-Go dream produced by Dangermouse churning up some serious 60’s rock nuggets.  Since then he’s recovered from a back injury, produced some stellar albums by Stephen Malkmus, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Thurston Moore, helmed a few cover projects with friends paying tribute to some of his albums, put out a book made of original sheet music, released a series of vinyl only singles and worked on a new album.  Dude has been
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Kudos to You!

by Jason Lightner March 6th, 2014| Album Review
ktuThe Presidents of the United States of America are back after six long years. Their latest album, entitled Kudos to You! brings to fans that signature Presidents sound; carefree, head-bopping rock & roll. Some might consider the kind of rock this tremendous trio puts out to be nonsensical, slapstick, and without worth. To be honest, I thought the same thing — when I was 15 and without a valid opinion. See, I took the opinion of Metallica frontman James Hetfield to heart when he panned the Presidents' song "Peaches" and, for a while, I walked around thinking every
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Holy Esque Releases Single, “Silences”

by Louise February 28th, 2014| Album Review
silencesHoly Esque, a four-piece indie-rock band hailing from Glasgow, has recently released a new single called "Silences." The track, streaming on SoundCloud here, became available for purchase worldwide on February 10th on iTunes. It was recorded in Glasgow’s Gorbals Sound Studios and mixed by producer Jon Schumann.

"Silences" is fun and energetic. It moves along with the help of a scintillating guitar line driven by a fast but steady beat. When I was first listening to "Silences," it reminded me of a certain band, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. A few more listens through
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