review Archive

Album Review: Under the Influence of Giants — s/t

I really wanted to like this album. The buzz had it sounding like the best work of Electric Light Orchestra and The Bee Gees (assumedly the “giants” referred to in the band’s moniker and album title). While there are definite stylistic similarities to both those groups — and other mid 70s popsters like Elton John

EP Review: UKZ — Radiation

UKZ represents the first recorded work from Eddie Jobson (violin/keyboard with King Crimson, Roxy Music, UK and others) in many years. The debut EP, Radiation is four songs spread out over about twenty minutes. Two with vocals, two instrumentals. In addition to Jobson, the group features Trey Gunn (King Crimson) on “10-string touch guitar” and

Album Review: Tomahawk — Anonymous

Guest Review by Annelise Kopp I’d call this more of a science experiment than an art project. Tomahawk’s release, Anonymous, aimed at adding an edge to cultural Native American hymns, simply ends up sounding like terrible sacrificial music. The attempt to renew the life of a genre or recognize an oft-unappreciated culture is admirable. While

Album Review: The Academy Is… — Almost Here

Hey, kids! Great news: Fall Out Boy has a new album out! Okay, I kid. Really, I do. It’s actually Almost Here, the not-new album from The Academy Is… (I’m not getting ready to write something else here; the ellipsis is part of their name). Released in 2005, this album by the Chicago quintet (and

Album Review: Sucka Brown — Extra Medium

Upon hearing its drums-and-shouted-vocal leadoff, one could be forgiven for guessing that Extra Medium, the debut album by Boston-based Sucka Brown, is the latest white hip-hop act. That guess, however, would fall wide of the mark. Some twenty-five seconds into the track, Todd Denman’s tasteful electric guitar kicks in with a tone and style that

Album Review: Tori Sparks — Under This Yellow Sun

A singer/songwriter with a guitar, Tori Sparks manages to avoid the misstep of sounding like every other coffeehouse-circuit singer. Her tight songwriting and playing, coupled with interesting arrangements and high production values make Under This Yellow Sun a contender for mainstream success. Pedal steel and trumpet are but two of the instruments that add color

Album Review: Darin Schaffer — s/t

Let’s face facts: unless you, gentle reader, are trolling through this reviews section to check out what some middle aged pseudo-hipster has to say about some major release like The Flaming Lips’ At War With the Mystics (it’s friggin’ brilliant, by the way), you peruse these capsule criticisms in search of new music, and do

Album Review: Russian Circles — Enter

“Uh-oh.” That was this reviewer’s audible response a few seconds after dropping the needle (so to speak) on Russian Circles’ debut disc. And by a minute or so into “Carpe,” the dread was still at hand: would some screamo/emo/metal singer soon kick in with his tales of angst and woe? After two minutes, a curious

Album Review: Redman — Red Gone Wild

Guest Review by Annelise Kopp This is such a quintessential gangsta rap that it veers close to self-parody. Redman’s new album, Red Gone Wild, is fairly bland. This 23 track album has about five tracks worth of substance. The beats are unoriginal, the lyrics are meaningless, and if you start waiting for the interesting part

Album Review: Readnex Poetry Squad – Social Issue

Guest review by Annelise Kopp Social Issue is a collage piecing together different sounds, issues, words, and allusions. The album is very in touch with history, and has an educated basis. I was first given hope by the subtitle “poetry squad” on this album. To me, this signaled an emphasis on lyrics. I was proven