The Dodos – Visiter

The Dodos – Visiter / 2008 Frenchkiss / 14 Tracks / http://www.dodosmusic.net / http://www.frenchkissrecords.com /

The Dodos were formally known as Dodo Bird, and signed to Frenchkiss Records a few months ago. “Visiter” is their first album for Frenchkiss, and the disc starts off with “Walking”. “Walking” has a folk backdrop to the instrumentation, while the vocals take a slightly different tack in their alternative grounding. The linking of the two sets of vocals during the chorus brings things back to the folk sound of the instrumentation. What results, even when The Dodos embrace an older style of music, is something shining and new. The music may have a 1968 grounding, but the overall aura of The Dodos is 2008. “Red and Purple” shows that The Dodos have the ability to craft intriguing instrumental arrangements that can skirt the line between organic and inorganic, while the vocals insert an added bit of emotion to the mix. Continue reading “The Dodos – Visiter”

V/A – 2008 Grammy Nominees

V/A – 2008 Grammy Nominees / 2008 Hip-O / 21 Tracks / http://www.grammy.com /

 This compilation CD covers a wide set of genres and styles of music, and as one can probably guess, consists of those tracks that have been nominated for a Grammy. It is also easy to assume that individuals have heard most of these tracks a number of times; this CD looks to capture what were the most important movements in music for the year of 2007. Justin Timberlake starts up the CD with eir “What Comes Around Goes Around”, runs its course, and allows Amy Winehouse to move into eir “Rehab”. The two “surprise” tracks that are present on the discs (and are really not that surprising, given the iron grip that the songs had on their respective charts) are Herbie Hancock’s “River” (featuring Corrine Bailey Rae) and Vince Gill’s “What You Give Away” (featuring Sheryl Crow). Continue reading “V/A – 2008 Grammy Nominees”

OST: Juno

OST: Juno / 2008 Rhino / 19 Tracks / http://www.foxsearchlight.com/juno /

Juno was one of the most highly rated new movies on any movie-specific web site, and one of the major reasons why individuals were so into the movie was the fact that the music fit so well. This soundtrack, released by Rhino, captures all of the music in the movie, and expands the compositions from the clips played in the film into full-length compositions. The disc is punctuated quite heavily with the contributions of Kimya Dawson, who reached prominence during eir stint in The Moldy Peaches. If there is a thread to be had beyond the low-fi, indie genre that all tracks have, it would be the efforts of Dawson. Continue reading “OST: Juno”

Eric Sardinas – Eric Sardinas & Big Motor

Eric Sardinas – Eric Sardinas & Big Motor / 2008 Favored Nations / 11 Tracks / http://www.ericsardinas.com /

I know that I had not heard of Favored Nations before picking up the latest Eric Sardinas album. Apparently, Steve Vai owns Favored Nations. This album is Sardinas’ fourth and first since 2003’s “Black Pearls”. Sardinas’s style is very dependent on eir influences; individuals can immediately hear the work of individuals like Bukka White and Muddy Waters. While Sardinas is not a household name at this juncture, fans of Vai’s work may be familiar with Sardinas still. This is due to the fact that Sardinas was an opener during Vai’s 2005 tour. Continue reading “Eric Sardinas – Eric Sardinas & Big Motor”

Linda Eder – Greatest Hits

Linda Eder – Greatest Hits / 2008 Rhino / 15 Tracks / http://www.lindaeder.com / http://www.rhino.com /

Linda Eder is only 47, and at this point in eir career, has 11 different albums of material. Sure, there are Christmas albums and the Greatest Hits album in the mix, but one has to marvel at the sheer amount of music that Eder has created over the years. However, I know I was not familiar with Eder when I received this CD. Individuals in my same boat, as it were, should know that Eder performs concert and Broadway-specific types of vocals, appearing at such venues as the Carnegie Hall, the JFK Center for the Performing Arts, and the Palace Theatre in Chicago. Continue reading “Linda Eder – Greatest Hits”

Linda Eder – Greatest Hits

Linda Eder – Greatest Hits / 2008 Rhino / 15 Tracks / http://www.lindaeder.com / http://www.rhino.com /

Linda Eder is only 47, and at this point in eir career, has 11 different albums of material. Sure, there are Christmas albums and the Greatest Hits album in the mix, but one has to marvel at the sheer amount of music that Eder has created over the years. However, I know I was not familiar with Eder when I received this CD. Individuals in my same boat, as it were, should know that Eder performs concert and Broadway-specific types of vocals, appearing at such venues as the Carnegie Hall, the JFK Center for the Performing Arts, and the Palace Theatre in Chicago. Continue reading “Linda Eder – Greatest Hits”

Al Jarreau – Love Songs

Al Jarreau – Love Songs / 2008 Rhino / 14 Tracks / http://www.aljarreau.com / http://www.rhino.com /

Al Jarreau has been around for a long period of time. While individuals that are in to contemporary music may remember eir duet with Paris Bennett during the 5th season of American Idol, Jarreau made a name for eirself through eir 1981 hit “We’re in this Love Together” as well as being a major player in the vocals laid down for “We Are The World”. From eir 1965 debut (“1965”) to 2006’s “Givin’ It Up” (which featured George Benson), Jarreau has been a major player on the R&B and jazz charts. It has been about 15 years since Jarreau has cut a traditional single (eir last was 1992’s “It’s Not Hard To Love You”, which made it up to #36 on the R&B charts), but “Love Songs” is something that shows off both single and album-oriented sides of Jarreau. Continue reading “Al Jarreau – Love Songs”

William Hart Strecker – Smoke and Clouds

William Hart Strecker – Smoke and Clouds / 2008 WHS / 13 Tracks / http://www.williamhartstrecker.com /

Strecker’s “Smoke and Clouds” is the third foray into Americana music by this individual, who was previously known for touring with individuals as diverse as Dizzy Gillespie, George Duke, and Mariah Carey. If eir contributions to the works and live shows of those individuals has not rang a bell, Strecker is also well known for running Fluid, a jingle firm that crafts a number of distinct sounds for advertisers throughout the world. “Round and Round” is the first track on “Smoke and Clouds”, and it showcases the maturity of Strecker’s overall sound. Continue reading “William Hart Strecker – Smoke and Clouds”

Demeanor – Shoulders Full of Nazis

Demeanor – Shoulders Full of Nazis / 2008 Mayday Mayday Records / 5 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/demeanorgrind

Franklin Kentucky’s Demeanor brings a lot to the table. The two piece toured the country for nearly a year under the moniker Meandmyfriendcoty before changing their name to Demeanor and releasing “Shoulders Full of Nazis” on Mayday Mayday Records. My only complaint with “Shoulders full of Nazis” is that there isn’t more for me to listen to. Other than that it is brilliant; an absolute slap in the face of main stream music. From “Thrown Tusks” doom laden guitar intro to the unrelenting sonic assault that the other four songs on the record deliver “Shoulders Full of Nazis” is a solid first release. The record is loud, angry, it doesn’t sound like everyone else, and most importantly it’s passionate. Look for Demeanor to be a volatile force to be reckoned with in the Grindcore/Power Violence community in the near future.

Favorite Track: Blister Dick
Rating: 9/10

[John]

Chili Jackson – S/T

Chili Jackson – S/T / 2007 Conscious / 3 Tracks / http://www.consciousrecordsmusic.com /

The soulful, slow style of rock that Chili Jackson plays does not have an easy set of influences to decipher. The style of music that Jackson opens up this self-titled disc, during “Why”, is something that individuals have heard before but cannot pin down. The track is catchy and even sounds a little on the happy side until one listens to what is exactly being sang about. The strong instrumental arrangement that is present during this track further solidifies Jackson’s status as one of the most impressive rockers of the last few years. The trippy guitar solo that breaks the two parts of the track up provides another source of momentum, and leads in nicely to the combination of the two voices. Continue reading “Chili Jackson – S/T”