Average Rating: 3.39
Rating Variance: 0.77
Objectivity Score: 83% (Well Balanced)
Sort by: Rating | Release Date | Rating Date | Name5.0 classicBATS Red In Tooth and ClawButch Walker LettersButch Walker Sycamore MeadowsBlood On The Tracks. Jagged Little Pill. Sea Change. Iconic break-up records all, but they’re all just a little bit gloomy. Sycamore Meadows isn’t all about a break-up- in fact it’s not so clear there was a full-blown break-up at all- but it’s a record that hits on the full range of emotions that accompany a great loss. Highlight ‘Here Comes The...’ is Walker’s most moving and emotionally vulnerable composition to date, flawlessly evoking the fear and isolation of a relationship going wrong, while ‘Vessels’ takes a more whimsical approach, recalling the exciting “having sex on the hoods of cars” stage of a relationship. The glammy, horn-filled ‘Ponce De Leon Ave’ celebrates the letting loose period after the fact, ‘The Weight Of Her’ channels Elvis Costello in its righteous dismissal of petty post-relationship politics, while tracks like 'Going Back/Going Home' and closer 'ATL' explore the concept of “home” through the eyes of somebody who knows what it’s like to be unexpectedly homeless.Danny Elfman The Nightmare Before ChristmasElvis Presley The Sun SessionsElvis Presley Elvis PresleyWhile Elvis Presley's RCA debut could never dare capture the spontaneity and magic of the legendary Sun Sessions, it was certainly a brave effort.
Recorded with Nashville's own guitar picking legend Chet Atkins at the helm, Elvis Presley was the single most important record in changing the way popular music was made. He may not have written his own songs, but he might as well have; like no pop artist before him, Elvis effectively self-produced, choosing how the songs were arranged and which takes were to be used.
The album opens with the stormy classic 'Blue Suede Shoes', before taking in Little Richard's 'Tutti Frutti' and Ray Charles 'I Got A Woman' and five cuts from the Sun Sessions, including the breath-taking 'Tryin' To Get To You', but the album lives for Elvis' underdeveloped but still captivating voice, his extensive, smooth range handling anything from slow croon to blues holler, often in the same song.Elvis Presley From Elvis In MemphisAs the '60s drew to a close, one could have forgiven Elvis for writing off the entire decade. Seven years of bad movies, bad movie soundtracks and zero live performances had made the star plenty of money, but left him completely alienated from his fans.
In 1969, that changed- Elvis recorded in Memphis for the first time since 1955, working with producer Chips Moman at his American Sound Studio. AS had a sound that resembled the rival stax studio but with a more commercial polish, and in recent years had produced classic albums from Aretha Franklin and Dusty Springfield, but arguably its greatest achievement was yet to come.
From Elvis in Memphis is a cool blend of rock, pop, soul, blues, gospel and country, with material ranging from country standards with a gospel (I'll Hold You') or funk ('I'm Movin' On') twist to straight covers elevated by Elvis' best ever vocal performance, particularly Jerry Butler's 'Only the Strong Survive'. EPMD Strictly BusinessGuns N' Roses Appetite for DestructionJeff Buckley GraceJustin Timberlake FutureSex/LoveSoundsIt had to happen, didn't it? With FutureSex/LoveSounds, JT's reached a stage in his career few others have reached in recent year; neither of his solo albums have come close to realising his massive potential, yet he's getting love spanning the length of the culture divide nonetheless. The highly publicised Rick Rubin collaboration turned out to be a damp squib, the Jackson-esque '(Another Song) All Over Again' limping across the finishing line, but the majority, produced by Timbaland and prot? Danjahandz, is a triumph.
'SexyBack' is charming, despite being the sonic equivalent of being beaten in the face with a mallet, while follow-up singles 'My Love' and 'What Goes Around' demonstrate his keen fusion of Prince's natural falsetto with Jacko's ear for a honeysuckle melody. FutureSex/LoveSounds is either 100% derivative or just 99%, but he's ripping off his heroes better than anyone else right now, and that's all that really matters.Manic Street Preachers The Holy BibleWhat do you get when you put a bunch of political glam-punks in a cheap, rundown studio with a bunch of Wire and Magazine records and a library of troubled authors? If you said The Holy Bible, you're part of a very exclusive club. The Holy Bible is pseudo-musician self-abusive anorexic junkie alcoholic genius Richey James Edwards' album, from start to finish. He neither composed nor played a single note on the album, but he wrote the album in every true sense. NME called it a "vile record". And they were right. It's twisted, aching, tortured and very very sick triumph of perversity. Overlook it at your peril.Marxman 33 Revolutions Per MinuteMotley Crue Shout at the DevilThe terms "hair metal" and "classic" are a dubious pairing at the best of times; for a genre where a band's image was often more immediately influential than its music, few classics actually stick out. In Shout At The Devil, Motley Crue created an album that not only brought back the tough glam image, it also shaped the way heavy metal was played for the next decade and beyond.
Complete with three hit MTV singles ('Looks That Kill' 'Too Young To Fall In Love' and the title track), a raucous Beatles cover ('Helter Skelter'), as well as the token anti-police anthem, 'Knock 'Em Dead Kid' and much more, the album combined the punk intensity of their debut with traditional sunset strip and NWOBHM sounds to create a true heavy metal masterpiece.Our Lady Peace NaveedSam Cooke Portrait Of A Legend 1951-1964Simon and Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled WaterSinead O'Connor The Lion And The CobraThe Beatles Rubber SoulThe Smiths Hatful of Hollow4.5 superbAdebisi Shank This is the AlbumIts critics might argue that math rock is arty music for serious people, but Irish three-piece Adebisi shank make a pretty good case for brining instrumental rock back onto the dancefloor. This Is The Album.., the group’s first full-length effort, exudes a rigid, robotic quality, the sort that seemed to be in vogue among indie rock/dance crossover acts a couple years back and became law at James Murphy’s DFA Records, i.e. “robotic” in sense of the silly dance that everybody tries to do badly. As an album, it’s reassuringly retro: guitarist Lar Kaye is a virtuoso, pulling his tricks as liberally from the shred guitar cannon as the experimental hardcore playbook, while kitschy electronic bleeps come courtesy of bassist Vinny McCreith (a.k.a. The Vinny Club). It lasts just 23 minutes, but This Is The Album... might just be the party record of 2009, but it’s among the most thrilling 23 minutes in music this year.AFI Sing the SorrowAnd So I Watch You From Afar And So I Watch You From AfarAs Fast As Open Letter To The DamnedAs Fast As' major label debut sees the band improve upon their genre-shifting indie records with slicker production and stronger songwriting. Instantly familiar yet rarely imitative, Open Letter to the Damned is succinct with barely a hint of filler.
Pop tunes through a hard rock prism is what As Fast As excel at; of the eleven, seven are born for radio, instantly likeable but not disposable, including traditional pop numbers like single 'Florida Sunshine' and the Elvis Costello tribute 'Blame it on the Drugs' to the soul-infused 'This Time' and the McCartney-esque 'If I Only Knew'.
Singer Spencer Albee's tone and melodic sense, clearly indebted to McCartney and Stevie Wonder, has led more than one online commentator to proclaim him "the next Robyn Hitchcock". He's perfectly complimented by guitarist Zach Jones, who trades off finger-burning guitar solos with surf harmonies, 'meat and potatoes' bassist Hache and jazzy drummer Andrew Hodgkins.Aslan The Platinum CollectionBig Boi Sir Lucious Left FootBlondie Parallel LinesBritney Spears CircusButch Walker Left of Self-CenteredButch Walker This Is Me... Justified And StrippedCircle Takes the Square As the Roots UndoConverge Axe to FallDaft Punk DiscoveryDamien Dempsey Seize The DayDamien Dempsey To Hell Or BarbadosCritically exalted in his native Ireland, Damien Dempsey's notoriety has only recently spread beyond the far-flung Irish diaspora. To Hell Or Barbados, his most accomplished effort to date, blends his twin loves of gutsy Irish folk, descended from the likes of Christy Moore and Luke Kelly, and the reggae of Bob Marley, while forays into hip hop ('Serious') and electronic ('The City') are just as well executed. Built like a boxer, Dempsey's most impressive feature is his booming voice, a thick Dublin accent he can deliver with as much delicate grace as brute physical force. Highlights include opener 'Maasai,' paying homage to the proud African tribe of the same name, and the title track. Patriotism plays a strong role in all of Dempsey's songwriting, and 'To Hell Or Barbados' is a history lesson in itself, d0cumenting the forgotten slaves of the West Indies, the vanquished Irish during the brief reign of Oliver Cromwell.Dead Boys Young, Loud, & SnottyDewey Cox Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox StoryDon McLean American PieDusty Springfield Dusty in MemphisElvis Costello This Year's ModelEminem The Marshall Mathers LPGilby Clarke 99 LiveGoo Goo Dolls Dizzy Up The GirlHalf Man Half Biscuit Back Again In The DHSSHanoi Rocks Two Steps From The MoveCruel circumstances and ill-desire to truly innovative meant Hanoi Rocks could never reach the same level of glam godness currently (and often falsely) bestowed on the likes of Bowie and Bolan, yet they were one of the defining influences for much of the sleazy glam rock to emerge from the Sunset Strip in the mid-80s, from Poison to Guns N’ Roses. The Anglo-Finnish foursome re-married the glam punk of New York Dolls and Dead Boys with its roots in Bowie and Mott The Hoople, with singer Mike Monroe's sax an interesting addition.
Two Steps From The Move was both their making and their swansong, the album certain to propel them to stardom narrowly preceded the death of drummer Razzle Dingley from which they never recovered. It’s their most accessible album, with the hit singles 'Don't You Ever Leave Me' and 'Million Miles Away' produced and arranged by studio dynamo Bob Ezrin; tracks like 'High School' and 'Futurama' check their punk origins.Izzy Stradlin 117 DegreesIzzy Stradlin On Down The RoadJellyfish Spilt MilkJoe Jackson Look Sharp!LL Cool J Mama Said Knock You OutMarvelous 3 Hey! AlbumMaximo Park Our Earthly PleasuresMessiah J & The Expert Now This I Have To HearAs relative upstarts and leaders of the minute Irish hip hop scene, MC Messiah J and producer The Expert probably know a few things about making "Something Outta Nothing," and that's what they named the lead single from their second album Now This I Have To Hear. The album is sonically comparable to Gnarls Barkley's ground-breaking debut, in that it blends indie rock and hip hop in a way that's instantly familiar but completely unique but, unlike Cee-Lo, MJ is 100% an MC and doesn't even attempt to sing (take note, Kanye).
Guests are few but impeccably chosen: the single features unknown soul diva Leda Egri, 'When The Bull Gores The Matador' couldn't be more appropriately titled as New York freestyle giant C-Rayz Walz steamrollers the track with a hair-raising guest rap, while 'No Bagsies, No Keepsies' benefits immensely from the cherubic tones of folk-pop songstress Nina Hynes. It's not often that the phrases "true innovation" and "pop" can uttered in the same sentence; when they are, make sure to take notice.Messiah J & The Expert From The Word GoMany white people might not be fully comfortable with the idea of unashamedly fun and upbeat rap music, but Irish rap duo Messiah J and the Expert step up the game on both the lyrical front and the dancefloor with their third album, From The Word Go. ‘Jean Is Planning An Escape’ examines the complexity of an abusive relationship above a furious four-to-the-floor beat, while pulsating opener ‘Year Of The Genie’ sheds light on the absurdity of election season, with all its slick hair and empty promises. On the flipside, ‘Turn The Magic On’ (featuring Leda Egri) touches on the telepathic relationship shared by old friends, while ‘Geography’ (featuring a chorus from indie band Delorentos) laments the hardship of long-distance friendship. Messiah J’s rhymes have been tightened significantly, to the extent that it’s advisable to hang on his every word, while the Expert’s musical base has expanded, making for a more diverse but no less distinctive album.Michael Jackson Off the WallMotley Crue Too Fast for LoveNeil Young After the Gold RushNew York Dolls New York DollsOasis (What's the Story) Morning Glory?Oasis Definitely MaybeOur Lady Peace Happiness...Paul Westerberg Suicaine GratificationPrince 1999Prince Sign o' the TimesR.S.A.G. Organic SamplerRaine Maida Love Hope HeroRaine Maida The Hunters LullabyRaine Maida's The Hunters Lullaby (no apostrophe) expands upon the blueprint set by his debut EP Love Hope Hero late last year. Simplicity is the Our Lady Peace frontman's key aim here, removing many of the obstacles rock music traditionally puts between vocalist and listener and instead using sparse instrumentation (guitar, piano, hand drums) to subtly supplement his half-sung, half-slam poetry confessional. He broaches issues both political and personal (and often both wound together) directly and frankly, picking his words carefully and delivering them with just as much precision. For highlights, check pessimistic/optimistic closer 'One Second Chance' and the haunting 'Earthless,' or anything else from this unusually consistent first effort.Republic of Loose Aaagh!Rufus Wainwright Want TwoSinead O'Connor Throw Down Your ArmsSuper Extra Bonus Party Super Extra Bonus PartyThe Beach Boys Pet SoundsThe Beatles RevolverThe Beatles A Hard Day's NightThe Clash The Clash (US version)The Pogues If I Should Fall from Grace with GodThe Pogues Rum Sodomy & the LashThe Replacements Let It BeThe Rolling Stones Sticky FingersThe Smiths The Queen Is DeadHatful of Hollow will forever be my favourite Smiths record, yet I always turn to The Queen Is Dead when I want a quick fix of everything I love about Morrissey and the Smiths.
Clocking in at just 37 minutes, it's short but utterly devoid of superfluous material. While Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke are no doubt talented, the genius of Morrissey and Marr is what really shines throughout and the interplay between the competing egos on 'The Queen Is Dead' and the quite stunning 'There Is A Light...' rivals even 'This Charming Man'.
Morrissey would never again be so creative, so witty and so effortlessly brilliant on tracks like the tirade against the insincere 'Frankly, Mr. Shankly' and the mind-boggling romanticisation of suicide 'There Is A Light...', while into his less melodicaly striking performances (Vicar In A Tutu), Johnny Marr fills the gap with alternating instrumental hooks.The Strokes Is This ItThe Wildhearts Earth vs. The WildheartsTherapy? TroublegumTom Waits Closing TimeYngve Tell Men This4.0 excellent1969 Maya2Pac Greatest HitsAce Hood RuthlessAdebisi Shank This is the Second AlbumAfter the full-on assault of their first album, it was inevitable that the Second Album of a Band Called Adebisi Shank should see the Irish instrumental rockers take the tempo down a notch. Clearly inspired by their travels in Japan over the past couple of years, Adebisi Shank have added greater depth and subtlety to their sound, a trait immediately apparent in ebullient opener ‘International Dreambeat’ and the carnival-like atmosphere of ‘Masa’ and ‘Genki Shank.’ The (almost) mindless noodling that made the First Album such a thrilling listen remains, but overall the Second Album is a more melodic and ultimately more balanced album.AFI The Art of DrowningAFI Crash LoveAgainst Me! Reinventing Axl RoseAlanis Morissette Jagged Little PillAmy Winehouse Back to BlackAntony and the Johnsons I Am A Bird NowApocalyptica Worlds CollideArctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, That's What...Ash Free All AngelsAztec Camera High Land, Hard RainBackstreet Boys UnbreakableBATS Cruel Sea ScientistBell X1 FlockBetter known as the band Damien Rice left at the proverbial altar seven years ago, Bell X1 have finally hit their stride with their third and most accomplished full-length, Flocks. Shedding the moroseness and overt Radiohead-ness of their previous efforts, and the last of their links with Rice's compositions, the group have embraced some of the popular post-punk sound of Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party as well as Coldplay to produce one of the more lively and well-crafted pop-rock releases of the year.
Lead single 'Flame' was a hit on the strength of its football-terrace chorus, while the more thoughtful 'Rocky Takes A Lover' became so popular on the basis of a single radio performance that the group decided to release it nationally. With a string of sold-out concerts across the UK this year, Bell X1 are ready to take on the world once again, this time without the need to ride on the coat-tails of their one-time bandmate.Bon Jovi Slippery When WetBone Thugs-N-Harmony Strength And LoyaltyBrendan Benson LapalcoBrian Setzer Orchestra Boogie Woogie ChristmasBritney Spears Greatest Hits: My PrerogativeBritney Spears BlackoutBuckcherry FifteenUnless youďż˝ve been living on another planet or listening to good radio stations this summer, you're unlikely to have escaped the pull of this year's least expected hits: Buckcherry's foul-mouthed single 'Crazy Bitch', a surprise hit which completes a miraculous transition for a band that couldn't pay a label to release their album stateside just a year ago.
'Crazy Bitch', a dirty, wet rocker which evokes sleaze-era Aerosmith, draws parallels to 'Lit Up', but it's in fact one of the album's weaker tracks. The rest of the album shows a renewed vitality for a group that's 3/5 new, and is the first sign that the band could actually justify the "heavy metal Black Crowes" tag that was pinned on them years ago.
Opener 'So Far' and 'Onset' are the best of the rockers, with Josh Todd's throat-mangling Axl-isms and Keith Nelsons bluesy leads, while the tender moments of 'Carousel' and 'Sorry' are more sincere and well-written than Todd has managed to date.Bullets And Octane Song For The UnderdogButch Walker Leavin' the Game on Luckie StreetCast Of Cheers ChariotChain Collector The MasqueradeColdplay ParachutesColdplay The Blue RoomDaft Punk Alive 2007Damien Dempsey The Rocky RoadDamien Rice ODanny Elfman Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryDark Room Notes Dead Start ProgramDarren Hanlon I Will Love You At AllDragonForce Inhuman RampageDuke Special Adventures In GramophoneDuran Duran RioEagles EaglesElvis Costello My Aim Is TrueElvis Presley ElvisEric B and Rakim Paid in FullEverybody Else Everybody ElseFall Out Boy Infinity on HighFight Like Apes David Carradine Is A Bounty Hunter...Flo Rida R.O.O.T.S.Foxboro Hot Tubs Stop Drop and Roll!!!Frank Turner Rock & RollThe release of Frank Turner’s Rock & Roll EP in December caught us a little unawares – though, given his solid album-a-year track record, it probably shouldn’t have done. Essentially, Rock & Roll is an appendix to 2009’s full-length Poetry of the Deed, carrying on the full-band folk rock sound developed on that record. Lead single ‘I Still Believe’ is a slightly cheesy toast to the power of rock & roll to invigorate the spirit (hence the title), but as a rhetorical device it’s hard to find fault with the instantly memorable “hear ye” refrain. There’s a hint of the Decemberists to the epic ‘Pass It Along,’ though is driving rocker ‘To Absent Friends,’ a rather self-explanatory tribute to friends who’ve packed up for greener pastures.Franz Ferdinand Franz FerdinandGilby Clarke Pawnshop GuitarsGnarls Barkley St. ElsewhereGnarls Barkley kinda came out of nowhere, didn't they? I'm generally pretty much allergic to hype, especially indie hype, so I didn't exactly approach this duo with an open mind. And, sure enough, I heard 'Crazy' a dozen times a day in various media and, feeling thoroughly self-satisfied with another prejucide well-founded, I found myself accidentally loving the damn thing.
Soon, I was completely enamoured with Cee-Lo's impossibly high-pitched picture of soul and the "oh god, why didn't I think of that" indie rock-based instrumental tracks Danger Mouse was laying down as if such a mix of styles was commonplace. 'Crazy' may be one of the best singles of this century, 'Gone Daddy Gone' one-ups the Violent Femmes and 'The Boogie Monster' captures a child's fear of the irrational and imaginary to perfection. Some albums are just classics, and St. Elsewhere is already assured of that status.Gogol Bordello Super TarantaGrand Pocket Orchestra Odd Socks EPGreen Day American IdiotWith American Idiot, Green Day have added their name to a very short list of pop artists who've had the balls to attempt, and actually succeed, in writing a genuinely engaging concept record- and the music isn't bad either.
The story of St. Jimmy isn't particularly elaborate or original- and is confusingly cut up by thinly veiled political taunts- but its simplicity is part of its charm. Mostly, Green Day play up to the typical suburbanite underclass- troubled pot-smoking teens with eyeliner- but the music is pure pop from a punk perspective.
'American Idiot' and 'Holiday' may represent the least subtle form of propaganda since Mussolini died, but Billie Joe's keen sense of melody and memorable lyrics could make them highlights of any pop calendar, while the nine-minute (I won't say 'epic') epic (sorry) 'Jesus of Suburbia' offers more of the same in five distinct but wonderfully assembled movements.
Elsewhere, 'Whatsername' and 'St. Jimmy' stand up to anything in the Green Day catalogue- just don't mention the word 'punk.'Guns N' Roses Use Your Illusion IIGuns N' Roses Chinese DemocracyThere was a fear- oh, about six or seven years ago now- that Chinese Democracy, were it ever to actually see the light of day, would turn out to be nothing but an album full of metaphors involving countries and proud ancient races: 'The Blues' (re-printed here as 'Street Of Dreams') the only respite from your Madagscars, your Chinese Democracies, yer Riads and, naturally, your Bedouins. Yet while Axl remains hopelessly self-absorbed, he has never been noted for his lyrical prowess, and Chinese Democracy was always going to be judged on one thing and one thing alone: the solos. Buckethead is Buckethead- though his best contribution is probably the acoustic ambience that underpins 'Sorry'- but the real star here is Robin Finck, whose impossibly wide bends on 'There Was A Time''s extended outro are easily the match of Slash's classic air raid siren on 'November Rain.' There are a couple of duds-'This I Love' could be a bizarre parody of the song from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, while 'Scraped' sounds like something Perry Farrell would scare his kids with- but even at 70 minutes it's easily more consistent than either of the Illusions. And, dare I say it, more focused as well?Hank Williams III Damn Right, Rebel ProudHardcore Superstar It's Only Rock'n'RollHave a Nice Life DeathconsciousnessHilltop Hoods The CallingHinder Take It to the LimitHouse of Pain House of PainIzzy Stradlin RiverIzzy Stradlin Izzy Stradlin & The Ju Ju HoundsJane's Addiction Nothing's ShockingJane's Addiction Ritual De Lo HabitualJason Mraz Mr. A-ZJoe Strummer and The Mescaleros StreetcoreJustice CrossKaizers Orchestra Ompa Til Du DorKaizers Orchestra MaskineriKanye West 808s and HeartbreakKelly Clarkson BreakawayKill For Thrills Dynamite From NightmarelandLCD Soundsystem Sound of SilverLess Than Jake GNV FLALocksley Be In LoveLupe Fiasco Food & LiquorAlmost three years in the making, Lupe Fiasco's debut CD was one of this year's most strongly hyped CDs. Bolstered by his guest spot on fellow Chicagoan Kanye West's 'Touch The Sky,' Food & Liquor features guest spots from Pharrell and Jay-Z, while both Pharrell and West offer production on single 'Kick, Push' and album track 'The Cool' respectively.
Though closely aligned with the broad Chicago sound, Fiasco modelled the album after Nas' classic It Was Written, creating a mood that's positive and thoughtful, if not preachy. Jigga's guest rap is disappointing, and Lupe fails to take advantage of 'Daydreamin''s classic choral sample, but the vast majority of Food & Liquor is both intellectually and dancefloor-ally challenging- and, hey, it's been a while since we white people have had a popular rapper we can identify with.Manic Street Preachers Send Away The TigersUpon its release, Send Away The Tigers marked a turn for long-suffering Manics fans- finally a release that captured the spirit of the great early recordings without sounding forced or contrived. Six months down the line, it sounds as fresh as ever, from the chunky rockabilly shuffle of anti-war anthem 'Imperial Bodybags' and the suggestive, Slash-like licks of single 'Autumnsong.' Opener 'Send Away The Tigers' reignites the group's long-held infatuation with layering morbid literary references inside superficially benign pop songs, while 'Indian Summer' and 'Winterlovers' recall the best of the flawed post-Richey James hangover Everything Must Go. Freely-distributed before the albumďż˝s release, 'Underdogs' pays tribute to the proud misfits and outcasts who make up the groupďż˝s fanatically loyal fanbase, and lead single 'Your Love Alone Is Not Enough' sees frontman James Dean Bradfield bounce jubilant pop melodies off Cardigans frontman Nina Persson to no small effect. The most impressive aspect of Send Away The Tigers is that it feels as if it means something, and does so naturally, a stark contrast to the forced relevance of Know Your Enemy and electro-pop disaster Lifeblood.Marc Cohn Marc CohnMark Ronson VersionMaroon 5 Songs About JaneMarvelous 3 Hey! Album (indie)Matchbox Twenty Mad SeasonMatt Molloy Shadows On StoneMelodica Deathship Doom Your Cities, Doom Your TownMessiah J & The Expert ...And Another ThingMetallica Ride the LightningMisfits American PsychoMisfits Earth A.D./Wolf's BloodMisfits Walk Among UsMisfits Static AgeMorrissey Vauxhall and IMotley Crue Generation SwineNas IllmaticNeil Young HarvestNeurotic Outsiders Neurotic OutsidersNile Black Seeds of VengeanceOur Lady Peace Healthy In Paranoid TimesPaddy Casey Amen (So Be It)Porcupine Tree In AbsentiaPrimordial To the Nameless DeadPrince Purple RainPromise Of Redemption When The Flowers Bloom...Pulp Different ClassRefused The Shape of Punk to ComeRufus Wainwright Want OneRufus Wainwright Release The StarsSinead O'Connor I Do Not Want What I Haven't GotSixx:A.M. Heroin Diaries SoundtrackIt all began with a diary that even its author had forgotten about. Written at the apex of his drug-addicted hell, Nikki Sixx's Heroin Diaries begins with its anti-hero at his lowest ebb, and charts his recovery-ish with brutal honesty and no little amount of dignity. Interspersed with surprisingly eloquent readings from the text, The Heroin Diaries soundtrack is a collection of thirteen radio-primed rock singles, a near-perfect cohesion of Sixx's perfect pop smarts and nose for a classic melody. He's helped by renowned producer/guitarists DJ Ashba and James Michael, the latter adding flawless and understated vocals to his extensive songwriting credits. If 'Dead Man's Ballet' and 'Van Nuys' recall the theatricality of Meat Loaf, singles 'Life Is Beautiful' and 'Accidents May Happen' soar with the weight and genuine intensity befitting the best effort in a decade by three of pop rock's underappreciated geniuses.Skid Row Skid RowSkid Row Slave to the GrindSlash's Snakepit Ain't Life GrandSlint SpiderlandSlough Feg HardworlderSnoop Dogg DoggystyleStone Temple Pilots CoreThough not their best or most consistent effort- Purple deserves that honour- Core can rightly be called Stone Temple Pilot's greatest album. The album boasts three '90s classics in 'Sex Type Thing,' 'Creep' and 'Plush,' and while the band could never be accused of unrestrained originality, Scott Weiland ranks among the decade's most consistent melodicians. Weiland was never fully comfortable plugging the expanse between the DeLeo brothers' Sabbath-inspired riffs- though 'Wicked Garden' and opener 'Dead & Bloated' might beg to differ- but he's in his element here, demonstrating his versatility through the multi-tempoed 'Sex Type Thing' and 'Crackerman' and his expert melodic craftwork with 'Creep' and 'Plush.'System of a Down MezmerizeSystem of a Down HypnotizeT. Rex Electric WarriorThe Beatles Please Please MeThe Black Crowes Shake Your Money MakerThe Bronx The Bronx (II)The Cars The CarsThe Chieftains Long Black VeilThe Clash The ClashThe Damned Damned Damned DamnedThe Exies InertiaThe Housemartins Now That's What I Call Quite GoodThe Infomatics Kill Or CreateThe Killers Sam's TownThe Killers second album Sam's Town follows almost three years after their smash debut Hot Fuss, which was devoid of all subtlety but gave the first indication in living memory that Americans were capable of using synths responsibly.
Speaking of synthesiser abuse, Brandon Flowers credits Bruce Springsteen as his biggest influence in the writing of Sam's Town, muttering something that resembled "he made us all believe again." If Hot Fuss was a celebration of the the British contribution to the '80s (Morrissey, Duran Duran, New Order), Sam's Town turns the table on the Americans.
The lyrics may as well be taken from the Springsteen Guide To Meaningless Fucking Metaphors, while the music takes in everything from After The Golrush to Lou Reed and U2 (America can have Bono, we don't like him.) The defining factor that works for Sam's Town is that while Hot Fuss was inconsistent and, to an extent, disposable, on Sam's Town Flowers concentrates on strong, even songwriting. And the shoe fits.The Mighty Stef Death Threats EPThe Mighty Stef 100 MidnightsThe Prodigy The Fat of the LandThe Replacements TimThe Replacements Pleased To Meet MeThe Stooges Raw PowerThe Swell Season Once: Music From The Motion PictureThe Verve Urban HymnsThe Weeknd House of BalloonsThe Wildhearts P.H.U.Q.Tidal District Hold The Party Line EPTom Waits SwordfishtrombonesVal Emmich Slow Down KidWu-Tang Clan Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)3.5 greatAdam Lambert For Your EntertainmentAFI All Hallow'sAgainst Me! White CrossesAkon Konvicted (Deluxe Edition)American Hi-Fi Hearts On ParadeArctic Monkeys Favourite Worst NightmareAsh Intergalactic Sonic 7sAugust Burns Red ConstellationsAvril Lavigne The Best Damn ThingBlur BlurBlur The Best OfBrian Setzer Orchestra The Dirty BoogieBrides Of Destruction Here Come The BridesButch Walker Heartwork EPButch Walker The Rise and Fall of Butch Walker...Butch Walker's never been one to evoke a luke-warm reaction- his steadily evolving musical style is about as offensive as pop music can be, and that's not about to change with the release of this semi-concept album, an attempt to stylistically and thematically tread the same ground as David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust did over 30 years earlier- the perils of rock n' roll stardom and the non-redemption through indulgence.
Through T. Rex/Bowie aping numbers like 'Hot Girls in Good Moods' to countrified rockers like 'When Canyons Ruled the City', The Rise and Fall... is a record that flows smoothly, only occasionally dropping in quality on the flip side of the record. The choice takes from the album are lead single 'Bethamphetamine', a glammy Lou Reed-type number which reverses the classic riff from Sinead O'Connor's 'Mandinka,' the haunting Broadway-style ballad 'Dominoes' and the Bowie-esque 'Taste Of Red.'Butch Walker Here Comes The... EPChristina Aguilera Christina AguileraChristina Aguilera Back to BasicsWhat sets Christina Aguilera apart from her girl-pop peers, apart from obvious ability, is her Madonna-like desire to actually be set apart.
She's no more self-absorbed than anyone else in her business, but Back to Basics literally screams "look at me". With good reason- Back to Basics is a damn fine album, combining classic Christina- over the top singing and the odd great song too- with stranger elements- Moulin Rouge-style nods to vaudeville and rap genius DJ Premier.
Premier's addition is a masterstroke- his beats roll perfectly with Aguilera's howls- but even finer comes from Linda Perry. Back to Basics isn't quite the pre-war jazz trip it's been sold as but there's plenty of nostalgia on offer: 'Welcome' and 'Candyman' may be the two best Christina songs ever, but even average fare like 'Mercy on Me' could pass for genius as Christina hits top form.
It's the prevalence of average fare that falls well short that hurts this album.Chuck Ragan Feast or FamineChuck Ragan's debut studio record is about as far removed from his work with melodic hardcore icons Hot Water Music as one could reasonably imagine yet, lined up alongside one another, the successive records make perfect sense. While not the most pleasant or technically proficient singer about, Ragan's gravelly vocals are well-suited to Feast Or Famine's evocative brand of folk-blues, while his keen sense of melody and clever arrangements (courtesy of Flogging Molly producer Ted Hutt) prevent it from becoming just another acoustic punk record. Expect to hear numerous references, musical and lyrical, to early Dylan ('California Burritos,' 'For Broken Ears') and post-war country ('Geraldine,' 'Do You Pray') and an unusually rounded effort for an artist's first shot outside his chosen genre.Coldplay A Rush of Blood to the HeadColdplay X & YDanny Elfman The Corpse BrideDel tha Funkee Homosapien Funk Man (The Stimulus Package)Director We Thrive On Big CitiesDuke Special Songs From The Deep ForestWho is Duke Special, you might ask. You'd be well justified in asking, he's achieved little more than minor success in Europe, but already he's built an impressive number of admirers within the industry, including Rufus Wainwright, Beautiful South mainman Paul Heaton and Jack White. Fronting what he describes as the "hobo chic" image, Peter Wilson is a Belfast-based singer-songwriter who's compared in a good light to Elliott Smith and the aforementioned Wainwright, to the latter both in his distinctive accented vocal style and his fascination with vaudeville and music hall.
The arrangements on Songs For The Deep Forest are sometimes a little too predictable and, well, hammy, calling to mind the likes of Keane, but the songs are expertly crafted, as you'd expect from an artist who frequently performs accompanied by a single gramophone. If you don't hear 'Last Night I Nearly Died' and 'Freewheel' on your radio within the next year, call your lawyer.Eagles Very Best OfElvis Presley Blue HawaiiElvis Presley Elvis: 30 #1 HitsFight Like Apes ...And The Mystery Of The Golden MedallionFight Like Apes You Filled His Head With Fluffy Clouds...Flogging Molly Within a Mile of Homefun. Aim and IgniteGang of Four Entertainment!George Michael FaithGilby Clarke The HangoverGinger Valor Del CorazonGinger YoniGogol Bordello Gypsy Punks: Underdog World StrikeGuns N' Roses G N' R LiesGuns N' Roses Greatest HitsGuns N' Roses Use Your Illusion IHanoi Rocks Another Hostile TakeoverAnother Hostile Takeover is more polished than its predecessors, and more immediately gratifying with punchy mixes that emphasise the loud dual-guitars and vocals and, for the most part, guitarist Andy McCoy and frontman Mike Monroe are up to the task. 'Love,' 'Hurt' and 'Better High' are reminiscent of the latter-day Aerosmith and New York Dolls, but 'The Devil In You' is an unexpected but rewarding flirtation with electronic beats that recalls Savage Garden and Duran Duran at their most melodic.
'Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,' a cover of a Phil Lynott original, is a highlight, as are the two ballads: 'Centre of my Universe' and 'No Compromise, No Regrets,' the former Andy McCoy's lament to his dead wife, and the latter the last track Mike Monroe wrote with his wife before she herself died. The over-polished production of Another Hostile Takeover occasionally makes the songs less powerful than they should be, but Hanoi Rocks can be forgiven for losing the run of themselves somewhat. As rock legends they're entitled to, and when the highs are this high, it's difficult to complain too much.Hardcore Superstar Hardcore SuperstarHardcore Superstar Dreamin' In A CasketHawthorne Heights If Only You Were LonelyInterpol AnticsJason Mraz Waiting For My Rocket To ComeJedi Mind Tricks Visions of GandhiJogging MinutesJohnny Cash American IV: The Man Comes AroundJustin Timberlake JustifiedKiss Kiss The Meek Shall Inherit What's LeftKlaxons Myths of the Near FutureDespite being advertised as "new rave," Klaxons have more in common with art rock revivalists like Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand than they do the recent crop of American dance-punk outfits. Debut single 'Atlantis To Interzone' encapsulates the synthy euphoria of the acid dance era and dispenses with the shoegazing of the same, 'Totem In A Timeline' is an obtuse rocker that plays to the same dancefloor tendencies and newest single 'Gravity's Rainbow' is a short, high-energy number that sees the band dress a spontaneous post punk number with a calculated electronic arrangement. 'Golden Skans' and 'Magick' are built around haunting "oo-ee-oo" melodies, the latter explicitly channeling the occult, while the cover and re-arrangement of club classic 'Not Over Yet' effortlessly improves upon the original.Linkin Park A Thousand SunsLou Reed TransformerMahavishnu Orchestra The Inner Mounting FlameManic Street Preachers Forever DelayedManic Street Preachers Gold Against The SoulManic Street Preachers Generation TerroristsMark Ronson Here Comes The FuzzMarvelous 3 ReadySexGo!Marvelous 3 Math And Other ProblemsMatt Sorum Hollywood ZenMetallica Kill 'Em AllMetallica Death MagneticMichael Jackson BadMisfits Famous MonstersMisfits Collection IIMotley Crue Red, White, & CrueOasis Heathen ChemistryOasis Don't Believe the TruthOur Lady Peace Live from Calgary and EdmontonOur Lady Peace GravityOur Lady Peace ClumsyPantera Cowboys from HellPaul Westerberg Open Season - SoundtrackPaul Westerberg 14 SongsPolkadot Cadaver Purgatory Dance PartyPretty Boy Floyd Leather Boyz With Electric ToyzPrince Dirty MindProtest the Hero ScurrilousR.E.M. AccelerateRichard Cheese Silent NightclubRoadrunner United The All-Star SessionsRyan Adams GoldSebastian Bach Angel DownShugo Tokumaru ExitSlash SlashSuper Extra Bonus Party Appetite For ReconstructionThe Academy Is... Almost HereThe Beatles 1The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club BandThe Fratellis Costello MusicThe Smiths The SmithsThe Smiths Meat Is MurderThe Smiths Strangeways, Here We ComeThe Wildhearts The Wildhearts Must Be DestroyedTommy Lee Tommyland: The RideVan Halen Van HalenVarious Artists (Country) Walk The LineVelvet Revolver ContrabandVelvet Revolver LibertadVessels White Fields and Open DevicesWarrant Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking RichWham! Make It Big3.0 good50 Cent Get Rich or Die Tryin'50 Cent CurtisA Wilhelm Scream Benefits of Thinking Out LoudAFI DecemberundergroundVery often, critical reaction to an album differs wildly from the reactions of fans or the consumer public. Decemberunderground presents such a case, as many fans have either embraced wholly or brashly rejected the latest turn in AFI's ever-sophisticating studio career. Though considerably poppier than even the group's early horror-punk showings, Decemberunderground builds on the increasingly complex and colourful arrangements the group seemed to have perfected on Sing the Sorrow.
There's a strong New Order-like undercurrent running through much of the album, and the brighter, more assured sound is not altogether unlike the aforementioned took after the demise of the gloomy Joy Division. 'Miss Murder' is an unabashed pop song, jumping straight into the chorus and showing notable sonic similarities to Green Day's 'Holiday,' while the electronically-inclined 'Love Like Winter' is a contender for single of the year. 'Kill Caustic' and 'Kiss And Control' hark back to the band's hardcore days, but Decemberunderground is undoubtedly a step away from where the band was a decade ago and, whether a good or bad decision, it's definitely a challenging album for those who choose to embrace it.Alice in Chains Jar of FliesAlice in Chains Alice in ChainsAll Saints All SaintsAmerican Hi-Fi American Hi-FiAnd So I Watch You From Afar GangsAngels Of Mons Last Of The Dead EmpiresAslan For Some Strange ReasonAt the Drive-In Relationship of CommandAvril Lavigne Let GoBash And Pop Friday Night Is Killing MeBeyonce B'DayBeyoncĂ© joined a growing number of popstars to declare their work a "masterpiece" twenty minutes after recording it, joining the likes of Justin Timberlake and Brandon Flowers in a club I don't really want to go to.
Ms. Knowles decided to cut short her musical hiatus and record the album after finishing her role as an abused singer in 'Dreamgirls,' adding that she felt the need to express what she felt her character should have. Supposedly written and recorded in 2 weeks, B'Day is the product of her suffering.
First off, it's not no masterpiece, no. Secondly, it's not too bad either. BeyoncĂ© got hold of the best producers around: Rodney Jackson, Pharrell Williams, Swizz Beatz and co-wrote nine songs (plus a Victoria Beckham cover). Swizz Beatz's contribution is immense: his beats make 'Ring The Alarm' one of the best singles of recent times, while the shouted blues 'Get Me Bodied' is another highlight.
Jay-Z guests on two tracks: lead single 'DĂ©ja Vu' and 'Upgrade U.' Neither song lives up to Jay's legacy (the former would have been better had he been given more time), but the real disappointment here is Pharrell, whose contributions 'Kitty Kat' and 'Green Light' would register as low points on any album, let alone a pretty good one.
B'Day is no masterpiece, but it's more fun than you can have without risking personal injury.Bob Dylan Blood on the TracksBon Iver For Emma, Forever AgoBon Jovi CrossroadBoston BostonBotch We Are the RomansBrian Setzer 13Britney Spears In The ZoneBuckcherry BuckcherryBuckcherry Time BombBullets And Octane In the Mouth of the YoungButch Walker Cover Me BaddChristina Aguilera StrippedCommon BeDamien Rice 9Darren Hayes This Delicate Thing We've MadeDavid Geraghty Kill Your DarlingsDeath Angel The Ultra-ViolenceDef Leppard PyromaniaDJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince He's the DJ, I'm the RapperEagles Hotel CaliforniaElvis Presley 2nd To NoneEminem The Eminem ShowEminem Curtain Call: The HitsEric Clapton and B. B. King Riding With the KingFall Out Boy Folie a DeuxFlogging Molly FloatFoo Fighters One by OneFranz Ferdinand You Could Have It So Much BetterGlassjaw Worship and TributeGod Or Julie This Road BeforeGoo Goo Dolls Live in Buffalo July 4th 2004Goo Goo Dolls Greatest Hits Volume One: The SinglesGreen Day International SuperhitsGreen Day DookieGuns N' Roses "The Spaghetti Incident?"Hard-Fi Stars Of CCTVHilary Duff DignityHilltop Hoods The Hard RoadIce Cube The PredatorImmortal Technique The 3rd WorldIzzy Stradlin Ride OnIzzy Stradlin Like A DogJet Get BornJohn Legend Get LiftedJohn Legend Once AgainJohn Lennon ImagineJohnny Cash At Folsom PrisonKelly Clarkson ThankfulKISS Love GunKiss Kiss Reality Vs. The OptimistKT Tunstall Drastic FantasticKula Shaker KL.A. Guns Hollywood VampiresLed Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IILily Allen Alright, StillLupe Fiasco The CoolMadonna Like a VirginMaroon 5 It Won't Be Soon Before LongFive years in the making, Maroon 5's second album is more compact and worked-upon than its predecessor, but a spattering of dud tracks bring down an otherwise very accomplished record. Lead single 'Makes Me Wonder' and Prince-indebted opener 'If I Never See Your Face Again' are more accomplished melodically than anything from Songs About Jane, while the 'Hey Ya!'-aping 'Little Of Your Time' and the murderous 'Wake Up Call' are masterful in their production and arrangement. However, despite these accomplishments, much of the album suffers from weak writing ('Goodnight Goodnight'), banal arrangements ('Nothing Lasts Forever') and generally forgettable melodies. Yet while It Won't Be Soon Before Long disappoints as an album, it contains a number of tracks which can stand alongside the best of Songs About Jane, enough to suggest that Maroon 5 have a long career of girly break-up songs ahead of them.Martha Wainwright Martha WainwrightMetallica MetallicaMichael Jackson DangerousMichale Graves Punk Rock Is DeadMiley Cyrus BreakoutMorrissey You Are the QuarryMorrissey Ringleader of the TormentorsMotley Crue Dr. FeelgoodMotley Crue Greatest Hits (1998)Not unusually for a best of, the the only real problem with 1998's Greatest Hits is the fact it misses out on some of the Crue's best loved tracks, with classics like 'Too Young To Fall In Love' and 'Live Wire' inexplicably passed over for lesser tracks from the peak of their commercial success. 'Shout At The Devil '97' packs a massive punch of its own, but it doesn't compensate for the criminal omission of the original, and with only one song each represented from Too Fast For Love and Shout At The Devil, it never really feels like a true representation of the group's music. 2005's Red, White, And Crue goes entirely the other way, including far too much material, meaning Crue fans still lack a definitive hits package they can be proud of.Motley Crue Motley CrueMotley Crue Saints of Los AngelesMuse ShowbizMy Chemical Romance Three Cheers for Sweet RevengeNeil Young Tonight's the NightNirvana MTV Unplugged in New YorkNirvana NevermindOasis Standing on the Shoulder of GiantsOasis The MasterplanOasis Familiar To MillionsOur Lady Peace Spiritual MachinesOur Lady Peace Burn BurnPink I'm Not DeadPink Floyd The WallPortishead ThirdPuddle of Mudd Come CleanRazorlight Up All NightRepublic of Loose VOL IV: Johnny Pyro And The Dance Of EviRock Star Supernova Rock Star SupernovaRufus Wainwright PosesSantana SupernaturalSaw Doctors If This Is Rock And Roll, I Want My Old Job BackSherwood A Different LightSkid Row Revolutions Per MinuteSkid Row's second album with replacement frontman Johnny Solinger (fifth total) is an improvement upon the abysmal Thickskin, expanding to varying degrees of success upon the alternative and punk rock influence that crept into that album.
The majority of the album was written by bassist Rachel Bolan (instead of Bolan and guitarist Snake), and as a result the punk influence is stronger, with elements of post-punk (a cover of The Alarm's 'Strength'), goth ('Love Is Dead') and Celtic/Oi! punk ('When God Can't Wait'), while tracks like 'Disease' is an example of the kind of MOR rock Chris Daughtry and the like should be producing.
Unfortunately, however, the constant genre-shifting means the album loses focus, and so does the listener. 'You Lie' is a perfectly reasonable twangy country song, but alongside the terrible cock rocker 'White Trash' and pop-punk effort 'Nothing' it represents a tremendous dip in quality and clarity.
Revolutions Per Minute is a step in the right direction for Skid Row, but on this occasion they may have lost their footing somewhat.Soundtrack Last Action HeroSpice Girls SpiceSuperjoint Ritual A Lethal Dose of American HatredTed Leo And The Pharmacists Living With the LivingThe Academy Is... SantiThe Actual In StitchesThough produced by Scott Weiland (Velvet Revolver), In Stitches is a far cry from the grungy radio rock Weiland is known for, instead invoking punk and power pop from The Clash and Cheap Trick through Joy Division and Green Day. As a record, In Stitches gives the impression of a singles collection rather than a singular-vision album, from the Fat Wreck pop punk of 'Pride of the Echelon' to the more contemplative, synth-assisted 'To All The Plain Janes' and the Joy Divison-by-way-of-Brendan Benson cut 'Permanent Kitten.' Despite sounding utterly derivative, strong songwriting and clever production place In Stitches above many similar acts.The Beatles Help!The Beautiful South QuenchThe Killers Hot FussThe Killers Day & AgeThe Matches A Band In HopeThe Strokes First Impressions of EarthThe View Hats Off To The BuskersThrice The Alchemy Index Vols. I & IITrivium ShogunU2 The Best Of 1980-1990U2 Rattle and HumVan Morrison The Best Of Van Morrison Vol 1Whitesnake WhitesnakeWith Blood Comes Cleansing Horror2.5 average'N Sync Celebrity2Pac All Eyez on MeA Tribe Called Quest The Low End TheoryAgainst Me! New WaveAnnihilator MetalAvenged Sevenfold Waking the FallenAvril Lavigne Under My SkinBetween the Buried and Me ColorsBetween the Buried and Me Colors_LiveBilly Talent Billy Talent IIBob Dylan Together Through LifeBon Jovi CrushBritney Spears BritneyBronze Radio Return Bronze Radio ReturnCrashdiet Rest In SleazeDel tha Funkee Homosapien Eleventh HourDeltron 3030 Deltron 3030Duff McKagan Believe In MeDuff McKagan's Loaded Dark DaysDuran Duran Red Carpet MassacreFlo Rida Mail on SundayFour Year Strong Rise Or Die TryingGilby Clarke RubberGilby Clarke SwagGuns N' Roses Live Era '87-'93In Pieces Lions Write HistoryKevin Federline Playing with FireLed Zeppelin Best Of, Vol. 1: Early DaysLed Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IVLindsay Lohan A Little More Personal (Raw)Maximo Park A Certain TriggerMaximo Park Quicken The HeartMetallica St. AngerMetallica S&MMotley Crue Girls, Girls, GirlsNas Hip Hop Is DeadNickelback Dark HorseProtest the Hero FortressQueen Greatest Hits OneScissor Sisters Ta-DahSex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks...Snow Patrol Final StrawSnow Patrol A Hundred Million SunsSufjan Stevens IllinoisThe Decemberists Castaways and CutoutsThe Exies A Modern Way Of Living With The TruthThe Gaslight Anthem The '59 SoundThe Stone Roses The Stone RosesVarious Artists Plague SongsGenuinely interesting concepts are hard to come by in music, and it's probably for this reason that Artangel managed to rope in world-renowned musicians like Brian Eno, Rufus Wainwright and Scott Walker for their Plague Songs project, a ten-track album in which each artist would compose and record a song based on one of the Plagues of Egypt.
Unfortunately, while the idea is great, the execution falls some way short. Inconsistency dogs this collection, and the lack of more than a couple of genuinely great tracks means the albums has little replay value. Wainwright's folky contribution 'Katonah' is compelling but predictable, while Eno's 'Flies' misses the mark completely.
The best tracks here come from unexpected sources: Klashnekoff's virtuousic grime track 'Blood' opens proceedings with a bang and never lets up, which is more than can be said for the following tracks. Stephin Merritt's 'Lice' is an ironic synth pop masterpiece and nu-soul prodigy Cody ChesnuTT's 'Boils' recalls the best days of southern soul.
Ultimately, however, Plague Songs is a collection that will be returned to for individual tracks- fans of the artists will treasure their favourite's contribution, but serious music listeners will find no reason to keep it.Velvet Revolver Melody and the TyrannyWarrant Cherry Pie2.0 poorA Perfect Circle Mer de NomsAll Time Low Dirty WorkBritney Spears Oops!...I Did It AgainBritney Spears ...Baby One More TimeCypress Hill Skull and BonesDaughtry Leave This TownFall Out Boy From Under the Cork TreeGirls Aloud Out of ControlGood Charlotte Good Morning RevivalJessica Simpson In This Skin (Collector's Edition)Kaiser Chiefs EmploymentKanye West GraduationLinkin Park MeteoraMadonna MusicManic Street Preachers LifebloodMika Life in Cartoon MotionMotley Crue New TattooMurderdolls Beyond The Valley of the MurderdollsNoah and the Whale Last Night On EarthOasis Be Here NowOasis Dig Out Your SoulPaddy Casey Addicted To Company (Part 1)Paris Hilton ParisPearl Jam Riot ActRazorlight RazorlightRobbie Williams Sing When You're WinningRyan Adams Rock 'n' RollRyan Adams 29Spice Girls SpiceworldThe Cool Kids The Bake SaleThe Frames The CostThe Nightwatchman The Fabled CityThe Script The ScriptTrivium AscendancyTV on the Radio Dear ScienceWednesday 13 Fang Bang1.5 very poorAnimal Collective Merriweather Post PavilionAspects of Physics Marginalized Information Forms One: PingAtreyu Lead Sails Paper AnchorAudioslave AudioslaveCajun Dance Party This Colourful LifeChuck Ragan Gold CountryDustin Kensrue This Good Night Is Still EverywhereEnter Shikari Take to the SkiesGreen Day 21st Century BreakdownKaiser Chiefs Yours Truly, Angry MobKasabian KasabianKelly Clarkson My DecemberAs any artist will testify, the greatest challenge they'll ever face is the jump from playing other people's music to writing and performing your own unique material. With My December, Kelly Clarkson made just this leap- but, musically, it hasn't paid off. My December stays cautiously within the lines drawn by its 8x-platinum Breakaway, mimicking the Avril Lavigne-inspired angsty light rock blueprint so perfected by Max Martin with 'Behind These Hazel Eyes' and 'Since U Been Gone'- 'Never Again' attempts to duplicate the latter but, though one of the strongest cuts on the disc, pales in comparison. The album's best moments come when Kelly breaks her self-imposed mould, ditches the loud guitars and allows her stunning voice to take hold- closing couplet 'Irvine' and 'Chivas' (hidden) are jazzy, exotic and genuinely moving, while second single 'Sober' is riveting despite the conspicuous lack of a radio-friendly hook. These moments are too few and too scattered to justify continued listening to the entire album, however.Lindsay Lohan SpeakMadonna Ray of LightMy Chemical Romance The Black ParadeNew Kids on the Block The BlockRed Hot Chili Peppers CalifornicationRise Against Appeal to ReasonThe Darkness One Way Ticket To Hell And BackThe Offspring Rise and Fall, Rage and GraceThe Strokes Room on FireThe Wildhearts The WildheartsTo-Mera Delusions1.0 awfulAvenged Sevenfold Avenged SevenfoldBrides Of Destruction Runaway BridesHawthorne Heights Fragile FutureMotley Crue Theatre Of PainSum 41 Underclass HeroThe Exies Head for the Door0.5 The Stooges The Weirdness
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