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  #4521  
Old 08-22-2012, 07:56 AM
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  #4522  
Old 08-22-2012, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
review[-]by John Bush

Although electronica had its fair share of chillout classics prior to the debut of Air, the lion's share were either stark techno (Warp) or sample-laden trip-hop (Mo' Wax). But while Air had certainly bought records and gear based on the artists that had influenced them, they didn't just regurgitate (or sample) them; they learned from them, digesting their lessons in a way that gave them new paths to follow. They were musicians in a producer's world, and while no one could ever accuse their music of being danceable, it delivered the emotional power of great dance music even while pushing the barriers of what "electronica" could or should sound like. (Never again would Saint Etienne be the only band of a certain age to reveal their fondness for Burt Bacharach.)

The Modulor EP had displayed astonishing powers of mood and texture, but it was Air's full-length debut, Moon Safari, that proved they could also write accessible pop songs like "Sexy Boy" and "Kelly Watch the Stars." But it wasn't all pop. The opener, "La Femme d'Argent," was an otherworldly beginning, with a slinky bassline evoking Serge Gainsbourg's Histoire de Melody Nelson and a slow glide through seven minutes of growing bliss (plus a wonderful keyboard solo).

The vocoderized "Remember" relaunched a wave of robot pop that hadn't been heard in almost 20 years, and the solos for harmonica and French horn on "Ce Matin La" made the Bacharach comparisons direct. Unlike most electronica producers, Air had musical ideas that stretched beyond samplers or keyboards, and Moon Safari found those ideas wrapped up in music that was engaging, warm, and irresistible.
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  #4523  
Old 08-22-2012, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
review by Dean Carlson

With Tales of the Inexpressible, Simon Posford and Raja Ram widened their Eastern-influenced ambient sound to incorporate stronger samples and a wry, complex production psychology. The effect was a lot like the Orb's "Earth (Gaia)" or the work of Future Sound of London recorded with Cydonia's Aki Omori, encouraging dub and cartoon effects to make nests inside a slick environmental vibe. Highlight "A New Way to Say 'Hooray!'" was complicated downtempo without resorting to jazz, and Raja Ram's flute work was everywhere, liquid-like and frequently impressive.
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  #4524  
Old 08-24-2012, 12:33 AM
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  #4525  
Old 08-24-2012, 01:38 AM
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Quote:
review[-]by Jonathan Widran

The legendary British composer will always be most identified with his breakthrough long-play composition "Tubular Bells" and the way it was used to illuminate fear in The Exorcist. The happy truth is that since then he's amassed an incredible catalog of over 20 albums featuring just about every instrumental form but jazz: pop, classical, new age, world music, computer game, film soundtrack, etc.

The title of his 2008 45-minute classical-influenced opus Music of the Spheres is a reference to the prolific and eclectic composer's feeling that all music should aim to represent the spiritual or otherworldly elements of life -- something beyond the mundane and everyday. He accomplishes that via the sheer hypnotic beauty of the gentler passages and the percussive drama of others, both of which characterize the multi-movement opening track, "Harbinger," which lives up to its title as a preview of the overwhelming, ethereal joys to come.

Mike Oldfield is a highly accomplished film composer and it would be easy to imagine gorgeous, sweeping pieces like "Animus" and "Silhouette" behind pastoral romantic scenes, and action-packed, percussively dense expressions like "The Tempest" building some heavy suspense for some nail-biting plot. Completely recorded by an orchestra at Abbey Road studios and featuring Oldfield himself on guitar, Music of the Spheres -- which features guest performances by world-renowned young soprano (and Decca labelmate) Hayley Westenra and classical piano phenom Lang Lang -- is huge in scope yet at heart simple and emotionally direct on a purely melodic level. While the piece was entirely conceived, produced, and written by Oldfield, he turned to popular modern classical composer Karl Jenkins to translate his ideas into traditional classical notations arranged for orchestra -- a great departure from the artist's usual array of studio-only wizardry.

Jenkins, who once played oboe on a live BBC recording of "Tubular Bells" in 1975, gets a co-production credit, and with good reason. Oldfield scored his music via a computer program called Logic, while Jenkins used Sibelius to create the musical notation. Oldfield recorded an elaborate demo using orchestral samples, then handed it over so that Jenkins could add the human touch by re-recording it by an orchestra of classical musicians. It's a rich, heartfelt collaboration that breaks new ground for both men. Oldfield had no trouble declaring that he was almost moved to tears while listening to Music of the Spheres come alive at Abbey Road. It's a primitive spiritual and emotional response that every listener would later relate to.
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  #4526  
Old 08-24-2012, 09:25 AM
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  #4527  
Old 08-24-2012, 01:24 PM
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Million $ Reload - A Sinners Saint! - 2012



Pretty good up straight rock n roll record. A reviewer on amazon likens these guys to guns n roses and buckcherry, but I'm not sure that's totally on target. Hard to identify who they sound like.
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  #4528  
Old 08-24-2012, 01:27 PM
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Fastway - Eat Dog Eat - 2012



This one kind of came out of nowhere. Toby Jepson from Little Angels fame is on the mic, and although there's no Say What You Will type hooks, it's still a pretty solid effort.
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  #4529  
Old 08-24-2012, 01:33 PM
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Delain - We Are The Others - 2012 - Special Edition



I saw this one coming for quite awhile so got a chance to go back and revisit April Rain in a totally undistracted session and was blown away. I think the couple of cookie monster vocal songs was why I hadn't paid more attention to it. But where that one had a great mix and Charlotte Wessels stood out, this one seems much more ham fisted, and she has a hard time standing out.

Four bonus tracks are live, and not particularly essential (at least for me).
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  #4530  
Old 08-24-2012, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kp-j3 View Post
Delain - We Are The Others - 2012 - Special Edition



I saw this one coming for quite awhile so got a chance to go back and revisit April Rain in a totally undistracted session and was blown away. I think the couple of cookie monster vocal songs was why I hadn't paid more attention to it. But where that one had a great mix and Charlotte Wessels stood out, this one seems much more ham fisted, and she has a hard time standing out.

Four bonus tracks are live, and not particularly essential (at least for me).
Will have to check that out.

But for now :
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  #4531  
Old 08-24-2012, 08:38 PM
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Blondie - Parallel Lines (1978)

My rating: 5/5



From allmusic.com

Quote:
Blondie turned to British pop producer Mike Chapman for their third album, on which they abandoned any pretensions to new wave legitimacy (just in time, given the decline of the new wave) and emerged as a pure pop band. But it wasn't just Chapman that made Parallel Lines Blondie's best album; it was the band's own songwriting, including Deborah Harry, Chris Stein, and James Destri's "Picture This," and Harry and Stein's "Heart of Glass," and Harry and new bass player Nigel Harrison's "One Way or Another," plus two contributions from nonbandmember Jack Lee, "Will Anything Happen?" and "Hanging on the Telephone." That was enough to give Blondie a number one on both sides of the Atlantic with "Heart of Glass" and three more U.K. hits, but what impresses is the album's depth and consistency -- album tracks like "Fade Away and Radiate" and "Just Go Away" are as impressive as the songs pulled for singles. The result is state-of-the-art pop/rock circa 1978, with Harry's tough-girl glamour setting the pattern that would be exploited over the next decade by a host of successors led by Madonna.
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  #4532  
Old 08-24-2012, 09:27 PM
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  #4533  
Old 08-25-2012, 03:18 PM
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  #4534  
Old 08-28-2012, 03:58 PM
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  #4535  
Old 08-29-2012, 09:31 AM
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Best Led Zeppelin cover ever


Hell Yeah!!!
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  #4536  
Old 08-29-2012, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musichound View Post
Best Led Zeppelin cover ever

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rN8pB-Og9SQ

Hell Yeah!!!
I was on board until Labrie started singing....that ruined it for me. Instrumentally, it really is excellent though....I wish YouTube had a karaoke mode! lol

One of my favorite live songs of theirs...
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  #4537  
Old 08-29-2012, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin the Martian View Post
I was on board until Labrie started singing....that ruined it for me. Instrumentally, it really is excellent though....I wish YouTube had a karaoke mode! lol
Agreed, I think Labrie "killed" it on a different level, LOL. If Robert Plant's voice could be superimposed, it would be perfect.

EDIT: Yeah, Led Zeppelin live is fantastic. They're my all time favorite band.
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Last edited by musichound; 08-29-2012 at 10:01 AM.
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  #4538  
Old 08-31-2012, 03:32 AM
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  #4539  
Old 08-31-2012, 03:04 PM
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Slash - Apocalyptic Love - 2012 - Deluxe Edition



Pretty damn good album. There's only a couple of iffy spots, one a song with a pseudo neoclassical intro and break that doesn't really fit, and the production level is a little uneven. Still like it a lot though. Picking a single vocalist really ties things together compared with the 2010 effort.

Deluxe version adds two songs and a making of DVD (unwatched).
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  #4540  
Old 08-31-2012, 03:11 PM
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Jorn - Bring Heavy Rock To The Land - 2012



Kind of a below average Jorn album compared to some of the others. There's some heavy cheese in some of the lyrics, and the Christopher Cross - Ride Like The Wind cover had already had the metal treatment before. Still a below average Jorn album is better than a hell of a lot of other stuff out there.
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