Category Archives: pop

Review: Rod Stewart – The Definitive Rod Stewart

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Label: Warner Brothers Released: November 18, 2008 Rod Stewart may have the perfect rock voice. It’s raw and honest and warm and he expresses emotion with ease. Its rough edges are its primary strength. The first handful of tracks on this collection, rock songs tied tightly to their folk, boogie and blues roots, are ideal vehicles for Stewart’s perfect imperfection…. Read more »

Review: Matthew Sweet – Sunshine Lies

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Label: Shout! Factory Released: August 26, 2008 Matthew Sweet had a good run in the early to mid 90s, releasing three very good albums in a row. Since that time, he’s been erratic at best, including the appropriate but lackluster covers collaboration with Susanna Hoffs. Granted, Sweet’s music has been lite, but his best efforts manage to meld sweet pop… Read more »

Review: Billy Joel – The Stranger (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)

Label: Sony Legacy Released: July 8, 2008 Billy Joel is a top-notch songwriter, but there’s always been something that I just didn’t like. Maybe it’s the showtune quality of many of his songs, maybe it’s that many are geared toward adults, maybe it’s because he often tells the stories of characters I just can’t bring myself to care about. Anyway… Read more »

Review: Cinematic Sunrise – A Coloring Storybook and Long Playing Record

Label: Equal Vision Released: May 13, 2008 The presense of Chiodos’ Craig Owens and Bradley Bell will likely lead listeners to expect that band’s bold and expansive offshoot from hardcore, but nothing could be further from Cinematic Sunrise. This project replaces punch with pop and challenges with safety. While that might not make every Chiodos fan happy, it at least… Read more »

Review: Prints – Just Thoughts

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Label: Temporary Residence Limited Released: August 5, 2008 I hear enough Prince on Just Thoughts to make me wonder if Prints is really a clever play on the Purple One’s name. Either way, the four tracks on this EP show both similarities and key differences between Prints and Prince. Prints does manage to find a similar ability to find solid… Read more »

Review: Pomegranates – Everything Is Alive

Label: Lujo Records Released: May 13, 2008 The liner notes of Everything Is Alive sent me into a wonderful daydream. As the opening drum loop circled through my ears, I read the line, “We experienced the hospitality of strangers letting us spend the night on their couches or their floors.” I was immediately taken to a pleasant picture of the… Read more »

Review: Death Cab for Cutie – Narrow Stairs

Label: Atlantic Released: May 13, 2008 You and I are about to engage in the most intimate act that a critic and a reader can share: the record review. But before the door closes behind us and I lift my shirt to reveal four stars tattooed on my chest, you need to know a secret that will color every word… Read more »

Review: Liam Finn – I’ll Be Lightning

Label: Yep Roc Records Released: August 6, 2007 Liam Finn has a Beatlesque knack for writing great pop songs. Perhaps that comes from his father Neil of Crowded House/Split Enz fame, but Liam walks his own path, making the connection to his father more trivial than musical. The singer-songwriter thing can be pretty limited, but Finn’s generally folky pop has… Read more »