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Monday, August 31, 2009

JOHN COLTRANE


JOHN COLTRANE
SOULTRANE (1958)
320 KBPS

When this album was recorded in February of 1958, John Coltrane was still an up an coming young tenor. As a solo artist outside of Miles Davis' group he had recorded his classic album "Blue Train" the previous year and was still almost exactly a year from cutting his breakthrough album "Giant Steps", leaving this album in a bit of a historical middleground. While this is not one of his better known sessions, it has moments that display his genius, and hints of what is to come. The moment that shines brightest is 'Trane's tender take on Billy Eckstine's "I Want To Talk About You". Coltrane's tenor is tender and haunting, one of his all time great ballad performances. Supported on this session by the rock solid trio of Red Garland on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Art Taylor on drums, Coltrane is at ease with his sympathetic sidemen. Having recorded together several times, the familarity shows in their tight, cohesive performances. The mood of the tracks is generally laidback save for the uptempo "You Say You Care", and when Coltrane puts on a furious display of his "sheets of sound" approach on the cd's final track, "Russian Lullaby". This is an album that features Coltrane coming into his own during a crucial phase of his career, and is a classic. Recommended.

1. Good Bait
2. I Want to Talk About You
3. You Say You Care
4. Theme for Ernie
5. Russian Lullaby

PORCUPINE TREE


PORCUPINE TREE
THE INCIDENT (2009)
320 KBPS

Promotional version of the new Porcupine Tree album. Worth a try if you're hesitating on buying it. It consists of two CDs, the first developping a 55 minutes concept of some kind (see Roadrunner's website for more information), the second of 4 songs ranging 4 to 20 minutes. All in all, this will satisfy the fans of the band. I'm afraid it won't win them anymore people though. If you're looking to discover Porcupine Tree as a band, better do it with their previous album, "Fear of a Blank Planet". The album will be in stores on September 14th 2009. Enjoy it while you can.

CD1
The Incident
1. I - Occam’s Razor
2. II - The Blind House
3. III - Great Expectations
4. IV - Kneel And Disconnect
5. V - Drawing The Line
6. VI - The Incident
7. VII - Your Unpleasant Family
8. VIII – The Yellow Windows Of The Evening Train
9. IX - Time Flies
10. X - Degree Zero Of Liberty
11. XI - Octane Twisted
12. XII - The Séance
13. XIII - Circle Of Manias
14. XIV - I Drive The Hearse
CD2
1. Flicker
2. Bonnie The Cat
3. Black Dahlia
4. Remember Me Lover
(link updated)

AVIARY


AVIARY
AVIARY (1979)
320 KBPS

This US band is deeply rooted into some great bands of the seventies and plays a fresh and fun rock music.
Influences are plenty: guitar and vocals a la Queen for the opening track Soaring are such a pleasant way to start this album. Brad Love on the lead vocals has an excellent voice and performs in an outstanding way throughout this album. This song is excellent and is one of the highlight of this work.
If you are into an ELO ride, you can embark the Anthem For The USA while 10CC is just next door with Puddles. It holds the same craziness and clever arrangements (vocal + instrumental parts).
A combination of the both is noticeable during the enjoyable As Close As You Can Get. The melody is on the pop side but catchy and the vocals are again very well crafted. I am not saying that this is a great song, but it reminds me nicely two bands I have liked very much (and still do).
This album might sound outdated, but it should please anyone who is willing to refresh his memory and listen to unknown numbers which are truly attractive. Mystic Sharon is another jewel from this debut album.
One song is not on par: Feel The Heart which is AOR oriented, but overall this album holds more pleasant songs than average ones. If you like the bands that I have mentioned, you should have a good time while listening to this work. Add lots of synthesizers as well to get the whole picture.
A song as Average Boy is almost a mini-opera full of splendid vocals; it is really a performance but the whole album is of good value.

1. Soaring
2. Anthem For The U.S.A.
3. Puddles
4. As Close As You Can Get
5. Mystic Sharon
6. Feel The Heart (Then You'll Be Mine Again)
7. Average Boy
8. I Will Hear
9. Maple Hall

PEARL JAM


PEARL JAM
PEARL JAM (2006)
320 KBPS

Nearly 15 years after Ten, Pearl Jam finally returned to the strengths of their debut with 2006's Pearl Jam, a sharply focused set of impassioned hard rock. Gone are the arty detours (some call them affectations) that alternately cluttered and enhanced their albums from 1993's sophomore effort, Vs., all the way to 2002's Riot Act, and what's left behind is nothing but the basics: muscular, mildly meandering rock & roll, enlivened by Eddie Vedder's bracing sincerity. Pearl Jam has never sounded as hard or direct as they do here — even on Ten there was an elasticity to the music, due in large part to Jeff Ament's winding fretless bass, that kept the record from sounding like a direct hit to the gut, which Pearl Jam certainly does. Nowhere does it sound more forceful than it does in its first half, when the tightly controlled rockers "Life Wasted," "World Wide Suicide," "Comatose," "Severed Hand," and "Marker in the Sand" pile up on top of each other, giving the record a genuine feeling of urgency. That insistent quality and sense of purpose doesn't let up even as they slide into the quite beautiful, lightly psychedelic acoustic pop of "Parachutes," which is when the album begins to open up slightly. If the second half of the record does have a greater variety of tempos than the first, it's still heavy on rockers, ranging from the ironic easy swagger of "Unemployable" to the furious "Big Wave," which helps set the stage for the twin closers of "Come Back" and "Inside Job." The former is a slow-burning cousin to "Black" that finds Pearl Jam seamlessly incorporating soul into their sound, while the latter is a deliberately escalating epic that gracefully closes the album on a hopeful note — and coming after an album filled with righteous anger and frustration, it is indeed welcome. But Pearl Jam's anger on this eponymous album is not only largely invigorating, it is the opposite of the tortured introspection of their first records. Here, Vedder turns his attention to the world at large, and while he certainly rages against the state of W's union in 2006, he's hardly myopic or strident; he's alternately evocative and specific, giving this album a resonance that has been lacking in most protest rock of the 2000s. But what makes Pearl Jam such an effective record is that it can be easily enjoyed as sheer music without ever digging into Vedder's lyrics. Song for song, this is their best set since Vitalogy, and the band has never sounded so purposeful on record as they do here, nor have they ever delivered a record as consistent as this. And the thing that makes the record work exceptionally well is that Pearl Jam has embraced everything they do well, whether it's their classicist hard rock or heart-on-sleeve humanitarianism. In doing so, they seem kind of old fashioned, reaffirming that they are now thoroughly outside of the mainstream — spending well over a decade galloping away from any trace of popularity will inevitably make you an outsider — but on their own terms, Pearl Jam hasn't sounded as alive or engaging as they do here since at least Yield, if not longer.

1. Life Wasted
2. World Wide Suicide
3. Comatose
4. Severed Hand
5. Marker In The Sand
6. Parachutes
7. Unemployable
8. Big Wave
9. Gone
10. Wasted Reprise
11. Army Reserve
12. Come Back
13. Inside Job

TEMPEST


TEMPEST
TEMPEST (1973)
320 KBPS

Tempest (no relation to the US band of the same name) were most notable for their band members. Formed by Jon Hiseman between Colosseum and Colosseum II, he brought in an at the time very young Allan Holdsworth on guitar.
This their first album was released in 1973. It found Hiseman very much holding the reins, writing most of the lyrics, and assuming production duties. The result is quite a heavy album, with less in the way of jazz influences than Colosseum's work. At times the music has suggestions of MOUNTAIN and Coverdale/Hughes era DEEP PURPLE. Generally considered disappointing at the time of its release, the album has actually stood the test of time rather well. Paul Williams rich, jazzy voice can be something of an acquired taste, but on tracks such as the opening "Gorgon" and the almost commercial "Up and on", the power of his voice comes to the fore. Holdsworth's guitar is generally kept in check, but "Up and on" and "Strangher" allows him some freedom.
Mark Clarke takes on vocal duties for the delicate "Grey and black". His voice is less distinctive than Williams', but suits a softer track like this well. The final track, "Upon tomorrow" is the most progressive and adventurous track on the album, with something of a CHICAGO jazz rock feel to it.
Only one further album was to be made under the Tempest name. This their first album found them a little unclear of the direction they wished to take, which probably contributed to their early demise.

1. Gorgon
2. Foyers Of Fun
3. Dark House
4. Brothers
5. Up And On
6. Grey And Black
7. Strangeher
8. Upon Tomorrow

Sunday, August 30, 2009

ANDY PARTRIDGE


THE OFFICIAL
ANDY PARTRIDGE
FUZZY WARBLES
COLLECTOR'S ALBUM (2006)

320 KBPS

When XTC stopped touring and became a studio-only entity, the finely jeweled arrangements that Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding had already favored took on incredible new breadth and depth. Since 2002, Partridge has been going through his own vast archives, releasing eight volumes in a U.K.-only series called Fuzzy Warbles. They are finally available in one gorgeously designed Collector's Album, along with a bonus disc, Hinges. With over 150 songs, the set includes early versions and demos of songs which appeared on XTC albums, previously unreleased gems, and songs for a wide range of outside projects, including the Disney movie James and the Giant Peach (which are so dazzling it boggles the mind that the deal ultimately fell apart). There are whims borne to fruition (an answering machine ditty), and flat-out brilliant slices of songcraft finally brought to light. What's truly remarkable is how complete are Partridge's sensibilities, as both a songwriter and arranger. Everything is considered and tended to--a background vocal here, a tambourine there--it all matters and it all sparkles.



CD1
Vol. 1 (2002)
1. Dame Fortune
2. Born Out Of Your Mouth
3. Howlin' Burston
4. Don't Let Us Bug Ya
5. That Wag
6. That Wave
7. Ocean's Daughter
8. Everything
9. MOGO
10. Goosey Goosey
11. Merely A Man
12. EPNS
13. Summer Hot As This
14. Miniature Sun
15. I Bought Myself A Liarbird
16. Complicated Game
17. Wonder Annual
18. Space Wray
19. Rocket


CD2
Vol. 2 (2002)
1. Ridgeway Path
2. I Don’t Want To Be Here
3. Young Marrieds
4. No One Here Available
5. Obscene Procession
6. Miller Time
7. You’re The Wish You Are I Had
8. Ra Ra Rehearsal
9. Ra Ra For Red Rocking Horse
10. Everything’ll Be Alright
11. 25 O’clock
12. GOOM
13. Chain Of Command
14. All Of A Sudden
15. Summer’s Cauldron
16. Then She Appeared
17. It’s Snowing Angels
18. Ship Trapped In The Ice


CD3
Vol. 3 (2003)
1. My Train Is Coming
2. Lightheaded
3. Goodbye Humanosaurus
4. Humble Daisy
5. You Like Me?
6. Great Fire
7. Work
8. Mopti Fake 1
9. Collideascope
10. Mopti Fake 2
11. When We Get To England
12. Train Running Low On Soul Coal
13. Holly Up On Poppy
14. Strawberry Fields Forever
15. Autumn Comes Around
16. Child's Crusade
17. Little Lighthouse
18. This Is The End
19. Put It On Again


CD4
Vol. 4 (2003)
1. Tunes
2. Bumpercars
3. The Art Song (Something Good With Your Life)
4. I'm Playing My Fano
5. Zonked Right Out On Life
6. All I Dream Of Is A Friend
7. Peck The Ground Like A Chicken
8. That's Really Super Supergirl
9. Brianiac's Daughter
10. Blue Beret
11. Gangway, Electric Guitar Is Coming Through
12. Mechanical Planet
13. Helicopter
14. The Ugly Underneath
15. OMGO
16. Where Is Your Heart?
17. Hey, It's Alan Burston
18. Season Cycle
19. Countdown To Christmas Partytime


CD5
Vol. 5 (2004)
1. Welcome to Volume 5
2. Young Cleopatra
3. I Defy You Gravity
4. Ice Jet Kiss
5. Broomstick Rhythm
6. Earn Enough for Us
7. Dear God [Skiffle Version]
8. Crocodile
9. Motorcycle Landscape
10. Rook
11. Don't You Ever Dare Call Me Chickenhead
12. Mermaid Explanation
13. Mermaid Smiled
14. Aqua Deum
15. Me and the Wind
16. Smalltown
17. Blue Overall
18. Red Brick Dream
19. Jacob's Ladder
20. My Land Is Burning


CD6
Vol. 6 (2004)
1. Laugh Track
2. Stinking Rich Song
3. I Can't Tell What Truth Is Anymore
4. Candle Dance
5. Tiny Circus of Life
6. Man Who Sailed Around His Soul
7. In My Hand
8. Difficult Age
9. Pink Thing
10. Shaking Skin House
11. Bike Ride to the Moon
12. My Love Explodes
13. Omnibus
14. Across the Antheap [Skylarking Demo]
15. Across This Antheap [Oranges & Lemons Demo]
16. Human Alchemy
17. Moonlit Drive
18. Prince of Orange
19. End of the Pier


CD7
Vol. 7 (2006)
1. Rainbeau Melt
2. Thrill Pill
3. Sonic Boom
4. I'm Unbecome
5. Ballet for a Rainy Day
6. 1000 Umbrellas
7. Ejac in a Box (Mgoo)
8. C Side
9. Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her
10. Ladybird
11. Candymine
12. Visit to the Doctor
13. Cherry in Your Tree
14. Desert Island
15. Scarecrow People
16. Hold Me My Daddy
17. Books Are Burning
18. Bobba de Boop de Ba de Boobay
19. Open a Can of Human Beans


CD8
Vol. 8 (2006)
1. Through Electric Gardens
2. Skate Dreams Wet Car
3. Bland Leading The Bland
4. Silverstar
5. I Gave My Suitcase Away
6. Extrovert
7. Another Satellite
8. These Voices
9. Song For Wes Long
10. Happy Birthday Karen
11. REM Producer Enquiry
12. Loving
13. Shalloween
14. Was A Yes
15. Genie In A Bottle
16. Disque Bleu
17. Poor Skeleton Steps out
18. I Don't Want To Be Here
19. Chalkhills And Children


CD9
Hinges (2006)
1. Gold
2. Now We All Dead (It Doesn't Matter)
3. Rain Of Blows (early version)
4. Reign Of Blows
5. Jump
6. Shake You Donkey Up
7. Happy Families
8. Here Comes President Kill Again
9. Beating Hearts

Saturday, August 29, 2009

MILES DAVIS


MILES DAVIS
KIND OF BLUE (1959)
LEGACY EDITION
320 KBPS

"Kind of Blue" is an album that all collectors with even a passing interesting in jazz should own. No need to review the core album as most listeners would be familiar with it by now and there are tons of testimonials for the original.
So why the special "Legacy Edition?"
This is not for everyone to be sure, but for listeners who really love this album, Miles Davis, and jazz of the 1950's and early 60's, "Legacy Edition" will give more insight into the material and help the listener appreciate more of what went into making "Kind of Blue" the great jazz standard that it is.
While it might overkill for some, true jazz lovers and "Kind of Blue" fans will not only get some nice second helpings from the album, they'll also get an idea of how Davis and his all-star cast created this gem.
One other note, those having old CD copies of "Kind of Blue," the ones with the animated profile of Miles on the booklet cover, not the recreation of the original LP cover, should definitely ditch their old CD and get the new remastered release. It is a huge improvement. Instead of sounding washed out and slightly off pitch, the remaster sounds fresh, with very high resolution, warm, and intimate, just the way Miles Davis and his stellar side kicks recorded it.

Disc 1
1. So What
2. Freddie Freeloader
3. Blue In Green
4. All Blues
5. Flamenco Sketches
6. Flamenco Sketches (Alternate Take)
7. Freddie Freeloader (Studio Sequence 1)
8. Freddie Freeloader (False Start)
9. Freddie Freeloader (Studio Sequence 2)
10. So What (Studio Sequence 1)
11. So What (Studio Sequence 2)
12. Blue In Green (Studio Sequence)
13. Flamenco Sketches (Studio Sequence 1)
14. Flamenco Sketches (Studio Sequence 2)
15. All Blues (Studio Sequence)
Disc 2
1. On Green Dolphin Street
2. Fran-Dance
3. Stella By Starlight
4. Love For Sale
5. Fran-Dance (Alternate Take)
6. So What (Live April 9th, 1960)

WILLY DEVILLE


WILLY DEVILLE
CROW JANE ALLEY (2004)
320 KBPS

It's hard to get a handle on what to call Willy DeVille's multi-genre music, though AMG writer Thom Jurek's description of "Spanish soul-inflected love songs" comes close. "Muddy Waters Rose Out of the Mississippi Mud" would be perfect for Rusty Kershaw, God rest his soul, a nice complement to the laid-back cover of Jay & the Americans' Top Three hit from 1964, "Come a Little Bit Closer" — its presentation a wonderful nod to songwriters Wes Farrell and Bobby Hart. The evolution is startling 28 years after Mink DeVille gave listeners "Let Me Dream if I Want To" on the classic punk LP Live at CBGB's, and DeVille emerges as a major interpreter. The four minutes and 31 seconds of Bryan Ferry's "Slave to Love" may be one of the most distinct and unique adaptations of a Ferry tune put on record to date. Outside of the covers, the other eight tracks are Willy DeVille originals, "(Don't Have A) Change of Heart" liberally borrowing the melody from Kenny Rogers' hit "Lucille." "Trouble Comin' Every Day in a World" slinks and lurks around the corner with another stylistic change, sounding a bit like that other Willie from the same era, Bostonian Willie "Loco" Alexander.
Crow Jane Alley is a very respectable collection from this journeyman, starting off with the single "Chieva" and continuing with DeVille's novel exploration of sound and clever merging of styles.

1. Chieva
2. Right There, Right Then
3. Downside O Ftown
4. My Forever Came Today
5. Crow Jane Alley (For Jack)
6. Muddy Waters Rose Out Of The Mississippi Mud
7. Come A Little Bit Closer
8. Slave To Love
9. (Don'T Have A) Change Of Heart
10. Trouble Comin' Everyday In A World Gone Wrong

MORRISSEY


MORRISSEY
KILL UNCLE (1991)
320 KBPS

Interesting how an artist such as Morrisey trips the sublime in this, at times, sonically astonishing album. From crafty songwriting to first rate recording technique, this so-called crybaby of morbidity neither betrays nor subtracts from his own calling. The puns and tongue and cheek approach, which Morrisey has always successfully employed, careen and richochet throughout this album like ball bearings across a cement platform. From the off beat and unusually musical "The Harsh Truth of the Camera's Eye", featuring creative off tempo and strange piano lines to the hit oriented "Our Frank", this record challenges the listener much more than the acclaimed first solo album 'Viva Hate'. Without necessarily pushing into new territory, Morissey still captures the imagination with the usual grace and taste, spinning prose and verse with inimitable singing style. Having Clive Langer in the producer chair (Elvis Costello's "Imperial Bedroom") the recording does justice to Morissey's choice of outstanding players. Unquestionably, one of Morissey's great strengths is the ability to choose tasteful and unusual musicians that compliment both his singing and writing instincts. Kill Uncle isn't for everyone, which is one of the reasons it is so good.

1. Our Frank
2. Asian Rut
3. Sing Your Life
4. Mute Witness
5. King Leer
6. Found Found Found
7. Driving Your Girlfriend Home
8. The Harsh Truth Of The Camera Eye
9. (I'm) The End Of The Family Line
10. There's A Place In Hell For Me And My Friends

ALEX MASI


ALEX MASI
ATTACK OF THE NEON SHARK (1989)
320 KBPS

Alex Masi's first solo album, Attack Of The Neon Shark is an exciting, groundbreaking affair that was nominated for a Grammy in 1989. The features the slashing, sometimes harmonically dissonant (in the Friedman/Becker/Cacophony sense, such as "DFWM" and the title track), instrumental metal/hard rock patented by Masi (although vocalist Jeff Scott Soto does appear on "Under Fire"). Other featured musicians include drummer Frankie Banali, Allan Holdsworth (on synthaxe) and Kuni (who plays the first guitar solo on "Under Fire"). The album even has it's fusiony moments such as on "Cold Sun" and "L.A. Lattaia". Attack Of The Neon Shark is musically much more daring than your typical instrumental guitar release - it also includes a Masi-fied cover of "Toccata" (Emerson, Lake and Palmer).

1. Under Fire
2. Attack Of The Neon Shark
3. Average Green Band
4. DFWM
5. Twilight Passion
6. Cold Sun
7. Toccata
8. Wasted In The West (Idiots)
9. La Lattaia
10. Alleys Of Albion

BAD RELIGION


BAD RELIGION
NO SUBSTANCE (1998)
320 KBPS

Punk ain't dumb. Not with a creative lineage that includes everything from the Clash to Nirvana. Bad Religion has been part of that history since 1980. Whatever they lack in instrumental virtuosity is made up for here in singer Greg Graffin's urgent two-minute manifestos on society and world politics. As on other Bad Religion releases in the '90s, No Substance preaches militant social consciousness to the punk masses, imploring the youth to "raise your voice!" There was more variety in Bad Religion's sound when guitarist Brett Gurewitz was still in the band, but the band has taken their relatively simple musical formula to a sophisticated level here, crafting tight, intelligent nuggets of punk.

1. Hear It
2. Shades of Truth
3. All Fantastic Images
4. Biggest Killer in American History
5. No Substance
6. Raise Your Voice!
7. Sowing the Seeds of Utopia
8. Hippy Killers
9. State of the End of the Millennium Address
10. Voracious March of Godliness
11. Mediocre Minds
12. Victims of the Revolution
13. Strange Denial
14. At the Mercy of Imbeciles
15. Same Person
16. In So Many Ways

Friday, August 28, 2009

JOHN COLTRANE


JOHN COLTRANE
THE JOHN COLTRANE QUARTET PLAYS... (1965)
REMASTER
320 KBPS

One of the turning points in the career of John Coltrane came in 1965. The great saxophonist, whose playing was always very explorative and searching, crossed the line into atonality during that year, playing very free improvisations (after stating quick throwaway themes) that were full of passion and fury. This particular studio album has two standards (a stirring "Chim Chim Cheree" and "Nature Boy") along with two recent Coltrane originals ("Brazilia" and "Song of Praise"). Art Davis plays the second bass on "Nature Boy," but otherwise this set (a perfect introduction for listeners to Coltrane's last period) features the classic quartet comprised of the leader, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison, and drummer Elvin Jones.

1. Chim Chim Cheree
2. Brazilia
3. Nature Boy
4. Song Of Praise
Bonus Tracks
5. Feelin' Good
6. Nature Boy (first version)
7. Nature Boy (live version)

PAUL WELLER


PAUL WELLER
22 DREAMS (2008)
DELUXE EDITION
320 KBPS

Of all the many things Paul Weller has done in his career, he has somehow managed to survive three decades without a double album to his credit. 22 Dreams rectifies that wrong, offering a luxurious sprawl that's proudly, staunchly classicist, just like Weller's solo career itself. Weller's embrace of rock & roll tradition might suggest that he has taken his double album as an opportunity to offer a summation of his career, to summarize where he's been and perhaps where he's going. Tempting though this may be, especially given the record's elastic, elegant eclecticism, this isn't quite a self-conscious summation, nor is it quite a risk-taking tour de force in the vein of the White Album, even though this encompasses everything from fragile folk to the resurrection of the sophisticated collegiate jazz of the Style Council. Instead, 22 Dreams has a floating romantic quality that justifies the dreams of the title, drifting from sound to sound, sometimes taking elaborate detours, sometimes stopping for a brief picturesque sideshow. In some ways, it's the flip of the piledriving As Is Now, where Weller indulged in harder inclinations, as this finds Weller exploring his softer side, often in ways he hasn't quite done before. There's still a crustiness to Weller — he'll get sensitive, but he won't get sappy — but there's an openness to 22 Dreams, in how he eases into a Curtis Mayfield homage as comfortably as he pays tribute to Alice Coltrane with Robert Wyatt in tow. Wyatt isn't the only guest here, either, as Weller expands his core band — without leaving right-hand man guitarist Steve Craddock — with cameos by Graham Coxon and Noel Gallagher (only he could unite these Brit-pop foes), the latter collaborating on a thick, hazy psychedelic "Echoes Round the Sun." This is about as dense as 22 Dreams gets, as it has a lighter touch, so graceful that it can disguise the number of styles Weller touches upon here, as he skips from electronica and pastoral jams lingering from Wild Wood to jazz and soul. Initially, this doesn't sound radical — it is recognizably of a piece with his solo work, fitting neatly alongside either Stanley Road or Illumination — but more listens reveal just how finely textured and woven this tapestry is. And although it shares superficial sonic similarities with his other records, 22 Dreams is really unlike any of Weller's other albums, as it's rich in sound and feeling, possessing a shimmering dreamy quality. It's an album to get lost in.

Disc 1
1. Light Nights
2. 22 Dreams
3. All I Wanna Do (Is Be With You)
4. Have You Made Up Your Mind
5. Empty Ring
6. Invisible
7. Song For Alice
8. Cold Moments
9. The Dark Pages Of September Lead To The New Leaves Of Spring
10. Black River
11. Why Walk When You Can Run
12. Push It Along
13. A Dream Reprise
14. Echoes Round The Sun
15. One Bright Star
16. Lullaby Für Kinder
17. Where'er Ye Go
18. God
19. 111
20. Sea Spray
21. Night Lights
Disc 2
Bonus Tracks
1. 22 Dreams (Original Demo)
2. Rip The Pages Up
3. Light Nights (Original Demo)
4. Cold Moments (Original Demo)
5. Love's Got Me Crazy
6. Invisible (Marco Version)
7. Big Brass Buttons (Instrumental)
8. 22 Dreams (Instrumental)

THRICE


THRICE
THE ILLUSION OF SANITY (2002)
320 KBPS

The outbursts of '80s thrash, classic British metal, and post-punk melodies forge The Illusion of Safety into an emocore epic of rare proportions. Atypically dynamic for its genre, Thrice stabs at punk-pop with grandiose guitar harmonies, hardcore vocal wails, and a Metallic (note the big "M") chunk that transforms its emo turnarounds into progressive hardcore theater. These design accomplishments warrant recommendation by themselves, but when the hooks of "Deadbolt" and "A Living Dance Upon Dead Minds" are set, Thrice reveals a stunning pop instinct that invites comparison to late-'90s rock & roll greats like At the Drive-In. Less inspired moments ("The Red Death") resemble Incubus on crank — superior for sure, but annoyingly familiar. The emocore filler that concludes The Illusion of Safety ("So Strange I Remember You," "The Beltsville Crucible") verifies the group's fallibility. Probably the class of any No Motiv record, these tracks come off like throwaways here. One great producer away from unanimous Top Ten status, Thrice demonstrates transcendent potential on this 2001 sophomore full-length.

1. Kill Me Quickly
2. A Subtle Dagger
3. See You In The Shallows
4. Betrayal Is A Symptom
5. Deadbolt
6. In Years To Come
7. The Red Death
8. A Living Dance Upon Dead Minds
9. Where Idols Once Stood
10. Trust
11. To Awake And Avenge The Dead
12. So Strange I Remember You
13. The Beltsville Crucible

AMBROSIA


AMBROSIA
AMBROSIA (1975)
320 KBPS

Mastered by Alan Parsons (the guy who produced Pink Floyd's 'Dark side of the moon'), Ambrosia's first record is one of the finest symphonic prog rock albums ever released. In fact, it features fabulous vocal harmonies, punchy and odd-metered drumming, fantastic keyboard and guitar playing. The music could be seen as a cross between Eagles and Yes. There are also some surprises in their music : balalaikas on 'Time waits for no one' played by a real balalaika ensemble, an antique Thai-gong, pipe-organ on 'Drink of water' and a reading from Lewis Carroll's 'Jabberwocky' on 'Mama frog'. Although mainly song based, Ambrosia managed to produce an album that should appeal to prog lovers as the vocals harmonies are not less impressive than those of classic prog bands, and the music features many variations in the rhythm section. Recommended to fans of symphonic prog!

1. Nice, Nice, Very Nice
2. Time Waits For No One
3. Holdin' On To Yesterday
4. World Leave Me Alone
5. Make Us All Aware
6. Lover Arrive
7. Mama Frog
8. Drink Of Water

DESTRUCTION


DESTRUCTION
THRASH ANTHEMS (2007)
320 KBPS

The German thrash metal powerhouse Destruction approached doing a greatest hits type CD a little differently. They didn't just put together a bunch of their old songs for a compilation. Instead, they re-recorded and in some cases rearranged their classic tracks. The band has been around since 1984, so they had a lot of great material to choose from.
Thrash Anthems sounds fantastic. With modern recording technology some of the older songs that weren't produced that well the first time around now sound crystal clear and jump out of the speakers to punch you right in the gut. The other cool thing is that vocalist Schmier, who left the band for several years and returned, sings material he didn't record originally. Destruction also adds two brand new songs to the mix.
Destruction is one of the premiere European thrash metal bands, and this CD is a great introduction for those unfamiliar with the group, and a must own for fans.

1. Bestial Invasion
2. Profanity
3. Release from Agony
4. Mad Butcher
5. Reject Emotions
6. Death Trap
7. Cracked Brain
8. Life without Sense
9. Total Desaster
10. Deposition (Your Heads Will Roll)
11. Invincible Force
12. Sign of Fear
13. Tormentor
14. Unconscious Ruins
15. Curse the Gods

Thursday, August 27, 2009

DAVID BOWIE


DAVID BOWIE
LOW (1977)
REMASTER
320 KBPS

Following through with the avant-garde inclinations of Station to Station, yet explicitly breaking with David Bowie's past, Low is a dense, challenging album that confirmed his place at rock's cutting edge. Driven by dissonant synthesizers and electronics, Low is divided between brief, angular songs and atmospheric instrumentals. Throughout the record's first half, the guitars are jagged and the synthesizers drone with a menacing robotic pulse, while Bowie's vocals are unnaturally layered and overdubbed. During the instrumental half, the electronics turn cool, which is a relief after the intensity of the preceding avant pop. Half the credit for Low's success goes to Brian Eno, who explored similar ambient territory on his own releases. Eno functioned as a conduit for Bowie's ideas, and in turn Bowie made the experimentalism of not only Eno but of the German synth group Kraftwerk and the post-punk group Wire respectable, if not quite mainstream. Though a handful of the vocal pieces on Low are accessible -- "Sound and Vision" has a shimmering guitar hook, and "Be My Wife" subverts soul structure in a surprisingly catchy fashion -- the record is defiantly experimental and dense with detail, providing a new direction for the avant-garde in rock & roll.

1. Speed Of Life
2. Breaking Glass
3. What In The World
4. Sound And Vision
5. Always Crashing In The Same Car
6. Be My Wife
7. A New Career In A New Town
8. Warszawa
9. Art Decade
10. Weeping Wall
11. Subterraneans

AUTOMATON


AUTOMATON
DUB TERROR EXHAUST (1994)
320 KBPS

There's no doubt that the psychedelic grooves of dub have been best explored by Jamaican legends like King Tubby and Lee "Scratch" Perry, but in the mid- to late-'90s, American bassist/producer Bill Laswell was easily the genre's most prolific proponent. With Automaton, a group that also features Blind Idiot God's Gabe Katz, DJ Spooky, and iconic reggae drummer Sly Dunbar, Laswell put forth one of his strongest dub efforts to date. "Astral Altar (The Gateway of Legba)" opens the album with a bit of atmospheric ambience that dissolves into a typically mind-altering, bottom-heavy dub groove. The album's best track, "Asiyah Dub (Blinding the Starry Eyes of God," works Indian tabla into the heady mix, creating a trance-inducing sense of spaciness that caresses your mind like a milk bath. One of the more effective experimental dub records of the '90s, Dub Terror Exhaust is also notable for being Laswell's first collaboration with then-unknown DJ Spooky (a.k.a. the Alchemist), who creates a promising mixture of spacey ambience and delicious futuristic funk on "The Terran Invasion of Alpha Centauri Year 2794."

1. Astral Altar - The Gateway Of Legba
2. Asiyah Dub - Blinding The Starry Eyes Of God
3. The Terran Invasion Of Alpha Centaurai Year 2794
4. The Black Meat - Deconstruction Of The Bebel-Tower Of Reason

ROLLINS BAND


ROLLINS BAND
WEIGHT (1994)
320 KBPS

To a new listener, Henry Rollins may have a different effect than those who have followed his music since the days he sang with Black Flag. Weight is one of the more popular albums of his career and to me it just gets more addictive over time.
Subtle jams and electric thrashes mix in and out with Rollins singing a poetic style that really weighs heavily on small but important sociological and psychological issues. Rollins brings out not an angry voice but one that often questions the hypocrisy a person can experience on any given day at any given time. The Song "Disconnect" has a lot of flair in displaying a variety of guitar arrangements that mix in and out with Rollins' wordsmithing. Other favorites are Icon, Liar and the drudging, driving beat that introduces the song "Volume 4".
If a person ever feels like they are misunderstood or that the world can sometimes not necessarily be a sad place, but a really confusing one, they need to just play "Weight" and realize that the soundtrack of these matters is already out, with Rollins at the helm.

1. Disconnect
2. Fool
3. Icon
4. Civilized
5. Divine
6. Liar
7. Step Back
8. Wrong Man
9. Volume
10. Tired
11. Alien Blueprint
12. Shine

LOST TRIBE


LOST TRIBE
SOUL FISH (1994)
320 KBPS

Lost Tribe's provocative mix of jazz, funk, progressive rock, heavy metal, and hip-hop is well represented on this 1994 disc. There are moments during "It's Not What It Is" when the '80s rock stylings of Living Color come to mind. Other tracks, such as "Second Story" and "Fuzzy Logic," recall the frenetic, rap-influenced sound of early Steve Coleman and Five Elements. Guitarist Adam Rogers and saxophonist David Binney seem to be the resident metalheads -- witness Rogers' crushing "Steel Orchards" and Binney's avant-thrash composition "H." Former Five Elements guitarist David Gilmore joins Rogers throughout the disc, making for some hot dual guitar work. Bassist Fima Ephron lays down rap vocals on his own "Walkabout," as does drummer Ben Perowsky on his own, less convincing "Daze of Ol'." On a mellower note, "Room of Life" and "La Fontaine" feature a more harmonically colorful side of the band.

1. Walkabout
2. Whodonit
3. It's Not What It Is
4. Daze of Ol'
5. Room of Life
6. Steel Orchards
7. Fontaine
8. Second Story
9. Planet Rock
10. Fuzzy Logic
11. H

KISS


KISS
DYNASTY (1979)
REMASTER
320 KBPS

Disco was huge at the time and KISS would explore the genre with "I was made..." and "Sure know something". These are both cool songs. Ace Frehley's version of the Stones' "2000 man" is also a highlight. This album always gets a bad rap and many say that it marks the official "selling out" of KISS. That term is always funny to me, when used with celebrities. Its like fans think that their favorite celebrites are these honest, perfect, "not in it for the money" decent folks. KISS makes great music, who cares what business deals or creative choices they make. The only down fall of this record is that Peter Criss has all but left the group at this point, only playing on "Dirty Livin'". The rest of the record has Anton Fig on drums. If you can stand a little disco and deal with the fact that one of the members hardly performed on this record, get it. Most importantly, hear it for yourself.

1. I Was Made For Loving You Baby
2. 2000 Man
3. Sure Know Something
4. Dirty Livin'
5. Charisma
6. Magic Touch
7. Hard Times
8. X-ray Eyes
9. Save Your Love

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

JOHN ZORN [REPOST]


JOHN ZORN
ANGELUS NOVUS (1998)
320 KBPS

John Zorn has shown us many sides of his eclectic musical vision (some may think too many), but here is a side of Zorn's work that has pretty much remained hidden - his compositions for classical chamber ensembles. This CD marks the first in a series documenting these pieces, commissioned by some of the world's leading ensembles and appearing on CD for the first time.
The works here span over twenty years, and include Christabel, a student piece written in 1972 inspired by the romantic mystic poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the wind octet Angelus Novus composed for the world-renown Netherland's Wind Ensemble and dedicated to the Jewish cultural theorist Walter Benjamin, the dynamic chamber symphony For Your Eyes Only and Carny, a virtuosic solo piece that receives an impassioned and breathtaking performance by pianist Stephen Drury.
The Callithumpian Consort of the New England Conservatory (conducted by Stephen Drury) perform this challenging music with startling clarity and intensity on this CD that will surprise and delight Zorn fans and detractors alike.

1. For Your Eyes Only
2. Christabel Part 1
3. Christabel Part 2
4. Carny
Angelus Novus
5. Peshat
6. Tzomet
7. Aliya
8. Herut
9. Pardes

SCORPIONS


SCORPIONS
BLACKOUT (1982)
REMASTER
320 KBPS

Blackout was the Scorpions' first majorly successful album, due to its clever balance of pop/rock (the title track), power ballads ("When the Smoke Is Going Down"), and catchy heavy metal ("Dynamite," "No One Like You"). Vocalist Klaus Meine had a throat operation prior to the record's release, and surprisingly, his voice sounds more melodic and lively than ever. The rest of the band sounds great as well, and the album is highlighted by the fast-paced performances of guitarists Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs. Blackout has arguably been called the Scorpions' best record ever, and that statement is not unjust — it has more energy than anything else they have ever released.

1. Blackout
2. Can't Live Without You
3. No One Like You
4. You Give Me All I Need
5. Now
6. Dynamite
7. Arizona
8. China White
9. When The Smoke Is Going Down

WES MONTGOMERY


WES MONTGOMERY
MOVIN' WES (1964)
320 KBPS

Wes Montgomery's debut for Verve, although better from a jazz standpoint than his later A&M releases, is certainly in the same vein. The emphasis is on his tone, his distinctive octaves, and his melody statements. Some of the material (such as "People" and "Matchmaker, Matchmaker") are pop tunes of the era and the brass orchestra (arranged by Johnny Pate) is purely in the background, but there are some worthy performances, chiefly the two-part "Movin' Wes," "Born to Be Blue," and "West Coast Blues."

1. Caravan
2. People
3. Movin' Wes (Part I)
4. Moca Flor
5. Matchmaker, Matchmaker
6. Movin' Wes (Part II)
7. Senza Fine
8. Theodora
9. In And Out
10. Born To Be Blue
11. West Coast Blues

GOLDFRAPP


GOLDFRAPP
WE ARE GLITTER (2006)
320 KBPS

The aptly named remix collection We Are Glitter takes the singles from Goldfrapp's glam-tastic Supernature in a variety of directions, courtesy of remixers such as the Flaming Lips, Ewen Pearson, and Múm. About half of the reworkings take the songs in an even more dancefloor-oriented direction; the best of these, such as T. Raumschmiere's mix of "Lovely 2 C U" and the DFA's hyper-percussive take on "Slide In," offer a distinctive spin on the originals without obliterating them completely. The other half of We Are Glitter gives these songs more eclectic makeovers: in the Flaming Lips' hands, "Satin Chic" becomes a show tune from an interstellar musical, while C2's remix of "Fly Me Away" gives the song an urgency and edge that the album version lacked. Múm's spun-sugar, music box-like revamp of "Number 1" turns the song into a fairy tale lullaby that makes it another standout. Goldfrapp's own drums and guitar-heavy We Are Glitter remix of "Strict Machine" is a bonus track and a welcome addition for die-hard fans who had all of these remixes on the singles already.

1. Satin Chic (Bombay Mix by The Shortwave Set)
2. Lovely 2 C U (T.Raumschmiere Rmx)
3. Ooh La La (Benny Benassi Remix - Extended)
4. You Never Know (Mum Remix)
5. Satin Chic Through The Mystic Mix, Dimension 11 - The Flaming Lips
6. Number 1 (Alan Braxe & Fred Falke Main Remix)
7. Fly Me Away (C2 rmx 4)
8. Ride A White Horse - Ewan Pearson Disco Odyssey - Pt. 1
9. Number 1 - Múm Remix
10. Ride A White Horse (FK-EK Vocal Version)
11. Slide In - DFA Remix
12. Strict Machine (We Are Glitter Goldfrapp Mix)

COLOSSEUM II


COLOSSEUM II
ELECTRIC SAVAGE (1977)
320 KBPS

I'm afraid I absolutely love everything about this record; Don Airey on searing keys, John Mole thundering on his Fender jazz bass, Gary Moore giving his best performance on record, and Jon Hiseman reclaiming his jazz-rock god status as he leads it all with measured fury. Mostly instrumental and filled with tight, red-hot numbers, this has to be among the best live-in-studio albums in fusion history. But it was much more-- it was also heavy prog at a time when most music was either heavy or progressive, with little serious blending of the two. Colosseum II brought the aggression of metallic rock together with the precision of symphonic jazz fusion in a way no one else could touch, not even Mahavishnu, and the result is one of the most electrifying sessions I've ever heard. Absolute dynamite.

1. Put it this way
2. All skin and bone
3. Rivers
4. The scorch
5. Lament
6. Desperado
7. Am I
8. Intergalactic strut

CELTIC FROST


CELTIC FROST
TO MEGA THERION (1985)
REMASTER
320 KBPS

To Mega Therion, the first full length by Celtic Frost, a band whose influence and significance in the extreme metal scene no one can question or deny. Alongside bands like Slayer and Venom, their contribution to the genre is the most notable and cardinal.
It’s just amazing how anyone can come up with such acrimonious and apoplectic music and still not look dry or repetitive. Thomas Gabriel is a riff machine; he comes up with such demonic stuff and gives new tunes out like he’s running a shop. Another reason why this is not like those monotonous thrash albums is the frequent tempo fluctuations and alternations which help in capturing the essence and feel of this album. Not only has this pioneered thrash, death and black, its doomy sections are worth a mention as well.
The one minute opener is like a chilly warning for the storm of madness which follows it. It gives a glimpse of the dark and gloomy nature of this release. The sheer ferocity of their relentlessly violent yet artistic music manifests and exhibits their talent & competence. Every single song following the one minute “mood setter” is evidence of their skills and expertise. But the last track, Necromantical Screams, is the evilest of them all. You find yourself caught in the nefarious atmosphere, possessed by its power, obeying its orders, for it is a force so divine, you are worthless in front of it. All you can do, and all you should do, is follow it.

1. Innocence And Wrath
2. The Usurper
3. Jewel Throne*
4. Dawn Of Meggido
5. Eternal Summer
6. Circle Of The Tyrants
7. (Beyond The) North Winds
8. Fainted Eyes
9. Tears In A Prophets Dream
10. Necromantical Screams
11. Return To The Eve
* Bonus Track

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

ALAIN SOUCHON


ALAIN SOUCHON
AU RAS DES PAQUERETTES (1999)
320 KBPS

1999's offering from French pop/chanson guru Alain Souchon. This must be one of his most poetic and thoughtful albums and maybe that's why it didn't get as much success as Souchon's albums usually do. On this album, Alain alternatively teams with long-time companion Laurent Voulzy and his own son, Pierre. Allegedly, Au Ras des Paquerettes is not as catchy as the albums preceeding and following it, I disagree. Songs like the title track, Le Baiser, Rive Gauche or Une Guitare Un Citoyen are some of Souchon's finest in the 90s if not of his whole career. Get it, you will not be disappointed.

1. Pardon
2. Le Baiser
3. Tailler La Zone
4. Rive Gauche
5. L'horrible Bye Bye
6. Au Ras Des Paquerettes
7. C'était Menti
8. Petit Tas Tombe
9. Une Guitare Un Citoyen
10. Caterpillar

HARBINGER


HARBINGER
DOOM ON YOU (2009)
320 KBPS

Everything in Illinois' Harbinger's debut screams old school heavy metal. For starters, the artwork looks like we're still in 1982, granted, it's not pretty but it fits the content of the album so well that it just works. Then, the production. Raw, dirty, screaming just like Rage or Tyrant early albums did sound and, once again, it fits what this young band has to offer which is pure, raw and uncompromised fucking heavy/speed metal! From "Drivers to Hell" and its fake live intro to "Harbinger", there's not a single note here to help you notice that this is, in fact, a 2009 release.
Surprisingly enough, while so many bands would have sounded like they ripped off the "great all ones" from their riffs and beats, Harbinger remains fresh and display a honesty rarely seen in such a retro act. Even when the band slows things up a bit (on "The Dark Ages" for example) they stay true to what made 80s heavy metal so great: great riffs, great vocals, silly lyrics and killer lead guitars.
What about influences? There sure is an Iron Maiden touch to the guitars and the overall tone of the record leans towards the NWOBHM sound which will please all those, like me, who think that scene gave us the best Metal ever made.
All in all, if "Doom On You" isn't perfect, which is part of its charm by the way, it's a promising and damn entertaining first album those who love Demon's Court in the Act, Angel Witch's ST and the heavier bands from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal should try.
With a better production and an equally good songwriting, their second album might very well be what we've been expecting for so long: a work of art displaying the return to the values of what real Heavy Metal should sound like. Still, this one's already a winner so, what are you waiting for? Get it you fuckers!

1. Drivers to Hell
2. The Dark Ages
3. Morningstar
4. Black-Hearted Woman
5. Poser Patrol
6. Die for Metal (Live for Death)
7. Blood of Heroes
8. Harbinger

MINK DEVILLE


MINK DEVILLE
COUP DE GRACE (1981)
320 KBPS

While Willy DeVille was trying to perfect his blend of roots rock, fiery punk energy, and the heart-rending ballad style that singled out singers like Ben E. King and Sam Cooke, he went through a few changes. Mink DeVille's previous recording, Le Chat Bleu, had opened the door to DeVille being as fine a ballad singer as any. Along with the Doc Pomus ballads there were a few rockers, and the seeds were sewn for the band to pursue this direction, with Willy DeVille stepping more and more out front as an enigma. The combination of DeVille and Jack Nitzsche brought the early rock and soul vibe deep into the heart of the record. Louis Cortelezzi and Kenny Margolis provided the sound of the Jersey Shore and Coney Island on saxophone and keyboards — including accordion — that had been introduced on the previous disc and swirled around DeVille and Rick Borgia's guitars, undercut by Tommy Price's drums. The band's sound combined with Nitzsche's timeless production style, which combined with that voice to create a purer rock & roll noise than even Bruce Springsteen's in 1981. The evidence is on the anthems "Maybe Tomorrow," the slippery doo wop feel of "Love & Emotion," and the devastating read of Arthur Alexander's "You Better Move On" that includes in its soulful Spanish stroll mix a pair of marimbas and the ever-lamenting accordion, turning the track into something that is so deadly serious it should have perhaps been in West Side Story. This was Mink DeVille near their zenith as a recording unit.

1. Just Give Me One Good Reason
2. Help Me Make It (Power Of A Woman's Love)
3. Maybe Tomorrow
4. Teardrops Must Fall
5. You Better Move On
6. Love & Emotion
7. So In Love Are We
8. Love Me Like You Did Before
9. She Was Made In Heaven
10. End Of The Line

RUSH

RUSH
ROLL THE BONES (1991)
REMASTER
320 KBPS

Rush's masterpiece of the 90's. In 1991, Rush had been together for 17 years, and they had not looked back since. Going from Zeppelin clones, to Progressive Masters, to Synth Rock geniouses. This album is a real gem, there are no really bad tracks on it. It opens and closes with style and substance. Neil, Geddy, and Alex are once again the masters of their domain, playing with the same finesse that they did in 1974.
The album opens with style in Dreamline. A very interesting guitar line from Alex and great bass and keyboard work from from Geddy. This is one of the highlight tracks of the album. As is the next gem, Bravado. Another great guitar line from Alex, and some great lyrics by Peart, they once again get this track down with professional precision and skill. Another track to mention is the title track, with a very interesting rap section (by Peart none the less!). Some great playing by Geddy and Alex and Neil on this one as well. The instrumental on the album is in a class of its own. Although not as good as La Villa Strangiato or YYZ, this song really fits with the context of the album, with intricate playing by all members.
Overall, this is an album that no one should be without. I would recommend it to someone who wants to get into Rush in the 90's. A very great job from a very great band.

1. Dreamline
2. Bravado
3. Roll the bones
4. Face up
5. Where's my thing (Part IV of the "Gangster of Boats trilogy")
6. The big wheel
7. Heresy
8. Ghost of a chance
9. Neurotica
10. You bet your life

JET


JET
GET BORN (2003)
320 KBPS

Jet's Get Born is a seriously rocking album that comes off as a mix between the White Stripes' bluesy insouciance and AC/DC's cockeyed swagger. Toss in some New York Dolls strut, maybe some of Sweet's jailbait philosophizing, definitely some of Oasis' look-at-me attitude, some of the Verve's sense of grandeur, and you've got something to impress your friends as you blast it out of your car speakers on a Friday night. There are a lot of other bands traveling a similar path these days and it is hard to explain why this record works so well when so many others sound weak and studied. Maybe it is because they hail from the no-nonsense Australian rock tradition. Maybe it is the tough but clean production by Dave Sardy. Most likely it is the songs. They are catchy with singalong choruses, with lots of "hey"s and handclaps and glam stomp beats. "Rollover D.J.," "Get What You Need," and "Get Me Outta Here" are tight, raw, and flashy rockers. It is a sure sign that you are dealing with a band that has it all together when the ballads are as good as the rockers. "Look What You've Done" is a piano-based weeper that only needs some swelling strings to launch it into Guns N' Roses territory, "Move On" is an early-'70s Stones country ballad with some fine slide work. The only track that really falters is the silly and mean-spirited "Cold Hard Bitch," which takes an ill-advised trip down Nazareth lane and leaves the listener with a foul taste in their mouth. The placement of Get Born's sweetest ballad ("Come Around Again" right after it is the only thing that saves the album. And it is an album worth saving. Get Born is a very promising debut by a band that steals from all the right places, rocks non-ironically — even epically at times — and sounds great blasting out of a car or on headphones.

1. Last Chance
2. Are You Gonna Be My Girl
3. Rollover D.J.
4. Look What You've Done
5. Get What You Need
6. Move On
7. Radio Song
8. Get Me Outta Here
9. Cold Hard Bitch
10. Come Around Again
11. Take It Or Leave It
12. Lazy Gun
13. Timothy
Bonus Track
14. Sgt. Major

ATOMIC ROOSTER


ATOMIC ROOSTER
DEATH WALKS BEHIND YOU (1970)
320 KBPS

Devil's Answer might be the record for which Atomic Rooster are remembered, but it was their second album which posted warning that they were on the verge of creating something dazzling — simply because the record itself is a thing of almost freakish beauty. With only organist Vincent Crane surviving from the original lineup, and John Du Cann coming in to relieve him of some of the songwriting duties, Death Walks Behind You opens at a gallop and closes with a sprint. The title track is effectively spooky enough for any Hammer horror aficionado, all descending pianos and Psycho-screaming guitars; while "Gershatzer," a duet for organ and percussion, proves that new drummer Paul Hammond is more than a match for the departed Carl Palmer. It's in between these dramatic bookends, however, that Rooster truly peak, with the stately "VUG," the pensive "Nobody Else," and the truly amazing "Tomorrow Night" (one of the scariest love songs ever let loose on the U.K. chart) all impressing. Crane's liner notes, incidentally, remind us that the album packed a different version of the hit, with an extended ending which descends into unimagined chaos — a shocker for the pop kids, perhaps, but a fabulous bridge into the succeeding "7 Streets." Possibly the best evidence for this being Atomic Rooster's masterpiece, however, comes not simply from what's on the album, but for what has been left off. An excellent repackaging and remastering job restores the original artwork in all its gatefold glory, but you'll search in vain for bonus tracks — not because there were none to add, but because they simply wouldn't fit. Sit through Death Walks Behind You, after all, and you really won't need any more surprises.

1. Death Walks Behind You
2. VUG
3. Tomorrow Night
4. 7 Streets
5. Sleeping For Years
6. I Can't Take No More
7. Nobody Else
8. Gershatzer

Monday, August 24, 2009

JOHN COLTRANE


JOHN COLTRANE
COLTRANE JAZZ (1960)
320 KBPS

This record is overshadowed by the one preceding it, namely the technically superb Giant Steps which blew up Bebop from inside out, and the one that came after it, the nice but tame sounding My Favourite Things with the commercial hit of the same name. But it is more experimental than the accomplished complex Giant Steps, and though the blowing there had a razorsharp edge, here the playing of Coltrane is richer, even if it has sometimes an unsure feel to it and doesn't hit as hard and fast, due probably to the unknown territory he was beginnning to explore once more. Strange harmonical effects are tried out and melodically a more exotic and diverse atmosphere is reached. Coltrane Jazz also has something wild about it that Favourite things lacks. More than once you'll find yourself exclaiming this is crazy. And beautifull... It is the first sign of the great things to come in the Impulse period.

1. Little Old Lady
2. Village Blues
3. My Shining Hour
4. Fifth House
5. Harmonique
6. Like Sonny
7. I'll Wait and Pray
8. Some Other Blues
Bonus Tracks
9. Like Sonny [Alternate Take]
10. I'll Wait and Pray [Alternate Take]

FRANK ZAPPA


FRANK ZAPPA
AND THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION
BURNT WEENY SANDWICH (1970)

320 KBPS

Burnt Weeny Sandwich is the first of two albums by the Mothers of Invention that Frank Zappa released in 1970, after he had disbanded the original lineup. While Weasels Ripped My Flesh focuses on complex material and improvised stage madness, this collection of studio and live recordings summarizes the leader's various interests and influences at the time. It opens and closes on '50s pop covers, "WPLJ" and "Valarie." "Aybe Sea" is a Zappafied sea shanty, while "Igor's Boogie" is named after composer Igor Stravinsky, the closest thing to a hero Zappa ever worshipped. But the best material is represented by "Holiday in Berlin," a theme that would become central to the music of 200 Motels, and "The Little House I Used to Live In," including a virtuoso piano solo by Ian Underwood. Presented as an extended set of theme and variations, the latter does not reach the same heights as "King Kong." In many places, and with the two aforementioned exceptions in mind, Burnt Weeny Sandwich sounds like a set of outtakes from Uncle Meat, which already summarized to an extent the adventures of the early Mothers.

1. WPLJ
2. Igor's Boogie, Phase One
3. Overture to a Holiday in Berlin
4. Theme From Burnt Weeny Sandwich
5. Igor's Boogie, Full-Blown
6. Aybe Sea
7. The Little House I Used To Live In
8. Valarie

THE BOO RADLEYS


THE BOO RADLEYS
GIANT STEPS (1993)
320 KBPS

Titling an album after John Coltrane's masterpiece may well seem the height of pretension, but heck, it never stopped the Replacements from a similar move vis-a-vis the Beatles. As it is, the title is perfectly justified — Carr, a Coltrane aficionado among many other things, here finally leads his band from the promising to the truly inspired. With the inventive, groundbreaking Lazarus EP as a touchstone (the title track is included here in an unfortunately abbreviated form), the Boos self-produce themselves to new heights. The genius of the Boos definitely lies in their ability to adapt many a different touch and make it their own, taking what are often straightforward, hooky pop songs and turning them into something more, an ability Giant Steps shows in spades. The old fuzz blast is here, but less beholden to the likes of My Bloody Valentine, instead drawing on Carr's wide-ranging tastes (Beach Boys, psych-pop, Human League/New Order-inspired arrangements) to reach different, individual conclusions. From the near free-noise wash of "Run My Way Runway" to the soaring pop blast of "Barney (...and Me)," a poignant, nostalgiac lyric backed by a thrilling overall performance, the band does little wrong. Brown and Cjeka effectively incorporate dub/reggae rhythms, as "Lazarus" itself showed they could do, blending in loping, funky skank to "Upon 7th and Fairchild" and the fantastic "Butterfly McQueen." Carr's guitar work is much more distinctly his own throughout the album, with often volcanic, inspired soloing adding a huge, echoed sound to many of the songs. A number of guest performers help, notably Steve Kitchen on brass; his trumpet and flugelhorn parts and flourishes add jazzy touches throughout, at times reminiscent of Miles Davis' work on Sketches of Spain.

1. I Hang Suspended
2. Upon 9th And Fairchild
3. Wish I Was Skinny
4. Leaves And Sand
5. Butterfly McQueen
6. Rodney King
7. Thinking Of Ways
8. Barney (...And Me)
9. Spun Around
10. If You Want It, Take It
11. Best Lose The Fear
12. Take The Time Around
13. Lazarus
14. One Is For
15. Run My Way Runway
16. I've Lost The Reason
17. The White Noise Revisited

THIN LIZZY


THIN LIZZY
VAGABONDS OF THE WESTERN WORLD (1972)
320 KBPS

Their last album as a trio, and before the twin guitar attack was born, Vagabonds of the Western World finds Thin Lizzy going for a harder edged sound, immediately noticeable on the twangy blues rock of "Mama Nature Said." "The Hero and the Madman" follows, and is a very unique track that reminds one of cliffhanger dependent television series, and balances a funky, subdued rock n' roll with a creative vocal approach on the story told by the lyrics.
These two hard rockers set the stage for "Slow Blues," which (as the title suggests) slows things down a bit, with some funky guitar and soulful singing, before "The Rocker" picks it back up (Oh, how I do love rock songs ABOUT rockin'!). This is really a great track, and probably the album highlight.
Traditional Irish song "Whisky in the Jar" makes an appearance, given a more rockin' treatment by Lizzy, with some strong guitar work that makes it an easy favorite, and the album closes on a very cool, bluesy number "Broken Dreams," that is yet another highlight.
Overall, it's a strong album that showcases Lizzy's ability to really rock out in a period before their sound became solidified. Good stuff!

1. Mama Nature Said
2. The Hero And The Madman
3. Slow Blues
4. The Rocker
5. Vagabond Of The Western World
6. Little Girl In Bloom
7. Gonna Creep Up On You
8. A Song For While I'm Away
Bonus Tracks
9. Whisky In The Jar
10. Black Boys On The Corner
11. Randolph's Tango
12. Broken Dreams

FORGOTTEN TOMB


FORGOTTEN TOMB
SONGS TO LEAVE (2002)
REMASTER
320 KBPS

Every country has its own speciality. Concerning Black Metal, you have to go to Norway or Sweden. If you're looking for pizza or pasta, then go for Italy. And when Italians try to play Black Metal, it's not working, you will have seen that with such lame bands as EVOL, ART INFERNO, ADVERSAM, and so on.
Well, with FORGOTTEN TOMB, a new barrier is broken: here is an Italian band that plays high quality Black Metal! Musical expression of Herr Morbid, FORGOTTEN TOMB is into depressive and suicidal Black Metal, and it's obvious that "Songs To Leave" might destroy the sickest of you. After an "Entombed By Winter" that's in a BURZUM way, are four fabulous tracks, full of very inspired and cold melodies, enriched by a very dry voice a la SHINING, the whole thing being on mid-tempo or slow rhythms, which should strongly remind you of KATATONIA, era "Brave Murder Day".
As the comparisons are quite elogious, you know what to expect. FORGOTTEN TOMB play really orgasmic Black Metal, that shouldn't be recommended to the weak minded ones who dream of suicide, but are afraid to commit it. Or maybe it should be recommended...

1. Entombed By Winter
2. Solitude Ways
3. Steal My Corpse
4. No Way Out
5. Disheartenment

Sunday, August 23, 2009

FONTAINE & BELKACEM


BRIGITTE FONTAINE & ARESKI BELKACEM
VOUS ET NOUS (1977)
REMASTER
192 KBPS

Brigitte Fontaine and Areski Belkacem's final release before a retirement that lasted nearly 20 years, 1977's Vous et Nous is a remarkable album. A 33-track double album (song lengths range from barely 30 seconds to nearly seven minutes), Vous et Nous often sounds like nothing so much as what Stereolab would be doing two decades later. (The members of Stereolab are acknowledged fans of Fontaine, and the band's lovely "Brigitte" was written in tribute to her in 1995.) The instrumentation alternates between bleeping synthesizers and rattlingly primitive electronic drums on some songs and acoustic guitars and hand percussion on others. For the first time, Fontaine and Belkacem split the vocal duties about evenly; his gruff, mumbled vocals contrast nicely with her much sweeter tone, and the North African and Eastern European influences he had brought to her previous few albums are much more in evidence here. The two versions of the title track, one with a minimal electronic background and the other featuring the same Balkan-style melody played on authentic instruments, are representative of the two stylistic poles of the album. Artistically challenging yet surprisingly accessible (at least more so to a contemporary audience than it might have been upon its initial release), Vous et Nous is an endlessly fascinating cross-cultural experiment, a cult classic and, obviously, something you must try.

1. Vous Et Nous
2. Patriarcat
3. Mon Enfance
4. Vent D'Automne
5. Le Serveur Du Dome
6. Je Suis Venu Te Voir
7. Rien Que Changer
8. Le Ciel Est Doux
9. Les Epis
10. Le Repas Des Dromadaires
11. Vous Et Nous
12. L'Amour Parfait
13. Un Soleil
14. Dans Ma Rue
15. L'Orage Est Fini
16. Gamme
17. Le Brin D'Herbe
18. La Harpe Jaune
19. Je T'Aimerai
20. Diabolo
21. Cher
22. Ce N'Est Pas Un Ennemi
23. Encaustique
24. Petit Sapin
25. Mon Lit
26. Je T'Aimerai
27. La Dechirure
28. Le Petit Cheval Bleu
29. Personne
30. Les Roses Sont Farouches
31. Le Bouc
32. Dessin
33. Les Muzdus

Note: This is not my rip, you'll get a new version as soon as I can find a copy of this cd which is not an easy task. I thought you needed to hear this a.s.a.p. as it's one of the best albums I've ever heard. As most of these musics are quite minimalistic a 192 rip doesn't ruin the music one bit. Now, I want you all to download it, listen to it and tell me what it did for you. Now, I said!

JAZZ IN PARIS


JAZZ IN PARIS
THE 100'S MOST BEAUTIFUL MELODIES
320 KBPS

There can be no doubt that Paris' love affair with jazz has been lasting and beautiful. Studded with "I love you, me neither" periods common to all long idylis - the first time there was "love at first sight" dates from the Great War - the affair has always been passionate and impassioned.
A good many events, chance meeting and heart-throbs bear witness to this; in concerts, the capital's American friends made it their duty to give audiences all they could wish for, so high were they held in esteem; in front of the microphone, when the situation or context wasn't foreign to their habits, their spirits were raised considerably: Miles Davies accompanied a film; Bill Coleman, thirty-five years latern joined Stéphane Grappelli in the studios; under the watchful eye of Kenny Clarke, Dizzy Gillespie duelled with Johnny Griffin, while Art Blakey, his heart scattered by his reunion with Bud Powell, was welcoming Barney Wilen with open arms; and Lionel Hampton, thanks to the arrangements of Michel Chevalier, astonished the public all over again, Sidney Bechet, Don Byas, Sonny Criss and Rhoda Scott even forgot to return across the Atlantic...
After all, they'd found partners to their liking, hadn't they? For jazz had struck on the Old Continent, generating a crowd of creators who took to the task of fittering the colours of Afro-American music through their own personal prisms, is it necessary to quote Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli, matchless and unequalled, or Jean-Luc Ponty, Claude Bolling, Eddy Louiss, Pierre Michelot, Michel Legrand...?
All those musicians, all the moments - and many more! - made jazz history the length of the river Seine. Here they are, close to the ear, in the collection "Jazz in Paris", a treat for the connoisseur, and a delight for all who ask only that listening be a pleasure.

Disc 1:
The Man I Love
1. (Générique) Ascenseur Pour l'Échafaud - Miles Davis
2. The Man I Love - Helmut Zacharias
3. Continental - Blossom Dearie
4. They Can't Take That Away from Me - Hubert Fol
5. Stompin' at the Savoy - Henri Salvador
6. Fine and Dandy - Django Reinhardt
7. Cherokee - Pierre Michelot
8. This Can't Be Love - Sonny Criss
9. The Nearness of You - Jack Diéval & le J.A.C.E. All Stars
10. Laura - Don Byas
11. Yesterdays - Buddy Banks
12. My Heart Belongs to Daddy - Stéphane Grappelli
13. No Greater Love - Earl Hines Trio
14. Scoubidou - Andy & the Bey Sisters
15. Who Is Me? - Bernard Peiffer
16. Begin the Beguine - Henri Crolla
17. Blue Moon - Dizzy Gillespie
18. Carioca - Mary Lou Williams Trio
19. What Is This Thing Called Love? - Art Simmons Quartet
20. Baby Won't You Please Come Home? - Sammy Price
Disc 2:
Nuages
1. Swing - Quintette du Hot Club de France
2. Body and Soul - Stéphane Grappelli
3. Minor Swing - Les Amis de Django
4. Autumn Leaves - Stéphane Grappelli, Yehudi Menuhin & Oscar Peterson
5. Stella by Starlight - Alain Goraguer
6. Caravan - Bernard Peiffer
7. Parisian Thoroughfare - Le Jazz Groupe de Paris
8. Summertime - Chet Baker
9. Sweet and Lovely - Dizzy Gillespie & His Operatic String Orchestra
10. Hallelujah - Earl Hines Trio
11. Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone - Buck Clayton Quintet
12. It Had to Be You - Sidney Bechet
13. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea - Quincy Jones
14. Satin Doll - Kenny Clarke & Rhoda Scott
15. Angel Eyes - Eddy Louiss
16. I Remember Clifford - Slide Hampton
17. Nica - Max Roach
18. A Night in Tunisia - René Thomas
19. Nuages - Django Reinhardt
20. Misty - Davy Jones & Sarah Vaughan

Disc 3:
'Round Midnight
1. 'Round Midnight - Sacha Distel Quartet
2. September Song - Quintette du Hot Club de France
3. La Bride Sur le Cou - Georges Arvanitas
4. God Bless the Child - Sonny Criss
5. Lover Man - Joe Newman
6. The Surrey with Fringe on the Top - Blossom Dearie
7. My Funny Valentine - Art Simmons Quartet
8. Over the Rainbow - Elek Bacsik
9. I Want to Talk About You - Jean-Luc Ponty
10. That's My Desire - Peanuts Holland
11. These Foolish Things - Michel de Villers
12. Blue and Sentimental - Dizzy Gillespie
13. Mélodie Pour Les Radios Taxis - Barney Wilen
14. Georgia on My Mind - Don Byas
15. Lullaby of the Leaves - Lucky Thompson Quartet
16. There's a Small Hotel - Mary Lou Williams
17. My Old Flame - René Thomas
18. Willow Weep for Me - Toots Thielemans
19. Autumn in New York - Bobby Jaspar Quartet
20. I Can't Get Started - Lester Young

Disc 4:
La Vie en Rose
1. When It's Sleepy Time Down South - Louis Armstrong
2. A Kiss to Build a Dream On - Louis Armstrong
3. Blues March - Art Blakey & Jazz Messengers
4. Manha de Carnaval - Stan Getz
5. On Green Dolphin Street - Stan Getz
6. Clo's Blues - Jazz at the Philharmonic
7. Manoir de Mes Rêves - Django Reinhardt
8. April in Paris - Michel Legrand
9. Django - Stéphane Grappelli
10. Night and Day - Don Byas
11. On the Sunny Side of the Street - Harold Nicholas
12. I Got Rhythm - Doc Cheatham & Sammy Price
13. Honeysuckle Rose - Willie "The Lion" Smith
14. La Vie en Rose - Michel Legrand
15. Vamp - Barney Wilen
16. Things Ain't What They Used to Be - Ronnell Bright Trio
17. After You've Gone - Sidney Bechet
18. How High the Moon - Stéphane Grappelli
19. We'll Be Together Again - Sonny Criss
20. Stormy Weather - Don Byas

Disc 5:
Les Tricheurs
1. I'll Remember April - Chet Baker
2. Bouncing with Bud - René Urtreger
3. (Back Home Again In) Indiana - Maurice Meunier
4. Basin Street Blues - Albert Nicholas & His New Orleans Friends
5. Sweet Georgia Brown - Arthur Briggs & Freddy Johnson
6. I Can't Believe That You're in Love with Me - Sidney Bechet
7. Saint Louis Blues - Louis Armstrong
8. Them There Eyes - Quintette du Hot Club de France
9. Swing 42 - Les Amis de Django
10. Swing Valse - Gus Viseur
11. Swanee River - Jimmy Archey & Michel Attenoux
12. Cheek to Cheek - Bernard Peiffer
13. I've Got the World on a String - Guy Lafitte
14. Misterioso - Bobby Jaspar Quintet
15. (Générique) Des Femmes Disparaissent - Art Blakey & Jazz Messengers
16. Don't Blame Me - Sonny Criss
17. Elephant Green - Pierre Michelot
18. Moment's Notice - Slide Hampton
19. Les Tricheurs - Jazz at the Philharmonic
20. Florence Sur Les Champs-Élysées - Miles Davis