February 28, 2020

Brother Cane - Brother Cane (1993) ⚓

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hard Rock
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© 1993 Virgin Records
Review by RP Long for Stationary Waves.com
Long before there was "red dirt" music, there was Brother Cane, one of the best nineties rock and roll bands you've never heard.

Back then, the natural inclination upon hearing a Brother Cane song was to call it "southern rock." True, the band was from the south. And true, their songs featured a blend of country, blues, and hard rock. But there was more to Brother Cane than "Sweet Home Alabama." The band had a string of minor hits during the nineties, and these songs were so popular that, while you might not remember them unprompted, you'd recognize them if you heard them.

So, it's not "southern rock," which came earlier, and it's not "red dirt," which came later. What is it? It's the perfect blend of nineties hard rock experimentation with Nashville songwriting, that's what. And it was incredible.

Singer and guitarist Damon Johnson has one of the best voices in hard rock, capable of screaming high notes, dusky low notes, and everything in between. Vocally, he's the result of equal parts Chris Robinson and Chris Cornell. That alone is worth the price of admission, but Johnson ups the ante with guitar pyrotechnics so substantial that they landed him a gig in Sammy Hagar's band, a gig in Alice Cooper's band, and finally a gig in Thin Lizzy / Black Star Riders. So we're not just talking about a good pop rock singer or a good guitarist, we're talking about skills in both territories that have put him in the enviable position of being a major in-demand guitarist to rock and roll's living legends.

Get the picture?

Brother Cane's debut album, 1993's Brother Cane gave them two recognizable hits in the hard-hitting "Got No Shame" and the softer, sweeter "Hard Act to Follow," both of which I still hear on rock radio stations today.

Naturally, this debut album is not as well-defined, from an artistic standpoint, as their subsequent releases, but all the Brother Cane trademarks are in place. You could say a lot of things about a band this good, in terms of what those trademarks really are, but for me, I can sum it up in one word: intelligence.

Intelligence is the thing that put Brother Cane ahead of all the other southern rockers, all the other nineties bands, and certainly all the red dirt bands that popped up two decades later. While the songs on Brother Cane certainly feel like straight-ahead country-twinged rock songs, the riffs have a harmonic depth that straight-ahead rock so often lacks. Even Johnson's guitar solos, despite their explosiveness, always shine for their note choice more than their speed. And the melodic composition of the songs is a few steps ahead of the game. Add to that the rather clever and surprisingly technical drumming of Scott Collier. Not content to simply keep the beat, Collier's drumming features unique and well-thought out beats that, while never over-stated, always served to inject a level of depth in what might otherwise be a straight-forward rock song. Collier would really spread his wings on the band's second album, but even here on the debut the intelligence of his craft is fully evident.

Brother Cane is an excellent album, one that sets the stage for what the band would accomplish later. Its only real weakness, if it has one, is that it is not quite as good as the band's later releases - but you certainly can't fault a band for ending better than they began! Not a lot of people remember this band, just as not a lot of people had heard of them at the time, but for any fan of melodic hard rock, it's love at first sound.

tags: brother cane, brother cane album, 1993, flac,

Wilco - A.M. (1995) ☠

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Alternative Rock, Alternative Country
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1995 Reprise Records
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming
Uncle Tupelo played their final show on May 1, 1994, and little more than a month later, the band's final lineup, minus co-founder Jay Farrar, was cutting an album under the name Wilco. The group's transition happened so quickly that frontman Jeff Tweedy hadn't even found a new lead guitarist when they set up in the studio -- Brian Henneman from the Bottle Rockets was drafted to play on the band's first sessions. Given all this, it should come as no surprise that Wilco's debut LP, 1995's A.M., is by far the one with the closest resemblance to Uncle Tupelo. The attack sounds more than a bit like the twangy roar of UT's final album, 1993's Anodyne, albeit with a brighter and better detailed mix, and many of the songs recall the melodic style of Tweedy's contributions to the former incarnation of the band. And Henneman's soloing serves a similar function to Jay Farrar's Neil Young-inspired leads in Uncle Tupelo, even if Henneman's playing has a leaner personality of its own. But stripped of the dour tone Farrar brought to the band and the occasionally strained seriousness of his outlook, A.M. sounds like this band is having a blast in a way they never had before. It's all but impossible to imagine Uncle Tupelo kicking up their heels with numbers like "I Must Be High," "Casino Queen," or "Box Full of Letters," and the interplay between the musicians -- Henneman on guitar, Tweedy on vocals and guitar, John Stirratt on bass, Ken Coomer on drums, and Max Johnson on banjo, fiddle, mandolin, and Dobro -- feels playful and easygoing, even on sorrowful tunes like "I Thought I Held You" and "Should've Been in Love." And while Tweedy was still finding a more individual voice as a songwriter, "Dash 7" and "Too Far Apart" contain echoes of the sort of music Wilco would be making a few years later. A.M. beat Trace, the first album from Jay Farrar's Son Volt, into record shops by six months, but in the minds of many alt-country fans, Tweedy's album was the weaker effort. However, viewed in the context of Wilco's catalog more than 20 years on, A.M. sounds like the point where Jeff Tweedy and his collaborators let go of Uncle Tupelo and took a bold, smart step into their future.

tags: wilco, am, a.m., 1996, flac,

Wilco - Being There (1996)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Alternative Rock, Alternative Country
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        *****
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© 1996 Reprise Records
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming
Wilco barely had time to figure out just what sort of band they were going to be when they cut their first album, 1995's A.M., and it wasn't until they hit the road that they began to fully emerge from the shadow of Uncle Tupelo, the band co-founded by Wilco leader Jeff Tweedy. As Wilco developed a distinct sonic personality of their own, Tweedy became more ambitious as a songwriter, exploring thematic and melodic elements he'd never considered before, and the band was a very different animal when it returned to the studio to cut its second album. Released in 1996, Being There was a stunning leap forward for Wilco, a sprawling double-disc set that confirmed they were far more than just another Midwestern alt-country outfit. Jay Bennett joined Wilco following the recording of A.M., and while his guitar work was solid, it was his keyboards that expanded Wilco's sonic palette and helped redefine their attack, sharpening their rock moves, sweetening their pop side, and adding a sinewy groove throughout. Tweedy, Bennett, and their bandmates (Max Johnson on fiddle, banjo, mandolin, and Dobro; John Stirratt on bass; and Ken Coomer on drums) developed a new sense of daring, willing to bounce from indie rock noisemaking ("Misunderstood"), nervy autobiographical studies ("Red-Eyed and Blue"), and retro-pop stylings ("Outta Mind [Outta Sight]") to boozy Stones-influenced rock ("Monday") and country weepers more emotionally layered than they'd even tried before ("Say You Miss Me"). While there was still twang in Wilco's formula, Being There broke them out of the alt-country ghetto, confirming they were as versatile as any band in the indie rock firmament, and they consistently sounded joyous and fully in command regardless of the detours they took. Being There's 19 tracks are individually outstanding, and taken together, they add up to a three-way cross between Neil Young's Harvest, the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main St., and Big Star's 3rd that still leaves room for some impressive tricks of its own. If Being There isn't Wilco's best album, it's the one that staked their claim as an important American band, and it's a rich, dazzling experience from beginning to end.

tags: wilco, being there, 1996, flac,

February 27, 2020

Brothers Uv Da Blakmarket - Ruff Life (1992) ☠

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
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☠: Selected by Sentinel
© 1992 Select Records
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

tags: brothers uv da blakmarket, of the black market, blackmarket, ruff life, rough, 1992, flac,

The Black Dahlia Murder - Deflorate (2009)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Death Metal
Style: Melodic Death Metal
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© 2009 Metal Blade Records
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato
Combining death metal with anything resembling melody kinda defeats the whole purpose, doesn't it? Guess no one ever bothered to tell the Black Dahlia Murder this heavy metal golden rule, as evidenced by their fourth studio release overall, 2009's Deflorate. But don't be misled: it's not like they're going to be confused anytime soon as power pop champions when it comes to melodic content -- it's a tiny pinch of melody stirred into gallons of brutal extreme metal. The album signals the first appearance by new guitarist Ryan Knight, replacing John Kempainen, who played on all of the group's previous studio efforts. However, the slight lineup hiccup has not affected the ferocity of the Black Dahlia Murder's mighty metal attack, especially on such eardrum blasters as "Necropolis" and "Denounced, Disgraced." As with past Black Dahlia Murder releases, Trevor Strnad is one of the genre's most impressive vocalists, as he effortlessly alternates between screechy screams and guttural growls, without ever missing a beat. Some bands soften their approaches with experimentation as their discographies grow. Deflorate proves that the Black Dahlia Murder will not be listed in this category anytime soon.

tags: the black dahlia murder, deflorate, 2009, flac,

The Black Dahlia Murder - Ritual (2011) ☠

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Death Metal
Style: Melodic Death Metal
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☠: Selected by Buccaneer
© 2011 Metal Blade Records
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger
Rising above the predictable black din of contemporary death metal can be a formidable task, but Michigan-based melodic death rockers the Black Dahlia Murder manage to do just that on their fifth studio album, the relentless and rewarding Ritual. Employing a lethal mix of old-school American thrash, Scandinavian black metal, Carcass-era grindcore, and classic dual-lead power metal, Ritual roars in like a runaway train and leaves the listener in pieces. Stand-out cuts like “Moonlight Equilibrium,” “The Window,” “Carbonized in Cruciform,” and “Blood in the Ink” may borrow cues from like-minded outfits such as Protest the Hero, Unearth, and At the Gates, but the sheer stamina, unpretentious delivery, and attention to detail (pinpointed bursts of vocal flange, Iron Maiden-worthy staccato leads, and breakdowns that actually feel necessary) is pure Black Dahlia firing on all cylinders. It's the band’s most impressive outing to date, and easily one of the best metal albums of 2011.

tags: the black dahlia murder, murder ritual, 2011, flac,

The Black Dahlia Murder - Everblack (Limited Edition) (2013) ☠

*Contains 11 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Death Metal
Style: Melodic Death Metal
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☠: Selected by Buccaneer
© 2013 Metal Blade Records
AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney
Though being an American death metal band that has entrenched itself on the Billboard charts is an impressive enough feat in and of itself, perhaps the most impressive trick the Black Dahlia Murder have pulled off is that they have accomplished this while actually getting better. On Everblack, their furious sixth album, they continue to refine their hybrid sound, combining the melody and technicality of melodic death metal with the savage brutality of their homeland's domestic death metal offerings. Add a touch of thrash's relentlessness and the listener is presented with a thrilling and visceral sound that's capable of being cathartic without sacrificing musicianship, avoiding cheap tricks like endless strings of breakdowns. Though metal has become an increasingly codified genre over the years, Everblack shows the heights a band can reach by simply having the confidence to forge its own path, following influences and inspirations wherever they may lead without worrying about whether or not death metal is being created "the right way." In a way, the Black Dahlia Murder have figured out how to create a new sound not by innovation, but invitation, welcoming bits and pieces from all over the metal world to make something exciting and exhilarating, which, aside from being a huge boon for metal fans, is the most hopeful thing to be said about an album containing a song titled "Raped in Hatred by Vines of Thorn."

tags: the black dahlia murder, everblack, ever black, limited edition, 2013, flac,

February 26, 2020

Original Concept - Straight From The Basement of Kooley High! (1988)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
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© 1988 Def Jam/CBS
AllMusic Review by Ron Wynn
Straight from the Basement of Kooley High is an entertaining, mainly comedic and dance-oriented album from a collection of Long Island rappers and disc jockeys. This is rap to amuse rather than inform, with the exception of a couple of anti-racism and anti-violence tracts.

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3LW - A Girl Can Mack (2002)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: R&B
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© 2002 Epic
Review by Allmusic.com
Despite the soap-opera-type controversy surrounding 3LW's sophomore release (a food fight, tears, a member forced out of the band) that makes it uncertain whether they're currently 3 or 2LW (the moniker originally stood for Three Little Women), A GIRL CAN MACK proves that these girls can also sing. Production, courtesy of P. Diddy, the Full Force crew, and Mario Winans, among others, is witty and imaginative, particularly on the Force-produced, Eastern-inflected "I Need That (I Want That)" featuring Lil' Kim, a cut that's unique enough to stand out from the usual R&B fare.
The Diddy-produced "I Do" is stripped-down dance music, its spare rhythms enhanced by a skipping synth figure and a chorus as catchy as winter flu. A GIRL CAN MACK is divided between such club fare and slinky, sexy cuts such as "This Goes Out" and the deep after-hours soul of "Good Good Girl," and the LW prove here they're adept at covering both bases.

tags: 3lw, a girl can mack, 2002, flac,

Young MC - Brainstorm (1991)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Pop Rap
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© 1991 Capitol Records
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson
In hardcore hip-hop circles, more commercial rappers generally aren't thought of as having a lot of technique -- the consensus is that they're getting over on their pop or R&B appeal rather than their rapping skills. After "Bust a Move" became a major hit in the R&B market, Young MC was viewed suspiciously by b-boys. But make no mistake: the clean-cut L.A. rapper has considerable technique and could no doubt hold his own in a microphone battle. While his second album wasn't the hit that Stone Cold Rhymin' was, it's a decent, enjoyable effort with strong hooks and definite dancefloor appeal. Such congenial, R&B-ish fare as "That's the Way Love Goes," "Listen to the Beat of the Music," and "After School" obviously wasn't aimed at hardcore rap audiences, but leaves no doubt that Young MC could flow with the best.

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The Black Dahlia Murder - Unhallowed (2003)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Death Metal
Style: Melodic Death Metal
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© 2003 Metal Blade Records
AllMusic Review by William York
While not exactly original, Unhallowed, the debut full-length from Detroit, MI, quintet the Black Dahlia Murder is a well-executed slice of melodic death/black metal in the tradition of Swedish masters Dissection and At the Gates. They've clearly studied those bands, as is reflected in the racing, dual-harmonized guitar riffs that form the foundation of this album, but then again, the riffs are at times a little too reminiscent of what many folks will have already heard on albums such as Storm of the Light's Bane and Slaughter of the Soul. The vocals are a little different, though, consisting of a high-pitched shriek that's complemented by a lower, more standard death metal growl. Also of note is the drumming, which is pretty swift, even by this genre's standards. This band has a lot of youthful energy and chops and has the potential to do something great if they can come up with something less imitative and more their own.

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The Black Dahlia Murder - Miasma (2005)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Death Metal
Style: Melodic Death Metal
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© 2005 Metal Blade Records
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson
The brutal murder of 22-year-old Elizabeth Short, aka the Black Dahlia, in Los Angeles in early 1947 went down in history as one of the most gruesome and shocking crimes of the '40s. The United States was, generally speaking, a more innocent, less jaded country (at least on the surface) in that pre-Manson Family, pre-Hillside Strangler, pre-Night Stalker era -- and Short's mutilation horrified a lot of Americans. Any band that would name itself after Short's killing is obviously fascinated with dark subject matter, and shock-value lyrics are quite plentiful on the Black Dahlia Murder's second full-length album, Miasma. This 2005 release is a perfect example of a U.S. recording with a very Scandinavian sound; BDM are from Detroit, but their bombastic death metal/black metal assault is greatly influenced by the extreme metal bands of Sweden and Norway. Miasma is hardly the only 2005 release that combines death metal and black metal elements, but the way BDM handles the vocals -- although not innovative -- is noteworthy. There are two extreme vocal styles on Miasma -- death metal's deep, guttural growl and black metal's high-pitched rasp -- and throughout the 33-minute disc, the growl and the rasp interact in a duet-like fashion. Wherever the growl goes, the rasp is never far away (and vice versa). The growl and the rasp are so integrated on Miasma that BDM never really shows a preference for either death metal or black metal; the Motor City residents show an equally strong appreciation of both and do so with consistently Nordic-sounding results. This harsh, blistering sledgehammer of a CD falls short of remarkable, but it's a decent (if somewhat uneven) effort that is worth checking out if one holds Scandinavian-style death metal and Scandinavian-style black metal in equally high regard.

tags: the black dahlia murder, miasma, 2005, flac,

February 25, 2020

The Black Dahlia Murder - Nocturnal (2007) ☠

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Death Metal
Style: Melodic Death Metal
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☠: Selected by Buccaneer
© 2007 Metal Blade Records
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato
As far as rock music goes, Detroit will always be primarily associated for spawning such high-energy proto-punk bands as the Stooges and the MC5. In other words, extreme metal isn't exactly one of the area's chief music exports. But rather unexpectedly, Detroit has given birth to one of the more intense metal acts of the early 21st century, the Black Dahlia Murder, who manage to up the ante even further with their fifth release overall, 2007's Nocturnal. While death metal serves as the group's musical foundation, the Black Dahlia Murder is certainly one of the more melodic bands of the genre -- and manage to do so without forfeiting any of their metallic muscle. Blastbeats, death metal riffs, and vocals that alternate between growled and screamed (the latter a tactic which quickly became the standard of the genre), Nocturnal shows the group refining and focusing their style/sound even further, especially on such delightful little ditties as "Everything Went Black" and "I Worship Only What You Bleed." Nocturnal certainly delivers on the promise of their 2005 breakthrough, Miasma -- no abrupt "losing of the plot" here, folks.

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Lootpack - Soundpieces: Da Antidote! (1999)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
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© 1999 Stone Throw Records
AllMusic Review by Steve Huey
The Lootpack's debut album, Soundpieces: Da Antidote!, ushered in a string of excellent releases on Peanut Butter Wolf's Stones Throw label, and helped serve notice that the West Coast underground scene was becoming one of tremendous creative vitality. Much of the album's success is due to fantastic production by Madlib, who takes his place as one of the West Coast's most imaginative trackmasters, underground or otherwise. His style is subtly otherworldly, drawing bits and pieces from countless obscure sources; every listen reveals new, unexpected sounds layered into the mix. With 24 tracks over the course of a full CD, Soundpieces does feel a bit excessive, but most of the tracks are thankfully focused and concise, and a few clock in at around a minute or less. The exception is the multi-sectioned suite "Episodes," an impressive b-boy bouillabaisse that showcases Madlib's fragmented genius. The rapping, by Madlib and Wildchild plus a guest roster of West Coast scenesters, is consistently high-quality, and the album is studded with great singles: "Questions," "Whenimondamic," the eerie-sounding "The Anthem," and "Weededed," the latter an attack on MCs who rely on marijuana to enhance their rhymes (though not on the drug itself). Among the many guests, Dilated Peoples and Lootpack mentors Tha Alkaholiks shine brightest on "Long Awaited" and "Likwit Fusion," respectively. The Lootpack are vulnerable to the same criticism that's been leveled at Dilated Peoples, namely that in returning to hip-hop's basics, they've substantially limited their lyrical content by focusing almost entirely on battle rhymes. They're clever and well-crafted battle rhymes, to be sure, and the group's microphone technique is impressive, but in 1999, it was hard not to want them to pay attention to something besides wack MCs. That's especially true given the imagination of Madlib's subsequent projects (Quasimoto in particular), not to mention his production here. Still, that isn't enough to keep Soundpieces: Da Antidote! from being a resounding success.

tags: lootpack, soundpieces da antidote, 1999, flac,

Cyndi Lauper - She's So Unusual (1983) ☠

*This is a repress of the original 1983 release. 
The catalogue/label no. is RK 38930, the same as the original 1983 pressing. 
Despite the fact that both the disc and the inlay shows the original 10 track listing, this CD differs in that it actually contains 9 tracks total. 
The original 45 second track "He's So Unusual" has been merged with "Yeah Yeah" as track 9. 
This CD features the original audio mastering from the 1983 CD release. 
A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Pop
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1983 Portrait
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
One of the great new wave/early MTV records, She's So Unusual is a giddy mix of self-confidence, effervescent popcraft, unabashed sentimentality, subversiveness, and clever humor. In short, it's a multifaceted portrait of a multifaceted talent, an artist that's far more clever than her thin, deliberately girly voice would indicate. Then again, Lauper's voice suits her musical persona, since its chirpiness adds depth, or reconfigures the songs, whether it's the call to arms of "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" or the tearjerking "Time After Time." Lauper is at her very best on the first side, all of which were singles or received airplay, and this collection of songs -- "Money Changes Everything," "Girls," "When You Were Mine," "Time," "She Bop," "All Through the Night" -- is astonishing in its consistency, so strong that it makes the remaining tracks -- all enjoyable, but rather pedestrian -- charming by their association with songs so brilliantly alive. If Lauper couldn't maintain this level of consistency, it's because this captured her persona better than anyone could imagine -- when a debut captures a personality so well, let alone a personality so tied to its time, the successive work can't help but pale in comparison. Still, when it's captured as brightly and brilliantly as it is here, it does result in a debut that retains its potency, long after its production seems a little dated.

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Iggy Pop - Blah‐Blah‐Blah (1986) ☠

*This is an unofficial Russian pressing released by ООО "ДОРА"
The label no. on the disc is JPCD9710632
A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Pop Rock
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1986 ООО "ДОРА"
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming
n 1983, Iggy Pop's career was in shambles, but an unexpected windfall arrived thanks to Iggy's frequent benefactor David Bowie. Bowie recorded "China Girl," a song Bowie and Pop co-wrote, for his album Let's Dance, earning Iggy some large (and much-needed) royalty checks. Wisely realizing he was running out of second chances, Iggy decided to make the most of his good fortune; he steered clear of drugs, learned to cook his own meals, started putting money in the bank, and used his savings to bankroll a new album. David Bowie offered to help, and together they came up with Blah Blah Blah, the most calculatedly commercial album of Iggy's career. Like The Idiot, Blah Blah Blah was heavily influenced by Bowie's input; however, while The Idiot was made by a man creating intelligent and ambitious art rock, Blah Blah Blah is the work of a popmeister looking for hits and not afraid to sound cheesy about it. In the liner notes, a member of Duran Duran is thanked for the loan of a drum machine, and that speaks volumes about the production; Blah Blah Blah is slick in a very '80s way, dominated by preprogrammed percussion and swirling keyboards. And in the four years since Zombie Birdhouse, Iggy hadn't come up with much in the way of material; the only truly memorable tracks are "Real Wild Child (Wild One)," a neat bit of electro-processed rockabilly (previously a hit for Australian rocker Johnny O'Keefe), and the moody "Cry for Love," co-written by former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones. Both of these songs were minor hits, so Blah Blah Blah succeeded on its obviously commercial terms, but that doesn't change the fact it's one of Iggy's least interesting albums, and has dated worse than almost anything he's ever recorded.

tags: iggy pop, blah blah blah, 1986, flac,

Various Artists - Mo' Money (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (1992)

*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: R&B, Hip-Hop
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© 1992 Perspective Records
AllMusic Review by Adam Greenberg
The soundtrack to Mo' Money is a decent endeavor from Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. They managed to get together more early-'90s R&B and rap stars than you can shake a stick at for the project. Parts of the album are noteworthy, others are not. Cases in point, the "Mo' Money Groove," which is simply multiple artists chanting the mantra "mo' money money, mo' money money money" for nearly six minutes. Secondarily, half of the tracks are short bits of dialogue from the movie, which usually set the scene for the coming songs, though that introduction is perhaps not necessary. Notable songs on the album are many. The Janet Jackson and Luther Vandross collaboration on "The Best Things in Life Are Free" keeps a hot beat with two of the better vocalists of modern R&B, along with appearances by half of New Edition (specifically Bell Biv DeVoe and Ralph Tresvant). Krush brings out a little bit of dancehall on "Let's Get Together (So Groovy Now)" and über-soulful Sounds of Blackness follow suit. Public Enemy invokes George Clinton on "Get Off My Back" and multiple soft soul singers take their place on the album, such as Ralph Tresvant, Johnny Gill, and the boy-band precursor Color Me Badd. Throughout, the album is a perfect blend for a fan of the early-'90s R&B sound, but doesn't really meet the same standard as music of later years.

tags: various artists, mo money, ost, original motion picture soundtrack, the soundtrack, 1992, flac,

February 24, 2020

Arsenal - Armored Choir (1990) ☠

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Heavy Metal
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1990 Regency Records
Reviewed by Tony Cummings for Cross Rhythms.co.uk
Arsenal aren't in the First Division. Well, yes I know the Arsenal are there (and top as we go to press). What I mean is that Arsenal, the US white metal team aren't First Division metal merchants. It's hard for metal bands sporting female vocalists. Even those fine old metal warhorses Rez didn't always sound convincing with female vocals while Christine Steel, though sporting a fine name for a metal singer, too often falls into the mannered posturings that made those early Bride albums so dull, while the chorus on "Someone Believes In You" is positively wimpish. Also the songs are decidedly dull riffs-and-hooks heard a hundred times before. Great meaty drum sounds can't cover the paucity of ideas.
The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Treat - Organized Crime (1989)

Country: Sweden
Language: English
Genre: Hard Rock
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© 1989 Vertigo
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

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Treat - Treat (1992)

Country: Sweden
Language: English
Genre: Hard Rock
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© 1992 Vertigo
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

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February 23, 2020

Pity Sex - Feast of Love (2013) ☠

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Shoegaze
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 2013 Run For Cover Records
AllMusic Review by Fred Thomas
Growing out of the emo throwback sound that defined their earliest tracks, Michigan-based indie act Pity Sex turned in a brilliant proper debut with the layered and dreamy Feast of Love. At least part of the band's songwriting falls in line with the mostly imagined nostalgia for the golden age of '90s indie rock that they share with punky contemporaries like Swearin', Yuck, and Speedy Ortiz. While the wistful melodies and downtrodden slacker pop hooks could peg Pity Sex as '90s revivalists to some extent, their meticulously dialed-in arsenal of fuzzy guitar tones, inventive production, and unexpected shifts in both melody and song structure set them apart. Without worshiping too obviously at any of the respective altars of the greats, Pity Sex manage to capture some of the beautiful dreamlike violence of early shoegaze in their guitar squall and some of the mystery and vulnerability of the best 4AD artists, especially in the gorgeous and Cocteau Twins-indebted album closer, "Fold."

tags: pity sex, feast of love, 2013, flac,