CD Reviews

CD Review: Linkin Park - 'The Hunting Party' (Warner Bros.)

June 17th, 2014 5:51pm EDT
CD Review: Linkin Park - 'The Hunting Party' (Warner Bros.)
First things first, The Hunting Party is not Hybrid Theory. While it may find the band at their heaviest since 2003’s Meteora, it’s still an unfair comparison as they are two entirely different records indicative of two entirely different time periods. The Hunting Party sticks an emphatic middle finger in the face of today’s sterile rock scene as frontman Chester Bennington defiantly proclaims ‘No control/No surprise/I'm my own casualty/I fuck up everything I see/Fighting in futility’ during the opening seconds of “Keys to The Kingdom,” a clear result of Mike Shinoda and company being tired...

Review: Miranda Lambert, 'Platinum'

June 10th, 2014 9:18am EDT
Review: Miranda Lambert, 'Platinum'
Miranda Lambert goes “H.A.M.” on her homerun latest LP Platinum

“I live in Oklahoma / and I’ve got long, blonde hair / and I play guitar, and I go on the road / and I do all the sh-t you wanna do…” Okay then! When one thinks of Miranda Lambert, the first word that comes to mind is ‘attitude’ (or maybe Blake Shelton, LOL). Anyways, throughout her latest, highly anticipated album Platinum, Lambert exudes the upmost confidence, delivering an album that’s as feisty as they come. Fearless, Lambert’s ‘firecracker’ spirit truly makes Platinum a worthwhile listen, 16 tracks deep.

“Girls” opens Pl...

Review: 50 Cent, 'Animal Ambition: An Untamed Desire' Proves To Be A Lukewarm LP At Best

June 3rd, 2014 4:15pm EDT
Animal Ambition: An Untamed Desire To Win
“Got them straps and long clips filled up with lead / so when we count on the paper it better be correct”. Yep, this lyric (from “Animal Ambition”) basically epitomizes the attitude that 50 Cent rolls with on his long-awaited comeback album, Animal Ambition: An Untamed Desire To Win. “Untamed” is a great way to describe 50 Cent’s hunger, seeming to cling upon confidence and cockiness, along with a loaded bank account. There is toughness about Animal Ambition that hearkens back to the MC’s best albums (Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and The Massacre), yet there seems to be a disconnection between th...

CD Review: Mushroomhead - "The Righteous and the Butterfly" (Megaforce Records)

May 31st, 2014 1:07am EDT
CD Review: Mushroomhead - "The Righteous and the Butterfly" (Meg
It’s about both the journey and the destination on Mushroomhead’s The Righteous and the Butterfly, an album that really does save the best for last. Bucking the norm of putting your best foot forward, much of the band’s eighth studio album comes during the second half of the record, which isn’t to say you should be bypassing the first eight or so tracks.

The Righteous and the Butterfly is littered with classic Mushroomhead output – flat out chugging metallers ( “Our Apologies,” Devils Be Damned”) - interspersed with cuts seemingly plucked off the next Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack...

Review: Austin Mahone 'The Secret' Proves To Be An Enjoyable Introduction To Austin Mahone

May 29th, 2014 1:30pm EDT
Review: Austin Mahone 'The Secret' Proves To Be An Enjoyable Int
Maturity seems to be a portion of formula that burgeoning pop singer Austin Mahone is opting for in both his career and on his debut EP, The Secret. Just examine the cover of the EP; the once diamond-studded Mahone is earring-less and seems focused on his presentation to the audience. After viewing some of Mahone’s YouTube videos throughout the years, the kid always seemed to have maturity, a hunger, and passion about him. In other words, he seems to eschew recklessness in favor of stability and maintaining a wholesomeness – at least at the initial stages of a career. That’s not a bad plan ...

Review: Mariah Carey, 'Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse'

May 27th, 2014 6:00pm EDT
Me. I Am Mariah
After a five year hiatus, Carey ‘brings the heat’ on comeback LP Me. I Am Mariah…

Nearly five years ago, Mariah Carey released a solid, if not necessarily flashy album in Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel. Like her previous albums of the 00s, Memoirs featured a quirky title, tailor-made for the prodigiously voiced R&B diva. Despite its quality and a hit with “Obsessed”, Carey found her numbers down tremendously, even missing the number one spot on the Billboard 200. Five years later, and a couple of album delays thrown in there as well, it makes one wonder if Carey’s comeback album and first o...

Single Review: Usher, 'Good Kisser'

May 23rd, 2014 1:40pm EDT
Usher, 'Good Kisser'
Usher’s on ‘autopilot’ on his suggestive, alluring single “Good Kisser”

Usher’s new single “Good Kisser” makes this super fan excited for the contemporary R&B male’s upcoming album. Don’t get me wrong, Looking 4 Myself wasn’t a bad album, but it also wasn’t his best album. Perhaps part of the issue was it was so pop-oriented, where Usher has been known for staying true to R&B circles. Regardless, “Good Kisser” definitely sounds like R&B, a la 2014. Usher gets nasty on “Good Kisser”, even if some of it he is able to pass off as being somewhat innocent. The first notion that he’s playin...

Review: Phillip Phillips, ‘Behind the Light’

May 22nd, 2014 8:15pm EDT
Phillip Phillips, ‘Behind the Light’
Phillips takes a step forward on his sophomore LP, though nothing supplants “Home”

“Searchlight” opens Behind the Light abruptly and somewhat indistinctly. The folk rumination kicks off the track, instantly channeling Phillips’ “Home”and of course one ubiquitous Mumford & Sons. Not long after the layers of acoustic guitar and banjos, Phillips begins singing. The thinking isn’t bad given the scope of the said hit, but also, the likelihood of replicating “Home” is a steep one. “Searchlight” doesn’t end up being a bad joint once it settles in, but I’m not sure that it’s more effective than...

Review: The Roots Continue To Transcend The Confines Of Hip-Hop On '…And Then You Shoot Your Cousin'

May 21st, 2014 11:34am EDT
The Roots - And then you shoot your Cousin
The notion that “hip-hop don’t stop” is certainly a true statement as the genre hasn’t really ended, but for a while, the trendy thing from more intellectual MCs – notably Nas – was asserting that “Hip Hop is Dead”. Perhaps it was an exaggeration, but Nas definitely had a valid point back in 2006, just as The Roots seem to have a valid claim not completely dissimilar on latest LP, …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin. Cousin definitely finds The Roots in conceptual form, waving the finger at the superficiality and shallowness of the rap industry these days, both musically speaking and as far as ...

Review: Coldplay, 'Ghost Stories'

May 20th, 2014 10:37am EDT
Coldplay, 'Ghost Stories'
On sixth album Ghost Stories, Coldplay opt for subtlety, mysteriousness, and restraint.

“I’m kind of a big deal.” That quote perfectly describes any album released by British alt-rock band Coldplay. Anytime the collective releases a new single or new album, you just know it is going to be huge news. Perhaps the only news that is on the same level as the quartet’s newest LP Ghost Stories is that of the separation between front man Chris Martin and his A-list actress wife Gwyneth Paltrow. What’s the connection between new album and breakup – well, Ghost Stories is all about a four-letter wor...