CD Review: Paul McCartney – NEW

Paul McCartney - NEW | ©2013 Hear Music

Suggested Retail Price: $12.99 Distributor: Hear Music I have been a big fan of Paul McCartney’s since the early 1990s when he was still crafting fascinating pop albums and occasionally writing some of his best tunes since the Beatles with Declan MacManus (aka Elvis Costello). Every new release since then, I’ve found ho-hum, but now, at age 71 McCartney has steamrolled back to the fore, first with fronting a mini-Nirvana reunion with the “Cut Me Some Slack” track from earlier this year and now with his latest full length album NEW. This doesn’t sound like someone ready for the retirement […]Read On »

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CD Review: Bruce Springsteen – WRECKING BALL

Bruce Springsteen - WRECKING BALL | ©2012 Columbia Records

Distributor: Columbia Records Suggested Retail Price: $11.99 (regular edition), $12.99 (special edition) When you have so many great albums under your belt like Bruce Springsteen (BORN IN THE U.S.A., DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN, THE RISING), you can pretty much do whatever you want and it isn’t going to tarnish your legacy. There have been some near misses, some grand experiments and a handful of very good songs over the years from Springsteen, but it was that spirit of experimentation that kept The Boss from getting stale even if consistency wasn’t always the mission. Thankfully WRECKING BALL remedies all […]Read On »

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CD Review: Foxy Shazam – THE CHURCH OF ROCK AND ROLL

Foxy Shazam - THE CHURCH OF ROCK AND ROLL | ©2012 I.R.S. Records

Distributor: I.R.S. Records Suggested Retail Price: $9.98 With so many bands refusing or unable to pay at the “Church of Rock and Roll”, it’s refreshing that Foxy Shazam isn’t afraid to dive in head-first with their fourth album, dubbed appropriately enough, THE CHURCH OF ROCK AND ROLL. While the Cincinnatti, OH band’s previous releases definitely had the hooks and in many cases, comparisons to Queen rock and bombast, it’s their latest release that truly showcases their hard-rockin’ roots, mainstream ambitions and Glam swagger. Produced by Justin Hawkins, frontman for the criminally underrated hard rock band The Darkness, there’s definitely some […]Read On »

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CD Review: BEYONCE – 4

BEYONCE - 4 | ©2011 Sony Music

Distributor: Sony Music Suggested Retail Price: $9.99 If I had my choice of soaking in a new Elvis Costello album or checking out the new Beyonce release 4, I would probably go for Costello. However, considering there isn’t a new Costello release, there’s no harm in evaluating Beyonce’s latest. To be honest, I thought her last release, I AM … SASHA FIERCE, was an impressive, groundbreaking album for the artist. She experimented with her sound and conjured up some very powerful ballads that transcended the Diva genre. With 4 (her fourth solo release), she plays it somewhat safe. There are […]Read On »

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CD Review: Lady Gaga – BORN THIS WAY

Lady Gaga - BORN THIS WAY | ©2011 Interscope Records

Distributor: Interscope Suggested Retail Price: $12.99 You have to hand it to Lady Gaga. She loves to let her freak flag fly, and she’s done such an amazing job of cultivating this performance-art persona, that she’s become more famous for what she wears, rather than what she’s actually singing. That of course is the big dichotomy her career is facing. She’s clearly pushed the envelope as far as she can with her costumes, and now, she really needs to start bringing the attention back to the fact that she’s not that bad a singer and a pretty accomplished songwriter (even […]Read On »

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Song Reviews: AMERICAN IDOL – TOP 4 SEASON 10 album

AMERICAN IDOL: The Final 4: Haley Reinhart, Scotty McCreery, James Durbin and Lauren Alaina | ©2011 Fox/Michael Becker

After last night’s strange episode of AMERICAN IDOL – Season 10, where the Top 4 contestants sang two songs apiece (one that inspires, the other from the Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller songbook), it was clear the judges are still all over the map when it comes to criticism and what an IDOL should exactly be (okay, one map, everyone is great EXCEPT Haley). While James Durbin, Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery have gotten pretty much a free ride to the Top 4 with nary a critique (especially when they blow hard), Haley Reinhart has had to claw her way into her […]Read On »

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CD Review: Occult Detective Club – CRIMES

Occult Detective Club - CRIMES

While it might seem easy, crafting a solid power punk album requires a couple of important ingredients that are often forgotten – namely attitude, angst, crunching guitars and short songs. This formula is strictly adhered to by Occult Detective Club on CRIMES, which delivers a tight 12 song disc that clocks a little under 30 minutes. Guitars jangle forcefully on the lead-off track “In Another Life” and segue into one cool track after another with “Our Bitter End” being the strongest, while “Calling the Detectives” provides playful wordplay and toe-tapping fun – “she’s calling the detectives/you’re gonna need an alibi.” […]Read On »

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