Celtic Woman – A Christmas Celebration

Celtic Woman – A Christmas Celebration / 2007 Manhattan / 15 Tracks / http://www.celticwoman.com / http://www.manhattanrecords.com /

In the last few years, Celtic Woman has taken the world by storm. Starting out with PBS specials and moving into selling out venues, going Gold and Platinum, and they have reached a level of fame high enough to merit recording a disc of Christmas tracks. The disc captures a perfect blend of Christmas standards, lesser known Christmas-themed tracks, and even a track in Gaelic (a version of “That Night in Bethlehem”). The five piece, consisting of Chloe Agnew, Orla Fallon, Lisa Kelly, Mairead Nesbitt, and Meav Ni Mhaolchatha, are as strong as they ever have been; despite the fact that a number of individuals already have this CD (due to the fact that it was released last year), I still have a feeling that it will rocket back up the charts this year. Continue reading “Celtic Woman – A Christmas Celebration”

Tender Forever – Wider

Tender Forever – Wider / 2007 K / 12 Tracks / http://www.takemybreathaay.net / http://www.krecs.com /

You know, the cover of “Wider” does not immediately give individuals a good sense of what the album will ultimately sound like. The lead singer is sitting in front of a cardboard (or paper) representation of a fire, in an meditative pose. When one actually puts the CD in, the cover of the album actually begins to represent the style of music that issues forth from “Wider”. “Tiny Heart and Clever Hand” has an emotive, quiet style of vocals that stumble into catchy harmonies at times, while the instrumentation is antiseptic, open, electronic, and acts like the wide open spaces that are present on the front cover of the CD. Continue reading “Tender Forever – Wider”

Michael Bolton – A Swingin’ Christmas

Michael Bolton – A Swingin’ Christmas / 2007 The Second Time Around / 10 Tracks / http://www.michaelbolton.com / http://www.concordmusicgroup.com /

Ah, Michael Bolton. Your “A Swingin’ Christmas” has you covering some of the best known Christmas-themed songs. There are versions of “Walkin’ In A Winter Wonderland”, “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”, “White Christmas”, “Let It Snow”, and more. In fact, there is only one song that I did not know from a quick glance over the titles: “The Christmas Song”. What individuals can expect from “A Swingin’ Christmas” is a slightly emotional, slightly jazzy rendition of these Christmas classics. Thus, “Walkin’ In A Winter Wonderland” is essentially the same as the typical version that is played in malls all through the country. Continue reading “Michael Bolton – A Swingin’ Christmas”

Alter Bridge – Blackbird

Alter Bridge – Blackbird / 2007 Republic / 13 Tracks / http://www.altarbridge.com / http://www.universalrepublic.com /

As most individuals may know, Alter Bridge consists of three-fourths of what was Creed. To those ranks, Myles Kennedy (formerly of The Mayfield Four) provides lead vocals and guitar. “Blackbird” is the band’s second album, and the disc’s first single is “Rise Today”. For those wrestling fans that happen to read NeuFutur, “Rise Today” was the track that was played to all hell during WWE’s Unforgiven 2007. While this album did not peak as highly as their debut album, “One Day Remains”, did (#13 compared to “One Day Remains'” #5), there is a certain evolution to the band’s sound that will only impress listeners. Continue reading “Alter Bridge – Blackbird”

The Staple Singers – The 25th Day of December

The Staple Singers – The 25th Day of December / 2007 Concord / 12 Tracks / http://www.concordmusicgroup.com /

I must admit that I was not that familiar with The Staple Singers before receiving this CD. For anyone that is too young to remember The Staple Singers, they were a gospel group that released albums for over twenty-five years. It took them about 12 years to actually break onto the charts; their 1971 self titled album got them a #9 on the R&B charts. The next seven years would bring them a number of other successes, and the act persevered into the eighties. Continue reading “The Staple Singers – The 25th Day of December”

Pink Floyd – Piper At The Gates of Dawn

Pink Floyd – Piper At The Gates of Dawn / 2007 Capitol / 11 Tracks / http://www.capitolrecords.com /

Any Pink Floyd fan knows that “Piper At The Gates of Dawn” was the first album created by Pink Floyd. Casual fans that just know Pink Floyd from “The Wall” and “Pulse”-era recordings will struggle to find commonality between those albums and “Piper”. 2007 marks the 40th anniversary of the original release of the album, so what Capitol does here is create a remastered version of the album that showcases some of the arrangements and compositions that may have gained a little dust in the transformation from reel to reel to album, and from cassette to CD. The results are stunning, and what results with this version of “Piper At The Gates of Dawn” is something that will give Pink Floyd fans a whole new light into the motivations and desires of the band at this point of their careers. Continue reading “Pink Floyd – Piper At The Gates of Dawn”

OST: Feel The Noise

OST: Feel The Noise / 2007 Sony / 10 Tracks / http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/feelthenoise/index.html /

Feel The Noise was the movie that featured Omarion and discusses the evolution of a young male that has to flee from gang violence to Puerto Rico, becoming taken up in the musical culture of Reggaeton. The character eventually strives to be a Reggaeton star, leading up to their performance at New York’s Puerto Rican Day Parade. As one can likely guess, the soundtrack has a number of songs by individuals that are in some way involved with the Reggaeton scene. I’m not very familiar with the scene myself, but individuals that watch the movie are likely not going to be either. For those fans of mainstream music, there is only one track that will stand out from a cursory glance at the back of the CD – Omarion’s “Cut Off Time”. There are other tracks present by established rappers – Omarion is featured again, this time with Wyclef Jean, for the track “Coqui”, while Pras comes forth during “Pa La Calle”. Continue reading “OST: Feel The Noise”

Barenaked Ladies – Talk To The Hand: Live In Michigan

Barenaked Ladies – Talk To The Hand: Live In Michigan / 2007 Shout! Factory / http://www.bnlmusic.com /

I have been a fan of the Barenaked Ladies for well over a decade, ever since I first heard “The Old Apartment” on Muchmusic (back before it became a lame MTV knockoff here in the states). Their artist focus show (which had a half hour dedicated to videos by the band) turned me on to “Enid” and “If I Had 1,000,000”. Hell, even my mother got into the band after watching these video shows. While it is my opinion that the band’s stock slipped slightly in the late nineties and early oughts with “One Week” and other tracks of that ilk, I still feel that BNL are a more than capable band. With “Talk To The Hand”, the band’s first concert DVD, my thoughts are made into reality. Rather than being just a live show, the song selection on “Talk To The Hand” is strong enough that individuals could conceivably use the audio track from the DVD as a greatest hits. Continue reading “Barenaked Ladies – Talk To The Hand: Live In Michigan”

Kelly King – Live The Dream

Kelly King – Live The Dream / 2007 TresKneeHows / 15 Tracks / http://www.kellykingsings.com /

Kelly King provides a brand of pop music during “Tame Me” that does not really put anything forth that has not been done before in the genre. What is interesting about the track is the chorus, which will put individuals onto the dance floor in masses. The track rapidly slides back into its original state soon after, but it does show that King can come up with a track that could conceivably make it onto the Billboard chart. Recent events have shown that King is more than capable to make it on this chart; as of this writing, King is on the top twenty five of the Billboard chart. “I Don’t Wanna Sing That Song” is a slower song and has an equal blend of nineties and current pop. The backing instrumentation is perhaps what is most interesting about the track. Continue reading “Kelly King – Live The Dream”

Amy Grant – Greatest Hits

Amy Grant – Greatest Hits / 2007 Sparrow / 19 Tracks / http://www.amygrant.com / http://www.sparrowrecords.com /

I know that for a while back during my senior year of high school and the summer before the first year of my undergraduate college career, I liked a lot of Christian music. I still never went (and really never have been) to church, but I liked the sound of sounds in that style and gave them kudos as they did actually have some message to push in their music. Amy Grant was one of those individuals, and while I liked a lot of eir earlier music (back when ey was essentially the Madonna of Christian music), I was not very familiar with the more current stuff that ey had put out. This is where the greatest hits album comes in, which provides 19 of Grant’s most known hits over the last thirty years (Grant’s debut was first released to the public in 1977). Continue reading “Amy Grant – Greatest Hits”