Monthly Archive:: January 2010

Album Review: Alice Cooper – Dada

For 1982’s Dada, Alice Cooper brought producer Bob Ezrin back to run the console. Ezrin and Cooper had worked together on many of Cooper’s most commercially successful albums in the 70s, and by ’82 Ezrin himself was at something of a critical high water mark himself, owing in no small part to his work on

Album Review: The City Champs – The Safecracker

The gospel-flavored organ solo that opens the title cut on the City Champs‘ The Safecracker is something of a red herring. Though the sonorous B3 tones suggest that listeners will be treated to something along the lines of Boz Scaggs‘ 1969 cover of Fenton Robinson‘s classic “Loan Me a Dime,” instead this Memphis trio launches

Album Review: Alice Cooper – Zipper Catches Skin

By 1981 Alice Cooper really had begun, thankfully, to flush the fashion (something he made an empty threat to do two years earlier). To the extent that Cooper had a formula, he was doing his best to move back toward it as the 1980s unfolded. After the creative disaster of 1981’s Special Forces, he co-produced

Album Review: Album Review: Putumayo Presents Rhythm & Blues

Putumayo is, for many listeners, the first stop for various-artists world music collections. But the label has recently ventured into more mainstream genres. The latest exponent of this is Putumayo Presents Rhythm & Blues. A survey of classic and contemporary artists, the twelve-track disc provides a neat capsule survey of what the liner notes calls

Album Review: Alice Cooper – Special Forces

As the 1970s ended, so did Alice Cooper‘s chart run. After an impressive string of hits beginning with 1971’s “I’m Eighteen (from the album Love it to Death) and more or less ending with Welcome to My Nightmare‘s ballad “Only Women Bleed” in 1975, the chart action pretty much dried up. There was the minor

Album review: Joe Meek – Meeky Meeky: Random Flakes Vol. 1

Much has been written about Joe Meek. His production technique might be labeled savant-garde: doing everything “wrong” he sometimes — often, in fact — got it right. Now recognized as a vanguard of the independent producer movement, Meek’s work in the pre-Beatlemania era was nothing short of joyously exploratory. Freed from (or just plain ignoring)

Album Review: The Orange Peels – 2020

“Happy listening.” That was the message handwritten on a post-it from The Orange Peels‘ Allen Clapp. Owing to a slight mix-up in messaging, I ended up receiving a copy of the group’s new album 2020 directly from the band. In any event, Clapp’s sentiment couldn’t be more apt; in fact that two-word phrase is a

Album Review: Eloy – Visionary

The word derivative is too often used as a term of disdain, as a pejorative adjective to tar a musical act with supposed lack of originality. But even if one doesn’t buy the adage that it’s all been done before — that, as the early rock critic Qohelet put it some twenty-one centuries ago, there’s

Album Review: Let Freedom Sing — The Music of the Civil Rights Movement

In honor of the Martin Luther King National Holiday — (as a close friend wrote to me last night, “Remember to honor Dr. King. What he did, he did for all.”) — here’s a review from a year ago. Don’t be put off by the Time Life logo on the new box set Let Freedom Sing:

Album Review: Research Turtles (self titled)

If Shoes fit, wear ’em. Despite the fact that Research Turtles are depicted on the cover of their self-titled, self-released CD as a sort of dirty-faced Knack for the 21st century, this Lake Charles Louisiana-based quartet has more in common with legendary powerpop band Shoes. “Let’s Get Carried Away” has the sound, feel and attitude