Category Archives: 5

Review: Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) – Year of the Rabbit

Label: Count Your Lucky Stars Released: January 2008 Sometimes there is a very fine line between great and terrible. Great bands stay just on the good side and awful bands may only take a single step over. Queen’s bombast pushed right up to the line and they’re one of rock’s truly great bands. Meat Loaf (or really Jim Steinman) took… Read more »

Review: Ministry and Co-Conspirators – Cover Up

Label: 13th Planet Records Released: April 1, 2008 I’m not much of a Ministry fan. Sure, Land of Rape and Honey was a very good album, particularly for its time, but otherwise they’ve never grabbed me. Nonetheless, when I saw Al (or Alien as he’s listed in the conspiracy-themed liner notes) Jourgensen and friends were releasing an album full of… Read more »

Review: Star Anna – Crooked Paths

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Label: Malamute Records Released: March 4, 2008 Crooked Paths is an album that is seldom just good. Instead, it sometimes struggles just short of good and at other times pushes fantastic. Without question, Star Anna’s voice is wonderful. It’s dynamic and has really good movement that can be both subtle and bold. The problem is she doesn’t let it loose… Read more »

Review: Van Morrison – Keep It Simple

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Label: Lost Highway Released: April 1, 2008 Van Morrison has done some of his best work over the last decade or so. The old curmudgeon has shown that he still knows how to put his entire soul into song, whether he’s making an album that concentrates on folk or soul or even skiffle. That makes Keep It Simple kind of… Read more »

Review: Ivoryline – There Came a Lion

Label: Tooth & Nail Records Released: February 5, 2008 There Came a Lion is an entirely listenable album, but it is almost completely indiscernible from hundreds of other emo records. Sure, it’s well played and the songs are nearly perfect fits for the formula, but Ivoryline is really just a modern Foreigner, flawlessly executing the script and doing nothing to… Read more »

Review: Voodoo Six – Faith

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Label: White Knuckle Records Released: 2007 England’s Voodoo Six prefaced First Hit for Free, due out on March 24th, with this three song EP of their modern hard rock. “Faith” is the teaser’s first and best track. It takes 70s hard rock and filters it through the 90s, largely influenced by Soundgarden’s more mainstream, metally albums. The song isn’t particularly… Read more »

Review: Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings – 100 Days 100 Nights and Angie Stone – The Art of Love and War

Label: Daptone Records Released: October 2, 2007 Label: Concord Released: October 16, 2007 It would seem that the essential component of soul music (old school or new) would be the soul itself, yet that is often just what modern soul and R&B lack. Too often even a good R&B singer has a tough time overcoming assembly line songwriting and synthetic… Read more »

DVD: Yes – Their Definitive Fully Authorized Story

Label: Image Entertainment Released: January 15, 2007 I’m a fan of Yes. I understand that they have serious flaws from Jon Anderson’s esoteric, eastern-philosophy-lite lyrics to their frequent substitution of calculation for emotion, but somehow, they manage to get away with it in my book. Like Yes’ better moments, this DVD often finds itself short on thrills, but long on… Read more »

DVD: Kiss – Kissology Vol 2 1978-1991

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Label: VH1 Classic Records Released: August 14, 2007 I’d be surprised if anyone expected the Kissology installments to get better as they progressed just because the band clearly peaked during the period covered by Vol 1. I didn’t find it odd that Vol 2 didn’t have the thrill of the first one, but I was surprised at what a step… Read more »