Oh, and I am listening to this!
Oh, and I am listening to this!
Bang bang bang went Frankie's gun
Volbeat- Shady Ladies & Outlaw Gentleman re release
yes i bought the same album twice, they're that good. yes, i BOUGHT an album
I can't say enough about Arcade Fire's album 'Reflektor.'
IMO it's far and away the album of the year.
Lady Gaga, Bad Romance...shut up I like her first album
Ghost- Monstrance Clock
having mad writers block, taking this in with some jager… here's to good things!
A few months ago, I realized I was slacking in making sure I really gave the new CDs I bought an actual listen before adding them to the giant hard drive of songs I like to play at random. I made it official policy to keep a special stack of the new CDs so each one would make a stop in my car and get at least two plays before it goes back inside to get burned onto the hard drive. If I really like the CD, it tends to get a third play. If I really, really like it, four plays.
Then I figured I may as well give very brief reviews of what goes through my car CD player, because who doesn't want to see grades assigned to obscure European metal bands? I'll start with two bands people may have actually heard of, though, the two bands that led me to my favorite styles of music. Both bands are pioneers and titans of their genre, and I have been finding their recent efforts lacking, but they both just came out with a new CD...
Dream Theater - Dream Theater
The last few Dream Theater CDs have had way too many songs that either rambled or tried to be heavier than they were and turned into a boring sludge, sometimes both. Even if I firmly believe that only a first album should be allowed to be named after the band, this one is a step in the right direction. James LaBrie's vocals are much improved over the last few CDs and John Petrucci's guitar comes through perfectly when it should, no longer buried at times by overly aggressive vocals or rhythm parts. As amazing a drummer as Mike Portnoy is, I'm just going to be glad that his songwriting and vocal appearances are gone, and I like what I've heard from his current new band (The Winery Dogs), so win-win. My biggest complaint is actually that vocals could stand to be less mellow all the time. The rambling is relatively restrained - only two songs are over seven minutes long - one at 7:41 and then the 22 minute closer, which at one point turns into a film score (that sounds great) for a while, but I'll allow it.
Dream Theater is a very good step in the right direction. I was going to give it a low B- (my music grades may be tougher than my movie grades), but I liked it even more listening to a bit of it as I burned it (fewer distractions are probably good for complicated music), so I am giving it a low B.
Fates Warning - Darkness In A Different Light
I have had the opposite problem with Fates Warning in that they just haven't been aggressive enough. There are plenty of progressive metal bands that make nice pretty complex music that just happens to lack energy and puts me to sleep. Fates has never taken it quite to that level, but their last few CDs have not been very memorable for me. Here, though, there is a lot more power in the guitar and drums. I really am liking the solo in Firefly, the song attached. Ray Alder's vocals are good, but I would like to see him belt it out more like he did back on Parallels and Perfect Symmetry. A live version of Life In Still Water (from Parallels), included on an abbreviated bonus disc and the best thing in the whole package, hammers that point home for me.
Another solid album and significant improvement, but once more not quite a return to exceptional. B-, but listening to Into The Black right now, I may also bump Darkness In A Different Light up to a B. Fantastic solo, and Alder has some nice power going in the vocals.
I'm obsessed with Bastille lately. Their debut album, Bad Blood, is one of my fave releases this yea, and I love the haunting quality of lots of their songs.