She Wants Revenge – This Is Forever

She Wants Revenge – This Is Forever / 2007 Universal / 13 Tracks / http://www.shewantsrevenge.com / http://www.universalrepublic.com /

You know, I don’t remember She Wants Revenge charting in 2005 and 2006, and apparently they did for “Tear You Apart” and “These Things”, hitting #5 and #22 on the U.S. Modern Rock charts. “True Romance” is one of the singles off of the track, and it shows She Wants Romance as an act that is tremendously influenced by the style present during the middle to late eighties. The band creates a rock style that has much more in common with Depeche Mode and New Order than Godsmack and Creed. Continue reading “She Wants Revenge – This Is Forever”

Baby Elephant – Turn My Teeth Up

Baby Elephant – Turn My Teeth Up / 2007 Godforsaken / 17 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/babyelephantmusic /

Baby Elephant consists of Prince Paul (producer of 3rd Bass, De La Soul and part of Handsome Boy Modeling School) and Bernie Worrell, of Parliament and the Talking Heads. Rounding out the trio is Don Newkirk, who has been associated with Prince Paul. The disc is laid out like many classic rap albums, int hat there are countless skits that break up the momentum and lead Baby Elephant treacherously close to the rocks. However, the ability shown by the act, especially during tracks such as “Baby Elephants-N-Thangs”, more than makes up for any weaknesses associated with the skits. The trippy style of “Baby Elephants-N-Thangs” leads in quite nicely to the early nineties flow of “Plainfield”. Continue reading “Baby Elephant – Turn My Teeth Up”

West Indian Girl – 4th and Wall

West Indian Girl – 4th and Wall / 2007 Milan / 11 Tracks / http://www.westindiangirl.com /

West Indian Girl have been around as a band since at least 2004, when they released their self-titled debut album on Astralwerks. Members of West Indian Girl have worked together before, as Robert James and Francis Ten were previously in WIG. “To Die in L.A.” is the first track on “4th and Wall”, and while it does not provide much more than an introduction to the band, its position is important to the overall sound of the rest of the disc. “Indian Ocean” is a track that is much more in tune with the style put forth by West Indian Girl. The emotive guitar work paints a sunny sound scape, while the intensity kicks up after the double vocals unite. Continue reading “West Indian Girl – 4th and Wall”

Digby – What’s Not Plastic

Digby – What’s Not Plastic / 2007 Toucan Cove / 6 Tracks / http;//www.digbyonline.com / http://www.toucancove.com /

Digby start out “What’s Not Plastic” with a brand of rock that links together middle to late nineties rock with a little bit of Our Lady Peace to create something that can speak equally well to the past and present rock fan. The production is solid, and while there is a lot of guitar fuzz during “”New America”, the solid vocals shine through brightly. This is not a radio-ready track but it pushes Digby closer to the creation of one. “Self Evaluation” brings a little bit of Dylan into the lead vocals, while the somewhat Spartan style of the rest of the band’s instrumentation is closer to The Replacements and Husker Du than anything else. The addition of the synthesizer to the mix gives the track a fullness that only increases Digby’s stock further. Continue reading “Digby – What’s Not Plastic”

The Simpsons: Testify

The Simpsons: Testify / 2007 Shout Factory / 41 Tracks / http://www.thesimpsons.com / http://www.shoutfactory.com /

Throughout the years, The Simpsons have had a number of different CDs capturing the countless songs that have been present during the show’s run. This disc collects the songs that made it into episodes during the 10th through the 18th seasons. Of particular note right off the bat are “Homer & Marge”, a parody of “Jack & Diane” done by Weird Al Yankovic, “Glove Slap”, a play on “Love Shack”, and “Lady” by Ricky Gervais (The Office). These tracks are merely the highlights on an album that exhaustively collects all the times that The Simpsons (or individuals that deal with the family) have broke into song; “Stretch Dude and Clobber Girl”, “We Are The Jockeys” and “A Star Is Torn (Medley)” may not feature guest stars but are of the same high quality that Simpsons-themed music has always been known for. Continue reading “The Simpsons: Testify”

Daryl Hall & John Oates – Home For Christmas

Daryl Hall & John Oates – Home For Christmas / 2007 U-Watch / 11 Tracks / http://www.hallandoates.com /

Hall and Oates have been together for longer than I have been alive. As I get older, the number of acts that can say that decreases, but Hall and Oates have been cranking out their music for about forty years now. However, “Home For Christmas” is a little bit different from their traditional fare. First off, some of the proceeds that are received from this disc (which originally came out in 2006) go to the organization Toys for Tots. Secondly, the tracks present on this disc are covers of Christmas classics by Hall and Oates. That means that “The First Noel”, “Jingle Bell Rock”, “O Holy Night” and “The Christmas Song” all make it onto the disc.

However, there are a few Christmas songs that rear their heads on the album that I am not familiar with. I’m not sure if that is because I’m just not a big holiday person or if they are new to everyone, but songs like “Home For Christmas” and “No Child Should Ever Cry on Christmas” provide individuals a pure reason to listen to the disc. The choice of songs has to be the strongest that I have heard on any Christmas album. It just seems all too common for individuals that are trying to make it big with a Christmas album to load their disc up with the standards that are repeated practically every hour instead of coming up with differently-themed Christmas songs or even pulling out some traditional stuff that is not heard as often as other songs. Continue reading “Daryl Hall & John Oates – Home For Christmas”

Cut Off Your Hands – Shaky Hands

Cut Off Your Hands – Shaky Hands / 2007 I Am Sound / 6 Tracks / http:///www.cutoffyourhands.com / http://www.myspace.com/iamsoundrecords /

Cut Off Your Hands play a brand of energetic indie rock that is first shown to audiences during “You&I”. The jangly nature of this track fuzzes over slightly the intensity of the band’s compositions. The track is sufficiently short to not give individuals a full glance at what Cut Off Your Hands are all about, and the band rapidly takes up the standards of “Expectations”. “Expectations” should be seen as the band’s first hits, as it provides listeners with an incredibly catchy chorus and an instrumental arrangement that does nothing but give this chorus energy. With another short ending, “Takes Slowly Over” adds more to the cohesive sound that Cut Off Your Hands have cultivated throughout the entirety of the “Shaky Hands” EP. Continue reading “Cut Off Your Hands – Shaky Hands”

The Femurs – Modern Mexico

The Femurs – Modern Mexico / 2007 Self / 12 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/thefemurs

“Vitamins” is the first song on the new Femurs album. For those that did not know, the Femurs (or “Los Femurs”, as they are known on the front cover of “Modern Mexico”), have been around for a few years. “Modern Mexico” is a collection of these songs, and shows off why exactly the band has been accumulating fans since they first played together. “Vitamins” shows that The Femurs play a brand of punk-infused rock music, with a little more focus on the pop-punk instead of the rock side of that designation. The band continues with the bouncy, fast-paced punk music with their “Round and Round”. The band does not have the same type of jags and sharp points that a great deal of punk bands have, and in many ways sounds like a more sedate Face to Face or early Unwritten Law. Continue reading “The Femurs – Modern Mexico”

DJ Axel – Breakin’ The Law

DJ Axel – Breakin’ The Law / 2007 Holden / 15 Tracks / http://www.djaxel.com /

I love mashups, and when individuals are able to make completely new albums (such as in the case of Girl Talk), the love only increases. I must admit, I had not heard much about DJ Axel in the past, although I was aware of a number of mashup albums (most famously, “The Grey Album”). Anyways, the 15 cuts on this album tend to blend rock with rap, but there are some exceptions to the rule. “Breakin’ The Law” starts out with “What You Know About Drop Dead Legs”, a blend of T.I. and Van Halen. Continue reading “DJ Axel – Breakin’ The Law”

Paul Oakenfold – Greatest Hits & Remixes

Paul Oakenfold – Greatest Hits & Remixes / 2007 Ultra / 20 Tracks / http://www.pauloakenfold.com / http://www.ultrarecords.com /

When it comes to electronic and dance music, Paul Oakenfold is right up there (if not exceeding) individuals like the Pet Shop Boys and The Chemical Brothers. This album marks an interesting premise for a “greatest hits” compilation. Rather than just having the songs originally penned by Oakenfold (“Starry Eyed Surprise”, “Ready Steady Go”, “Dread Rock”, “Faster Kill Pussycat”, and “Southern Sun”), the “remixes” section of this disc features the retooling of other bands’ hits by Oakenfold. These remixes mark different periods throughout Oakenfold’s time as a remixer; tracks from the Happy Mondays, Massive Attack, Justin Timberlake, David Arnold, Radiohead, U2, and Hans Zimmer are just a fraction of the 20 tracks on this album. Continue reading “Paul Oakenfold – Greatest Hits & Remixes”