Dave de Sylvia
Dr Dave De Sylvia
Staff

Reviews 164
Soundoffs 41
News Articles 4120
Band Edits + Tags 965
Album Edits 718

Album Ratings 598
Objectivity 83%

Last Active 09-25-14 5:44 am
Joined 10-14-01

Forum Posts 7,714
Review Comments 34

Average Rating: 3.39
Rating Variance: 0.77
Objectivity Score: 83%
(Well Balanced)

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5.0 classic
BATS Red In Tooth and Claw
Butch Walker Letters
Butch Walker Sycamore Meadows
Blood 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 Christmas
Elvis Presley The Sun Sessions
Elvis Presley Elvis Presley
While 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 Memphis
As 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 Business
Guns N' Roses Appetite for Destruction
Jeff Buckley Grace
Justin Timberlake FutureSex/LoveSounds
It 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 Bible
What 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 Minute
Motley Crue Shout at the Devil
The 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 Naveed
Sam Cooke Portrait Of A Legend 1951-1964
Simon and Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled Water
Sinead O'Connor The Lion And The Cobra
The Beatles Rubber Soul
The Smiths Hatful of Hollow

4.5 superb
Adebisi Shank This is the Album
Its 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 Sorrow
And So I Watch You From Afar And So I Watch You From Afar
As Fast As Open Letter To The Damned
As 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 Collection
Big Boi Sir Lucious Left Foot
Blondie Parallel Lines
Britney Spears Circus
Butch Walker Left of Self-Centered
Butch Walker This Is Me... Justified And Stripped
Circle Takes the Square As the Roots Undo
Converge Axe to Fall
Daft Punk Discovery
Damien Dempsey Seize The Day
Damien Dempsey To Hell Or Barbados
Critically 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, & Snotty
Dewey Cox Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
Don McLean American Pie
Dusty Springfield Dusty in Memphis
Elvis Costello This Year's Model
Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP
Gilby Clarke 99 Live
Goo Goo Dolls Dizzy Up The Girl
Half Man Half Biscuit Back Again In The DHSS
Hanoi Rocks Two Steps From The Move
Cruel 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 Degrees
Izzy Stradlin On Down The Road
Jellyfish Spilt Milk
Joe Jackson Look Sharp!
LL Cool J Mama Said Knock You Out
Marvelous 3 Hey! Album
Maximo Park Our Earthly Pleasures
Messiah J & The Expert Now This I Have To Hear
As 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 Go
Many 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 Wall
Motley Crue Too Fast for Love
Neil Young After the Gold Rush
New York Dolls New York Dolls
Oasis (What's the Story) Morning Glory?
Oasis Definitely Maybe
Our Lady Peace Happiness...
Paul Westerberg Suicaine Gratification
Prince 1999
Prince Sign o' the Times
R.S.A.G. Organic Sampler
Raine Maida Love Hope Hero
Raine Maida The Hunters Lullaby
Raine 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 Two
Sinead O'Connor Throw Down Your Arms
Super Extra Bonus Party Super Extra Bonus Party
The Beach Boys Pet Sounds
The Beatles Revolver
The Beatles A Hard Day's Night
The Clash The Clash (US version)
The Pogues If I Should Fall from Grace with God
The Pogues Rum Sodomy & the Lash
The Replacements Let It Be
The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers
The Smiths The Queen Is Dead
Hatful 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 It
The Wildhearts Earth vs. The Wildhearts
Therapy? Troublegum
Tom Waits Closing Time
Yngve Tell Men This

4.0 excellent
1969 Maya
2Pac Greatest Hits
Ace Hood Ruthless
Adebisi Shank This is the Second Album
After 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 Drowning
AFI Crash Love
Against Me! Reinventing Axl Rose
Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill
Amy Winehouse Back to Black
Antony and the Johnsons I Am A Bird Now
Apocalyptica Worlds Collide
Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, That's What...
Ash Free All Angels
Aztec Camera High Land, Hard Rain
Backstreet Boys Unbreakable
BATS Cruel Sea Scientist
Bell X1 Flock
Better 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 Wet
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Strength And Loyalty
Brendan Benson Lapalco
Brian Setzer Orchestra Boogie Woogie Christmas
Britney Spears Greatest Hits: My Prerogative
Britney Spears Blackout
Buckcherry Fifteen
Unless you�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 Underdog
Butch Walker Leavin' the Game on Luckie Street
Cast Of Cheers Chariot
Chain Collector The Masquerade
Coldplay Parachutes
Coldplay The Blue Room
Daft Punk Alive 2007
Damien Dempsey The Rocky Road
Damien Rice O
Danny Elfman Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Dark Room Notes Dead Start Program
Darren Hanlon I Will Love You At All
DragonForce Inhuman Rampage
Duke Special Adventures In Gramophone
Duran Duran Rio
Eagles Eagles
Elvis Costello My Aim Is True
Elvis Presley Elvis
Eric B and Rakim Paid in Full
Everybody Else Everybody Else
Fall Out Boy Infinity on High
Fight 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 & Roll
The 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 Ferdinand
Gilby Clarke Pawnshop Guitars
Gnarls Barkley St. Elsewhere
Gnarls 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 Taranta
Grand Pocket Orchestra Odd Socks EP
Green Day American Idiot
With 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 II
Guns N' Roses Chinese Democracy
There 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 Proud
Hardcore Superstar It's Only Rock'n'Roll
Have a Nice Life Deathconsciousness
Hilltop Hoods The Calling
Hinder Take It to the Limit
House of Pain House of Pain
Izzy Stradlin River
Izzy Stradlin Izzy Stradlin & The Ju Ju Hounds
Jane's Addiction Nothing's Shocking
Jane's Addiction Ritual De Lo Habitual
Jason Mraz Mr. A-Z
Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros Streetcore
Justice Cross
Kaizers Orchestra Ompa Til Du Dor
Kaizers Orchestra Maskineri
Kanye West 808s and Heartbreak
Kelly Clarkson Breakaway
Kill For Thrills Dynamite From Nightmareland
LCD Soundsystem Sound of Silver
Less Than Jake GNV FLA
Locksley Be In Love
Lupe Fiasco Food & Liquor
Almost 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 Tigers
Upon 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 album�s release, 'Underdogs' pays tribute to the proud misfits and outcasts who make up the group�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 Cohn
Mark Ronson Version
Maroon 5 Songs About Jane
Marvelous 3 Hey! Album (indie)
Matchbox Twenty Mad Season
Matt Molloy Shadows On Stone
Melodica Deathship Doom Your Cities, Doom Your Town
Messiah J & The Expert ...And Another Thing
Metallica Ride the Lightning
Misfits American Psycho
Misfits Earth A.D./Wolf's Blood
Misfits Walk Among Us
Misfits Static Age
Morrissey Vauxhall and I
Motley Crue Generation Swine
Nas Illmatic
Neil Young Harvest
Neurotic Outsiders Neurotic Outsiders
Nile Black Seeds of Vengeance
Our Lady Peace Healthy In Paranoid Times
Paddy Casey Amen (So Be It)
Porcupine Tree In Absentia
Primordial To the Nameless Dead
Prince Purple Rain
Promise Of Redemption When The Flowers Bloom...
Pulp Different Class
Refused The Shape of Punk to Come
Rufus Wainwright Want One
Rufus Wainwright Release The Stars
Sinead O'Connor I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
Sixx:A.M. Heroin Diaries Soundtrack
It 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 Row
Skid Row Slave to the Grind
Slash's Snakepit Ain't Life Grand
Slint Spiderland
Slough Feg Hardworlder
Snoop Dogg Doggystyle
Stone Temple Pilots Core
Though 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 Mezmerize
System of a Down Hypnotize
T. Rex Electric Warrior
The Beatles Please Please Me
The Black Crowes Shake Your Money Maker
The Bronx The Bronx (II)
The Cars The Cars
The Chieftains Long Black Veil
The Clash The Clash
The Damned Damned Damned Damned
The Exies Inertia
The Housemartins Now That's What I Call Quite Good
The Infomatics Kill Or Create
The Killers Sam's Town
The 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 EP
The Mighty Stef 100 Midnights
The Prodigy The Fat of the Land
The Replacements Tim
The Replacements Pleased To Meet Me
The Stooges Raw Power
The Swell Season Once: Music From The Motion Picture
The Verve Urban Hymns
The Weeknd House of Balloons
The Wildhearts P.H.U.Q.
Tidal District Hold The Party Line EP
Tom Waits Swordfishtrombones
Val Emmich Slow Down Kid
Wu-Tang Clan Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

3.5 great
Adam Lambert For Your Entertainment
AFI All Hallow's
Against Me! White Crosses
Akon Konvicted (Deluxe Edition)
American Hi-Fi Hearts On Parade
Arctic Monkeys Favourite Worst Nightmare
Ash Intergalactic Sonic 7s
August Burns Red Constellations
Avril Lavigne The Best Damn Thing
Blur Blur
Blur The Best Of
Brian Setzer Orchestra The Dirty Boogie
Brides Of Destruction Here Come The Brides
Butch Walker Heartwork EP
Butch 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... EP
Christina Aguilera Christina Aguilera
Christina Aguilera Back to Basics
What 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 Famine
Chuck 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 Head
Coldplay X & Y
Danny Elfman The Corpse Bride
Del tha Funkee Homosapien Funk Man (The Stimulus Package)
Director We Thrive On Big Cities
Duke Special Songs From The Deep Forest
Who 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 Of
Elvis Presley Blue Hawaii
Elvis Presley Elvis: 30 #1 Hits
Fight Like Apes ...And The Mystery Of The Golden Medallion
Fight Like Apes You Filled His Head With Fluffy Clouds...
Flogging Molly Within a Mile of Home
fun. Aim and Ignite
Gang of Four Entertainment!
George Michael Faith
Gilby Clarke The Hangover
Ginger Valor Del Corazon
Ginger Yoni
Gogol Bordello Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike
Guns N' Roses G N' R Lies
Guns N' Roses Greatest Hits
Guns N' Roses Use Your Illusion I
Hanoi Rocks Another Hostile Takeover
Another 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 Superstar
Hardcore Superstar Dreamin' In A Casket
Hawthorne Heights If Only You Were Lonely
Interpol Antics
Jason Mraz Waiting For My Rocket To Come
Jedi Mind Tricks Visions of Gandhi
Jogging Minutes
Johnny Cash American IV: The Man Comes Around
Justin Timberlake Justified
Kiss Kiss The Meek Shall Inherit What's Left
Klaxons Myths of the Near Future
Despite 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 Suns
Lou Reed Transformer
Mahavishnu Orchestra The Inner Mounting Flame
Manic Street Preachers Forever Delayed
Manic Street Preachers Gold Against The Soul
Manic Street Preachers Generation Terrorists
Mark Ronson Here Comes The Fuzz
Marvelous 3 ReadySexGo!
Marvelous 3 Math And Other Problems
Matt Sorum Hollywood Zen
Metallica Kill 'Em All
Metallica Death Magnetic
Michael Jackson Bad
Misfits Famous Monsters
Misfits Collection II
Motley Crue Red, White, & Crue
Oasis Heathen Chemistry
Oasis Don't Believe the Truth
Our Lady Peace Live from Calgary and Edmonton
Our Lady Peace Gravity
Our Lady Peace Clumsy
Pantera Cowboys from Hell
Paul Westerberg Open Season - Soundtrack
Paul Westerberg 14 Songs
Polkadot Cadaver Purgatory Dance Party
Pretty Boy Floyd Leather Boyz With Electric Toyz
Prince Dirty Mind
Protest the Hero Scurrilous
R.E.M. Accelerate
Richard Cheese Silent Nightclub
Roadrunner United The All-Star Sessions
Ryan Adams Gold
Sebastian Bach Angel Down
Shugo Tokumaru Exit
Slash Slash
Super Extra Bonus Party Appetite For Reconstruction
The Academy Is... Almost Here
The Beatles 1
The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Fratellis Costello Music
The Smiths The Smiths
The Smiths Meat Is Murder
The Smiths Strangeways, Here We Come
The Wildhearts The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed
Tommy Lee Tommyland: The Ride
Van Halen Van Halen
Various Artists (Country) Walk The Line
Velvet Revolver Contraband
Velvet Revolver Libertad
Vessels White Fields and Open Devices
Warrant Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich
Wham! Make It Big

3.0 good
50 Cent Get Rich or Die Tryin'
50 Cent Curtis
A Wilhelm Scream Benefits of Thinking Out Loud
AFI Decemberunderground
Very 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 Flies
Alice in Chains Alice in Chains
All Saints All Saints
American Hi-Fi American Hi-Fi
And So I Watch You From Afar Gangs
Angels Of Mons Last Of The Dead Empires
Aslan For Some Strange Reason
At the Drive-In Relationship of Command
Avril Lavigne Let Go
Bash And Pop Friday Night Is Killing Me
Beyonce B'Day
Beyoncé 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. Beyoncé 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 Tracks
Bon Iver For Emma, Forever Ago
Bon Jovi Crossroad
Boston Boston
Botch We Are the Romans
Brian Setzer 13
Britney Spears In The Zone
Buckcherry Buckcherry
Buckcherry Time Bomb
Bullets And Octane In the Mouth of the Young
Butch Walker Cover Me Badd
Christina Aguilera Stripped
Common Be
Damien Rice 9
Darren Hayes This Delicate Thing We've Made
David Geraghty Kill Your Darlings
Death Angel The Ultra-Violence
Def Leppard Pyromania
DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper
Eagles Hotel California
Elvis Presley 2nd To None
Eminem The Eminem Show
Eminem Curtain Call: The Hits
Eric Clapton and B. B. King Riding With the King
Fall Out Boy Folie a Deux
Flogging Molly Float
Foo Fighters One by One
Franz Ferdinand You Could Have It So Much Better
Glassjaw Worship and Tribute
God Or Julie This Road Before
Goo Goo Dolls Live in Buffalo July 4th 2004
Goo Goo Dolls Greatest Hits Volume One: The Singles
Green Day International Superhits
Green Day Dookie
Guns N' Roses "The Spaghetti Incident?"
Hard-Fi Stars Of CCTV
Hilary Duff Dignity
Hilltop Hoods The Hard Road
Ice Cube The Predator
Immortal Technique The 3rd World
Izzy Stradlin Ride On
Izzy Stradlin Like A Dog
Jet Get Born
John Legend Get Lifted
John Legend Once Again
John Lennon Imagine
Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison
Kelly Clarkson Thankful
KISS Love Gun
Kiss Kiss Reality Vs. The Optimist
KT Tunstall Drastic Fantastic
Kula Shaker K
L.A. Guns Hollywood Vampires
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II
Lily Allen Alright, Still
Lupe Fiasco The Cool
Madonna Like a Virgin
Maroon 5 It Won't Be Soon Before Long
Five 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 Wainwright
Metallica Metallica
Michael Jackson Dangerous
Michale Graves Punk Rock Is Dead
Miley Cyrus Breakout
Morrissey You Are the Quarry
Morrissey Ringleader of the Tormentors
Motley Crue Dr. Feelgood
Motley 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 Crue
Motley Crue Saints of Los Angeles
Muse Showbiz
My Chemical Romance Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge
Neil Young Tonight's the Night
Nirvana MTV Unplugged in New York
Nirvana Nevermind
Oasis Standing on the Shoulder of Giants
Oasis The Masterplan
Oasis Familiar To Millions
Our Lady Peace Spiritual Machines
Our Lady Peace Burn Burn
Pink I'm Not Dead
Pink Floyd The Wall
Portishead Third
Puddle of Mudd Come Clean
Razorlight Up All Night
Republic of Loose VOL IV: Johnny Pyro And The Dance Of Evi
Rock Star Supernova Rock Star Supernova
Rufus Wainwright Poses
Santana Supernatural
Saw Doctors If This Is Rock And Roll, I Want My Old Job Back
Sherwood A Different Light
Skid Row Revolutions Per Minute
Skid 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 (Film) Last Action Hero
Spice Girls Spice
Superjoint Ritual A Lethal Dose of American Hatred
Ted Leo And The Pharmacists Living With the Living
The Academy Is... Santi
The Actual In Stitches
Though 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 Quench
The Killers Hot Fuss
The Killers Day & Age
The Matches A Band In Hope
The Strokes First Impressions of Earth
The View Hats Off To The Buskers
Thrice The Alchemy Index Vols. I & II
Trivium Shogun
U2 The Best Of 1980-1990
U2 Rattle and Hum
Van Morrison The Best Of Van Morrison Vol 1
Whitesnake Whitesnake
With Blood Comes Cleansing Horror

2.5 average
'N Sync Celebrity
2Pac All Eyez on Me
A Tribe Called Quest The Low End Theory
Against Me! New Wave
Annihilator Metal
Avenged Sevenfold Waking the Fallen
Avril Lavigne Under My Skin
Between the Buried and Me Colors
Between the Buried and Me Colors_Live
Billy Talent Billy Talent II
Bob Dylan Together Through Life
Bon Jovi Crush
Britney Spears Britney
Bronze Radio Return Bronze Radio Return
Crashdiet Rest In Sleaze
Del tha Funkee Homosapien Eleventh Hour
Deltron 3030 Deltron 3030
Duff McKagan Believe In Me
Duff McKagan's Loaded Dark Days
Duran Duran Red Carpet Massacre
Flo Rida Mail on Sunday
Four Year Strong Rise Or Die Trying
Gilby Clarke Rubber
Gilby Clarke Swag
Guns N' Roses Live Era '87-'93
In Pieces Lions Write History
Kevin Federline Playing with Fire
Led Zeppelin Best Of, Vol. 1: Early Days
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV
Lindsay Lohan A Little More Personal (Raw)
Maximo Park A Certain Trigger
Maximo Park Quicken The Heart
Metallica St. Anger
Metallica S&M
Motley Crue Girls, Girls, Girls
Nas Hip Hop Is Dead
Nickelback Dark Horse
Protest the Hero Fortress
Queen Greatest Hits One
Scissor Sisters Ta-Dah
Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks...
Snow Patrol Final Straw
Snow Patrol A Hundred Million Suns
Sufjan Stevens Illinois
The Decemberists Castaways and Cutouts
The Exies A Modern Way Of Living With The Truth
The Gaslight Anthem The '59 Sound
The Stone Roses The Stone Roses
Various Artists Plague Songs
Genuinely 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 Tyranny
Warrant Cherry Pie

2.0 poor
A Perfect Circle Mer de Noms
All Time Low Dirty Work
Britney Spears Oops!...I Did It Again
Britney Spears ...Baby One More Time
Cypress Hill Skull and Bones
Daughtry Leave This Town
Fall Out Boy From Under the Cork Tree
Girls Aloud Out of Control
Good Charlotte Good Morning Revival
Jessica Simpson In This Skin (Collector's Edition)
Kaiser Chiefs Employment
Kanye West Graduation
Linkin Park Meteora
Madonna Music
Manic Street Preachers Lifeblood
Mika Life in Cartoon Motion
Motley Crue New Tattoo
Murderdolls Beyond The Valley of the Murderdolls
Noah and the Whale Last Night On Earth
Oasis Be Here Now
Oasis Dig Out Your Soul
Paddy Casey Addicted To Company (Part 1)
Paris Hilton Paris
Pearl Jam Riot Act
Razorlight Razorlight
Robbie Williams Sing When You're Winning
Ryan Adams Rock 'n' Roll
Ryan Adams 29
Spice Girls Spiceworld
The Cool Kids The Bake Sale
The Frames The Cost
The Nightwatchman The Fabled City
The Script The Script
Trivium Ascendancy
TV on the Radio Dear Science
Wednesday 13 Fang Bang

1.5 very poor
Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavilion
Aspects of Physics Marginalized Information Forms One: Ping
Atreyu Lead Sails Paper Anchor
Audioslave Audioslave
Cajun Dance Party This Colourful Life
Chuck Ragan Gold Country
Dustin Kensrue This Good Night Is Still Everywhere
Enter Shikari Take to the Skies
Green Day 21st Century Breakdown
Kaiser Chiefs Yours Truly, Angry Mob
Kasabian Kasabian
Kelly Clarkson My December
As 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 Speak
Madonna Ray of Light
My Chemical Romance The Black Parade
New Kids on the Block The Block
Red Hot Chili Peppers Californication
Rise Against Appeal to Reason
The Darkness One Way Ticket To Hell And Back
The Offspring Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace
The Strokes Room on Fire
The Wildhearts The Wildhearts
To-Mera Delusions

1.0 awful
Avenged Sevenfold Avenged Sevenfold
Brides Of Destruction Runaway Brides
Hawthorne Heights Fragile Future
Motley Crue Theatre Of Pain
Sum 41 Underclass Hero
The Exies Head for the Door

0.5
The Stooges The Weirdness
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