Gerald Albright – Sax For Stax (CD)

Gerald Albright has sold over 1 million copies of eir albums since ey debuted all the way back in 1987. “Sax For Stax” is a collection of tracks that continue to cement eir place as an important part of current jazz history. This is due to the fact that the album consists of eight covers of Stax classics, featuring tracks such as “What You See Is What You Get”, a 1971 hit by The Dramatics and a reworking of a song in “Never Can Say Goodbye” that individuals will easily remember. By paying homage to the works of this period, Albright is first introducing listeners to some songs that may have fallen by the wayside in the decades since they have been released, and secondly, is updating them for a more contemporary sound. Continue reading “Gerald Albright – Sax For Stax (CD)”

John Mayer – Where The Light Is: Live In Los Angeles (CD)

John Mayer has slowly grown on me in the years since debuting on radio stations all across the country. “Say” was the track that really clinched that, being a perfect blend of soulful rock and honest vocals. Now, “Where The Light Is” gives me an idea of the live allure that Mayer has, placing listeners in three different positions – seeing Mayer acoustically-based, as a trio, or as a full band. The 27 tracks on this CD act as a greatest hits and more, placing “Waiting On The World To Change”, “Neon”, “Who Did You Think I Was”, and “Gravity” among lesser-known (but still solid tracks) like “Vultures”, “Come When I Call”, and “I’m Going To Find Another You”. Continue reading “John Mayer – Where The Light Is: Live In Los Angeles (CD)”

G-Unit – Terminate on Sight (CD)

“Terminate on Sight” was produced by 50 Cent, and one would be pretty dense if they did not hear eir distinct style permeating every pore of this album. The disc starts out with “Straight Outta Southside”, and as one can expect, the track pays homage to the N.W.A. classic “Straight Outta Compton”. The track would be better if it did not follow forth from one of the best rap songs ever. With a stutter out of the door, “Piano Man” (one of the five tracks, including “Rider Pt. 2”, “No Days Off”, “I Like The Way She Do It” and “Party Ain’t Over”, that features Young Buck. The flow takes off on “It’s A Homicide”, a track that featured Tony Yayo and Spider Loc, but is slowed down. Continue reading “G-Unit – Terminate on Sight (CD)”

Night Ranger – Hole In The Sun (CD)

Night Ranger has always seemed to be a band that never got to that highest level of popularity, despite having such hair metal classics as “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” and “Sister Christian”. “Hole In The Sun” showcases the band’s ability to create good hard rock. This is first evidenced during the introductory track to “Hole In The Sun”, “Tell Your Vision”. The grit and grind that is present in the track works well as a counterpoint for the vocals, which tie the older hair metal genre closely to the grunge of a Soundgarden. “Drama Queen” follows up “Tell Your Vision”, and it is a track that takes quite a few seconds to get started. Continue reading “Night Ranger – Hole In The Sun (CD)”

Foals – Antidotes (CD)

Fans of Foals’ former acts, The Edmund Fitzgerald and Face Meets Grill, should immediately be fans of Foals’ work. This is not because the work on “Antidotes” is just copying what the individual band members have done in the past, but rather that the work put forth by Foals here is heads and shoulders above the body of work of either predecessor act. “Antidotes” begins with “The French Open”, a track that really sets the stage for the rest of “Antidotes” . Continue reading “Foals – Antidotes (CD)”

G.G. Elvis and the TCP Band – A Punk Elvis Tribute (CD)

Wikipedia puts G.G. Elvis and the TCP Band as a nardcore act. While I had no idea what nardcore was (essentially, it is a brand of punk rock that originally was present in acts from the Oxnard city of California. Saying that, the G.G. Elvis and the TCP Band is an all-star band in sorts, as it consists of members of Ill Repute, Aggression, Nofx, and the Bad Samaritans. The subtitle of the disc – “A Punk Elvis Tribute” – will give individuals all that they need to know to understand what the act is trying to do. Essentially, the act bashes through such Elvis classics as “Viva Las Vegas”, “In The Ghetto”, and Blue Suede Shoes”, throwing more than a fair share of hardcore punk in listeners’ faces.

While the aforementioned “In The Ghetto” is a solid punk track, the song saps much of the allure that the original track brought to the table. As it continues the high energy sound of G.G. Elvis, listeners should let it slide but find a way to hear the original version to see what I am talking about. The band regains any lost luster with “Don’t Cry Daddy”, which I have to admit that I’ve never heard before. I think that any G.G. Elvis release should be based on those Elvis songs that do not know, so they can avoid the comparisons that listeners will inevitably make. “Suspicious Minds” is an example of one of those tracks that the act can conceivably make their own; the act blasts through the course of three minutes and finishes with a high amount of energy before they enter into one of Elvis’s classics, “Burning Love”. Where “In The Ghetto” was a tad on the weak side, “Burning Love” is much more memorable, even building upon the catchiness that was originally present in the song.

“Blue Suede Shoes” is strong similarly because the act adds so much to the original track. The bass line blends walking and Matt Freeman styles to make something new yet classically-oriented: the band is single-handedly able to save the rockabilly genre. If you like punk bands that do covers (whether it be like Me First and the Gimme Gimmes or the countless number of “Punk Goes” compilations), make it a point to pick up this set, which throws in a DVD to make things all the sweeter. Check them out if they make it out to your neck of the woods, too.

Top Tracks: Blue Suede Shoes, Little Sister

Rating: 7.2/10

G.G. Elvis and the TCP Band – A Punk Elvis Tribute (CD) / 2008 Mental / 13 Tracks / /

Definitely, Maybe (CD)

Definitely, Maybe is a film that shows the difficulty that individuals have in trying to explain the twists and turns of a parent’s past life to a child, that may not understand exactly what that parent is talking about. Clint Mansell previously of Pop Will Eat Itself was tapped to do the score of the film, and while individuals may not be familiar with too many of the films with which ey has done work (Smokin’ Aces, Sahara, and Requiem for a Dream are likely the three films that ey scored that individuals may have seen), the quality of this soundtrack is superb. Continue reading “Definitely, Maybe (CD)”

Curt Smith – Halfway Pleased (CD)

Curt Smith, individuals may know, was the individual (that along with Roland Orzabal”, founded the act Tears For Fears. “Halfway Pleased” is the latest solo album from Smith, and Europeans have actually had to pleasure of familiarizing themselves with the album for well over a year after American audience began to have a shot. To put this is in some kind of chronology, the tracks from “Halfway Pleased” are those that were written alongside Smith’s songwriter Charlton Pettus, before Tears For Fears officially reunited and went out on tour. The first track on “Halfway Pleased” is “Perfect Day”, and immediately shows listeners the unique style of Smith. Continue reading “Curt Smith – Halfway Pleased (CD)”

Motley Crue – Saints of Los Angeles (CD)

It’s been a long, strange trip for Motley Crue. They have been dead, doing their own things, blasted to their gills on panoply on drugs, and have made some of the most memorable hard rock ever. So, with all four original members back, what the hell type of music are they capable of? “Face Down In The Dirt” is the first song on “Saints of Los Angeles”, and it starts off with a driving, punk-infused bass line that rapidly opens up to the band’s first hit. Vince Neil’s vocals are as iconic and as unique as they always were, and they do not seem to have aged a day from “Shout At The Devil”. Continue reading “Motley Crue – Saints of Los Angeles (CD)”

Lex Land – Orange Days On Lemon Street (CD)

There are two distinct styles that are struggling for dominance during the early reaches of “Orange Days On Lemon Street”. There is a folk sound that reaches out to fans of Vetiver and Devendra Banhart, but there is a decidedly pop influence here that plays on female artists that range from Natalie Imbruglia to Alanis Morrisette and Tori Amos, even touching a little on Amy Winehouse before the track ends. After “All We’ve Ever Done” ends, “Could’ve Had Me” has a stop-start sound that furthers the soulful, Amy Winehouse meets Duffy sound that started off the disc. Continue reading “Lex Land – Orange Days On Lemon Street (CD)”