review Archive

Album Review: The United States of America – s/t

It’s easy to forget that in 1968, getting weird and unearthly sounds on your album (assuming you wanted them; plenty did) was no easy task. There were no presets, no samples; if you wanted the whooping effect of a ring modulator, you had to find one, and then figure out how to operate the damn

Album Reviews: The Replacements Reissues (2008)

The Replacements – Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash (Rhino/Rykodisc) The Replacements – Stink EP (Rhino/Rykodisc) The Replacements – Hootenanny (Rhino/Rykodisc) The Replacements – Let it Be (Rhino/Rykodisc) Nobody knew it at the time. I remember when these albums came out; the hipper of my musician friends actually liked The Replacements, but most

DVD Review: Otis Redding — Respect Live 1967

This brief DVD is an effort to collect all extant performance footage of Otis Redding in the months before his untimely death. On that level, it succeeds, more or less. But in doing so, it — by necessity — re-re-recycles material that’s been around for years. Half of the running time consists of Redding’s stellar

Album Reviews: Rascals / Young Rascals Reissues (2007)

Young Rascals: The Young Rascals (Collectors’ Choice) Collections (Collectors’ Choice) Groovin’ (Collectors’ Choice) Rascals: Once Upon a Dream (Collectors’ Choice) Freedom Suite (Collectors’ Choice) See (Collectors’ Choice) Search and Nearness (Collectors’ Choice) The (Young) Rascals released nine albums during their career (1966-1972). All but the last two were on Atlantic, and have now been licensed

Album Review: The Pretty Things — S.F. Sorrow

The 1968 album S.F. Sorrow by The Pretty Things is an exemplar of a band, pushed to the wall, rising to the occasion and producing a classic. Prior to this, the Pretties were thought of as more-Stones-than-the-Stones, with their raw, r&b-based rock. S.F. Sorrow would change all that. The loose narrative is based on a

Album Review: Porcupine Tree — Lightbulb Sun

The 2008 reissue of Lightbulb Sun makes one of the rarest parts of the Porcupine Tree catalog readily available again. The group’s seventh album of studio material, Lightbulb Sun was originally released in 2000. Release was originally scheduled for 2007, in fact, as Steven Wilson told me during an interview. Porcupine Tree were selling Lightbulb

Album Review: R. Stevie Moore — Meet The

R Stevie Moore is one odd dude. I can’t say whether he’s the sort that listeners would wish to “have a beer with”, but his music is worthwhile for the adventurous. There’s a whole sub-subgenre of music that sometimes goes by the sobriquet of “incredibly strange music.” (I’m not sure of this, but I think

Album Review: Moby Grape – The Place and the Time

Moby Grape was (and remains) one of those unlucky star-crossed acts that never, ever seemed able to catch a break. From the beginning, things seemed to go wrong for them. They managed to survive the critically disastrous over-hyped debut: while the self-titled album was nearly perfect, the record company’s insisted on feting it with an

Album Review: Nick Lowe – Jesus of Cool: 30th Anniversary Edition

Nick Lowe had a growing (if still somewhat underground) reputation in 1979. As a producer — mostly for Stiff Records — he had worked the boards on stunning a number of high-profile and successful albums, including ones for Graham Parker, The Damned and Elvis Costello. Lowe had already made a name for himself as bassist

Album Review: BB King and His Orchestra — Live

The opening sonic salvo of B.B. King Orchestra and His Orchestra Live might be jarring for longtime B.B. King listeners. A Vegasy revue number, “B.B.’s Theme” really has little to do with the master’s style of music, as instead a vampy track that serves notice that the band is tight. The toastmaster/bandleader Calvin Owens shouts