review Archive

Album Review: Richard X Heyman — Copious Notes

Richard X Heyman started making great solo records right out of the gate. Anyone who enjoys highly melodic rock with sterling pop values, hooks galore and just the right amount of oomph simply must own his first several albums. And they’d do well to purchase everything else he’s done, as the man displays impressive quality

Album Review: Circus Mind — Joy Machine

An excursion into the funk-rock universe, Circus Mind’s Joy Machine feels like a party. Signature licks – lengthy ones, sometimes – -form the basis of this inviting and energetic release. In the pandemic era, recording individual components in isolation is a given, and people were dong it that way even before COVID. The problem come

Album Review: Various Artists — Big Stir Singles: The Tenth Wave

And the hits just keep comin’, as they say. It’s too easy to label Big Stir as a power pop label. And in fact doing so is (a) too limiting and (b) unfair to the range and eclecticism that characterizes the label’s music. This ongoing (never-ending?) series of releases showcases an impressive stylistic variety. This

Album Review: Various Artists — Still Wish You Were Here

My standard disclaimer where tribute albums are concerned is that the concept if dodgy on its face, and that it rarely succeeds. But for every rule here is an exception, and I’m holding in my hands the most recent example thereof. Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here is a monumental album, one best not messed

Album Review: The Bablers — Psychadilly Circus

My copies of Imagine and Mind Games are on vinyl, so I knew I hadn’t mistakenly loaded one of them into my CD player. But the cognitive dissonance remained as I absorbed “Love is Everything,” the opening track on The Bablers’ Psychadilly Circus. Imagine a non-satirical rethink of National Lampoon’s “Magical Misery Tour” and you’ll

EP Review: The Checkered Hearts — Joystick

The two musicians involved in this modest project were clearly having a good time. Singers and multi-instrumentalists Hillary Burton and Lisa Mychols are, I think we can assume, persons of a certain age, and this EP is a cheery look back at some of the music than informed tier own sensibilities. “The Cars’ “My Best

Album Review: George Porter Jr. — Crying for Hope

Calling someone music royalty sets the bar impossibly high. But there are times when it’s unavoidable. There’s really no other way to accurately describe George Porter Jr. His bass guitar and vocals are inextricably entwined with the work and reputation of New Orleans funk heroes The Meters. Since 1990 Porter has led another group, Runnin’

Album Review: Stephan Thelen — Fractal Guitar 2

Stephan Thelen is a modern classical composer; he has been commissioned by Kronos Quartet to write a piece. His creative worldview encompasses a wide vision, as this new release demonstrates. Working with a staggeringly impressive assortment of guitarists, he has created a work that’s most assuredly not classical. The moody, vaguely sinister album has solid

Album Review: Deadlights — s/t

The press sheet accompanying this release had me expecting something a bit more noisy and perhaps less melodic. But Jeff Shelton (he of the Well Wishers) has a seemingly inerrant sense of melodicism, and that shines through regardless of the musical idiom within which he chooses to traffic. Deadlights is nominally dream pop, Britpop and

Album Review: True Loves — Sunday Afternoon

If you have an appreciation for – heck, even an awareness of – the sort of kinetic soul jazz that formed the musical component of late ‘60s and early ‘70s crime film and television, then ohmygoodgracious do I have something to tell you about. True Loves’ Sunday Afternoon is a 21st century answer to that