Rock/Pop/Etc.

CD Review: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – DAMN THE TORPEDOES: Deluxe Edition

TOM PETTY and the HEARTBREAKERS - Damn the Torpedoes Deluxe Edition | ©2010 Geffen Records

It’s hard to grasp that the first two Tom Petty records – 1976’s self titled release (featuring “American Girl” and “Breakdown) and 1978’s YOU’RE GONNA GET IT! (featuring “I Need to Know” and “Listen to Her Heart”) – were not commercial successes in the states.

The U.K. loved the band, but despite those great songs, they struggled to find a stateside audience.

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CD Review: Bruce Springsteen – THE PROMISE

THE PROMISE - Bruce Springsteen | ©2010 Sony

Whenever an artist starts scrounging around their archives for unreleased tracks, it’s usually for a box set of rarities, or even worse, a way to dredge up past glories when the current musical muse has long-since dried up.

That’s not the case with Bruce Springsteen. In the ‘90s he released an incredibly ambitious box set of B-sides and rarities called TRACKS that proved even his toss-offs were A-sides.

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Music/DVD Review: BLACK FRANCIS – THE GOLEM soundtrack

THE GOLEM soundtrack - Black Francis

When I first heard Black Francis (i.e. Frank Black, i.e. Charles Thompson) was concocting a soundtrack to the classic 1916 German silent film THE GOLEM, I thought it might be a more traditional kind of score. Instead, true to his music roots, he’s created a more rock and roll soundtrack for this endeavor featuring both instrumentals and actual songs (the songs are featured here on this new CD). This results in one of Francis’ strongest and most consistent albums in years. He originally performed his score live in San Francisco – and this is the studio version of that performance.

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Music Review: Kings of Leon – COME AROUND SUNDOWN

Kings of Leon - COME AROUND SUNDOWN | ©2010 RCA Records

In a recent interview with SPIN Magazine, Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill said: “I still think there’s a song in me that will go down as one of the greats. I haven’t written it yet, not even close.” I would disagree with that statement, since “Use Somebody” from their 2008 breakthrough album ONLY BY THE NIGHT fits that bill to a tee. It’s a perfect pop-rock ballad seething with angst riddled lyrics and a performance by Followill that will guarantee that song lives on pop radio for the next two decades.

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CD Review: Paul McCartney & Wings – BAND ON THE RUN Special Edition

Paul McCartney & Wings - BAND ON THE RUN - Special Edition | © 2010 MPL Communications

Label: Concord Music Group Suggested Retail Price: $29.98 When you’re part of the biggest band ever, what’s a poor boy from Liverpool to do? How about start a new band with his wife? When the Beatles disbanded in 1970, and the Fab Four went their separate ways, with both John Lennon and Paul McCartney finding musical partners and muses with their wives (Lennon with Yoko Ono, McCartney with Linda Eastman). Both produced mixed results, though Wings, McCartney’s band with Linda, had the most longevity and the most consistent chart-topping success. It’s hard to top the Beatles, and although all four […]Read On »

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Music Review: THE TING TINGS – “Hands E.P.”

THE TING TING'S - HANDS E.P.

If Blondie had a baby it would be The Ting Tings, the irresistible electro-pop duo fronted by eclectic noisemakers Jules De Martino and Katy White. Their debut disc 2008 WE STARTED NOTHING captured an ‘80s sensibility and was definitely rooted in the spirit of Debbie Harry’s New Wave goodness. Many of the song lyrics were repetitive, but that was part of their anarchic charm especially with their hit single “That’s Not My Name.” Now, the duo have released their first single “Hands” alongside two remixes from their forthcoming (and untitled) 2011 album. “Hands” feels even more polished than the WE STARTED NOTHING songs, capturing the band progressing their sound as White digs a little deeper into their inner disco diva.

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Music Review: Gin Blossoms – NO CHOCOLATE CAKE

Gin Blossoms - NO CHOCOLATE CAKE | ©2010 429 Records

The Gin Blossoms were one of the 1990s strongest hook-happy groups that shot to the top of the charts with their hit single “Hey, Jealousy” off NEW MISERABLE EXPERIENCE and later with “Til I Hear It from You” co-written by pop-craftsman Marshall Crenshaw for the film EMPIRE RECORDS. Though they disbanded in 1997, the group eventually reformed in 2002 followed by the lackluster 2006 disc MAJOR LODGE VICTORY.

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