December 29, 2016

Megadeth - The World Needs a Hero (2001)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Heavy Metal
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© 2001 Sanctuary Records
AllMusic Review by Steve Huey
After leaving Capitol and losing longtime guitarist Marty Friedman, Megadeth felt that a retooling was in order. Risk had been the culmination of their move toward commercial accessibility, so much so that the album engendered a backlash among fans. So, they attempted to craft a more metallic record with The World Needs a Hero, going so far as to resurrect early-years mascot Vic Rattlehead for a gory cover that just screams heavy metal. And The World Needs a Hero does indeed prove to be the band's heaviest offering in quite some time, certainly much more so than Risk. In fact, fans who just want to hear the group play straight-up metal will probably find this their best album since Rust in Peace or Countdown to Extinction -- and Dave Mustaine tries to conjure memories of both. "Return to Hangar" is a sequel to Rust's prog-thrash classic "Hangar 18"; the new lyrics are in the same meter, but recited over a much simpler riff (shades of Metallica's "Unforgiven II," anyone?). Album closer "When" nicks riffs from Metallica's "Am I Evil?" cover; meanwhile, "Dread and the Fugitive Mind" (which first appeared on Capitol Punishment) has a growly recitation and stop-start riff straight out of "Sweating Bullets." These tracks point up the album's biggest problem: too much of the material feels like rehashed Megadeth Lite. Most cuts are taken at medium-to-slow tempos, and Mustaine's production is still pretty radio-friendly, which means that the group never quite kicks up the fury or flash of past glories. As a result, the aggression Mustaine tries to whip up for his trademark lyrical melodramas often sounds forced, especially on the banal breakup drama "1000 Times Goodbye." The World Needs a Hero is as professional as one would expect, but the album as a whole never quite catches fire, leaving it feeling too much like Megadeth-by-numbers; one can't help but wonder if the group has many ideas left.

tags: megadeth, the world needs a hero, 2001, flac,

Rampage - Scouts Honor... By Way of Blood (1997)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Hip-Hop
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© 1997 Elektra Records
AllMusic Review by Brad Mills
Busta Rhymes certainly found a legitimate member for his Flipmode Squad in cousin Rampage, as he shows on his 1997 album release. Music from Lord Have Mercy, Rampage, Spliff Star, and of course Busta himself set them up to be a major player among the top crews in hip-hop, such as the Wu-Tang Clan, Boot Camp Clik, and D.I.T.C. On this album, a young Rampage is presented with some of the best production work done so far by Flipmode, and his flow works well with the beats. Lyrically, he has a simplified style of rapping without much wordplay, standing out more on the tracks where he's telling a story. The hypnotic piano on "Wild for the Night" easily makes for the best track on the album, but "Conquer Da World" and "Get the Money and Dip" are definite bangers.

Passi - Les Tentations (1997)

Country: France
Language: French
Genre: Hip-Hop
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© 1997 V2
*No professional reviews available for this release.

A Lighter Shade of Brown - Brown & Proud (1992 Reissue)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Hip-Hop, Chicano Rap
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© 1990-1992 Pump/Quality Records
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson
Latino rappers have ranged from pop-oriented (Gerardo) to hardcore (Cypress Hill, Tha Mexikinz). Debuting with Brown and Proud, Lighter Shade of Brown made it clear that they fell into the latter category. The title says it all -- the L.A. group wears its Mexican-American heritage like a badge of honor on this promising CD, and in doing so, is usually quite substantial. Most of the material is superb, including "El Varrio" (a no-nonsense description of how tough life can be in L.A.'s working-class Hispanic neighborhoods), "T.J. Nights," and "Pancho Villa" (which salutes the Mexican rebel). Brown and Proud wasn't as commercially successful as some of Brown's subsequent work, but in Chicano rap circles, the group commanded some well-deserved respect.

tags: a lighter shade of brown, lighter shade of brown, brown and proud, 1990, 1992, reissue, flac,

Megadeth - Youthanasia (1994)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Heavy Metal
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© 1994 Capitol Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Megadeth's follow-up to the hit Countdown to Extinction lacks the focus of its predecessor, but Youthanasia makes up the difference with more accessible, radio-friendly production and tighter riffs. Unfortunately, they have abandoned some of the more experimental, progressive elements in their music, but those are hardly missed in the jackhammer riffs of tracks like "Train of Consequences."

tags: megadeth, youthanasia, 1994, flac,

December 28, 2016

Brigade - Northern Lightz (1996)

Country: Sweden
Language: English, Swedish
Genre: Hip-Hop
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© 1996 Semaphore Records
*No professional reviews available for this release.

WWE - Raw Greatest Hits: The Music (15th Anniversary) (2007)

*This pressing contains 2 bonus tracks including "Slow Chemical" & "Line In The Sand" by Finger Eleven & Motörhead. Contains 17 tracks total.

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Theme Music, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Hip-Hop
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© 2007 Columbia Records
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming
World Wrestling Entertainment's best-known wrestlers all make their way to the ring with the right arena-rocking anthem backing them up, and this album collects 19 songs made famous as theme music from WWE's broadcasts. WWE Presents Raw Greatest Hits: The Music features songs associated with John Cena ("The Time Is Now"), the Rock ("If You Smell"), Stone Cold Steve Austin ("I Won't Do What You Tell Me"), the Undertaker ("Rest in Peace"), Evolution ("Line in the Sand"), Rey Mysterio ("[619]"), and more.

tags: wwf, wwe, raw greatest hits, the music, 15th anniversary, 2007, flac,

December 24, 2016

Michael Jackson - HIStory: Past, Present & Future (Book I) (1995)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Pop
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                  *****
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© 1995 Epic Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Michael Jackson's double-disc HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I is a monumental achievement of ego. Titled "HIStory Begins," the first disc is a collection of his post-Motown hits, featuring some of the greatest music in pop history, including "Billie Jean," "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," "Beat It," and "Rock with You." It leaves some hits out -- including the number ones "Say Say Say" and "Dirty Diana" -- yet it's filled with enough prime material to be thoroughly intoxicating. That can't be said for the second disc, called "HIStory Continues" and consisting entirely of new material -- which also happens to be the first material he released since being accused of child molestation. "HIStory Continues" is easily the most personal album Jackson has recorded. References to the scandal permeate almost every song, creating a thick atmosphere of paranoia. If Jackson's music had been the equal of Thriller or Bad, the nervous, vindictive lyrics wouldn't have been quite as overbearing. However, "HIStory Continues" reiterates musical ideas Jackson had been exploring since Bad. Jackson certainly tries to stay contemporary, yet he has a tendency to smooth out all of his rougher musical edges with show-biz schmaltz. Occasionally, Jackson produces some well-crafted pop that ranks with his best material: R. Kelly's "You Are Not Alone" is seductive, "Scream" improves on the slamming beats of his earlier single "Jam," and "Stranger in Moscow" is one of his most haunting ballads. Nevertheless, "HIStory Continues" stands as his weakest album since the mid-'70s.

tags: michael jackson, history, past present and future, book 1, 1995, flac,

Michael Jackson - Forever, Michael (1975)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Pop, R&B
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© 1975-1989 Motown Records
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
Michael Jackson's fourth and final new studio album for Motown came nearly two years after its predecessor, Music and Me. It was a more mature effort for the 16-year-old singer but lacked the contemporary dance style that had given Jackson and his brothers a career rebirth with "Dancing Machine" the year before. The album did spawn two minor chart singles, "We're Almost There" and "Just a Little Bit of You" (both produced by Brian Holland of the Holland-Dozier-Holland production team), and a third track, "One Day in Your Life," would chart as a reissue six years later. But though Jackson sang appealingly, the arrangements were noticeably similar to many older Motown charts, and there was little here to hint that, four years hence, on his next solo album, Off the Wall, Jackson would emerge as a major star.

tags: michael jackson, forever michael, 1975, flac,

Kylie Minogue - Kylie (1988) ☠

Country: Australia
Language: English
Genre: Pop
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© 1988 Geffen Records
AllMusic Review by Chris True
While the production values on Kylie's debut are dated at best and the tunes are nothing but standard late-'80s Stock-Aitken-Waterman bubblegum, there are some rather endearing qualities to it. Firstly, she shows a lot more personality than the other Stock, et al. frontperson, Rick Astley. Secondly, her cuteness makes these rather vapid tracks bearable. Her cover of "The Loco-Motion" made only small waves in the U.S., but this was the album that launched her career as both pop star and icon in Europe.

tags: kylie minogue, kylie, 1988, flac,

Megadeth - Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? (1986)⚓

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Thrash Metal
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© 1986 Capitol Records
AllMusic Review by Steve Huey
Arguably Megadeth's strongest effort and a classic of early thrash, Peace Sells combines a punkish political awareness with a dark, threatening, typically heavy metal world-view, preoccupied with evil, the occult, and the like. The anthemic title track and "Wake Up Dead" are the two major standouts, and there is also a cover of Willie Dixon's "I Ain't Superstitious," which takes on an air of supernaturally induced paranoia in the album's context. The lines between hell and earth are blurred throughout the album, and the crashing, complex music backs up Dave Mustaine's apocalyptic vision of life as damnation -- his limited vocal style is used to great effect, growling and snarling in a barely intelligible fashion under all the complicated guitar work. Vital, necessary thrash.

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Megadeth - So Far, So Good... So What! (1988)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Thrash Metal
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© 1988 Capitol Records
AllMusic Review by Steve Huey
A largely uninspired effort recorded with a new guitarist and drummer, So Far, So Good...So What! lacks the conceptual unity and musical bite of Peace Sells, which helps push much of its lyrical material into the realm of self-parody, as Mustaine rants about the PMRC, the apocalypse, ex-girlfriends, and other people he is angry with, while hinting at the depth of his substance abuse problem with "502," a paean to driving drunk. The album wants to sound threatening but mostly comes off as forced and somewhat juvenile; typical is the embarrassing cover of "Anarchy in the U.K.," which is played in Megadeth's tightly controlled riffing style and without the looseness of the original, making it sound stilted and stiff -- and Mustaine doesn't even get the lyrics right. This one is for diehards only.

tags: megadeth, so far so good so what, 1988, flac,

Megadeth - Rust In Peace (1990)⚓

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal
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© 1990 Capitol Records
AllMusic Review by Steve Huey
A sobered-up Mustaine returns with yet another lineup, this one featuring ex-Cacophony guitar virtuoso Marty Friedman and drummer Nick Menza, for what is easily Megadeth's strongest musical effort. As Metallica was then doing, Mustaine accentuates the progressive tendencies of his compositions, producing rhythmically complex, technically challenging thrash suites that he and Friedman burn through with impeccable execution and jaw-dropping skill. Thanks to Mustaine's focus on the music rather than his sometimes clumsy lyrics, Rust in Peace arguably holds up better than any other Megadeth release, even for listeners who think they've outgrown heavy metal. While the whole album is consistently impressive, the obvious highlight is the epic, Eastern-tinged "Hangar 18."

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Megadeth - Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good! (1985)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Thrash Metal
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© 1985 Combat Records
AllMusic Review by Steve Huey
After his exit from Metallica, Dave Mustaine regrouped with his own band on this debut album, accentuating his own chaotic, driving rhythm guitar work and careening, lightning-fast solos. The music here is as raw as Megadeth gets, and that can be both good and bad -- Megadeth's later precise, complex riffing and composition aren't completely developed, but the music is performed with a great deal of energy, while Mustaine's vocals (never his strong point) are amateurish at best. Highlights include a retooled version of Nancy Sinatra's "Boots" and "Mechanix," a Mustaine composition written with Metallica, which turned into the latter's "The Four Horsemen."

tags: megadeth, killing is my business and business is good, 1985, flac,

M.O.P. - Firing Squad (1996) ☠

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Hardcore Hip-Hop
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☠: Selected by Sentinel
© 1996 Relativity Records
AllMusic Review by Brad Mills
M.O.P. has succeeded in doing what few hardcore rap groups have been able to do, by increasing the quality of production on their album and still keeping that same raw, rough feel that typically disappears as money enters the equation. While the album is solid from start to finish, "Anticipation" stands out, partly inspired by KRS-One's "MC's Act Like They Don't Know." The title track, "Firing Squad," is a slow, rumbling tune with some low-end piano riffs helping to keep it moving along. DJ Premier of Gangstarr makes an appearance on "Downtown Swinga ('96)," providing a funky bassline for the duo to scream over. This is what you've waited for.

tags: mop, m.o.p., mash out posse, firing squad, 1996, flac,

M.O.P. X Snowgoons - Sparta (2011)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Hardcore Hip-Hop
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© 2011 Babygrande Records
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries
With so many years in the game and so little crossover success to show for it, it makes perfect sense for the harder-than-hard hip-hop crew M.O.P. to begin to think about boutique releases. Sparta is just that, with M.O.P. handing over production to German and Danish production team the Snowgoons, who seem well aware of the group's back catalog and the darkness within. Here, it's all banging beats, foggy keyboards, and dark sonic landscapes. Ten tracks long puts it between an EP and an LP, but right in the pocket when it comes to experimental sideline releases. Fans only, and for them, it's a must.

tags: mop, m.o.p., snowgoons, sparta, 2011, flac,

M.O.P. - Street Certified (2014)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Hardcore Hip-Hop
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© 2014 Nature Sounds
Review by Grant Jones for RapReviews.com
As the years go by and I gradually turn in to a boring, old git, my taste in hip hop has (naturally?) gravitated towards more mature, content-driven music. Even though 28 isn't an age too old for anything (except maybe claiming child fare on the bus), I could stop listening to many artists that curse or claim to do horrific acts of violence, but not M.O.P.. They spout some horrid lyrics on their latest effort, perhaps some of their most brutal rhymes to date, and that's saying something. The Mash Out Posse are an intense presence, possessing an unmatched level of rowdiness that can make the softest beat sound like a rallying call to soldiers about to engage in warfare. M.O.P. is music to lift weights to, music to headbutt the postman to – hell, it's probably caused a car crash or two. I love it, and while some purists will argue that Billy Danze and Lil' Fame are actually strong lyricists, it's their style that remains their strength.
Sinister pianos make up "Heistmasters" and "187", two tracks infatuated with firearms. The latter in particular is the best M.O.P. song in years, with Danze following up his Jay-Z dig on "Welcome 2 Brooklyn" with some scathing violence to women:
Full review here. 

tags: mop, m.o.p., mash out posse, street certified, 2014, flac,

M.O.P. - Foundation (2009)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Hardcore Hip-Hop
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© 2009 E1 Entertainment
Review by Steve "Flash" Juon for RapReviews.com
From 2003-2009, M.O.P. occupied the spot in hip-hop that Hollywood filmmakers often call "development hell." The legendary Brownsville team of Billy Danze and Lil' Fame bounced from one label to another, doing unsuccessful stints with Roc-A-Fella and G-Unit Records among others, in a never-ending quest to get a new album produced and released. "Flash - what the FUCK is wrong with you Dunn? You reviewed at least THREE M.O.P. albums in that span." Yes, that's true, but none of those albums came out on the label that M.O.P. was signed to at the time! It's also debatable if they can even be considered proper albums at all: one was a greatest hits compilation, one was an experimental rock album under a different name and one was a mixtape. Every time I referred to a new album as "long-awaited" that's exactly what happened - we all waited a long time and got NOTHING. That's the textbook definition of "development hell" - nobody can agree on shit and nothing ever gets made.
No rap group with the large fanbase and critical acclaim of M.O.P. should have this much trouble putting out one full-length studio album, and our heroes had to resort to guerilla warfare tactics just to put out an unofficial edition of their Roc-A-Fella recording sessions. Then again you wouldn't expect anything less gangster of one of rap's most unapologetically macho acts. Their 15 year history in hip-hop is one song after another that leaves bodies on the pavement, leaking more blood than a UFC fighter's face after being busted up with elbows. Some artists would risk coming off as a motion picture parody of urban warfare if they sported M.O.P.'s level of violence, but the Mash Out Posse has always walked the fine line between authenticity and absurdity to perfection. In between their shouting, posturing, and imitations of semi-automatic gunfire spray, Danze and Fame turn out to be adept lyricists who are often surprisingly introspective. "Street Life" off of 2009's "Foundation" reflects that thoughtful balance between their rugged Brownsville bravado and good common sense advice:
Full review here.

tags: mop, m.o.p., mash out posse,foundation, 2009, flac,

December 22, 2016

Pink Floyd - Obscured By Clouds (1972)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Progressive Rock
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© 1972-1989 Capitol Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Obscured by Clouds is the soundtrack to the Barbet Schroeder film La Vallée, and it plays that way. Of course, it's possible to make the argument that Pink Floyd's music of the early '70s usually played as mood music, similar to film music, but it had structure and a progression. Here, the instrumentals float pleasantly, filled with interesting textures, yet they never seem to have much of a purpose. Often, they seem quite tied to their time, either in their spaciness or in the pastoral folkiness, two qualities that are better brought out on the full-fledged songs interspersed throughout the record. Typified by "Burning Bridges" and "Wot's...uh the Deal," these songs explore some of the same musical ground as those on Atom Heart Mother and Meddle, yet they are more concise and have a stronger structure. But the real noteworthy numbers are the surprisingly heavy blues-rocker "The Gold It's in The...," which, as good as it is, is trumped by the stately, ominous "Childhood's End" and the jaunty pop tune "Free Four," two songs whose obsessions with life, death, and the past clearly point toward Dark Side of the Moon. ("Childhood's End" also suggests Dark Side in its tone and arrangement.) As startlingly advanced as these last two songs are, they're not enough to push the rest of Obscured by Clouds past seeming just like a soundtrack, yet these tunes, blended with the sensibility of Meddle, suggest what Pink Floyd was about to develop into.

tags: pink floyd, obscured by clouds, 1972, flac,

Megadeth - United Abominations (2007)

*Japanese release. Contains 1 bonus track.

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal
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© 2007 Roadrunner Records
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato
Megadeth have been through a lot of lineup upheaval circa the early 21st century, with longtime leader Dave Mustaine being the only familiar face left in attendance. But Megadeth's crunchy, venomous thrash has remained intact, as heard throughout their 2007 release, United Abominations (their first for the Roadrunner label). While many thrash-metal bands take the easy way out lyrically -- by detailing their encounters with Señor Beelzebub -- Mustaine has never shied away from voicing his opinion about politics and the state of the world. And as evidenced by such biting tracks as "Washington Is Next!," "Gears of War," "Amerikhastan," and the title track, Mustaine remains as outspoken as ever about what he's been seeing on CNN for the past few years. Musically, Megadeth were never afraid to show off their prog-worthy chops, and the 2007 lineup (which sees Mustaine joined by bassist James LoMenzo and the sibling tandem of Glen Drover and Shawn Drover on guitar and drums) appears custom-made for tackling "tricky bits" -- including the album-opening "Sleepwalker." Elsewhere, a re-recording of "A Tout le Monde" -- as a duet between Mustaine and Lacuna Coil's Cristina Scabbia -- has "radio/MTV airplay" written all over it. They may have lost the plot for a period (remember 1999's Risk?), but with United Abominations, Mustaine and company certainly sound reborn. [The 2007 Roadrunner edition includes one bonus track.]

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Backstreet Boys - Never Gone (2005)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Pop
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© 2005 Jive Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
It's been nearly five years since the Backstreet Boys have released a new album, but as the all-too-literal title of 2005's Never Gone makes clear, they don't want you to call their fourth LP a comeback -- in their mind, they've been here for years. That's not strictly true, since all five members have disappeared from the charts, if not the tabloid headlines, since their 2000 flop, Black & Blue. While fellow teen pop icons like Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera had successful transitions into adulthood, while Jessica Simpson turned reality TV star and Mandy Moore turned genuine actress (for pity's sake, we will ignore Britney Spears' horrifying descent into white trash abyss), Kevin Richardson, Howie Dorough, and Brian Littrell all faded away as A.J. McLean suffered a very public addiction to various substances. Nick Carter also suffered at the hands of the tabloids, in large part due to a very stormy relationship with Paris Hilton, but he also had the distinction of being the only Backstreet Boy to deliver a solo album -- Now or Never in 2002 -- which meant that he was the only BSB with an ignoble flop to his credit, as well. Now or Never had the distinction of being an old-school teen pop album being delivered too far after the craze. Carter's peers were changing their stripes, but he stuck to the tried and true BSB formula and was punished by the fickle public accordingly. Given that public humiliation, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Carter and the other Boys are wise enough to try something new on Never Gone: they've abandoned the teen pop of the late '90s for anthemic adult contemporary that sounds a bit like Bryan Adams circa 1990. It's not a reinvention as much as a lateral move, shifting from one kind of pop that's not selling to another that's not selling, but to their credit, Backstreet Boys acquit themselves reasonably well here. First of all, there's a bit of pleasure in hearing a group throw itself into the big, resolutely square sound of '90s adult contemporary, since nobody else is doing this sound in 2005, but also it fits the group well, particularly Carter, with his newly raspy lead vocals. Second, this is by and large a well-made record, with a handful of standout tracks, notably the first single "Incomplete," the John Ondrasik-written "Weird World," which is a lot more fun than any Five for Fighting tune, the Max Martin-helmed "Just Want You to Know," and "Lose It All," which bizarrely and appealingly sounds like an MOR version of an Oasis ballad. Although the rest of the record is essentially well-made filler, it does sound good; this is one time that a pop record benefits by having a different production team for nearly every one of the album's tracks, since the sound of each tune is just different enough to keep things interesting yet unified enough to make it pleasant background music. This is all enough to make Never Gone a solid adult contemporary album, which will please both BSB diehards and the dwindling ranks who wish that the glory days of Jon Secada never ended, but its relative strength does highlight one problem with the album: this kind of music doesn't sound quite as convincing when delivered by a group of guys as it does by one singer. If Never Gone had been released as Nick Carter's second solo album or A.J. McLean's first, it would have felt more genuine, since these (marginally) more mature songs of love and relationships would have more resonance sung by a solo singer instead of a pack of guys. But that's nitpicking, because even if it never sells as well as Millennium did at the turn of the century, Never Gone is at the very least a successful musical makeover from the onetime teen pop kings. [Never Gone was released in several editions, including a copy-protected CD that will not play on your computer without installing a separate media player, and a DualDisc, containing a CD on one side and a DVD on the other. The DualDisc has a 5.1 mix version of the album on the DVD side, along with the video for "Incomplete" as well as a brief documentary about the making of the video for "Incomplete." The CD side of the DualDisc may not register on some computers.]

tags: backstreet boys, never gone, 2005, flac,

Idéal J - O'Riginal M.C.'s Sur Une Mission (1996) ☠

Country: France
Language: French
Genre: Hip-Hop
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© 1996 Night & Day
*No professional reviews for this release.

Witchcraft - The Alchemist (2007)

Country: Sweden
Language: English
Genre: Doom Metal, Psychedelic Rock
Style: Traditional Doom

© 2007 Candlelight Records
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato
Black Sabbath is rightfully considered a trailblazer of the doom metal genre. But the next group in line to carry the doom torch was Pentagram, a U.S. band well versed in their Ozzy and Iommi-isms. While Pentagram never scaled the heights that the Sabs did, they certainly left their mark on countless subsequent bands throughout the world -- especially Sweden's Witchcraft. On their third release overall, 2007's The Alchemist, the quartet continues attempting to turn the clock back to 1975 -- Magnus Pelander's vocal delivery is an awful lot like Pentagram's Bobby Liebling, while the music would provide a fine soundtrack to a high school stoner's basement party -- when the folks were out of town, the bong smoke was thick, and the black light posters were proudly on display. However, as with most doom metallists, quite a few bits have a certain familiarity to them -- case in point, "If Crimson Was Your Colour," which contains a riff reminiscent of Megadeth's "Symphony of Destruction," while "Hey Doctor" contains the same drum breakdown in the middle of Sabbath's Vol. 4 obscurity "Under the Sun/Every Day Comes and Goes." But the group also shows they aren't afraid of laying down a Wolfmother-esque groove from time to time, as evidenced by the opening of "Samaritan Burden." Doom metal continues to thrive in the early 21st century, as evidenced by the emergence of Witchcraft.

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Pete Rock - PeteStrumentals (2001)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Hip-Hop
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© 2001 BBE Records
AllMusic Review by Todd Kristel
PeteStrumentals follows Jay Dee's Welcome 2 Detroit as the second offering in BBE's producer spotlight "Beat Generation" series. If you approach Pete Rock's joint as a song-oriented pop album, you may feel disappointed. Only two tracks ("Cake" and "Nothin' Lesser - Jamie's Mix") feature MCs and the repetitive, consistently mid-tempo beats get somewhat monotonous by the end of most tracks. If you approach the album as a radical work of sonic architecture, you may also feel disappointed, since Rock's relatively old-school sensibility isn't likely to make you hear music in a completely new way. But if you approach PeteStrumentals on its own terms -- as a laid-back collection of atmospheric beats ideal for late-night chilling or freestyling over -- then you may enjoy Pete Rock's soulful funk-jazz grooves, which are first rate for this type of recording. The deep bass and whispered "play back" vocal sample on "For the People," jazzy piano loop on "Hip Hopcrisy," big-band sax on "Smooth Sailing," layered horns and vibes on "Pete's Jazz," and strings on "Give It to Y'all" (as well as the scratching that starts about two minutes into the song) all fit together to form a first-rate instrumental joint. The MC tracks with Rock Marciano, Divine, Godfree, and Laku are located near the end of the album; this makes them seem almost like bonus tracks, or perhaps a late attempt to ensure that the listener hasn't nodded off, but they still fit fine in the overall flow of PeteStrumentals.

tags: pete rock, petestrumentals, 2001, flac,