June 30, 2020

Go West - Go West (1988)

*U.S. first pressing. 
Contains 9 tracks total.
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Synth Pop
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© 1985 Chrysalis
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Go West's debut album features the band's enjoyable, new wave-inflected '80s dance-pop.

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Benighted - Benighted (2000)

Country: France
Language: English
Genre: Black Metal
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© 2000 Not On Label
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

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Benighted - Asylum Cave (2011)

Country: France
Language: English
Genre: Death Metal
Style: Brutal Death Metal
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© 2011 Season of Mist
Review by Scott Alisoglu for Blabbermouth.net
Do you enjoy the varied extreme metal sounds of CEPHALIC CARNAGE, DESPISED ICON, and ABORTED? Have you ever yearned for a group that blended all three into one album? Then have I got a band for you! On "Asylum Cave", France's BENIGHTED mix and match with pizzazz and forsake neither melody nor their own technical bent toward death metal.
BENIGHTED have done a smashing job of shrapnel-blasting, grooving, and breaking down the structure at just the right moment while telling the tale of a schizophrenic man that takes his twisted, obsessed cues from one Josef Fritzl. Not familiar with the name? He's the Austrian nut job that was arrested in 2008 for holding his own daughter Elisabeth captive in a hidden basement area of his house and "fathered" seven children with her. Yeah, the subject matter of "Asylum Cave" is not of the Disney channel variety. Neither is the shape shifting, technically spattered, and grind-infused death metal that comes with slamming grooves and an unhinged ferocity that almost never lets up. And when it does cool out a bit it is only to reveal a somehow fitting moment of relative calm during the atmospheric, darkly melodic moments heard on "Hostile". When BENIGHTED fire up the grinder it's like NASUM on crack and when they groove it out it is pure, head-banging bliss, as heard on tracks like "Prey", "Fitzl", and the album's strongest cut, the equally diverse and memorable "Let the Blood Spill Between My Broken Teeth". The upshot is that neck snapping moments are nearly as frequent as the memorable ones, particularly during the first half of the disc.
Did I hear some SLIPKNOT-ish, turntable scratching effects on "Drowning"? I believe I did and that's no reason to enjoy "Asylum Cave" any less. Yep, it works, almost as well as the strategic vocal shifts from growl to shriek to pig squeal. Guest vocals are brought to your by our friends in DEVOURMENT and ABORTED. It all benefits the greater BENIGHTED good. "Asylum Cave" is a face breaker, a machine gunner, and a memorable shape-shifter. A special edition of the album designed specifically for the French punters features exclusive artwork and a bonus cover of NASUM's "Wrath". How much gory fun can you stand anyway?

tags: benighted, asylum cave, 2011, flac,

Evelyn Thomas - High Energy (1992) ☠

*This is a compilation. 
This is not the 1984 album of the same name
This compilation contains 14 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hi NRG
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1992 Unidisc
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

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June 29, 2020

Mary Karlzen - Yelling At Mary (1995) ☠

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Alternative Country
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1995 Atlantic Records
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson
Mary Karlzen's voice is an acquired taste. It's thin and girlish, and the singer/songwriter often sounds shrill. But her voice has a way of growing on you -- the more one listens to Yelling at Mary, the more one realizes that she does have a certain charm. Karlzen wrote most of the songs on this CD, which favors an earthy and rootsy approach to pop/rock, Americana, and folk-rock. Karlzen's voice might be overly cutesy at times, but her lyrics show her to be a substantial storyteller. The evocative "St. James Hotel" vividly paints a picture of the Old West and an American town near the Mexican border, while "Dimestore Life" finds a small-town teen-ager longing to travel and see more of the world -- only to end up going back home at 31 with a newfound appreciation of the town she once found boring. Like Bruce Springsteen, Karlzen has a knack for embracing songs that equate traveling or hitting the road with improving your life-- "Anywhere Is Better Than Here" and "Another Town, Another Place" find her trying to cope with heartbreak by leaving town. This isn't to say that Karlzen is in a class with Springsteen, only that she uses his influence to her advantage. Not magnificent but certainly enjoyable, Yelling at Mary is worth acquiring if you're a fan of Americana and roots rock.

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Lucinda Williams - Car Wheels On a Gravel Road (1998) ☠

*This is the HDCD first pressing. 
Contains 13 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Alternative Country
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1998 Mercury Records
AllMusic Review by Steve Huey
It isn't surprising that Lucinda Williams' level of craft takes time to assemble, but the six-year wait between Sweet Old World and its 1998 follow-up, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, still raised eyebrows. The delay stemmed both from label difficulties and Williams' meticulous perfectionism, the latter reportedly over a too-produced sound and her own vocals. Listening to the record, one can understand why both might have concerned Williams. Car Wheels is far and away her most produced album to date, which is something of a mixed blessing. Its surfaces are clean and contemporary, with something in the timbres of the instruments (especially the drums) sounding extremely typical of a late-'90s major-label roots-rock album. While that might subtly alter the timeless qualities of Williams' writing, there's also no denying that her sound is punchier and livelier. The production also throws Williams' idiosyncratic voice into sharp relief, to the point where it's noticeably separate from the band. As a result, every inflection and slight tonal alteration is captured, and it would hardly be surprising if Williams did obsess over those small details. But whether or not you miss the earthiness of Car Wheels' predecessors, it's ultimately the material that matters, and Williams' songwriting is as captivating as ever. Intentionally or not, the album's common thread seems to be its strongly grounded sense of place -- specifically, the Deep South, conveyed through images and numerous references to specific towns. Many songs are set, in some way, in the middle or aftermath of not-quite-resolved love affairs, as Williams meditates on the complexities of human passion. Even her simplest songs have more going on under the surface than their poetic structures might indicate. In the end, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road is Williams' third straight winner; although she might not be the most prolific songwriter of the '90s, she's certainly one of the most brilliant.

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Instruction. - God Doesn't Care (2004)

*U.S. pressing. 
Contains 12 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Post Grunge
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© 2004 Geffen Records
Review by Nick Cowen for Drowned In Sound.com
I'm sure frustration, whether empty-handed or not, is one of the prime elements in the petulant cocktail of teenage angst. It's a sensation I've been getting cosy with the last couple of days while spending time with Instuction's debut, as it's one of the most frustrating listens I've experienced in a long time.
The songs on God Doesn't Care are too muddy to be pop, too jarring to be mainstream, too light to be punk, too melodious to be metal – and maddeningly enough all these adjectives and categorizations apply to the end result. Quite frankly, I've been sorely tempted to tag the band 'emo' and be done with it, and I could probably get away with doing so. God knows they display enough of the visual characteristics; the non-descript wardrobe, the thousand-yard stares in the band photo – hell, three of them are alumni from Error Type: 11 and one of the guitarists used to play for Quicksand, so I could seal the deal with that.
But the music manages to wriggle free at turns. Sure, Instruction's songs contain the usual emo staples – overdriven guitars, angst-ridden lyrics, plenty of angry white boy guitar shenanigans – but just when you think you’ve got their sound nailed, the quintet hit you with a broadside that leaves you scratching your head.
God Doesn't Care opens with a muted intro that drops the listener into the churning mosh pit frenzy of 'Great'. Arty Shepherd's marble-mouthed Kurt Cobain-like snarl soars above a riot of guitar screams and thundering bass and drums, spewing surprisingly uplifting lyrics for this kind of music. The punishing assualt continues unabated throughout the next couple of tracks; there's barely time to breath before the riff of 'Lean On You' comes crashing down like an anvil, and while the intro to the excellent 'Are You Happy?' provides a couple of moments for air, it's soon squashed with stop-start strurm and drang and pounding percussion. So far, so good.
But then the fourth track, 'I'm Dead' shimmers into view off the back of a tinkly guitar line, Shepherd ratchets down his voice, sounding like one of the countless Eddie Vedder clones out there, and we're in the bland surroundings alt rock radio. For all it’s skull-crunching choruses, the better half of this track is one guitar trill away from being a *U2* number and the song even ends with organs that instantly recall the intro to 'Where The Streets Have No Name'. It's a sweet song, but it sounds out of place with what's gone before.
It's this sort of inconsistency that pops up again and again, throwing curveballs. Admittedly sometimes the results work, like on 'Feed The Culture'; with its eastern percussion, sitars and violins this is angst-ridden indie rock by way of Arabian Nights. But moments like this only serve to highlight the chuckaway fare like the eye-rolling 'Your Punk Sucks' - it's a decent track, but the mall-punk bating is pretty lame and it drags the track down as a whole.
So how do you score a hit-'n-miss of this scale? At its worst, 'God Doesn't Care' sports enough rough and smooth to sound like an A&R man's wet dream and at its best, it serves up the sort of visceral rock kick most majors lack. Either this band are as sick of the 'emo' definition as I am, and so have deliberately set out to give anyone reviewing them the shaft or they're sticking to the safe middle ground. Whatver the case, the New York quintet have shown enough ideas and passion to instill the hope that they'll continue to swing for the fences.

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June 28, 2020

Tsunami - Deep End (1993)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Indie Rock
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© 1993 Simple Machines
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares
The group's melodic, witty debut manages to be both heavy and catchy. Toomey and Thompson's vocal and guitar interplay make this an interesting listen.

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Tsunami - The Heart's Tremolo (1994)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Indie Rock
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© 1994 Simple Machines
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares
The 11 songs on The Heart's Tremolo are more polished, complex, and accomplished than those of their debut. Toomey's torchy vocals and the group's trademark droning guitars make this album even better than Deep End.

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Tsunami - A Brilliant Mistake (1997)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Indie Rock
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© 1997 Simple Machines
AllMusic Review by Marc Ruxin
Tsunami's records are usually excellent, but on A Brilliant Mistake they reached a new peak. This stroke of brilliance corresponds to the tragic end of the band's Simple Machines label after seven years of near-flawless production and indie rock mining. The band's earlier attempts at punk rock were often tedious at best, but with these 13 songs Tsunami put aside their punk ambitions and created a clean, cohesive record. On "Old Grey Mare," singer Jenny Toomey croons about the metaphorical, while two songs later, pulsing horns accompany her as she wails about struggling against the grain of mainstream society. A Brilliant Mistake is pure, mellifluous indie rock, the place where a genuine D.I.Y. ethos meets pure pop sensibility. As expected, the album is strewn with literary references, from a song dedicated to David Foster Wallace to odd lyrics reworking elements of Allen Ginsberg's Howl. This record is often brilliant but never a mistake

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The Lords of The New Church - Is Nothing Sacred? (1983)

*U.S. first pressing. 
Contains 11 tracks total.
Country: United Kingdom/U.S.A.
Genre: Post Punk
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© 1983-1987 I.R.S. Records
AllMusic Review by Bill Cassel
The shadow of the Rolling Stones, the classic role model for bands who embrace rock's scuzzy, dangerous, vaguely satanic side, looms large over Lords of the New Church's second album. The influence of Mick Jagger on Stiv Bators' lippy, sneering delivery has never been more apparent. Brian James emulates Keith Richards' rhythm-oriented guitar parts, leaving Dave Tregunna's bass as the lead instrument. Nicky Turner may not be Charlie Watts (who is?), but he provides a dependable backbeat. Is Nothing Sacred? even offers such Stones-y song titles as "Black Girl White Girl," "Goin' Downtown," and "Partners in Crime." You'd hope this was a conscious homage, but it sounds more like the Lords were having trouble deciding on a direction and fell back on old habits. Still, if Is Nothing Sacred? were a Stones album, it'd be a pretty good one, well played and entertaining throughout. "Dance with Me" -- funky, slinky, and goth-tinged with lyrics that invoke voodoo and bondage -- is one of the Lords' best songs and, coincidentally, one of their biggest hits. "Live for Today," a surprisingly straight cover of the Grass Roots classic with slick production and keyboards by Todd Rundgren, closes the album on an uplifting though incongruous note. As a follow-up to the Lords' promising debut, Is Nothing Sacred? isn't a disaster, but it is a small step backward rather than forward

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The Lords of The New Church - The Method To Our Madness (1984)

*U.S. first pressing. 
Contains 11 tracks total.
Country: United Kingdom/U.S.A.
Genre: Pop Rock
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© 1984-1988 I.R.S. Records
AllMusic Review by Bill Cassel
Although it was the Lords' third release, The Method to Our Madness sounds more like a debut. The band is bursting with energy and the production, by Chris Tsangerides, is much rawer than that on The Lords of the New Church or Is Nothing Sacred? The opening salvo is "Method to My Madness," a four-on-the-floor rocker with a vocal contribution by I.R.S. Records impresario Miles Copeland, who admonishes Stiv Bators, "Now don't go tellin' secrets/This record's gotta sell!" After that, the aggression level stays pretty high, dipping only for a couple of ballads, "I Never Believed" and "When Blood Runs Cold" (the latter of which uses a string section; Stiv Bators and strings -- who would have thought it?) The Method to Our Madness contains some of the Lords' best non-hits: the sinister, sexy, bass-driven "Murder Style" and "The Seducer," the tale of a figure who might be a messiah, might be an antichrist, probably not too far off from how Bators saw himself. The closer, "My Kingdom Come," sounds like an ending, and it was; the Lords would never again record at full power before their split in 1988.

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Jerry Harrison - The Red & The Black (1981)

*First pressing. 
Contains 9 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Pop Rock
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© 1981-1991 Sire Records
AllMusic Review by Christian Huey
While the myth has been widely propagated that David Byrne was the sole creative presence of any consequence among his Talking Heads cohorts, The Red and the Black makes perhaps the strongest case against such a claim. Jerry Harrison, no musical novice by any stretch (check out his work with the early Modern Lovers), proves his formidable talent as a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter for the first time in this close-up. There's little doubt that Harrison's debut is informed most directly by the last few Talking Heads albums, particularly the genre-defining Remain in Light. The polyrhythmic exercises, spoken word interludes, and Enoesque knob twiddling are standard parts of Harrison's palette. He's also free to indulge in some impressive keyboard pyrotechnics, much of which hints at the arena funk of Stop Making Sense. Denser, more abrasive, and yet more musical than Remain in Light, The Red and the Black mines the same musical terrain, but it does so with more urgency and focus. While David Byrne sounded like a man suffocating under the weight of the modern world, Harrison takes a more sober, straightforward approach. He's able to discriminate the desirable parts from the undesirable, and to celebrate the whole. While Byrne's persona was strictly that of an observer, Harrison isn't afraid to get his hands dirty. His baritone warble may lose pitch or escape as a helpless bark on occasion, but there's warmth and humanity to his timbre, a yearning to connect rather than to distance. This is reflected most immediately in Harrison's no-nonsense pep talks that pop up in the middle of a few songs, just when the intensifying rhythms and synth lines become almost too cacophonous to bear. "Have you ever been in a traffic jam?," he inquires in "Slink." "Have you ever needed a gram? I have, but I got over it." When Harrison shifts the focus from third person to second, the effect is jarring and surprisingly effective. On "Magic Hymie" he grows more impatient with us: "There's a way out of that corner you painted yourself into...you gotta decide you wanna do it, and then you're just gonna do it." Throughout much of the album, Harrison continues to lay heavy condemnation upon modern attitudes of helplessness and irresponsibility. Modern, particularly urban, life has its pitfalls, he seems to say, but we're all equipped to deal with them if we accept some accountability. Besides the relentless attack of fired-up synthesizers and frenzied rhythms, Harrison incorporates a cast of soulful female background vocalists, many of whom would end up on the next Talking Heads record and following tour. Not surprisingly given Harrison's brainy and self-conscious approach, the singers add little soul, but serve rather as a Greek chorus, repeating Harrison's lyrical motifs and bringing substantial drama to his already tense and paranoid compositions. Elsewhere, on "Worlds in Collision," he throws in samples of barking hounds and Hitlerian rally cries to punctuate the monotone din of the rest of the song. The Red and the Black more than holds its own against the rest of Talking Heads' oeuvre, and shows where the band could have gone, had they not opted for a more minimalistic approach later in their career. As a solo project, Harrison's debut is phenomenal. The album's complex and funky musical style has aged impressively, as have Harrison's observations on the modern condition.

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Jerry Harrison: Casual Gods - Casual Gods (1988)

*European first pressing. 
Contains 12 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Pop Rock
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© 1988 Phonogram/Fontana
AllMusic Review by Tom Demalon
With Talking Heads having split, guitarist Jerry Harrison released his second solo effort with 1988's Casual Gods. In addition to playing guitar, keyboards, and singing, Harrison also produced the album, which featured players like Bernie Worrel on keyboards and Chris Spedding and Robbie McIntosh playing guitar. Harrison's vocals have a quality similar to David Byrne, and the music is reminiscent of Fear of Music-era Talking Heads. "Rev It Up" was an AOR hit and deservedly so. The song lives up to its name with a funky, loose groove, snaky guitar, and throbbing bass. "Man with a Gun" is just one of many tracks featuring great lyrics on Casual Gods, with a series of wry observations ("A pretty girl can walk anywhere/All doors open for her") over a moody rhythm punctuated by guitar twitches. Casual Gods is a pleasure for Talking Heads fans, but it manages to stand on its own.

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Jerry Harrison: Casual Gods - Walk On Water (1990)

*U.S. second pressing. 
Contains 13 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Pop Rock
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© 1990 Sire Records
AllMusic Review by Christian Huey
Jerry Harrison was so impressed with the performance of his backup band on his 1988 tour that he brought them back around to share billing on his third album, Walk on Water. It's ironic, then, that none of his star players and partisans feature audibly on the recording. The soulful backing of vocalists Dollette McDonald and Nona Hendryx creep into the mix from time to time, as does Bernie Worrell's blistering keyboard work, but it's clear that Harrison has chosen Walk on Water, his first post-Talking Heads album, to be a stylistic departure from his earlier works. For one, the dense, syncopated textures from his previous albums have given way to a significantly more laid-back and monorhythmic feel. No doubt Harrison felt a simpler, pop-oriented approach would seem less self-conscious than his tense, meticulous early material. Tension, however, has always been an important quality in Jerry Harrison's music. Without it, his songs suffer here, as listenable but vaguely unremarkable tunes. Harrison brings his political activism to the fore, too, most notably in "I Cry for Iran" and "Cowboy's Got to Go." Unfortunately, the lyrics come across heavy-handed and lack personality, hardly benefiting from the sparser production. It's only when Harrison truly lets his guard down that Walk on Water succeeds. A handful of surprisingly tender ballads manage to buoy the album up from mediocrity. "If the Rains Return" is an affectionate ode to a lover with a lush tropical backdrop, while the exquisite lullaby "Sleep Angel" seems to channel Chris Isaak with its silvery steel guitar and husky vocal delivery.

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June 27, 2020

Kajagoogoo - The Very Best of Kajagoogoo (1996)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: New Wave, Pop
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© 1996 EMI Gold
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman
In the 1990s, the two most prominent Kajagoogoo compilations (amidst a bunch of hastily patched together budget-line jobs) were this one and 1993's Too Shy: The Singles and More. Both compilations are very similar and are representative of the group's career -- all the while anthologizing some of Limahl's solo material -- with only a three-song switch-up in track selection. Too Shy: The Singles and More pays more attention to Limahl's solo career; this disc opts to go a little deeper with Kajagoogoo, since "Charm of a Gun," "Kajagoogoo," and "The Power to Forgive" are included instead. For most, the differences won't matter, since both compilations have "Too Shy" and "Never Ending Story."

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Bardeux - Shangri-La (1989)

*U.S. first pressing. 
Contains 10 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hi NRG
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© 1989 Enigma Records
AllMusic Review by William Cooper
The Los Angeles-based duo Bardeux had a minor hit in 1988 with "When We Kiss," from their debut album Bold as Love. The 1989 follow-up, Shangri-La, is a similar collection of light dance-pop. The album's single, "I Love to Bass," although charming, was not a hit, and it's really the only redeeming tune on this otherwise forgettable collection of mindless fluff.

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Sheena Easton - Do You (1985)

*First pressing. 
Contains 10 tracks total.
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Pop
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© 1985 EMI
AllMusic Review by Justin Kantor
Coming hot off the heels of the largely successful A Private Heaven, the response to Sheena Easton's follow-up set was surprisingly numb. Though producer Nile Rodgers had also had much success shortly before via his work with Madonna on Like a Virgin, the soul-tinged club arrangements he instilled Do You with were perhaps too retro-sounding for radio. But the strongest entries never saw life as singles: the vibrant pop/soul concoction "Don't Break My Heart" combines a savvy '60s flair in its horn arrangement with a contemporary rhythm structure, while the mellow Dan Hartman-Charlie Midnight composition "When the Lightning Strikes Again" and catchy lyrics and vocal arrangement of "Money Back Guarantee" take life as solid dancefloor numbers. Easton consistently delivers driven, top-of-the-line performances, and the chemistry between Rodgers and Easton is apparent, resulting in her sounding much more comfortable with dance material than on previous efforts. A worthy investment for any Easton fan.

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Sheena Easton - The Lover In Me (1988)

*U.S. first pressing. 
Contains 10 tracks total.
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Pop
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© 1988 MCA Records
AllMusic Review by Justin Kantor
Sheena Easton bounced back from her unattractive 1987 split from EMI with her most decidedly urban set to date. Enlisting the help of R&B production heavyweights L.A. Reid and Babyface -- as well as Angela Winbush, Jellybean and Prince, she came out with a youthful and trend-savvy offering that has some fun moments, but overall is too formulaic to really say much. The snazzy L.A. and Babyface number "The Lover in Me" (number two pop, number five R&B) is one of the album's most solid, memorable moments, but it soon becomes hard to distinguish from "Days Like This," "No Deposit, No Return" and "One Love" -- three other selections produced by the duo. Easton was apparently becoming more of a producer's puppet than she planned early in her career, as further evidenced by the synthetic "Without You," which is too low in the singer's range to be effective to start with. Luckily, a few saving moments do surface: the Winbush-produced "Fire and Rain," a calming quiet storm ballad that allows Easton to showcase a more vulnerable side of her voice; and the Prince-penned "101," a subtly haunting, understated dance romp with what is one of the singer's most passionate, revealing performances on record. Otherwise, this is a fun record, but a bit too monotonous.

tags: sheena easton, the lover in me, 1988, flac,

June 26, 2020

The Lords of The New Church - The Lords of The New Church (1982)

*U.S. first pressing.
Contains 11 tracks total.
Country: United Kingdom/U.S.A.
Genre: Post Punk
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© 1982-1988 I.R.S. Records
AllMusic Review by Bill Cassel
Although their roots were in punk rock, their debut album announced to the world that the Lords of the New Church were not your average punk band. They had ambitions: they would be the last beacon of truth in a world nearing its end. And while you can't call The Lords of the New Church entirely successful -- for every high point like "Open Your Eyes" or "Russian Roulette" there's a clunker like "Portobello" or "Eat Your Heart Out" -- you can't fault their effort. Guitarist Brian James and the Tregunna/Turner rhythm section provide a wide-screen setting, with guest musicians adding synths and horns to the guitar bass, and drums foundation. But the face, mouth, and heart of the Lords was Stiv Bators, who casts himself here in the role of rock & roll poet/preacher/prophet. He was no Bob Dylan, to be sure, but on The Lords of the New Church Bators demonstrates lyrical maturity surprising to anyone who ever heard Dead Boys songs like "I Need Lunch." Consider these few lines from "New Church," which may not be high art, but make their point and also serve as a neat summary of the Lords ethos: "Truth can't be found on the television/Throw away youth ya gotta take a stand/Music is your only weapon/Spanners in the works go start your gang...." Lords of the New Church is very much an artifact of the Reagan era and somewhat dated in its approach, but Bators' core message of personal freedom, and the fervor and sincerity with which he delivered it, have retained their resonance across the years.

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Bardeux - Bold As Love (1988)

*U.S. first pressing. 
Contains 9 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hi NRG
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© 1988 Synthicide Records
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

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Platinum Blonde - Seven Year Itch: 1982 - 1989 (1999)

Country: Canada
Language: English
Genre: Pop Rock
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© 1999 Sony Music Direct
AllMusic Review by Mike DeGagne
Fueled by a mingling of new wave and rock and doused with the sounds of keyboards and electronic drums, Toronto's Platinum Blondes scorched '80s radio in Canada, at times neck and neck with Bryan Adams in popularity. Their debut album, 1984's Standing in the Dark, posted four strong singles, looking and sometimes sounding like Duran Duran but distinct enough to gain a modest crowd following in their country. Seven Year Itch is a greatest-hits package that covers all of their singles, and is the only material that's available from Platinum Blonde on CD. The cuts from their first album are the sturdiest, especially both "Standing in the Dark" and "Doesn't Really Matter," each brimming with '80s rock spiritedness, even if their cold war threats are outdated. Alien Shores, from 1985, gave them a number-one hit on the Canadian charts with "Crying Over You," which also put the album in the number-one spot for a week. "Somebody Somewhere" and "Hungry Eyes" had the band sounding less edgy and more polished, caught in limbo during a rapidly changing music scene. The three songs from their last album, the uninspired and flavorless Contact release from 1987, represents a last-ditch effort at maintaining their survival with the band trying to push their formula, only coming off weak and overly thin. Not only is Seven Year Itch the only source of Platinum Blonde that's out there, it's also a worthy summation of their five year existence.

tags: platinum blonde, seven year itch 1982 1989, 1999, flac,

Kajagoogoo - White Feathers (1983)

*U.S. first pressing. 
Contains 10 tracks total.
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: New Wave
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© 1983-1993 One Way Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
"Too Shy" was one of the flimsiest singles of the new wave era, a cloying and catchy bubblegum tune disguised as synth pop. And yet, Kajagoogoo never quite matched those heights again -- in fact, they rarely even came close. Their debut album, White Feathers, is filled with similarly lightweight synth pop like "Magician Man," "Ooh to Be Ah," "Ergonomics," "This Car Is Fast," and the theme song "Kajagoogoo." All of these are pleasantly danceable in a sub-Duran Duran fashion, but they are also frequently inane and ridiculous, and are of no use to anyone but hardcore new wave fetishists.

tags: kajagoogoo, white feathers, 1983, flac,

June 25, 2020

Subway - Good Times (1995)

*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: R&B
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© 1995 Biv Ten Records
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

tags: subway, good times, 1995, flac,