Review: The Decemberists get simple on latest album
The Decemberists, “The King Is Dead” (Capitol)
Perhaps the best moment on the Decemberists’ new album comes at the end of a tune called “Calamity Song,” when frontman Colin Meloy provides a transcendent touch by climbing into his high register. “Ah-ooo,” he sings. “Ah-ooo.”
It’s beautiful, and ironic to hear such [...]
Review: Cake ends 7-year hiatus with strong disc
Cake, “Showroom of Compassion” (Upbeat Records)
Alternative rock has always seemed a bit vague as a classification for a band such as Cake. Now, alternative energy — that’s an apt label to slap on them.
Recorded at their own studio in southern California, Cake’s first offering in seven years, “Showroom of [...]
Duffy’s 2nd CD broader, but not better
Duffy, “Endlessly” (Mercury)
On her 2008 debut, Duffy introduced herself as a Welsh ingenue with a retro-soul sensibility, with simple songs of heartbreak showing off her sweet, sandpaper-scuffed voice.
The 26-year-old singer-songwriter expands her style and subject matter on her sophomore offering, “Endlessly,” but somehow the result isn’t as satisfying. With frothy [...]
REVIEW: Good Charlotte – Cardiology
Despite nearly 15 years pumping out chart-topping hits, it seems Joel and Benji Madden still have what it takes to write catchy pop/rock destined to become anthems for teenagers and 20-somethings everywhere.
It’s safe to say that while Good Charlotte aren’t reinventing themselves with this album, they are certainly returning to the [...]
Album reviews: Justin Bieber, R Kelly, Hinder
ARTIST: CHRISTINA AGUILERA, CHER
ALBUM: BURLESQUE: ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK
NEW YORK (Billboard) – The soundtrack to “Burlesque,” Christina Aguilera’s first star vehicle, could be a continuation of her 2006 album “Back to Basics.” And why not? It showcased her distinctive flair for the big band style. The soundtrack comes on the [...]
Boxed set reviews for John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Slayer, more
Selected box set reviews:
John Lennon, “Signature Box” (Capitol)
As a member of The Beatles, John Lennon was among the most important songwriters in pop history. He helped unleash the form from the mundane and showed that ceaseless experimentation could lead you to learn more about the [...]
Review: The Greenhornes return with garage-y goodness
The Greenhornes, “(Four Stars)” (Third Man)
More people have probably heard of The Greenhornes than have actually heard the Cincinnati, Ohio, band’s music.
Hopefully that’s about to change.
The group that had its rhythm section raided by Jack White for the Raconteurs is back with its first new album in eight years. “(Four [...]
Review: U2′s latest concert epic and familiar
U2, “U2360 At The Rose Bowl” (Interscope)
U2 has been playing shows and releasing albums for more than 30 years, so even hardcore fans might honestly wonder whether they really need to buy yet another concert video showing the band playing hits like “One” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday.”
Out of 23 songs [...]
Gogol Bordello ‘Trans-Continental Hustle’ Review
Since Super Taranta!, Gogol Bordelloâ€™s excellent 2007 breakthrough, the band has built plenty of hot anticipation for a follow-up by earning a reputation as one of rockâ€™s most combustible live bands. Along the way, they caught the ear of goldsmith-guru Rick Rubin, who has produced their fifth album, Trans-continental Hustle.
Gogol has the [...]
Jack Johnson’s ‘To the Sea’ Review
Hawaiian-born troubadour Jack Johnson has elevated beachcomber soft rock to its platonic ideal. Thereâ€™s not a coconut hair out of place on his new album, â€œTo the Sea,â€ which is pleasingly packaged in all recycled papers. The micro-genre chill-wave has been ascribed to such bands as Texasâ€™ Neon Indian and Chazwick [...]