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CD Reviews

5 Takeaways From U2's 'Songs Of Innocence'

October 20th, 2014 7:30pm EDT
U2 - Songs of Innocence
Anytime a certain Dublin band named U2 releases a new album, well, it’s “kind of a big deal.” The release of Songs of Innocence, the band’s first new album in five years, is a big deal, but not necessarily in the same way as previous efforts from the collective. It could be argued Bono and company have even had some missteps along the way, which has hindered their latest LP. After listening and analyzing the release process of Songs of Innocence, here are five takeaways.

1) Imposing a free album on everyone is probably a BAD idea…

Most people like free things, particularly if there w...
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CD Review: A Breach Of Silence - 'The Darkest Road'

October 20th, 2014 7:15pm EDT
CD Review: A Breach Of Silence - 'The Darkest Road'
With crisp production and perfect structures, A Breach Of Silence’s The Darkest Road is as much Killswitch Engage as it is Avenged Sevenfold, combining a dazzling array of all things heavy from thrash to power to (old school) metalcore; an album rife with unrelenting monsters and beastly stomping thrashers that rarely, if ever, take their foot off the gas (“The Darkest Road,” “Hang Em High,” “In Reality We Trust”). Shredding opener “TPNE” aka “The Party Never Ends” proves Attila isn’t the only band in town with the party game locked down, while The Darkest Road spews forth pinpoint blast be...
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CD Review: Let It Happen - 'Cause + Effect'

October 20th, 2014 7:13pm EDT
CD Review: Let It Happen - 'Cause + Effect'
Let It Happen’s Cause + Effect will make you remember why you fell in love with the powerpop/pop-punk genre in the first place – The Starting Line, Something Corporate, Further Seems Forever – their lasting influence can be felt throughout Cause + Effect, an album that offers a gorgeous combination of saccharine hooks, endearing melodies and heart-on-sleeve songwriting (“Burst and Bloom,” “Spent”). Cause + Effect is mature for a debut – believe it or not this is the band’s debut – with introspective lyricism rife with memorable lines (“Sinner/Saint’ - ‘We’re all waging war/But I’m a raging ...
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CD Review: Artifex Pereo - "Time In Place" (Tooth & Nail)

October 20th, 2014 7:10pm EDT
CD Review: Artifex Pereo - "Time In Place" (Tooth & Nail)
Artifex Pereo’s, culled from a quote from Roman Emperor Nero, Time In Place is avant-garde, dynamic and truly unique. This album is a veritable aural melting pot, evidenced by album opener “No Stranger To Worry,” combining evolving, unpredictable time signatures, progressive vocals, a fondness of theatrics, and layered, fluid guitars. Chances are the end product is something totally different from everything else you’re currently listening to. “Hands of Penance,” which presents what the rest of the album doesn’t – discernable song structures, stands as a straight forward beacon, a buoy, amo...
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For Country Duo Florida Georgia Line, 'Anything Goes'

October 16th, 2014 4:30pm EDT
Florida Georgia Line
"Alabama on the boom box baby / 'bout to get a little boondock crazy!" Say what? Florida Georgia Line broke through in a big way with a single entitled “Cruise” - understatement! “Cruise” would propel FGL’s 2012 debut album, Here’s To The Good Times to double-platinum status. The dudes from Florida and Georgia respectively – Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard – seek to have a similar impact on their sophomore album, Anything Goes.

The album kicks off with the enthusiastic "Anything Goes." The title track sets the tone, with FGL encouraging the party. Even though the opener is a carefree...
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Weezer Remain Fresh On 'Everything Will Be Alright In The End'

October 13th, 2014 2:16pm EDT
Weezer Remain Fresh On 'Everything Will Be Alright In The End'
After a four-year hiatus (say it ain’t so!), alternative pop/rock band Weezer return with their ninth studio album, Everything Will Be Alright In The End. Calling Everything a ‘return to form’ in the purest sense is overreaching slightly, but the album does feel more Weezer-like than the band’s previous two albums. It’s not perfect, but there are some absolutely terrific moments from Rivers Cuomo and company.

“Ain’t Got Nobody” is predictable thematically, as the title suggests. It leaves little to the imagination – particularly initiating the album – but Cuomo and company is rock soli...
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Jason Aldean Keeps It Country on ‘Old Boots, New Dirt’

October 9th, 2014 1:35pm EDT
Jason Aldean
“Ain’t had a drink and I’m torn up / ain’t even had a taste of your love… we’re just getting warmed up.” Anyone who’s partaken of country music as of late can’t deny the ‘bro-ness’ of the style, definitely led by the likes of Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line. Jason Aldean is oft considered a member of this movement, despite despising the phrase.

Regardless whether Aldean dislikes labeling or the fact his music is dominated by love, alcohol, and his “truck,” the artist’s latest album, Old Boots, New Dirt is ultimately a sound and enjoyable affair.

“Just Gettin’ Started” proves to...
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Blake Shelton Wins Race To The Top of The Billboard 200

October 9th, 2014 11:13am EDT
Blake Shelton
When the Billboard issue their chart prognostications last week, it was suggested that Blake Shelton had a solid shot at his second career #1 album. That said, that forecast would become cloudy thanks to one Barbra Streisand, who was projected to be competitive in the race for the top spot once again. Fellow country artists Lady Antebellum were considered to be likely third place. Things didn’t complete go as expected.

Blake Shelton indeed topped the Billboard 200, selling a more robust than expected 101,000 copies of Bringing Back The Sunshine. While prognostications had allotted 90...
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Irish Singer/Songwriter Hozier Allures on Self-Titled Debut

October 8th, 2014 1:30pm EDT
Hozier
The art of the singer/songwriter is not dead. Being a singer/songwriter isn’t necessarily the most commercially lucrative musical style currently, but in the age where ‘records’ dominate and the ‘song’ doesn’t, having singer/songwriters on the scene is big. Hozier is a terrific singer/songwriter with ample potential. This Irish musician is the real deal. The evidence, ‘exhibit A’ is his stellar debut album, Hozier.

“Take Me To Church” brilliantly initiates Hozier – there’s little else to say about the breakout single. One of the more brilliantly, deceptively penned songs of modern ...
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Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL Rock Out On 'PLECTRUMELECTRUM'

October 6th, 2014 2:25pm EDT
Plectrumelectrum
One of the best parts of September 30, 2014 was the fact that The Purple One, aka Prince returned. Not only did he bestow upon the music world a highly anticipated solo album in Art Official Age, but he also delivered a second set with 3RDEYEGIRL entitled PLECTRUMELECTRUM (say what?). While PLECTRUMELECTRUM is the less buzzed about set of the two, don’t let it discourage you – there’s plenty to dig about PLECTRUMELECTRUM besides its daring title!

“Wow” opens PLECTRUMELECTRUM sensationally. Rather than being set in common time, “Wow” is in six-eight meter, giving it something of a blues...
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