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
Label Number: 01241-41556-2

© 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 México, Lindo Es (2003 Reissue) ☠

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

Country: Mexico
Language: Spanish (Español)
Genre: Tropical
Label Number: 82876-53049-2
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☠: Selected by Sentinel
© 2003 BMG Entertainment México, 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) ☠

*First pressing. 
Contains 10 tracks total.
Country: Australia
Language: English
Genre: Hard Rock
Label Number: CDP 7466702

© 1982-1987 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 - 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
Label Number: RR 4103-WZ

© 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
Label Number: CDV 2812 7243 8 42174 2 6
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© 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 23, 2017

Kelis - Tasty (2003) ☠

Country: U.S.A
Genre: R&B
Label Number: 82876-52132-2
☠: 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
Label Number: 550146-2
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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
Label Number: MOTD-0738

© 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
Genre: Pop Rock
Label Number: 2-91397
☠: Selected by Lass
© 1990 Virgin Records
Review by 


May 16, 2017

DIO - Lock Up The Wolves (1990)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Heavy Metal
Label Number: 9 26212-2

© 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
Label Number: 78612-73006-2
☠: 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,

May 14, 2017

Alicia Keys - Girl On Fire (2012)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: R&B
Label Number: 88697-94182-2

© 2012 RCA/AKW
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman
After the release of The Element of Freedom, her fourth consecutive chart-topping and platinum studio release, Alicia Keys not only married Swizz Beatz and became a mother but stacked collaborations with Drake, Kanye West, Marsha Ambrosius, Jennifer Hudson, Emeli Sandé, and Miguel. The collaborative spirit continues all the way through Girl on Fire, an album sporting a list of around 20 co-composers and nearly a dozen co-producers. A small but significant portion of the album has Keys somewhere in the past, grappling with or sifting through a stifling relationship. That's the way the album begins, with the alternately reserved and cathartic ballad "Brand New Me," one of three songs written with Sandé: "You look surprised your words don't burn me anymore." Two of the better songs, both of which feature assistance from John Legend, immediately follow and are closer to Keys' personal breakthrough. The first one, "When It's All Over," is a gushing testimonial over a dizzying Jamie xx co-production -- a clash between acoustic jazz, synth funk, and minimal techno that will either thrill or repel. "Listen to Your Heart," the second one, is mechanical yet plush and dials it back for Keys to embrace new love; it's one of Rodney Jerkins' unassuming yet stunning beats. After a pair of bombastic anthems -- including the oddly written "Girl on Fire," which has her "living in a world, and it's on fire," then "on top of the world" with "both feet on the ground" and "our head in the clouds" -- the album loses its grip. It hits a low with "Not Even the King," an obvious "love is worth more than money" ballad, and "That's When I Knew," a tender back-porch ballad presumably about Mr. Keys. (If the mind wanders, consider that the object of affection is the man behind hits such as "Money, Cash, Hoes" and "It's Me B*#@hes.") Once "101," the last listed track, fades out, a chaotic outro fades in and peaks with Keys screaming, in a celebratory and defiant manner, "Hallelujah -- kicked down the door!" It ends the first chapter of her new life with several exclamation points, but it's missing one. The album could have used some swift and uplifting neo-disco like "Million Dollar Bill" or "Everybody Needs Love," exceptional songs that Keys and her husband wrote and produced for Whitney Houston and Jennifer Hudson.

tags: alicia keys, girl on fire, 2012, flac,

Alicia Keys - As I Am (2007)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: R&B
Label Number: 88697 11513 2

© 2007 J Records
AllMusic Review by Marisa Brown
By now established as a major and talented force in the mainstream music world, Alicia Keys has perhaps earned the right to explore a little, to venture into new genres while still keeping a foot firmly planted in the R&B/neo-soul she grew out of. On her third full-length, As I Am, Keys takes a step closer toward the soul revival popularized by John Legend, with full-band arrangements and bright horn hooks, only occasionally falling back into the piano/melisma combination that drove the singles off her first two albums. Instead, here, as evidenced in "No One" -- which sounds all too ready to take on a "reggae dance mix" -- the guitar-driven "I Need You," "Wreckless Love," or "Where Do We Go from Here," which pays tribute to both Stax and Motown ("All I can do/Is follow the tracks of my tears," she sings, after a sample of Wendy Rene's "After Laughter [Comes Tears]" crackles through the first few bars), this is music that owes as much to pop as it does R&B, highlighted no less by the fact that the queen of radio rock herself, Linda Perry, co-writes three of the songs with Keys, including the straight-from-the-Stripped-sessions "The Thing About Love" and "Superwoman." It is on the latter, in fact, that Keys, unsurprisingly, turns furthest away from the style that brought her initial success (more so even than on the John Mayer collabo, "Lesson Learned," which is actually not bad) toward the generic-pop world, sliding in between corny and sincere, sometimes even in the same breath. "When I'm breaking down/And I can't be found/...'Cause no one knows/Me underneath these clothes/But I can fly/We can fly," she sings in the bridge, flatly. Keys has never been a brilliant lyricist, but she's always been able to write simple yet affective and honest words that don't seem trite, something that is forgotten here, and makes the track one of the weakest on the album. Fortunately, this doesn't happen too often, and as As I Am weaves its way through the drums and various keyboards and vocal harmonies that make up the backbone of her work here, punctuated by the great, hooky melodies and strings, you get the impression that this is in fact the sign of an artist who's not content to only follow the path that's brought her previous acclaim, an artist who's looking to find more, both about herself and her music, and an artist who carries these developments, these insights, with her. And so even though As I Am is a flawed work -- a little too poppy, a little too clichéd -- it is also indicative of what Keys can and will do, and that she is someone, thanks to her curiosity, intelligence, and natural talent, who will be able to mature and grow for years to come.

tags: alicia keys, as i am, 2007, flac,

Ne-Yo - In My Own Words (2005)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: R&B
Label Number: B0004934-02

© 2005 Def Jam Records
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman
Shaffer Smith has been writing material for mainstream acts since the tail end of the '90s, when he was barely old enough to drive. In 2004, after he adopted the name Ne-Yo -- a sensible move since his birth name is more like that of a sitcom actor or anchorman than an R&B loverman -- his industry stock shot way up for co-writing Mario's "Let Me Love You," an inescapable number one hit. The pointedly titled In My Own Words is the second album he has made as a solo artist, but it's the first to be released, and its presentation clearly intends to get the point across that he's a writer, with images of lyric sheets strewn across the accompanying booklet, and the photo props of choice are pencils and pads, not practically naked models and probably rented sports cars. In My Own Words is a concise album with only one guest verse (from Peedi Peedi), unless you count the unlisted bonus remix (featuring Ghostface). It's very focused and surprisingly taut, especially for a debut that involves several producers. "So Sick," a hit single released in advance of the album, carries a vulnerability not unlike "Let Me Love You" -- it's certainly additional proof that Ne-Yo does heartache best of all -- but it's even more successful at staying on the right side of the line that separates heartfelt anguish from insufferable whining. Its modern approach, interlocked with touches of '70s and '80s R&B sensibilities, is also in effect for the entirety of the album. Beyond a couple lightweight tracks, the album only falters when scenarios from different relationships clash: in "Get Down Like That," Ne-Yo is a righteous boyfriend who turns down the advances of a tempting ex, while in "That Just Ain't Right," he confesses to an ex (who has been an ex for three years) that he calls out her name while in bed with his current lover. The problems, however, really aren't all that detrimental. Ne-Yo is a real talent as a songwriter, and as a vocalist he is unmistakably more concerned with serving the song than his ego. He's not the flashiest vocalist, but he's able to put across contrasting emotions with slight adjustments, and he balances toughness with tenderness exceptionally well -- all of which are uncommon traits in the early 2000s. This album could turn out to be the most impressive R&B debut of 2006, as well as one of several milestones in a lengthy career.

tags: neyo, ne-yo, ne yo, in my own words, 2005, flac,

May 13, 2017

Alien Ant Farm - Up In The Attic (Target Exclusive) (2005)

*Contains 3 bonus tracks. 
17 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A
Genre: Alternative Rock
Label Number: B0007158-02
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© 2005 New Door Records
AllMusic Review by Corey Apar
Alien Ant Farm may have appeared on the national scene in 2001 in association with the nu metal crowd, but five years later and four albums in, the band is sporting this tag as loosely as ever. So while the aggro-crunching guitars are still mostly on hand, the full-on brash attack usually connected to the scene has largely been replaced on Up in the Attic with added melodic instincts and random components like horn sections, keyboards, strings -- hell, the liner notes even credit use of a mandolin and theremin. Now before you panic, it's not quite the divergent sonic party that a list of this nature suggests. "Bad Morning" and the bitter "Forgive & Forget" forcefully open the album with brazen guitars and bashing rhythms, so really, Alien Ant Farm still sound like themselves. But as they've always been a bit quirkier and melodically inclined than the Limp Bizkits of the world, the further listeners go into the album, songs become a bit more pop-oriented and less hard-hitting in nature. This isn't really a bad thing, though; most work out fine (like the standout, representative hybrid of "Around the Block"), making Up in the Attic great for a leisurely afternoon of cruising around the neighborhood. "Crickets" rolls lazily along, largely propelled by calm guitars and piano, while the acoustic-based "Supreme Lifestyle" brims with warm, robust vocal harmonies over light percussion and strings. But lead singer Dryden Mitchell doesn't use these early-evening moments as reason to restrain his singing, since his voice remains strong and gripping throughout. Taken at the song level, Alien Ant Farm continue to stretch the boundaries of their vaguely alt-metal repertoire and, aside from various moments of filler, the band does it with apparent ease. At the album level, though, there's something that makes Up in the Attic seem a bit hodgepodge and lopsided, instead of cohesive. But hey, play it on shuffle mode, skip past the occasional song, and all should be OK.

May 11, 2017

Bruce Dickinson - Tattooed Millionaire (1990)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Heavy Metal
Label Number: CDP 79 4 273 2

© 1990 Columbia Records
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson
In 1990, Bruce Dickinson launched his solo career with Tattooed Millionaire, which is far from a carbon copy of his work with Iron Maiden. Many of the fans who knew him as Maiden's lead vocalist assumed that this solo debut would be Maiden-like -- they expected an album of aggressive yet melodic fantasy metal in the Maiden/Ronnie James Dio/Black Sabbath vein. But Tattooed Millionaire found Dickinson favoring more of a hard rock/pop-metal approach. This album is full of glossy and lighthearted pop-metal that wouldn't be out of place on an album by Winger, Bon Jovi, or Def Leppard. "Lickin' the Gun" is more Aerosmith than King Diamond, and "Son of a Gun" is more Bad Company than Candlemass. And while some Maiden worshipers might prefer to hear Dickinson singing fantasy metal, the fact is that Tattooed Millionaire is excellent. With this album, Dickinson did what fellow Brit Rob Halford did on some of Judas Priest's more commercial and pop-influenced releases -- he showed listeners another side of himself and demonstrated that he wasn't obligated to embrace fantasy metal 100 percent of the time. For Dickinson, coming out with something more pop-minded didn't mean being contrived or unimaginative. Tattooed Millionaire, for all its pop-metal gloss, has a lot of guts, and Dickinson is consistently inspired whether he is embracing original material or providing a memorable remake of David Bowie's "All the Young Dudes." On subsequent solo efforts like 1994's Balls to Picasso and 1998's The Chemical Wedding, the British vocalist got back to fantasy metal. But he seemed to need a break from it in 1990, and Tattooed Millionaire turned out to be a most pleasant surprise.

tags: bruce dickinson,tattooed millionare, 1990, flac,

May 10, 2017

Alien Ant Farm - ANThology (2001) ☠

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Alternative Rock
Label Number: 0044-50293-2
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 2001 DreamWorks, Newnoize
AllMusic Review by Mario Mesquita Borges
Discovering new limits to the nu metal scene by approaching mainstream measures and using avowed pop rhythms, Alien Ant Farm go beyond the widespread rampaging guitar strain. The band's kinship with Papa Roach proved to be crucial, for it was through Roach's logo New Noize that the LA quartet managed to deliver their disc on the Dreamworks label. Anthology surfaced as the band's first full-length on a major label with the production credits of Jay Baumgardner, who previously worked with groups such as Orgy and Coal Chamber. The album showcases the band's alternate dexterity, not only due to frontman Dryden Mitchell's revealing vocals, but also by virtue of their deliverance of full-blooded melodies. If "Courage," the album's opening track, provides a hint of their crossbreed intentions, "Movies" confirms Alien's unusual dispositions, surfacing as original discharges of alternative pop/rock. Anthology emphasizes the Californians intrepid enthusiasm, even including a version of a Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal," once more disclosing the team's hybrid intents.

tags: alien ant farm, anthology, 2001,

Alien Ant Farm - TruANT (2003) ☠

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Alternative Rock
Label Number: B0000568-10
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 2003 DreamWorks Records
AllMusic Review by Christina Fuoco
After Alien Ant Farm's deadly bus crash in 2001 in Europe, it was difficult to tell if the band would record again. Lead singer Dryden Mitchell broke his neck, a notoriously difficult injury from which to recover. But the California-based Alien Ant Farm teamed up with producers Robert and Dean DeLeo of the Stone Temple Pilots for truANT, an album that grabs listeners by the collar with "1,000 Days" and doesn't let go until the closing track, "Hope." The first single, "These Days," is so relentlessly addictive and hopelessly upbeat ("These days are great/There's work to do/Would you like to work with me?/I'd love to work you") that anyone who hears it will give in to its soaring vocals and staccato guitars. "Sarah Wynn" is an incredibly honest, touching plea for a girl to stop using drugs ("What the hell were you thinking of?/I can't help you now, Sarah/Why the hell were you shooting up?/Now you're coming down, Sarah"). The song is almost painful to listen to. "Tia Lupe" doesn't fit in with the anthemic rock that fills truANT, but it is nonetheless a snappy, Latin-inspired love song. These days music fans will be hard-pressed to find an album so satisfying.

tags: alien ant farm, truant,

May 07, 2017

Green Day - Nimrod. (1997) ☠

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Punk Rock
Style: Pop Punk
Label Number:   
☠: Selected by Lass
© 1997 Reprise Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Following the cool reception to Insomniac, Green Day retreated from the spotlight for a year to rest and spend time with their families. During that extended break, they decided to not worry about their supposedly lost street credibility and make an album according to their instincts, which meant more experimentation and less of their trademark punk-pop. Of course, speedy, catchy punk is at the core of the group's sound, so there are plenty of familiar moments on the resultant album, Nimrod, but there are also new details that make the record an invigorating, if occasionally frustrating, listen. Although punk-pop is Green Day's forte, they sound the most alive on Nimrod when they're breaking away from their formula, whether it's the shuffling "Hitchin' a Ride," the bitchy, tongue-in-cheek humor of "The Grouch," the surging surf instrumental "Last Ride In," the punchy, horn-driven drag-queen saga "King for a Day," or the acoustic, string-laced ballad "Good Riddance." It's only when the trio confines itself to three chords that it sounds tired, but Billie Joe has such a gift for hooky, instantly memorable melodies that even these moments are enjoyable, if unremarkable. Still, Nimrod suffers from being simply too much -- although it clocks in at under 50 minutes, the 18 tracks whip by at such a breakneck speed that it leaves you somewhat dazed. With a little editing, Green Day's growth would have been put in sharper relief, and Nimrod would have been the triumphant leap forward it set out to be. As it stands, it's a muddled but intermittently exciting record that is full of promise.

tags: green day, nimrod, 1997, flac,