May 29, 2017

Smooth - Smooth (1995)

*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A
Genre: R&B, Hip-Hop
Style: Pop Rap
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© 1995 Jive Records
AllMusic Review by Andrew Hamilton
Smooth, sultry, sexy '90s tales of lust which somehow haven't blown up like they should have. It must be a lack of promotion; it's certainly not talent, songs, singing, or production. This is one enjoyable CD; Smooth has the kind of voice men like, oozing sex in every inflection. She could be singing businesses' names and addresses from the yellow pages and still sound risqué. For some reason, Smooth singing to hip-hop beats never gets old. "Way Back When" is definitive Smooth; it has it all -- nifty rapping, upfront backing vocals, and Smooth spitting out some biting lyrics. Some power cuts include "Blowing Up My Pager," a tale about a girl being paged into saying yes by a persistent admirer; "P.Y.T. (Playa Young Thugs)" features 2Pac with the self-proclaimed "Female Mack" on a hypnotic keeper. Listen as she shamelessly proclaims what she's looking for on the erotic "Good Stuff." She gives instructions to her lover during "Swing It to the Left Side." Thirteen strong pleasing tracks; Smooth could get a rise out of a dead man.

tags: smooth, smooth album, 1995, mind blowin

Conjunto Acapulco Tropical - Mi MĂ©xico, Lindo Es (2003 Reissue) ☠

*Grabaciones originales. Se incluye una foto del disco en el archivo.

Country: Mexico
Language: Spanish (Español)
Genre: Tropical
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☠: Selected by Sentinel
© 2003 BMG Entertainment MĂ©xico, RCA Records
*No professional reviews available for this release.

tags: conjunto acapulco tropical, acapulco tropical, mi mexico lindo es, mi mexico, lindo es, flac, descarga,

Rose Tattoo - Scarred For Life (1982) ☠

*Reissued CD by Albert Productions. This is a repress of the original 1982 LP release. 
A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: Australia
Language: English
Genre: Hard Rock
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© 1982 Albert Productions
Review by Ian Winwood for Teamrock.com
On the cover of 1982’s Rose Tattoo’s Scarred For Life (6/10), the five members of the band are staring at the camera with looks that seem to ask: “Did you spill my pint?” This, really, is all you need to know regarding the songs that comprise the Sydney group’s first four albums, now reissued.

tags: rose tattoo, scarred for life, 1982, flac,

Rose Tattoo - Assault & Battery (1981)⚓

Country: Australia
Language: English
Genre: Hard Rock
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© 1981 Albert Productions
Review by Jimmy (Captain Oi) for RazorCake.org
It's funny how even some of the greatest stuff can fall through the cracks, you know? I remember seeing Rock'n'Roll Outlaws, what I now know is their debut album, in a long-gone record store back in '82 or so, being intrigued by their bald singer, and then putting it back on the shelves 'cause the band name was too wimpy. Now that I finally get to hear what was on that album, not to mention the four that followed it, I realize I should've taken that puppy home with me. Rose Tattoo's debut is surely the missing link between punk and bar rock—part Ramones, part AC/DC and maybe a dash of a pissed-off Faces-era Rod Stewart in the vocals—and one of the finest albums to come out of the late ‘70s. This was one of those rare bands that managed to wrestle rock back from the overpaid pretty boys and give it back to the streets, a band that you'd best believe meant it when they sang "Nice boys don't play rock 'n' roll" and drove the point home by adding "I'm not a nice boy." This is the soundtrack for an ass-kicking both metaphorical and literal. This is what rock'n'roll was born to do, namely scare the shit outta you while getting you to move a little. The band followed up their stunner of a debut with Assault & Battery, which, while not as intense as its predecessor, packs a mean wallop behind another strong set of songs. From there on in, as with so many other bands, it's downhill, with each of the last two albums losing even more of that crucial raw edge and sliding ever closer into bad ‘80s rock land, although, to their credit, they're even good at that. Captain Oi has seen fit to reissue all four of the band's albums with extensive liner notes and the requisite bonus tracks. Much thanks is due to the Captain for giving me a new favorite band of the week, even if it took me twenty-two years to pay attention.

tags: rose tattoo, assault and battery, 1981, flac,

Rose Tattoo - Rose Tattoo (Limited Edition) (1990)

*Reissued in 1990 by Repertoire Records
Contains 8 bonus tracks. 18 tracks total.
Country: Australia
Language: English
Genre: Hard Rock
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© 1970-1990 Repertoire Records
AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia
If AC/DC are the greatest blue-collar hard rock band of all time, then Rose Tattoo (also Australian, also managed by the Vanda and Young team) just may qualify as the world's greatest blue-collar punk rock band. Led by impetuous, diminutive frontman Angry Anderson (the Ronnie James Dio of punk?) and the brilliant slide-guitar work of Peter Wells, Rose Tattoo were a mean and not-so-lean gang of tattooed misfits, all of them veterans of the hard as nails Aussie pub rock scene -- in short, the kind of guys you'd cross the street to avoid. Released in 1978, their eponymous debut (issued in Europe as Rock 'N' Roll Outlaw almost two years later) is a dangerous, unpredictable, monster of a record whose power has hardly diminished an ounce in the decades since. First song, "Rock 'N' Roll Outlaw," draws the line in the sand, challenging all comers to cross at the peril of a split lip; then "Nice Boys (Don't Play Rock 'N' Roll)" (if you thought Guns n' Roses version was bad-ass, think again) delivers an uppercut to the jaw that'll set you reeling. The boogie-intensive "One of the Boys" recalls George Thorogood at his baddest, while "The Butcher and Fast Eddy" -- a gritty shuffle about dueling gangs of outlaws -- offers a Down Under adaptation of the classic Stagger Lee urban fable. First single "Bad Boy for Love" borrows its main riff rather blatantly from AC/DC's "She's Got Balls," and the lone, slow number "Stuck on You" is the Rose Tattoo equivalent of the Stooges' "Gimme Danger." "Remedy" and "T.V." are blasts of pure raw energy, and if you're not reduced to a sweating, drained pile of pulp by the time you arrive at the tee-total lunacy of closer "Astra Wally," you better check your pulse. As seemed inevitable, given their combustible nature, Rose Tattoo's career was quickly derailed by internal strife, but this only adds to the timeless mystique and unique triumph of this debut. It's as "street" as white boy rock gets -- essential hard boogie. [The 1990 Repertoire records CD reissue adds eight bonus tracks, between B-sides and live recordings to the original release.]

tags: rose tattoo, rose tattoo album, limited edition, 1970, 1990, flac,

Spice Girls - Spice (1996) ☠

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Pop, R&B
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1996 Virgin Records
Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine for Allmusic.com
Spice doesn't need to be original to be entertaining, nor do the Spice Girls need to be good singers. It just has to be executed well, and the innocuous dance-pop of Spice is infectious. None of the Girls have great voices, but they do exude personality and charisma, which is what drives bouncy dance-pop like "Wannabe," with its ridiculous "zig-a-zig-ahhh" hook, into pure pop guilty pleasure. What is surprising is how the sultry soul of "Say You'll Be There" is more than just a guilty pleasure, and how ballads like "2 Become 1" are perfect adult contemporary confections. The rest of the album isn't quite as catchy as those first three singles, but it is still irresistible, immaculately crafted pop that gets by on the skills of the producer and the charisma of the five Spices. Sure, the last half of the album is forgettable, but it sounds good while it's on, which is the key to a good dance-pop record.

tags: spice girls, spice, 1996, flac,

May 27, 2017

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Pendulum (1970)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Rock
Style: Classic Rock
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© 1970-1987 Fantasy Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
During 1969 and 1970, CCR was dismissed by hipsters as a bubblegum pop band and the sniping had grown intolerable, at least to John Fogerty, who designed Pendulum as a rebuke to critics. He spent time polishing the production, bringing in keyboards, horns, even a vocal choir. His songs became self-consciously serious and tighter, working with the aesthetic of the rock underground -- Pendulum was constructed as a proper album, contrasting dramatically with CCR's previous records, all throwbacks to joyous early rock records where covers sat nicely next to hits and overlooked gems tucked away at the end of the second side. To some fans of classic CCR, this approach may feel a little odd since only "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" and maybe its B-side "Hey Tonight" sound undeniably like prime Creedence. But, given time, the album is a real grower, revealing many overlooked Fogerty gems. Yes, it isn't transcendent like the albums they made from Bayou Country through Cosmo's Factory, but most bands never even come close to that kind of hot streak. Instead, Pendulum finds a first-class songwriter and craftsman pushing himself and his band to try new sounds, styles, and textures. His ambition results in a stumble -- "Rude Awakening 2" portentously teeters on the verge of prog-rock, something CCR just can't pull off -- but the rest of the record is excellent, with such great numbers as the bluesy groove "Pagan Baby," the soulful vamp "Chameleon," the moody "It's Just a Thought," and the raver "Molina." Most bands would kill for this to be their best stuff, and the fact that it's tucked away on an album that even some fans forget illustrates what a tremendous band Creedence Clearwater Revival was.

tags: ccr, CCR, creedence clearwater revival, pendulum, 1970, flac,

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Mardi Gras (1972)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Classic Rock
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© 1972-1989 Fantasy Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Pared down to a trio, Creedence Clearwater Revival had to find a new way of doing business, since already their sound had changed, so they split creative duties evenly. It wasn't just that each member wrote songs -- they produced them, too. Doug Clifford and Stu Cook claim John Fogerty needed time to creatively recharge, while Fogerty says he simply bowed to the duo's relentless pressure for equal time. Both arguments make sense, but either way, the end result was the same: Mardi Gras was a mess. Not a disaster, which it was dismissed as upon its release, since there are a couple of bright moments. Typically, Fogerty is reliable, with the solid rocker "Sweet Hitch-Hiker," the country ramble "Lookin' for a Reason," a good cover of Ricky Nelson's "Hello Mary Lou," and the pretty good ballad "Someday Never Comes." These don't match the brilliance of previous CCR records, but they sparkle next to Clifford and Cook's efforts. That implies that their contributions are terrible, which they're usually not -- they're just pedestrian. Only "Sail Away" is difficult to listen to, due to Cook's flat, overemphasized vocals, but he makes up for it with the solid rocker "Door to Door" and the Fogerty soundalike "Take It Like a Friend." Clifford fares a little better since his voice is warmer and he wisely channels it into amiable country-rock, yet these are pretty average songs by two guys beginning to find their own songwriting voice. If Clifford and Cook had started their own band (which they did after this album) it would be easier to be charitable, but when held up against Creedence's other work, Mardi Gras withers. It's an unpretty end to a great band.

tags: ccr, CCR, creedence clearwater revival, mardi gras, 1972, flac,

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cosmo's Factory (1970)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Classic Rock
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© 1970-1986 Fantasy Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Throughout 1969 and into 1970, CCR toured incessantly and recorded nearly as much. Appropriately, Cosmo's Factory's first single was the working band's anthem "Travelin' Band," a funny, piledriving rocker with a blaring horn section -- the first indication their sonic palette was broadening. Two more singles appeared prior to the album's release, backed by John Fogerty originals that rivaled the A-side or paled just slightly. When it came time to assemble a full album, Fogerty had only one original left, the claustrophobic, paranoid rocker "Ramble Tamble." Unlike some extended instrumentals, this was dramatic and had a direction -- a distinction made clear by the meandering jam that brings CCR's version of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" to 11 minutes. Even if it wanders, their take on the Marvin Gaye classic isn't unpleasant, and their faithful, exuberant takes on the Sun classics "Ooby Dooby" and "My Baby Left Me" are joyous tributes. Still, the heart of the album lays in those six fantastic songs released on singles. "Up Around the Bend" is a searing rocker, one of their best, balanced by the menacing murkiness of "Run Through the Jungle." "Who'll Stop the Rain"'s poignant melody and melancholy undertow has a counterpart in Fogerty's dope song, "Lookin' out My Back Door," a charming, bright shuffle, filled with dancing animals and domestic bliss - he had never been as sweet and silly as he is here. On "Long as I Can See the Light," the record's final song, he again finds solace in home, anchored by a soulful, laid-back groove. It hits a comforting, elegiac note, the perfect way to draw Cosmo's Factory -- an album made during stress and chaos, filled with raging rockers, covers, and intense jams -- to a close.

tags: ccr, CCR, creedence clearwater revivial, cosmos factory, 1970, flac,

May 26, 2017

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Creedence Clearwater Revival (1968)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Classic Rock
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© 1968-1987 Fantasy Records

Released in the summer of 1968 -- a year after the summer of love, but still in the thick of the Age of Aquarius - Creedence Clearwater Revival's self-titled debut album was gloriously out-of-step with the times, teeming with John Fogerty's Americana fascinations. While many of Fogerty's obsessions and CCR's signatures are in place -- weird blues ("I Put a Spell on You"), Stax R&B (Wilson Pickett's "Ninety-Nine and a Half"), rockabilly ("Susie Q"), winding instrumental interplay, the swamp sound, and songs for "The Working Man" -- the band was still finding their way. Out of all their records (discounting Mardi Gras), this is the one that sounds the most like its era, thanks to the wordless vocal harmonies toward the end of "Susie Q," the backward guitars on "Gloomy," and the directionless, awkward jamming that concludes "Walking on the Water." Still, the band's sound is vibrant, with gutsy arrangements that borrow equally from Sun, Stax, and the swamp. Fogerty's songwriting is a little tentative. Not for nothing were two of the three singles pulled from the album covers (Dale Hawkins' "Susie Q," Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell on You") -- he wasn't an accomplished tunesmith yet. Though "The Working Man" isn't bad, the true exception is that third single, "Porterville," an exceptional song with great hooks, an underlying sense of menace, and the first inkling of the working-class rage that fueled such landmarks as "Fortunate Son." It's the song that points the way to the breakthrough of Bayou Country, but the rest of the album shouldn't be dismissed, because judged simply against the rock & roll of its time, it rises above its peers.

tags: ccr, creedence clearwater revivial, creedence clearwater revival album, 1968, flac,

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Bayou Country (1969) ☠

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Classic Rock
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☠: Selected by Buccaneer
© 1969-1987 Fantasy Records
Review by
Opening slowly with the dark, swampy "Born on the Bayou," Bayou Country reveals an assured Creedence Clearwater Revival, a band that has found its voice between their first and second album. It's not just that "Born on the Bayou" announces that CCR has discovered its sound -- it reveals the extent of John Fogerty's myth-making. With this song, he sketches out his persona; it makes him sound as if he crawled out of the backwoods of Louisiana instead of being a native San Franciscan. He carries this illusion throughout the record, through the ominous meanderings of "Graveyard Train" through the stoked cover of "Good Golly Miss Molly" to "Keep on Chooglin'," which rides out a southern-fried groove for nearly eight minutes. At the heart of Bayou Country, as well as Fogerty's myth and Creedence's entire career, is "Proud Mary." A riverboat tale where the narrator leaves a good job in the city for a life rolling down the river, the song is filled with details that ring so true that it feels autobiographical. The lyric is married to music that is utterly unique yet curiously timeless, blending rockabilly, country, and Stax R&B into something utterly distinctive and addictive. "Proud Mary" is the emotional fulcrum at the center of Fogerty's seductive imaginary Americana, and while it's the best song here, his other songs are no slouch, either. "Born on the Bayou" is a magnificent piece of swamp-rock, "Penthouse Pauper" is a first-rate rocker with the angry undertow apparent on "Porterville" and "Bootleg" is a minor masterpiece, thanks to its tough acoustic foundation, sterling guitar work, and clever story. All the songs add up to a superb statement of purpose, a record that captures Creedence Clearwater Revival's muscular, spare, deceptively simple sound as an evocative portrait of America.

tags: CCR, ccr, creedence clearwater, bayou country, 1969, flac,

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Green River (1969) ☠

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Classic Rock
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© 1969-1988 Fantasy Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
If anything, CCR's third album Green River represents the full flower of their classic sound initially essayed on its predecessor, Bayou Country. One of the differences between the two albums is that Green River is tighter, with none of the five-minute-plus jams that filled out both their debut and Bayou Country, but the true key to its success is a peak in John Fogerty's creativity. Although CCR had at least one cover on each album, they relied on Fogerty to crank out new material every month. He was writing so frequently that the craft became second-nature and he laid his emotions and fears bare, perhaps unintentionally. Perhaps that's why Green River has fear, anger, dread, and weariness creeping on the edges of gleeful music. This was a band that played rock & roll so joyously that they masked the, well, "sinister" undercurrents in Fogerty's songs. "Bad Moon Rising" has the famous line "Hope you've got your things together/Hope you're quite prepared to die," but that was only the most obvious indication of Fogerty's gloom. Consider all the other dark touches: the "Sinister purpose knocking at your door"; the chaos of "Commotion"; the threat of death in "Tombstone Shadow"; you only return to the idyllic "Green River" once you get lost and realize the "world is smolderin'." Even the ballads have a strong melancholy undercurrent, highlighted by "Lodi," where Fogerty imagines himself stuck playing in dead-end towns for the rest of his life. Not the typical thoughts of a newly famous rock & roller, but certainly an indication of Fogerty's inner tumult. For all its darkness, Green River is ultimately welcoming music, since the band rocks hard and bright and the melancholy feels comforting, not alienating.

tags: CCR, ccr, creedence clearwater revival, green river, 1969, flac,

May 23, 2017

Motörhead - Motörhead (1977)

*U.S. first pressing.
Contains 5 bonus tracks that were not 
featured in the original 1977 LP release.

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
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© 1977-1988 Roadracer Records
AllMusic Review by Alex Ogg
Before forming Motörhead, Ian Kilmister (aka Lemmy) could boast of having been a member of space rock cowboys Hawkwind and a career in horsebreaking (that's horsebreaking, not housebreaking). He was also, to top it all, the son of a vicar. Having been expelled from his former employers after a disagreement with border guards over the contents of his luggage, he took the name for his new band from the final song he'd written for Hawkwind. Together with Larry Wallis of the Pink Fairies and drummer Philthy Animal Taylor, Motörhead recorded a debut album that was rejected by United Artists (you can just imagine the face of the poor guy who got the short straw and had to tell Lemmy), though it was eventually released as On Parole in 1979. As a result, the group expanded with the addition of "Fast" Eddie Clarke on guitar. Wallis then left after just one rehearsal, leaving the classic Motörhead lineup in shape for their debut proper. Rock & roll had never heard the like. Though only a minor chart success, Motörhead patented the group's style: Lemmy's rasping vocal over a speeding juggernaut of guitar, bass, and drums. The lyrical theme was "Don't mess with us" instead of "Don't mess with our hair." Before this, hard rock was about musicianship and exhibitionism. Motörhead, conversely, returned mainstream rock to its most brutal base elements -- no wonder the punks liked them.

tags: motorhead, motorhead album, 1977. flac,

Motörhead - Overkill (1991 Reissue)

*Reissued in 1991 by Roadracer Records. Contains 3 bonus tracks.

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
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© 1979-1991 Roadracer Records
AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier
Motörhead's landmark second album, Overkill, marked a major leap forward for the band, and it remains one of their all-time best, without question. In fact, some fans consider it their single best, topping even Ace of Spaces. It's a ferocious album, for sure, perfectly showcasing Motörhead's trademark style of no holds barred proto-thrash -- a kind of punk-inflected heavy metal style that is sloppy and raw yet forceful and in your face. Motörhead, the band's self-titled debut from 1977, had been rush-recorded, and its stripped-down, super-raw sound wasn't all that impressive, at least not relative to what would follow. Overkill is what followed, recorded in December 1978 and January 1979, and released not long thereafter. The band's sound is fully formed here, and it totally explodes right off the bat on the five-minute title track. A number of Motörhead standards follow, among them "Stay Clean" and "No Class." Produced by Jimmy Miller, who had helmed a number of classic Rolling Stones albums (Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main St., Goats Head Soup), Overkill sounds wonderful, especially on the numerous remastered editions of this album. The band's classic lineup -- Lemmy (bass and vocals), "Fast" Eddie Clarke (guitar), and "Philthy Animal" Taylor (drums) -- is well in place here, and they seem eager to rip loose wildly on every single song. This, in addition to the solid track listing and Miller's production, makes Overkill a perfect Motörhead album. Several great ones would follow, of course, but Overkill was the first of the great ones, and quite possibly the greatest of all.

tags: motorhead, overkill,

Kelis - Tasty (2003) ☠

Country: U.S.A
Genre: R&B
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 2003 Artista/Star Trek Entertainment
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman
Kelis has shown how deviating from the norm can get you pegged falsely -- in her case, as an extraterrestrial being the Neptunes had beamed down from another planet. Maybe the orange-hair-and-body-paint photo on the cover of Kaleidoscope didn't help. And it's safe to say that none of her contemporaries would've ever thought of screaming something like "I hate you so much right now -- uuuugh!" for the chorus of a debut single. Otherwise, Kelis is as down-to-earth as they come; she just doesn't fit the mold of what has been expected in a female R&B artist the past few years (or ever). From a commercial standpoint, this has worked to a disadvantage: Wanderland, her second album, wasn't even released in the U.S. by Virgin, even though it was every bit as fresh and rainbow-dappled as her debut. Just before slipping completely out of view, the Neptunes set her up with Star Trak and dusted off Wanderland's "Popular Thug" -- with Pusha T wiped off in favor of new verses from new fiancé Nas -- for their Clones compilation. That set the table for Tasty, which actually involves less Chad and Pharrell, who produce only five tracks this time around; Dame Grease, Dallas Austin, Raphael Saadiq, Rockwilder, and Andre 3000 pick up most of the production duties. Despite all the new assistance, Tasty is formatted much like Kaleidoscope and Wanderland, constantly swinging back and forth between bouncy pop and laid-back (not throwback) soul. Just the same, the favorable quality level is another recurring characteristic, with only a couple miscues thwarting perfection (you're hereby advised to skip past "In Public"). Lead single "Milkshake," a coquettish playground tease, is the brightest moment of all; built around blaring synth-funk stun riffs, pitter-patter hand percussion, and a singalong taunt of a chorus, it's every bit as suggestive as Vanity 6's "Nasty Girl," the Mary Jane Girls' "In My House," and Monifah's "Touch It," with all three serving as musical -- not just lyrical -- points of reference. On some other planet, at least ten other songs here hit the Top Ten. Regardless of whether or not Kelis is one of us, we clearly don't appreciate her enough.

tags: kelis, tasty, 2003, flac,

May 20, 2017

Iced Earth - Plagues of Babylon (2014)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal
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© 2014 Century Media
AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney
Although the band might have been breaking in new singer Stu Block on its last album, 2011's Dystopia, Iced Earth's 11th studio album, Plagues of Babylon, finds the band returning as a tighter unit whose members know how to play to each other's strengths with a more collaborative effort. Where the previous album primarily featured music written by founding member Jon Schaffer with lyrics by Block, Plagues of Babylon shows the beginnings of a burgeoning partnership between the two, as well as writing contributions from guitarist Troy Seele, with the trio oftentimes sharing the writing duties on both sides of the fence in some combination or other. The collaboration is one that pays dividends for the band, which delivers an album that manages to sound appropriately epic without feeling aimless. Thanks to his time in Into Eternity (a group that can string riffs together with the best of them), Block is no stranger to songs that evolve and shift, and songs that he and Schaffer worked on together, like the ripping Western epic "Peacemaker," move with purpose. With the songs always moving toward something new and different, Plagues of Babylon never feels like it's dragging its heels -- a boon, given its running time of just over an hour. Instead, the album showcases a new creative partnership that should excite longtime Iced Earth fans (who are also treated to more entries in the ongoing Something Wicked story line), as the heavy metal journeymen head into their third decade of rocking.

May 19, 2017

Disturbed - Immortalized (Deluxe Edition) (2015)

*Contains 3 bonus tracks. 16 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A
Genre: Alternative Metal
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© 2015 Reprise Records
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger
The sixth studio long player from the Windy City-based outfit, Immortalized finds Disturbed bolting down the house they finished building on 2010's Asylum, offering up a 13-track slab of vintage mid- to late-2000s heavy rock piled high with bottom-heavy riffs, piston-like percussion, and big modern rock radio-ready choruses filled with randomly generated declarations of defiance. To say that the old "if it's broke don't fix it" idiom looms large over the proceedings is a bit of an understatement, but Disturbed's particular brand of 21st century hard rock has brought in enough platinum over the years to warrant a bit of metathesiophobia, and their myriad post-hiatus projects ultimately failed to yield the same dividends. With that noted, the listener's likelihood of deriving any kind of enjoyment from the album is directly related to their amore for previous outings, and Immortalized has more than its share of vintage Disturbed goodies, like the soaring first single "The Vengeful One," the stadium-ready "Who Taught You How to Hate," and the nervy Muse-lite title track. The band's shamelessly melodramatic reading of Simon & Garfunkel's "Sound of Silence," which effectively utilizes the pared-down piano and vocal treatment that helped Gary Jules resurrect Tears for Fears' "Mad World," and the anthemic and refreshingly upbeat mid-album gem "The Light," impress with their unabashed theatricality and strong vocal turns from David Draiman. And as per usual, Don Donegan's stellar guitar work is the glue that keeps the whole affair from disappearing into the populist ether. However, a five-year break between albums should lend itself to a bit of growth, even for a band as everyman as Disturbed, but there's just not much here to keep the group's detractors from bringing out their pitchforks, and over time, staying the course may leave fewer and fewer townsfolk to protect them.

tags: disturbed, immortalized, deluxe edition, 2015, flac,

702 - No Doubt (1996)⚓

*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A
Genre: R&B
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© 1996 BIV Ten Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
702's debut album has a couple of fine moments -- most notably the single "Steelo" -- but their fusion of street-oriented rap and urban soul doesn't quite gel over the course of the album.

tags: 702, 1996, no doubt, flac,

May 18, 2017

Divinyls - Divinyls (1990) ☠

Country: Australia
Language: English
Genre: Pop Rock
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1990 Virgin Records
Review by 


May 16, 2017

DIO - Lock Up The Wolves (1990)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Heavy Metal
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© 1990 Reprise Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Ronnie James Dio assembled a new version of Dio for Lock Up the Wolves, to no apparent change in the band's sound.

tags: dio, DIO, lock up the wolves, ronnie james, 1990, flac,

Total - Total (1996) ☠

Country: U.S.A
Genre: R&B
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1996 Bad Boy Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Total first gained attention as the backup vocalists for the Notorious B.I.G., singing on his hits "One More Chance" and "Juicy." After releasing a hit single, "See," from the New Jersey Drive soundtrack, the girl group released their self-titled debut. While the album is simply too long to sustain the quality of "See" and "No One Else," most of the record is filled with deep, seductive funk that follows through on the group's promise.

tags: total, total album, 1996, flac,