Sexta-feira, 29 de Novembro de 2013

Beck - B Side Collection: Stray Blues [2000]

Música: Indie Rock/Alternative Pop Rock/Alternative Dance

Comentário AM:

If you're a Beck fan, you may already know of the insane amount of B-side and unreleased material that is out there. I have spent ridiculous sums of money tracking down out of print CDs, Euopean releases, etc. In any case, if you love Beck's major label releases, Stray Blues is as great an introduction as you can find as to what is bubbling under Beck's mainstream stuff. Since Amazon doesn't list the tracks, I'll give my own review of each song. You can find more in-depth info on Beck.com about these songs. 1. Totally Confused-great early acoustic number by Beck, really beautiful song. 2. Halo of Gold-from the Mutations sessions so think that vein. It wasn't my cup of tea but it's not bad. 3. Burro-this is a Mariachi version of Jack-Ass with vocals sung in Mexican by Beck! Brilliant! 4. Brother-This was from Beck's first version of Odelay, which was originally going to be all acoustiic tracks. Nice cut w/ Guitar & piano. 5. Lemonade-This song alternates between Beck acoustic and Beck singing over white noise. Only for Da Real, but if you're into Beck's experimental side you won't be disappointed. 6. Electric Music and the Summer People-I have no idea how this got left off Odelay because it's Beck's rockinest party song ever. Beck w/ electric guitar & cheesy casio but, as always, it works. 7. Clock-another Odealy out-take. I personally feel he should have left off "Where It's At" and included this. 8. Feather in Your Cap-from the "Brother" sessions, acoustic and more upbeat. Great track, you can also find this on the "Suburbia" soundtrack. Anyway, this CD only scratches the surface, but it's a great primer. You will not be disappointed, though 30 clams is a lot for 8 songs. By the way, if you ever see his song "Mexico" available it is another unreleased must have. Beck, please stop toying with your fans emotions and make your stuff more readily available!

4.5

Beck - B Side Collection: Stray Blues [2000]

 

sinto-me: em 29 de Novembro 2013
música: INDIE ROCK

Porcupine Tree - Stars Die: The Delerium Years '91-97 [2002]

Música: Art Rock/Prog Rock/Post Rock/Electronic

Comentário AM:

If you have heard some Porcupine Tree stuff, and now would like to start your own collection, this compilation is a great place to do that. There is some belief that In Absentia and Deadwing are their most accessible records. It is true that they contain some very radio friendly songs, but they also contain some of their heavier material as well, perhaps not making those as good of a place to start for some. Don't get me wrong, I love those cds and those are some of my favorites (last month, it was Deadwing, this month it's Signify, next month, it may be Stupid Dream...). Back to this cd - it is a collection of early works and it does not include anything from Deadwing, In Absentia, Lightbulb Sun and Stupid Dream. It does include some great early tracks, and it's really hard to pick a favorite. Stars Die, Radioactive Toy, Nine Cats, Sky Moves Sideways are some of the gems, but there are hardly any weak songs on here. Also, you will get some alternative song versions not available elsewhere. It is simply a collection of excellent atmospheric music. Some make comparisons to Pink Floyd, and sure, there are similarities. However, these songs have a life of their own. Whenever I play this cd, I always get asked about the band. If you start with this cd, you may be inspired to go back and buy all the early albums (Signify, Up the Downstair, and so on). Another good news here is that those albums have plenty of additional excellent tracks that will make those purchases worthwhile, despite already having this collection. I would not hesitate and would purchase this cd and get into the world of PT.

4.5

Porcupine Tree - Stars Die: The Delerium Years '91-97 [2002]

 

sinto-me: em 29 de Novembro 2013
música: ART ROCK/PROG ROCK

publicado por maniaco às 11:27
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Roy Ayers - Virgin Ubiquity: Unreleased Recordings 1976-1981 [2004]

Música: Soul Jazz/Funk Jazz/Jazz Pop/Fusion

Comentário AM:

In the case of "Virgin Ubiquity," song selections were culled from a massive amount of master tapes that Roy was able to keep back in the day (thanks to the negotiating of a shrewd lawyer). These songs are not throwaways or filler. In many cases, they even top the quality of material that Roy did release in the late 70s. And for this reason, "Virgin Ubiquity" is a holy grail for true Ayers (and even current acid jazz and neosoul fans), in both theory and reality. Memorable songs include the perfect "Boogie Down," with an irresistable swirling groove that will make you wonder why Roy never released it. It's already a classic in my eyes. Then there's "Brand New Feeling," which stretches nearly 10 minutes long with the sound that Ayers fan clamor for. (Some minor vocal pitch issues and one small/amusing lyrics slip-up warrant its unreleased status.) The vocals by Sylvia Cox are truly passion-fueled and intense, and Roy's comments about her and why she split from the band (in the great liner notes) will increase the mystery and, perhaps, tragicness behind this powerful performance. Virgin Ubiquity does an excellent job at spotlighting Roy's female vocalists, even more than his own vibes work. Especially in the case of Merry Clayton, the infamous 70s session singer, who sings lead on 6 of the CD's 13 cuts. (Other featured vocalists include Cox, Carla Vaughn and Dianne Ventner.) The potent, gruff-voiced Clayton shines on each track she touches -- especially on the William Allen-penned "Oh What a Lonely Feeling." If you are a fan of Ayers albums like "Everybody Loves the Sunshine," "Fever," "Let's Do It," "Searching" and everything else from '76 up to '82 (including the Ramp, Wayne Henderson & "Starbooty" releases), you'll find even more to love on "Virgin Ubiquity." You might even like it better than some of the aforementioned. Guaranteed.

4

Roy Ayers - Virgin Ubiquity: Unreleased Recordings 1976-1981 [2004]

 

sinto-me: em 29 de Novembro 2013
música: JAZZ

publicado por maniaco às 11:19
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R.E.M. - Part Lies Part Heart Part Truth Part Garbage: 1982-2011 [2011]

Música: Alternative Pop Rock/College Rock

Comentário AM:

R.E.M. close out their Warner contract -- not to mention their entire career -- with the double-disc Part Lies Part Heart Part Truth Part Garbage, their first compilation to combine early recordings from their time at IRS with their major-label hits for Warner. It’s misleading to look at these as merely two separate eras, as it more accurately breaks down into a three-act structure: the IRS years when R.E.M. were the kings of college rock; the stretch between 1988-1995 when they were international superstars; and then the slow decline of 1998-2011, the years after Bill Berry, the years when Peter Buck, Michael Stipe, and Mike Mills tried to redefine the group as a trio before finally realizing they’d said all they could say. Part Lies gives equal time to each act -- there are 13 songs from IRS, 14 from the golden years at Warner, 13 from the trio years (including a revival of the mid-‘80s outtake “Bad Day,” which feels like a slight stretch) -- an eminently fair move that tells the story while slightly obscuring the import of the tale. Inevitably, the jangle pop and murk of the ‘80s are downplayed -- “Can’t Get There from Here,” “Pretty Persuasion,” “Feeling Gravity’s Pull” are missing -- in favor of a heavy dose of new millennial material, including three songs from 2011’s respectable Collapse into Now and three perfectly fine new songs, which means the last ten or so cuts are songs that fairweather fans of either the ‘80s or ‘90s just won’t care much about or possibly even know. Nevertheless, this last act is shown in a good light -- the benefit of a comp is that it’s totally possible, even welcome, to downplay dull lapses like Around the Sun -- and, when combined with well-chosen highlights from the band’s powerful first two acts, adds up to a thorough narrative of R.E.M.’s entire career.

4

R.E.M. - Part Lies Part Heart Part Truth Part Garbage: 1982-2011 [2011]

 

sinto-me: em 29 de Novembro 2013
música: ALTERNATIVE POP ROCK

publicado por maniaco às 11:10
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Quinta-feira, 21 de Novembro de 2013

VA - The Sound Gallery, Vol. 1 & 2 [1996]

Música: Easy Listening/Easy Pop Rock/Space Age Pop

Comentário AM:

This CD contains the (in my humble opinion) best instrumental ever written: The Riviera Affair/Neil Richardson. Picture David Janssen and Diana Rigg cruising in a turquoise convertible along the open highway with the wind in their hair and the glorious possibilities of the future before them. This will give you just a small idea of how glorious and transcendent this tune is!! For this alone, I would have paid for the CD. But wait... there's more! The quality of the stereo is amazingly good--in fact, wonderful. Other great instrumentals are: Oh Calcutta (corny but suave -- touches of Brian Wilson instrumentals at his best); Black Rite (cool Bond-like theme style with electric guitar and horns; Jaguar (wow--this will sweep you away!! big bass beat, organ, strings); Life of Leisure (melody a bit like "Walk on By" -- amazingly beautiful mellow horn and strings--you'll float away); The Penthouse Suite (this one does it all--really rips--get out the go-go boots and start snapping your fingers!!); Music to Drive By (theme-type tune with happy strings, xylophone, flute--transcends typical themes). The others tunes are okay to excellent--depends on your taste. Some are TV themes or game show types. Some are groovy pseudo-psychedlic (Jesus Christ Superstar). Some are funky, jazzy (Carol King's "I Feel the Earth Move"), commercial (Shout About Pepsi). Yes, there's a lot here -- something for every taste! If you own only one instrumental/lounge CD, make this the one!! (BTW, Volume Two of this series is also very good and worth owning, but not quite as sublime as this first volume.)
4.5
 
sinto-me: em 21 de Novembro 2013
música: EASY LISTENING

publicado por maniaco às 17:49
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VA - Trojan Box Set: U.K. Hits [2002]

Música: Roots Reggae/Dance Hall/Dub/Ska/Rocksteady

Comentário AM:

This low-priced three-CD box set basically serves as a history of Trojan Records. Starting with the Skatalites in the mid-'60s and working through to Dennis Brown in the 1970s, Trojan released a ton of great reggae and ska. Here's a small taste of some of the songs you'll find here: Desmond Dekker's "Isrealites," the Harry J All-Stars' "Liquidator," the Melodians' "Rivers of Babylon," Bob Marley & the Wailers' "Sun Is Shining," Jimmy Cliff's "Vietnam," and Dennis Brown's "Money in My Pocket." Some of the other names are not as familiar, but the music is uniformly first-rate. This is a fine purchase for newcomers to reggae and collectors alike.

4.5

VA - Trojan Box Set: U.K. Hits [2002]

 

sinto-me: em 21 de Novembro 2013
música: REGGAE

VA - Summer of Love: Hits of 1967 [2007]

Música: Psychedelic Pop Rock/Sunshine Pop/Contemporary Pop Rock/Blues Rock

Comentário AM:

This two-disc set (there is a DVD disc entitled My Generation: The History of Rock 'n' Roll also included in the package) from Time-Life is split into two parts (arbitrarily labeled AM and FM), both of which are centered on the pivotal year of 1967, the year in which rock went psychedelic and widened its scope into the political and social arenas, a cultural explosion that added flower power to the menu and a good deal of depth and substance (and a fair amount of foolishness) as well. For all the fine music that is included here, ranging from the Beach Boys, the Box Tops, and the Byrds to Cream, the Music Machine, and Traffic, it is what is not included that most defines the year that was: the Beatles. Of course, 1967 was the year the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's, the first and probably best volley in all of this, and nothing from that album has been licensed for this collection, a thought listeners should keep in mind while wading through this otherwise fine compilation.

4

VA - Summer of Love: Hits of 1967 [2007]

 

sinto-me: em 21 de Novembro 2013
música: PSYCHEDELIC POP ROCK

publicado por maniaco às 17:32
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VA - Anthems Electronic 80's, Vol. 3 [2012]

Música: Electronic/Synth Pop/Dance Rock/New Wave

Comentário AM:

Having sold over a million copies Anthems Electronic 80s returns this winter with the monumental third instalment in the phenomenal series. This 3CD album showcases not only the decade which brought electronic synth sounds to the forefront of chart music but also the ultra cool credible side of the 80s, this summer saw a whole host of definitive tracks played at the Olympic Games from the likes of Kate Bush and Annie Lennox. This, coupled with brand new tours from the likes of Depeche Mode and New Order truly fortifies the return of 80s New Wave to the mainstream. CD1 features and array of talent with classic tracks from The Human League, Duran Duran, ABC, Spandau Ballet, and Nick Kershaw before CD2 dives into the cooler electronic sound of the decade with tracks from O.M.D, Jan Hammer, and Erasure. We end on Disc 3 with a plethora of the biggest artists and characters to grace the era including massive hits from David Bowie, Grace Jones, Kate Bush, Eurythmics, INXS, Blondie, New Order, Gary Newman and Peter Gabriel. Anthems Electronic 80s Volume III. The Essential 80s Soundtrack.

4

VA - Anthems Electronic 80's, Vol. 3 [2012]

 

sinto-me: em 21 de Novembro 2013
música: ELECTRONIC

publicado por maniaco às 17:25
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Segunda-feira, 11 de Novembro de 2013

Queen - The Game [1980]

Música: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal/Art Rock/Arena Rock

Comentário AM:

Queen had long been one of the biggest bands in the world by 1980's The Game, but this album was the first time they made a glossy, unabashed pop album, one that was designed to sound exactly like its time. They might be posed in leather jackets on the cover, but they hardly sound tough or menacing -- they rarely rock, at least not in the gonzo fashion that's long been their trademark. Gone are the bombastic orchestras of guitars and with them the charging, relentless rhythms that kept Queen grounded even at their grandest moments. Now, when they rock, they'll haul out a clever rockabilly pastiche, as they do on the tremendous "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," a sly revival of old-time rock & roll that never sounds moldy, thanks in large part to Freddie Mercury's panache. But even that is an exception to the rule on The Game. Usually, when they want to rock here, they wind up sounding like Boston, as they do on John Deacon's "Need Your Loving Tonight," or they sound a bit like a new wave-conscious rocker like Billy Squier, as they do on the propulsive "Coming Soon." But even those are exceptions to the overall rule on The Game, since most of the album is devoted to disco-rock blends -- best heard on the globe-conquering "Another One Bites the Dust," but also present in the unintentionally kitschy positivity anthem "Don't Try Suicide" -- and the majestic power ballads that became their calling card in the '80s, as they reworked the surging "Save Me" and the elegant "Play the Game" numerous times, often with lesser results. So, The Game winds up as a mixed bag, as many Queen albums often do, but again the striking difference with this album is that it finds Queen turning decidedly, decisively pop, and it's a grand, state-of-the-art circa 1980 pop album that still stands as one of the band's most enjoyable records. But the very fact that it does showcase a band that's turned away from rock and toward pop means that for some Queen fans, it marks the end of the road, and despite the album's charms, it's easy to see why.

4.5

Queen - The Game [1980]

 

sinto-me: em 11 de Novembro 2013
música: HARD ROCK

publicado por maniaco às 20:27
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Savatage - Hall of the Mountain King [1987]

Música: Heavy Metal/Progressive Metal

Comentário AM:

With band members, critics, and fans unhappy with the commercialism of Fight for the Rock, Savatage began to disintegrate. However the new found acquaintance of producer Paul O'Neill not only changed the group's fortunes but soon pointed them in new directions. O'Neill, who was looking for a metal band to record some of his musical ideas, agreed to produce the group's next album, which became Hall of the Mountain King. A return to the form of Dungeons Are Calling, Hall of the Mountain King was the great album the band had always threatened to make. Featuring blistering guitar riffs, numerous tempo changes, and over-the-top screeching vocals, Savatage were finally captured by decent production after two albums of attempts to put a pop sheen on their music. Returning mostly to dark fantasy subject matter, "Devastation," "Legions," and the epic title track sounded more confident and tighter than anything on their previous two records, featuring dynamic rhythms courtesy of bassist Middleton and drummer Wacholz. The catchy pop-metal of "Strange Wings" was ironically a better song than any of the band's more blatant attempts at commercialism. Meanwhile, "24 Hours Ago," one of three tracks the group co-wrote with O'Neill, was an impressive opener with an interesting tempo changes and personal lyrics that pointed to the direction the band would soon take. Fans of the later, more progressive Savatage might not enjoy the group's earlier work, but this is a fine place to start looking.

4

Savatage - Hall of the Mountain King [1987]

 

sinto-me: em 11 de Novembro 2013
música: HEAVY METAL

publicado por maniaco às 20:18
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