review Archive

Album Review: Arthur Alexander — Lonely Just Like Me: The Final Chapter

I first heard the name Arthur Alexander many years ago when listening to an interview with John Lennon; the then-former Beatles was talking about his major influences, especially some of the lesser-known ones. The Beatles covered “Anna (Go to Him)” early in their career, and performed his hit “Soldier of Love” on their BBC radio

Album Reviews: Toy Matinee — s/t and 3rd Matinee — Meanwhile

Toy Matinee was a short-lived pop-prog/art-pop group that released a single eponymous album in 1990. With a sound halfway between Mr. Mister and Jellyfish, Toy Matinee balanced the former’s chart-oriented arrangements with the ambitious approach of the latter. The album kicks off with “Last Plane Out,” a topical (Gulf War I) tune featuring busy instrumentation

Album Review: Air — Moon Safari 10th Anniversary Edition

At the very tail-end of the 20th century, Air — the duo of Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel — released their debut, Moon Safari. Their blend of dance, exotica, rock and atmospheric(!) arrangements was innovative in ’98, and sounds every bit as fresh today, on this, the Moon Safari 10th Anniversary Edition. Moon Safari isn’t

Album Review: Walk the Line (Soundtrack)

Val Kilmer would be proud. The nearest, best antecedent to the soundtrack to the 2005 Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line is Kilmer’s vocal turn in Oliver Stone’s The Doors. In the Cash film, the decision was made to use new recordings of old classics, rather than having actors lip-synch to other recordings (presumably robbing

DVD Review: TCT — Concerts for Teenage Cancer Trust

TCT is a British non-profit (one of those “registered charities” Paul McCartney sang about in “Band on the Run”) to improve the lives of young people in cancer hospitals. Once a year, a star-studded benefit concert is organized to support the charity, and the organization’s high-profile spokesperson is Roger Daltrey of The Who. But you’d

Album Review: Illegitimate Spawn: The Fuzztones Tribute Album

The concept of Illegitimate Spawn chases its own tail: an international compilation of unknown groups playing cover versions in tribute to The Fuzztones, a group who are themselves essentially a tribute to Nuggets-style 60s music; it’s certainly not for everyone. As an incurable addict of the melodic end of sixties fuzz-drenched garagepunk, I’m not sure

Album Review: Wensday — Torch Rock™

Picking up Torch Rock™, one would expect an outing not dissimilar to late 70s/early 80s efforts by Karla DeVito and Ellen Foley; there’s a mock-operatic approach to the proceedings, much like the sort of music Jim Steinman composed for Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell. And the master of ceremonies here is the estimable Dick

Album Review: Rupert Wates — Coast to Coast: Postcards from America

Coast to Coast is full of pleasant, NPR-circuit, inoffensive story-songs that put the focus squarely on the vocals and lyrics. The instrumentation floats by, supporting the melody but never calling attention to itself. Imagine a British Jimmy Buffett — without the Key West stoner humor — and you won’t be too far off the mark.

Album Review: War of Ages — Fire from the Tomb

Onward Christian soldiers! War of Ages’ latest offering, Fire from the Tomb may be the worst thing I have ever heard, and that’s saying a lot (I saw Styx on the Kilroy Was Here tour). Standard-issue metalcore riffs of the “look-ma-how-fast-I-can-play” variety, coupled with a punishing bass/drum assault equal…well, not much. The bowels-of-Hell vocals are

Album Review: Vaeda — State of Nature

The debut full-length from this trio is tightly and expertly played, passionately sung, flawlessly produced…and boring as hell. There’s not a single thing here we haven’t heard a hundred times before. And most of those hundred times have been in the last 36 months. Bandwagon riders all. State of Nature sports a soupçon of screaming,