Song of the Moment

J. Cole - Lost Ones

Friday, July 30, 2010

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication



Ahh yes, the Chili Peppers. I haven't gotten to an album by them yet. Semi surprising. They're a band that slips under the radar for me. I often enjoy listening to them when they randomly pop up via shuffle, but I don't seek them out very often. Not sure why. I can say that I can't stand 'Give It Away' and that's probably why I didn't pick that album to review. This was their seventh studio release and it came out back in 1999. It is 5x platinum in the US which makes this their second best selling record behind Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Worldwide though, it is their best selling album at almost 16 million copies. I must have more of an international taste - because I think this is their best record by a pretty wide margin. Top to bottom, I think this has the most to offer. Plus, I think I might be biased by the time frame in which it came out. It's probably safe to say that I started getting into RHCP more during this time, so this is probably what I identify with most. What's interesting for me, is most of the huge tracks on this were really poppy - yet I still enjoy them immensely. I can be a closet pop fan at times when the songs make me sing with passion and make me keep my toes tapping long after I'm done listening to the track. This album has that effect on me. I'm sure most of you have heard it already - but if not, check it out. Very well done record. Bring back some memories of what you were doing in the late 90's today. A simpler time for me in which I love reminiscing back to. Hopefully you can do the same to make your Friday fly by. Have a great weekend B Siders!

TRACK LISTING:
1. Around the World
2. Parallel Universe
3. Scar Tissue
4. Otherside
5. Get on Top
6. Californication
7. Easily
8. Porcelain
9. Emit Remmus
10. I Like Dirt
11. This Velvet Glove
12. Savior
13. Purple Stain
14. Right on Time
15. Road Trippin'

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Otherside
2. This Velvet Glove
3. Californication

FINAL RATING:
4 out of 5 stars

Dave Matthews Band - Big Whiskey And The GrooGrux King



In the second installation of Dave Matthews reviews on the B Side, we've come to Big Whiskey via the Suggestion Box. This was recommended by JenInTosa as a omission of the Top 100 of the 2000's. I didn't have any Dave on that list because quite frankly, I hadn't heard anything great from him in that period of time. I hadn't even heard of this album before, which I guess isn't all that surprising. I never really fawned over DMB like so many others have and do. I've been to a couple Alpine shows - they were fun, but like anything, the amount of drunks and people stoned detract from the really great music for me. Not to say their music isn't really good, I just need to be in the right mood for it. Anyhow, this one dropped in June of 2009 and is already in a platinum status. Fairly interesting story about the name of the record: GrooGrux was the nickname of now deceased sax player LeRoi Moore and it's also a word used to describe the overall sound that DMB puts out. The band members are referred to as 'The Groogrux Academy'. Big Whiskey also came from DMB doing a photoshoot in the French Quarter and ran across a local drunk playing the harmonica in order to buy a 'big whiskey'. One of them slipped him a twenty and the legend is he 'skipped away with glee' to go purchase his booze. After that encounter, they had to incorporate that into an album title. This record has a little bit more of an old school Matthews feel to it. It's got those long solos and jam type tracks that had been missing in newer stuff. I think it's still a little more poppy than I'd care to hear, but it's better than their previous 'Stand Up' album. DMB fans no doubt already own this, love it and play it every other day...but casual fans should check it out too. It's pretty good, worth a listen. You may not rush out and buy it, but I think you might end up picking up a couple singles for your music device.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Grux
2. Shake Me Like a Monkey
3. Funny the Way It Is
4. Lying in the Hands of God
5. Why I Am
6. Dive In
7. Spaceman
8. Squirm
9. Alligator Pie
10. Seven
11. Time Bomb
12. Baby Blue
13. You & Me

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. You & Me
2. Baby Blue
3. Funny The Way It Is

FINAL RATING:
3.5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, July 29, 2010

N.W.A. - Straight Outta Compton



I'm going to straight up with you guys - I love rap. Caveat is, I don't identify whatsoever with the old school stuff. NWA was a rap supergroup before all the individuals were super. Lyrically, these guys are pretty solid. They were talking about things at a time when rappers haven't figured out how to capitalize on their problems and all the terrible things they've seen and done. No question they're pioneers and influenced cultures and generations many times over. So - I'll get it out of the way that I respect everything they did. Problem I have with it, the way they engineered beats back then, it was well - lackluster. You basically and put on any rap track from pre 1990, and it all has the same arrangement. Couple weak bass hits, a snare hit and maybe a little synth. If NWA was making music right now - man, Dre would be putting together some monstrous beats to rap over. Because of that, it almost sounds unprofessional. Like something you'd expect to hear a guy singing on the street to panhandle. Obviously it's better than that, but I think you get what I'm trying to convey. There are a handful of songs on this album that are genuinely awesome. This was their second album released and it dropped in 1988. It was since gone 2x platinum which makes it their best seller. They are relevant today because they intend to put out a biopic about their lives. Film writers could talk for more than 2 hours about how they got together, how they influenced music forever and how things split apart. And then got especially bad between Eazy and Dre. That would make for good cinema no doubt. Until then, all we can do is sit back and enjoy the oldies - and this is more than worth checking out. Happy Thursday!

TRACK LISTING:
1. Straight Outta Compton
2. F*ck Tha Police
3. Gangsta Gangsta
4. If It Ain't Ruff
5. Parental Deiscretion Iz Advised
6. 8 Ball
7. Somethign Like That
8. Express Yourself
9. Compton's N the House
10. I Ain't Tha 1
11. Dopeman
12. Quiet on Tha Set
13. Something 2 Dance 2

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Express Yourself
2. Straight Outta Compton
2. F*ck The Police

FINAL RATING:
3.75 out of 5 stars

Lacuna Coil - Shallow Life



Back to the reality of reviewing albums again. Taking a break and going on a rant or making a 'Top 100' list are always a lot of fun. It's interesting to hear feedback on those type of things...I spent literally two weeks making that and probably missed some stuff, but to hear what other people think is better than others is fun. Best part, there isn't a wrong answer. Well anyway - Lacuna Coil didn't make that list. More than likely because I never heard of them before. This comes straight out of the Suggestion Box from follower Janis! Turns out these guys formed in Italy, which is kind of neat. I don't think I've reviewed any international people except for UK yet. Chalk it up to something new. They are making a gothic rock type music - I guess I'd say it's heavier, not really metal, but has elements. THey have a pretty solid lead singer lady, and she slows down a couple tracks too. It's an interesting listen. I'm not really sure I have an opinion yet. I feel like they have pretty big potential, but this album might not be indicative of their best work. I think Shallow Life is pretty good in spots, but then lazy in others. It almost seems like they're trying very hard to be Evanescence on multiple tracks. Many of the tracks sound pretty similar - not that it really bothered me the couple times through. Just more of an observation. This is their fifth studio album, so maybe I'll have to look into the earlier stuff. I may be on the cusp of enjoying them, just need to hear more evidence.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Survive
2. I Wont' Tell You
3. Not Enough
4. I'm Not Afraid
5. I Like It
6. Underdog
7. Pain, The
8. Spellbound
9. Wide Awake
10. Maze, The
11. Unchained
12. Shallow Life

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Survive
2. Spellbound
3. Wide Awake

FINAL RATING:
2.25 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"You Either Die A Hero Or Live Long Enough To See Yourself Become The Villain."

Hump day is a great day to unveil my latest project. In what seems like FOREVER ago, I unleashed my Top 100 songs of the 1990's. Well, I'm back. Back with another list. Except this time, the Top 100 songs of the 2000's!! A couple interesting side notes: this decade was quite slow with music. There was actually a pretty small group of artists making good music. This list was MUCH tougher to make than the 90's. My weighting scale was the same, as follows:

Weighting:
50% - How Much I Enjoy It
25% - Repeatability
10% - Made Artist Blow Up
10% - Cultural Influence
10% - Popularity
-5% - One Hit Wonders

No honorable mentions this time. Just the straight Top 100. And oh yeah, now I want to watch The Dark Knight again. As always, comment with your feedback! Enjoy!

100. Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone
99. N'SYNC - Bye Bye Bye
98. Brad Paisley - Alcohol
97. Arcade Fire - Wake Up
96. Nickelback - Photograph
95. Flo Rida - Low
94. Shakira - Hips Don't Lie
93. Faith Hill - Breathe
92. Pink - Please Don't Leave Me
91. MGMT - Kids
90. Plain White T's - Hey There Delilah
89. Britney Spears - Toxic
88. P.O.D - Youth Of A Nation
87. Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling
86. Twista - Slow Jamz
85. Korn - Twisted Transistor
84. Snoop Dogg - Drop It Like It's Hot
83. Rihanna - Umbrella
82. Silversun Pickups - Lazy Eye
81. U2 - Beautiful Day
80. Radiohead - Idioteque
79. Missy Elliott - Gossip Folks
78. Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars
77. The Fray - Hundred
76. Dixie Chicks - Landslide
75. Lady Gaga - Poker Face
74. Jimmy Eat World - Sweetness
73. Staind - Epiphany
72. Alter Bridge - Open Your Eyes
71. Lonely Island - Boombox
70. Kid Rock - Picture
69. Nelly Furtado - Promiscuous
68. 50 Cent - I Get Money
67. 3 Doors Down - Loser
66. System Of A Down - Toxicity
65. Postal Service - Such Great Heights
64. Maroon 5 - She Will Be Loved
63. Fall Out Boy - Sugar, We're Goin Down
62. Amy Winehouse - You Know I'm No Good
61. Puddle of Mudd - Drift And Die
60. Feist - 1,2,3,4
59. T.I. - What You Know
58. Hinder - Lips Of An Angel
57. James Morrison - You Give Me Something
56. Alicia Keys - Fallin'
55. Lil Jon - Get Low
54. Five For Fighting - The Riddle
53. Cage The Elephant - Ain't No Rest For The Wicked
52. Beyonce - Single Ladies
51. My Morning Jacket - I'm Amazed
50. Saliva - I Walk Alone
49. Jet - Are You Gonna Be My Girl?
48. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Snow (Hey Oh)
47. Clipse - Grindin'
46. Jack Johnson - It's All Understood
45. Vines - Get Free
44. Aqualung - Strange & Beautiful
43. Rage Against The Machine - Renegades of Funk
42. Green Day - 21 Guns
41. Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out
40. Rufus Wainwright - Hallelujah
39. Audioslave - Like A Stone
38. Modest Mouse - Float On
37. Kid Cudi - Pursuit of Happiness
36. Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
35. Justin Timberlake - Cry Me A River
34. Jay-Z - 99 Problems
33. Linkin Park - What I've Done
32. Black Keys - Just Got To Be
31. Brandi Carlisle - The Story
30. Seether - Broken
29. The Strokes - Last Nite
28. Kings Of Leon - Use Somebody
27. Beck - E Pro
26. Timbaland - Apologize
25. Nelly - Country Grammar
24. Christina Aguilera - Beautiful
23. MIA - Paper Planes
22. Foo Fighters - Best Of You
21. Incubus - Here In My Room
20. Young Jeezy - Put On
19. Outkast - Hey Ya
18. John Mayer - Comfortable
17. Ludacris - Roll Out (My Business)
16. My Chemical Romance - Helena
15. Coldplay - The Scientist
14. Usher - Yeah
13. Eels - Ordinary Man
12. Lil Wayne - Mr. Carter
11. Daft Punk - One More Time
10. Weezer - The Angel And The One
9. Ben Folds - The Luckiest
8. Eminem - Stan
7. Damien Rice - The Blowers Daughter
6. Gorillaz - Clint Eastwood
5. White Stripes - Seven Nation Army
4. Evanescence - My Immortal
3. Johnny Cash - Hurt
2. Kanye West - Jesus Walks
1. The Killers - All These Things That I've Done

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Passion Pit - Manners



Techno Tuesday is back after a slight hiatus. I do apologize to all the beat nuts out there. After all, what good is a weekly installation when it's not there? Useless. I'll answer my own question. Manners is also another review straight out of the Suggestion Box. Shaqwanda recommended I wrap my ears around this one and she asked I do so a really long time ago. Unfortunately, no one was linking samples, so it had to wait. I don't fully understand why they delay a potential buyer from hearing a sample, seems to be counterproductive. But - if I ran Amazon, they'd probably be defunct and I wouldn't be writing my own music blog, so there ya go. Anyhow, I thought I hadn't heard of these guys, until I realized I did have a couple tracks from their 'Chunk of Change' EP. They have a very different feel to them as well. They have that nice funky background beat, and then they mix a lot of crazy lyrics over them. Some tracks really synth out the lyrics which sounds pretty neat. As a whole album, it's pretty solid top to bottom. Even the tracks that aren't really techno or dance - the beat is still good and the vocals sound cool. I enjoy this. I enjoy it a lot more than I originally thought. The EP I have doesn't get a ton of play on my iPod, but this is pretty cool. It's one of those where I'm not sure I'd listen to many of the individual tracks on their own, but I'd listen to the whole album over and over. I HIGHLY recommend you checking this out. Even if you're not a beatnut like me, I think you'll enjoy this. Hopefully Shaqwanda is reading today and lets us know how she feels about it too. Happy Tuesday B Siders!

TRACK LISTING:
1. Make Light
2. Little Secrets
3. Moth's Wings
4. Reeling, The
5. Eyes as Candles
6. Swimming in the Flood
7. Folds in Your Hands
8. To Kingdom Come
10. Let Your Love Grow Tall
11. Seaweed Song

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Moth's Wings
2. Sleepyhead
3. Make Light

FINAL RATING:
3.5 out of 5 stars

Best Coast - Crazy For You



New Music Tuesday!! Give it up one more time!! So, there is literally NOTHING exciting coming out this week. There are a couple remastered albums and then some bands I've never heard of. Best Coast would be one of those bands. It popped up and I thought - "Huh, that album cover is different - let's try that band." Very scientific I know. Regardless, these guys are a California based garage band. This is their first ever album, after dropping a couple of EP's to generate buzz in 2009. Sound wise...hmm, how would I describe them. A seemingly punk-ish lead singer lady, and then what seems to be a fairly unexperienced jam band behind her. It doesn't seem like the guitarist has any sort of range and the drummer's most complex rhythms are a snare and bass hit at the same time. This sounded to me like a group of friends got together and were jamming on some pretty high end recording equipment. Lyrically it's all about the same and even though the lead singer does have a fairly nice voice - she shows ZERO range. It's basically the same note and tone for all 13 tracks. Now, having said all of that - it's not the worst thing ever. Some of the tunes are pretty catchy and others make you just kind of sit back and drift away. Too early for me to tell if the drifting is out of indifference or the music is inspiring me to do so. I FULLY expect to hear half of this album on a soundtrack someday. I mean, the band says the songs are mostly about relationships and then weed and a lazy cat. Sounds perfect for the next Magnolia release. Look for it soon. Check it out though, it's got a different feel to it.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Boyfriend
2. Crazy For You
3. End, The
4. Goodbye
5. Summer Mood
6. Our Deal
7. I Want To
8. When the Sun Don't Shine
9. Bratty B
10. Honey
11. Happy
12. Each and Everyday
13. When I'm With You

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Boyfriend
2. Happy
3. Summer Mood

FINAL RATING:
2.75 out of 5 stars

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bob Dylan - Blonde On Blonde



Ahh yes, Bob Dylan. I'm not going to pretend to be this huge Dylan guy. I mean, I've always enjoyed his music, and I've REALLY respected his song writing abilities. If you hear any song from the 60's, it was probably written by Bobby. He did so many things so well, that he was bound to get imitators. The difference is, they really weren't imitators as much as fellow artists that appreciated what he was doing. Everyone wanted a Dylan written track or collaboration on the new album. He never disappointed. If you are for some reason not familiar with his style, he's got a big blues background, followed by a folk rock addition. Probably the best singer/songwriter ever. And if you've never heard his stuff, he's known for a very gravely, unrefined voice. I think that always adds to his music. If he sang like an angel, I don't think his blues would be quite as effective to the listener. His music (for the most part) pulls you in and makes you want to listen to more. I think he does have a couple records that are a little weaker, but that's what happens when you make music through 6 decades. I don't think I can even attempt to say anything bad about this record - it's really that good. It provides a great imagery that most current bands seem to miss out on. I personally still haven't gotten through half of his entire catalog, but as I do - I'll post. I'm sure I'll find more Dylan that I wouldn't pick up, but I'm sure I'll also find more that I love. B Siders, I love this one, so please take a listen. It's certain to make your Monday disappear.

TRACK LISTING:
2. Pledging My Time
3. Visions of Johanna
4. One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)
5. I Want You
6. Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again
7. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
8. Just Like a Woman
9. Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)
10. Temporary Like Achilles
11. Absolutely Sweet Marie
12. 4th Time Around
13. Obviously 5 Believers
14. Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
2. I Want You
3. 4th Time Around

FINAL RATING:
4.5 out of 5 stars

Michael Buble - It's Time



'Mood' day can be so melancholy. Today, I'm not really in that kind of mode, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the music. Michael Buble played a show at the Pabst I think WAY back in the day - had no clue who the guy was. Seemed like kind of a d-bag when you heard him and looked at his face. But really, he has a great voice and does some nice stuff. I wouldn't call any of his work 5 star, but it's all pretty solid. Perfect records if you are in that slow, or even romantic type mood. Most of my 'mood' reviews don't reflect any romance, but Buble can do that for you. He is also kind of a throwback in the sense of his background arrangements. He's very big band-ish with a TON of horns and orchestral interludes. Many of the tracks on this particular record are covers, but he does a nice job of mixing them into something a little more flavorful and current. I can see why rat pack followers wouldn't like this - because it kind of seems like a rip off of those classics. I don't particularly agree - but I'm also not a huge Sinatra guy. I also feel like Buble is drawing a very thin line between real, good music or a lounge act. I mean - you have a guy like Richard Cheese who has an almost identical voice, making big money doing hilarious covers of good songs. Now, with the exception of the hilarious part - Buble is doing just about the same thing. I think he is still on the right side of that line, so I'd encourage you to check this out sometime. It's got at least a few tracks you'll enjoy.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Feeling Good
2. A Foggy Day (In London Town)
3. You Don't Know Me
4. Quando, Quando, Quando
5. Home
6. Can't Buy Me Love
7. The More I See You
8. Save the Last Dance for Me
9. Try a Little Tenderness
10. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)
11. A Song for You
12. I've Got You Under My Skin
13. You and I

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Feeling Good
2. Save The Last Dance For Me
3. Can't Buy Me Love

FINAL RATING:
3.25 out of 5 stars

Friday, July 23, 2010

Heidi Presents, "Hello Darkness My Old Friend"

Garden State. Forrest Gump. Maid in Manhattan. (500) Days of Summer. I could go on and on listing all of the films that have used the music of Simon and Garfunkel on their soundtracks, and it's no wonder. They're the bees knees.

But, when you think of Simon and Garfunkel and the movies, there is only one film to talk about. The Graduate. This soundtrack is the perfect marriage between music and the movies.

If you haven't seen it, The Graduate is about a 21 year old man, Benjamin Braddock, who doesn't know what he wants to do with his life, but who knows what he definitely doesn't want to do - work for his father. Oh, and he sleeps with the wife of his father's business partner - Mrs. Robinson, and falls in love with her daughter Elaine. It's a great depiction of the rebellion of 1960s youth against the expectations of their Greatest Generation parents.

The movie doesn't really end on a positive note. After Ben's romantic grand gesture saves Mrs. Robinson's daughter from a bland married life, we see the two of them on a bus happy that they rebelled, but unsure of their own future. Unsure if they made the right decision. Asking themselves what comes next?

The title credits of the film plays to Simon and Garfunkel's The Sound of Silence, which is a song about futility - people hearing without listening. Check out this clip- Ben is riding an airport treadmill. He doesn't move, but he is being pushed forward. Symbolic much? Watch The Clip!

Now, of course we all know Mrs. Robinson. A song that longs for the past, for heroes like Joe DiMaggio in a world where even democracy had been stripped to a process of choosing between the lesser of two evils. The version in the film is different from the hit radio edit that we're all used to. It sounds lighter, looser and damn cool.

Also used in the film, April Come She Will - a great song about how quickly love can die. And, Bookends, a song about looking back at the loss of innocence. Both songs deal with heavy themes, but are so beautiful that you don't seem to be bothered by the sadness, much like the experience one has while watching this movie.

The mellow and sometimes melancholy sounds of Simon and Garfunkel embody what it's like to question your life. Their music got me through adolescence, and I've returned to them in my quarter-life crisis. They're like a hot bowl of comfort and reassurance for the aimless and uncertain. And, like The Graduate, their music gives no real sense that happiness is imminent. Instead, the comfort comes from knowing that someone else is out there who understands. And, isn't that why we love music and the movies, for that shared experience?

So, readers, what did you think of my first soundtrack post? More clips? More music? Let me hear it.

I promise to be more upbeat next week!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bush - Sixteen Stone



Ahh yes. Alt rock and 90's rock. Have I said how much I loved this time period for music? I think I have. Here is yet another great album from 1994. There was an overload of great new artists and records coming out at this time...so many that you couldn't keep track back in the day. And to be honest, I don't think I really picked up on Bush and really heard this album until 1996 or so. I remember hearing 'Zen' on MTV and the radio, but it never really clicked for me. When Razorblade Suitcase dropped, I really went back to the previous record to see what that was all about. Let me tell you, this album is by far the best in their collection. As good as other may be, this one is truly great. These guys met, made a band - had problems - broke up and now reunited. Doesn't that seem to be a very similar story to almost every rock band ever created? Stereotyping aside, I think these guys had a really nice, new blend back in the day. A nice mix of hard, heavy guitar and then ballad tracks all mixed up into one bright orange label. This album is over 6x platinum in the US and for good reason. Monstrous singles and an overall great feel even when you listen to it to this day. They recently talked about putting a new one out this fall and they released a single to be on the record. I wasn't very impressed with the single, but who knows what'll happen come album time. I'll give it a chance, but until then - I'll just sit back and enjoy the old Bush I've grown to love.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Everything Zen
2. Swim
3. Bomb
4. Little Things
5. Comedown
6. Body
7. Machinehead
8. Testosterone
9. Monkey
10. Glycerine
11. Alien
12. X-Girlfriend

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Glycerine
2. Comedown
3. Machinehead

FINAL RATING:
4.25 out of 5 stars

Johnny Cash - I Walk The Line



So, I'll fully admit - I'm kind of slacking today. I've got a ton going on and I still want to post, so I'm going to take it easy by hitting some sweet spot albums. I should be doing another Country review from Jen, but I honestly can't give a new album the attention it deserves - so I'm going to the one country artist that I know and love, Johnny Cash. I was turned on to Johnny as a little kid. We had an old record player up north and that was one of about 30 records we had. I always thought I hated country and I never listened to it other than that record. I loved it. Sure there was the novelty 'Suppertime' song that was great for kids, but when I actually listened to his real music - even as a young kid it had a different feel to it. Listening to something like 'Folsom Prison' just tells a story unique to anything I'd heard at the time. Heck, even today - I don't think you find a storyteller quite as good as Cash. This album came out in 1964 and to this day is only certified gold. Hard to believe with all the great tracks on it. I know his live album from Folsom is like 3x platinum and that was always his standard setter. But this album is great...for coming out before greatest hits albums were all the rage - this could easily pass as one. If you've never heard Cash before, dig yourself out of that hole and listen to him. Even if you're not a country buff, you'll enjoy at least a couple songs. I promise. Happy Thursday!

TRACK LISTING:
1. I Walk the Line
2. Bad News
3. Folsom Prison Blues
4. Give My Love to Rose
5. Hey Porter
6. I Still Miss Someone
7. Understand Your Man
8. Wreck of the Old '97
9. Still in Town
10. Big River
11. Goodbye Little Darlin' Goodbye
12. Troublesome Waters

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Folsom Prison Blues
2. I Walk The Line
3. Big River

FINAL RATING:
4 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pixies - Surfer Rosa



How's this for a great band that just doesn't sell records. Now, I'll admit - I really only heard of Pixies again because of a movie. If you recall the ending to a certain film (one of the best of all time) you'll recall Ed Norton watching the world fall because of his drones. They play a Pixie song as him and Helena Bonham Carter watch it all. So I guess this is movie inspired band day on the B Side. Once I found them though - there was no turning back. These guys are really great. They formed in Boston all the way back in 1986...LONG time ago. They reunited in 2004 and have been making more music and touring ever since. I'm not even going to go too much into their style and influences because I think you should just listen to them. Leave your pre-conceived notions at the door. I can't imagine someone going in with an open mind and not coming out impressed. But this was their second studio album, and it went gold. None of the Pixies albums have sold better than that. All gold status. What a shame. I'm going to help to spread the knowledge today and tell you, listen to this. You can even buy it. It's that good. Happy Wednesday and enjoy the Pixies!

TRACK LISTING:
1. Bone Machine
2. Break My Body
3. Something Against You
4. Broken Face
5. Gigantic
6. River Euphrates
7. Where Is My Mind?
8. Cactus
9. Tony's Theme
10. Oh My Golly!
11. Vamos - (Spanish)
12. I'm Amazed
13. Brick Is Red
14. (Untitled) (Hidden Track)

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Where Is My Mind?
2. Gigantic
3. Bone Machine

FINAL RATING:
4.5 out of 5 stars

Orbital - Orbital 2



You know what? Techno Wednesday just doesn't have the same ring to it. My apologies dance fans. Yesterday I ended up with two New Music Tuesday reviews and didn't fit the Techno Tuesday in. But hey, day late is better than no dance at all right? Anyway, I decided to go with Orbital today. They're not your classic techno dance of today - this album dates all the way back to 1993. Now, I know I wasn't grinding all night to hot beats back then, but I'm guessing a few of you might recognize a track from this album. Maybe the movie 'Hackers' will ring a bell...? These guys are an English band, been around forever. They broke up around 2005 but have decided to get back together for performances today. Their earliest record came out in 1991 and the latest in 2009. This is really the only one I'm super familiar with though. And honestly, this is pretty good. It really isn't like modern dance that contains a vocal along with the beat. The Hacker track does, but this one is more on the house level. But I'd check this out if I were a dance fan. It's got a nice feel to it. It was named in the book 1001 Albums To Hear Before You Die...and that makes sense. School yourself with a little techno today!

TRACK LISTING:
1. Time Becomes
2. Planet of the Shapes
3. Lush 3-1
4. Lush 3-2
5. Impact (The Earth Is Burning)
6. Remind
7. Walk Now...
8. Monday
9. Halcyon + On + On
10. Input Out

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Halcyon + On + On
2. Lush 3-1
3. Planet Of The Shapes

FINAL RATING:
3 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sheryl Crow - 100 Miles To Memphis



Unlike my other New Music Tuesday review, this one actually has a pretty reasonable amount of hype to it. Historically, Sheryl Crow doesn't sell all that well right out of the gate, but over time, has proven a successful selling artist. Her first album is over 7x Platinum. Not bad at all. I think everyone is probably pretty familiar with Crow at this point. I think I'd classify her as a modern day folk singer, maybe leaning a little bit toward the poppish side of folk rock. She stated that she wanted to ditch any country or pop rock prefaces and try to do something that resembles more soul music straight from Memphis. I'm not entirely sure she succeeded with that. I think all in all, it's got a much different feel than her first record, but I'm not sure it's that drastically different. It's still pretty poppy in spots, and still a little country in spots. I'm going to classify this as pop according to my records, so if she has a specific problem with that - she can contact me directly. I think at times the vocals are a bit disconnected to the background instruments - but I can't blame Crow for that, as I'm sure she doesn't do her own arrangements. All in all - it's not bad. I guess it's also not great either. I'd say slightly above average - and I suppose my rating will convey that. There are a couple big cameos on the record - but fairly small parts. I think this will be another very slow starting record, but may end up going platinum before the day is said and done. If you're already a Crow fan, I think you'll like this too. If not, maybe you'll find a track or two you can tap your toes to. Happy Tuesday B Siders!

TRACK LISTING:
1. Our Love Is Fading
2. Eye To Eye
3. Sign Your Name
4. Summer Day
5. Long Road Home
6. Say What You Want
7. Peaceful Feeling
8. Stop
9. Sideways
10. 100 Miles From Memphis
11. Rosed And Moonlight
12. I Want You Back

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Sideways (Citizen Cope Cover)
2. I Want You Back
3. Sign Your Name

FINAL RATING:
2.75 out of 5 stars

Rick Ross - Teflon Don



New Music Tuesday strikes back with Ricky Ross. There is really no hype surrounding this record in the hip hop world. I think for the most part, Rick Ross rides very low under the radar, and not many people are familiar with his stuff other than the bigger singles he's had over the years. And typically, that's for good reason. Usually the best part of his tracks are the cameos he has on them. Ross is like the actual rapper version of T-Pain. Well, maybe that's a little over the top. But Ross doesn't have anything signature about him that usually makes rappers successful. His flow isn't better than anyone out there, his beats are usually lackluster and the hooks are worse than could be found on even some of the lightest of hip hop. The really interesting about Ross is if you listen to his stuff, he always talks about being a big time drug dealer and how he gets caught up in the drug game and all that nonsense. The interesting part is, this guy used to be a correctional facility officer before he was discovered as a rapper. You pretty much lose all your credibility in hip hop if you used to be some form of law - no matter to what degree. So in case you couldn't already tell, I'm not a huge Ross fan. I don't expect a whole lot out of this, and it didn't let me down. If you're a big rap mogul, it's worth checking out, but otherwise it's a skip over. You'll probably hear a single off of it at some point, but don't worry about it if you don't.

TRACK LISTING:
1. I'm Not A Star
2. Free Mason
3. Tears Of Joy
4. Mayback Music III
5. Live Fast, Die Young
6. Super High
7. No. 1
8. MC Hammer
9. B.M.F.
10. Aston Martin Music
11. All The Money In The World

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Free Mason
2. Maybach Music III
3. B.M.F.

FINAL RATING:
2.25 out of 5 stars

Monday, July 19, 2010

Metallica - Black Album



Ahh yes. Another Metallica review. Most of you will recall my love for the 'Load' album. I gave that a great review and talked about how people think they're sell outs. Blah blah blah. I even went on a rant about it. It's true, look it up! Well, this was the original recording that die hards said they sold out. And it's not even really because they made tracks that are all that much different than previous, it's simply because 'Enter Sandman' became a radio sensation. Now sure, one could argue that the song is a little riff heavy and built for radio - but even so, who cares? The same thing could have happened with 'Seek And Destroy' years earlier. Because it didn't, the fans were pleased. Makes no sense. It's hard to find people who still love Metallica today. It seems that their most recent albums are pretty much considered a joke and the old stuff is the gold. I've heard Death Magnetic a couple times, and it wasn't that bad. Regardless, this is one of the best selling albums ever. It has sold over 15 million copies in the US alone. Crazy numbers. Since this sell out, they've battled the MP3 world, gone into rehab a multitude of times and even worked on solo stuff. Here is what I'm going to say about this record though, people think it's great. People think that it's got all these 'hits' and it's amazing. I'll tell you that this is the first Metallica record I owned. I'll tell you I loved it back in 1998. But looking at this now, I'm not that big of a fan. I think 'Load' is better, I think a couple other earlier records are better too. I think we've heard half these tracks so many times, they've lost their excitement. I don't get amped up when Enter Sandman is played anymore. It's lost that value for me. Top to bottom it's still really good, but it's not the 5+ star record you'd be led to believe by critics and certainly the sales numbers. Still very worth listening to today, but don't expect to rush out and buy it if you don't own it already. Happy Monday!

TRACK LISTING:
1. Enter Sandman
2. Sad But True
3. Holier Than Thou
4. Unforgiven, The
5. Wherever I May Roam
6. Don't Tread on Me
7. Through the Never
8. Nothing Else Matters
9. Of Wolf and Man
10. God That Failed, The
11. My Friend of Misery
12. Struggle Within, The

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Nothing Else Matters
2. The Unforgiven
3. Enter Sandman

FINAL RATING:
3.75 out of 5 stars

Creeper Lagoon - Take Back The Universe And Give Me Yesterday



Welcome back B Siders! Not sure about you, but this weekend was WAY too short. On one hand, it's nice to be busy and have things going on - but then when you get back to work, you feel gypped. Anyway, since my mood is odd, I went with an odd review for today. Creeper Lagoon is a band that I slipped upon back in 2005. I heard a song that I enjoyed, and for literally a year I had no idea who it was. Finally it bothered me enough to run some extensive Google searches, and presto. Creeper Lagoon finally got it's proper recognition on my iPod. There really isn't a whole lot of information about these guys out there. They're from San Francisco, but aren't signed to any major labels. This is in fact the only record that has extended information on it via Wikipedia. I don't really know how I'd classify these guys other than odd. The songs I really enjoy are 'mood' type tracks, but that's certainly not what the entire record is. They have some heavier-ish type tracks that would still be indie rock I guess, but more folkish. It's different. Maybe that's why I like it. It's a good change of pace when I'm not in the mood for anything. Check it out. I can't sit here and say you'll love it - but it's probably tough to hate it. Just a guess. If nothing else, it's a great way to start your Monday!

TRACK LISTING:
1. Chance Of A Lifetime
2. Wrecking Ball
3. Sunfair
4. She Loves Me Not
5. Up All Night
6. Naked Days
7. Under The Tracks
8. Dead Man Saloon
9. Hey Sister
10. Cellophane
11. Keep From Moving
12. Lover's Leap
13. Here We Are

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Under The Tracks
2. Chance Of A Lifetime
3. Cellophane

FINAL RATING:
3.25 out of 5 stars

Friday, July 16, 2010

B Side Exclusve - Hugo Video for 99 Problems!!

Behind the scenes I've been working with some people from Sony Music and Epic Records. They gave The B Side an exclusive first look at Hugo's video for the cover version of Jay-Z's '99 Problems'. Here is a brief write up from Epic:

The video was directed by Colin Tilley at the gritty Willow Studios in LA, where some scenes of the film Fight Club were shot. Hugo is preparing for the debut of his new album Old Tyme Religion which also includes the single “Bread and Butter”, recently featured in the latest episode of Entourage.

Enjoy!

Hugo - "99 Problems" from Consequence of Sound on Vimeo.

Eminem - Recovery **REVISITED**



So, I decided to come back today to the latest Em release. I'm doing this for a couple reasons - 1) I'm even on all my genre reviews 2) I've been listening to this a lot over the last couple weeks and 3) I feel like some of my New Music Tuesday releases are too open ended. I didn't even give my Top 3 on this one last time, and I feel like some of you enjoy comparing Top 3's and reviews - so why not? I won't fully retort my feelings at first impression - you can look that up if you'd like. But I feel like my initial response was spot on. This album isn't amazing, but it's really good. It's better than Relapse - mostly because of no voice, but Em is back spitting hard on the mic. Now, some songs the lyrics are actually pretty sloppy. Even the popular 'Not Afraid' has some spots where you listen and think, "Really? That's the best rhyme you could come up with?" Example 'F**k the world feed it beans, it's gased up, if it think's it's stopping me.' Come on. I mean, it works and it flows - but listening to that it makes you wonder for a song that's obviously very intense, and you can tell has meaning to Em and his struggle to get free from drugs and get straight with his family - why put lyrics in there that are almost comical? I don't really get it. I also wish he'd have collaborated with more people on this album. I love the Rihanna and Lil Wayne ones, and I feel like Em always sets a standard when coming on other peoples tracks. The BoB 'Airplanes 2' and Drake's 'Forever' are prime examples. It's like when he has another hot rapper to compete against, it brings out the fire that Em needs. Having said that, none of the songs are bad - but some are too plain for the standards he's set. But the songs that kill it, really kill it. 25 To Life is almost Pac like with 'Me And My Girlfriend'. He goes through talking about what seems like his wife and all the problems and issues they have - but then BAM! He's talking about the rap game. And it takes it up a notch. The songs where he's not trying to sell records and be poppy, make me melt inside with desire to listen to more, and more. I can't even imagine a cd full of just those types of tracks. It would be amazing. Maybe one day. Until then, this is more than worth listening to. You'll find at least 6 tracks you'll love. I promise.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Cold Wind Blows
2. Talkin' to Myself
3. On Fire
4. Won't Back Down
5. W.T.P.
6. Going Through Changes
7. Not Afraid
8. Seduction
9. No Love
10. Space Bound
11. Cinderella Man
12. 25 to Life
13. So Bad
14. Almost Famous
15. Love the Way You Lie
16. You're Never Over
17. Untitled

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Space Bound
2. 25 To Life
3. Love The Way You Lie OR No Love

FINAL RATING:
4.25 out of 5 stars

Doobie Brothers - Captain And Me



Ahh - 70's rock. Now, I know that the 90's was very diverse and today's rock bands run a lot of different sounds and instruments. But the seventies seemed to be a very unique time. We had very hard hitting bands, electronic bands, folk rock acts and then unclassified types like the Doobies. Crazy part is, they were all incredibly popular at the time. Today, metal usually doesn't sell like alt rock, and punk rock only sells for those bands that are HUGE - so it was a different time. These guys have a heavy guitar at spots, very upbeat vocals in spots - but for the most part, the stuff is simply catchy. Now, the Doobs aren't one of my favorite bands - in fact, I wouldn't buy anything other than their greatest hits collection. And it isn't that any if their stuff is bad, it's just not really my style. Some tracks are like the musical version of 'Grapes of Wrath'. They're entertaining, and culturally significant, but when the day is said and done, once is enough. I'd attempt to run through their history - but they changed band members every 6 seconds back in the day. They've got 13 studio releases out there - starting in 1971 and the newest set to drop this year sometime. That'll be 5 decades of Doobies. They should use that as an album title. I'm a genius. Anyway, this was their third studio release and it has gone 3x platinum over the years. Nothing great for a 70's rock band, but it works. They never sold a ton of records individually - but collectively they've sold something like 30 million in the US. Anyway - kick back on your Friday and get high with some Doobie.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Natural Thing
2. Long Train Runnin'
3. China Grove
4. Dark Eyed Cajun Woman
5. Clear as the Driven Snow
6. Without You
7. South City Midnight Lady
8. Evil Woman
9. Busted Down Around O'Connelly Corners
10. Ukiah
11. Captain and Me, The

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. China Grove
2. Long Train Runnin'
3. Without You

FINAL RATING:
3.75 out of 5 stars

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Matchbox 20 - Yourself Or Someone Like You



Okay...so here is my compromise. Follower Mithrandr asked if I could do a Rob Thomas review. Now, I'm going to note that the reality is, he simply cannot stand Rob Thomas, and he was being sarcastic. However, a Suggestion Box entry is still an entry - and shant be ignored. I'll tell you a quick story about why Mith (and I) dislike Mr. Thomas. We were driving out to Colorado some weekend in 2009. The car had satellite radio and we were flipping through pretty much any station that wasn't talk or sports. And I'm not even joking, EVERY station - even country ones somehow, would end up with something Rob Thomas related on it. Now, if you don't get tired of someone or some songs after listening to them for (to and from) about 28 hours, you're a glutton for punishment. So my compromise is reviewing something by him that's actually palatable, in Matchbox 20 and their debut album. The fact is, this album is pretty good. I owned this back in the day, and now can't find it. Which is fine - I wouldn't listen to it a TON, but it's pretty good. The songs that were popular back in 1996 are usually not the ones I enjoy today. I also think this is one of those albums that was HUGE in the mid 90's - but doesn't really stand the test of time in terms of how great people thought it was at the time. Still good, not amazing. Matchbox hasn't put anything out in 3 years due to Thomas's solo career, but they will be working on something this year again. I'm sure a lot of fans will be eager for that one. If you're keeping score at home, this album is a ridiculous 12x Platinum in the states. Crazy. Give this one another go for nostalgic purposes. It'll really take you back.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Real World
2. Long Day
3. 3 A.M.
4. Push
5. Girl Like That
6. Back 2 Good
7. Damn
8. Argue
9. Kody
10. Busted
11. Shame
12. Hang

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Back 2 Good
2. Hang
3. Argue

FINAL RATING:
3.25 out of 5 stars

Miranda Lambert - Revolution



Hello Thursday. Hello Country day. When I review anything country related, do I even need to reiterate that it comes via JenInTosa and the Suggestion Box? I mean, I've done a few here and there that were my own discoveries, but 9 out of 10 come from Jen. Hey! That could be your new slogan - "9 out of 10 come from Jen". I'd use that if I were you in given situations. Anyway, Miranda Lambert. Simply another artist I'd never even heard of before the suggestion came in. So she gained fame by not winning of course, but taking third in the country world's version of American Idol. Their's being called, 'Nashville Star'. She was on the show in 2005 and caught the eye of Epic Records. This is her third studio release and it dropped in 2009. All of her albums have not been very high sellers - her first going platinum and then numbers 2 and 3 only seeing gold status. Not great, but I'm sure she's still rolling in the dollars. She is certainly unlike any female artist I've reviewed thus far in the country world. I'm not an expert on what country-pop is, but I thought Taylor Swift was the gold standard in that type of country. Well, I think this is for the most part way more poppy than Swift. The only difference is, Swift's tracks are way more catchy and toe tapping. To me, a lot of this album sounds the same, and it gets a little repetitive. Plus, on the track 'White Liar', she's either doing something really strange vocally, or she's using Auto Tune in spots. If the latter is true, wow. Country going auto tune would be...wow. All in all, I think there are much better female country artists right now to listen to, and maybe wait until you're plain sick of those to give Lambert a try.

TRACK LISTING:
1. White Liar
2. Only Prettier
3. Dead Flowers
4. Me and Your Cigarettes
5. Maintain the Pain
6. Airstream Song
7. Makin' Plans
8. Time to Get a Gun
9. Somewhere Trouble Don't Go
10. House That Built Me, The
11. Love Song
12. Heart Like Mine
13. Sin for a Sin
14. That's the Way That the World Goes 'Round
15. Virginia Bluebell

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. The House That Built Me
2. Dead Flowers
3. Love Song

FINAL RATING:
2.75 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Curren$y - Pilot Talk



Hey-yo! Finally something semi-exciting to write about in the rap world. I haven't gotten a new, good artist come across my headphones in a really long time. Probably since 2008 or early 2009 sometime. I was introduced to Curren$y about a week ago, and when I first saw it - I was honestly extremely skeptical. For two reasons: 1) it's been a bad time for hip hop. 2) his name is spelled with a dollar sign in it. Now, just thinking about what other artist has that right now and is popular - I won't even write her name out, why would you do that? But I have to realize that he's been making independent music for about 5 years, and had that before the unspeakable one. Plus, his name means money - so a dollar sign is more fitting in that regard. Either way, I was still concerned. Then I heard the first single 'Breakfast'. I was hooked. This guy has great flow, great background beats on most songs. It's like a totally unpoppy version of Lupe Fiasco that tells a story like Lauryn Hill. It's very compelling listening. I think you don't even have to be a rap fan to enjoy this one. It's that good. Anyway, he's from New Orleans - he signed to Master P's 'No Limit' way back in the day and was then on Weezy's Young Money roster until 2007. Just before they blew up. He dropped this record on Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam and I expect big things from him in the future. Do yourself a Wednesday favor and check your Curren$y!

TRACK LISTING:
1. Example
2. Audio Dope 2
3. King Kong
4. Seat Change
5. Breakfast
6. Roasted
7. Skybourne
8. The Hangover
9. The Day
10. Prioritize
11. Chilled Coughphee
12. Address
13. Life Under The Scope

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Breakfast
2. Address
3. The Day

FINAL RATING:
4 out of 5 stars

John Mayer - Room For Squares



Hump Day. Is there anyone to better personify that phrase than Mr. Mayer? Not sure if any of you have seen him live or on VH1's Storytellers, but he has quite the sexual prowess. It's kind of neat that he's so up front about it with fans, but it's also kind of odd. At least to me. I'm sure the ladies love it...since they typically swoon over John. Anyway, this was his first album and it dropped in 2001. This is his best selling album by 2 million copies over his next two - at a nice 4x platinum. If you're not familiar with this style, it's very lyrical and engaging. I'd argue his more recent stuff has gotten away from that, but I'm reviewing Room For Squares so back off! There are a variety of tracks that really hit home assuming you're a regular person who's gone through any sort of strife in your life. He's really good to put on if you're in that laid back mood. There are a couple more upbeat tracks on this record (ie, No Such Thing) and those typically are not my favorites. In fact, that parenthesized song listed above is one of my least favorite tracks on the album. Probably because I was a freshman in college in 2001, and I couldn't walk anywhere near the ladies wing of my dorm without hearing 10 girls playing it over and over. That gets old after while. Other than that, I really enjoy this album. If you haven't heard it start to finish, you NEED to listen to it. Even if you don't like anything else by him, I'd be surprised if you didn't groove to this one. Happy Hump Day!

TRACK LISTING:
1. No Such Thing
2. Why Georgia
3. My Stupid Mouth
4. Your Body Is A Wonderland
5. Neon
6. City Love Mayer
7. 83
8. 3x5
9. Love Song For No One
10. Back To You
11. Great Indoors
12. Not Myself
13. Untitled
14. St. Patrick's Day

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Not Myself
2. My Stupid Mouth
3. City Love

FINAL RATING:
4 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Korn III - Remember Who You Are



We all know Korn. Forever ago, I gave a pretty favorable review to their self titled work that dropped way back in 1994. Well they put out this new record today, that's certainly not as musically complex as their normal stuff. 'Remember' is much simpler than a regular Korn record, but it works. They put out their eighth studio album in 2007 and the band took a hiatus for each member to explore solo projects. They all came back to the studio ready to work...except this time with one twist. Obviously a major band like Korn has the ability to record in the largest - most high tech studios out there. This time they insisted on recording the whole thing in an 8 x 8 room normally just meant for a guitar session. This is also another album that has a message. They talk about how it was written to describe the downfall of man, and talk about things they believe lead to that demise. Organized religion being one of them. Sounds like they wanted this to be a throwback record of sorts to their humble, simpler beginnings, hence the name. I guess that works. I mean, as artists I think they've all evolved over the last near two decades. I don't think this has a traditional Korn feel to it, but it's still pretty good. I hadn't been a fan of their more recent stuff, but this one might get a little extra play on my iPod. We shall see. Check it out. All in all, a pretty solid New Music Tuesday!

TRACK LISTING:
1. Uber-Time
2. Oildale (Leave Me Alone)
3. Pop a Pill
4. Fear is a Place To Live
5. Move On
6. Lead the Parade
7. Let the Guilt Go
8. Past, The
9. Never Around
10. Are You Ready To Live?
11. Holding All These Lies

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Are You Ready To Live?
2. Oildale (Leave Me Alone)
3. Holding All These Lies

FINAL RATING:
3.75 out of 5 stars

M.I.A. - /\/\ /\ Y /\



Could it be? New Music Tuesday and Techno Tuesday rolled into one?? If that's not a sign that today's going to be a good day - I don't know what is. Good ol' M.I.A. You probably have heard her monstrous single 'Paper Planes', if not on the radio, then on the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack. If you have never heard anything about her, she was born in Sri Lanka, and found herself displaced for a while at the beginning of her life due to the Sri Lankan civil war. She moved all over the world after the war escalated going as far as China and then back to London. She started her career by being an artist - usually painting things in a graffiti style. She moved over to music dropping her first record in 2005. She is very political in her music at times and her art, which a lot of people dig. I can't say I'm a big fan of that stuff typically in music. Not being a big political person, someone trying to convey their agenda to sell albums makes me a little angry. But, what are ya gonna do? Maya herself called this new record 'schizophrenic' and I couldn't agree more. This is all over the place lyrically, emotionally and really confuses your ear. It's like blending a political message with hard hitting electronic beats and the repetition (at times) of a rave house mix. I'll probably listen to it a few more times, but off the top it's a little too odd for me to go to regularly. I enjoyed her last album a lot, and I don't think this one is as good. Check it out though, it's got a neat feel to it during certain tracks.

TRACK LISTING:
1. The Message
2. Steppin Up (Album Version)
3. XXXO
4. Teqkilla
5. Lovalot
6. Story To Be Told
7. It Takes A Muscle
8. It Iz What It Iz
9. Born Free
10. Meds And Feds
11. Tell Me Why
12. Space
13. Internet Connection
14. Illygirl
15. Believer
16. Caps Lock

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Born Free
2. It Takes A Muscle
3. Xxxo


FINAL RATING:
2.75 out of 5 stars

Monday, July 12, 2010

Weezer - Red Album



Okay, so this is nothing new - or something you've never heard before. But I've never hidden my love for Weezer. I grew up loving them, and they keep putting out really good music. (Ratitude and Make Believe set aside). I really needed something great to get the bad taste of HU out of my ears. If you recall, I gave a perfect 5 out of 5 review to Weezer's illustrious Blue Album. Well B Siders, this one is NOT far behind it. I absolutely love this album! It runs the gambit of awesome. Fast paced pop tracks to sing and dance to, slow brooding tracks to ponder over and lyrically awesome tracks that make you want to write and write. I think it's fair to say I loved this from first listen - which is rare for me. ...And many of you may think that I like this purely because I love Weezer - but that's simply false. It's typically the bands I love most I'm most critical of, because I expect genius out of every single track they ever record. So - yeah, don't think that. The only way I can show you how great this is, is to encourage ya'll to listen to it. And make sure you pick up the 'Deluxe Edition', because the four bonus tracks are all either good, quite good or really good. One that's teetering on great. I think I'm going to encourage my writing protege to do something Weezer related this week. We'll see - no promises. This just made my Monday better, so I'm going to run through this at least twice to make my Monday go by like lightning. You should too - Happy Monday B Side!!

TRACK LISTING:
1. Troublemaker
2. Greatest Man That Ever Lived, The (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)
3. Pork and Beans
4. Heart Songs
5. Everybody Get Dangerous
6. Dreamin'
7. Thought I Knew
8. Cold Dark World
9. Automatic
10. Angel and the One, The
BONUS TRACKS:
11. Miss Sweeney
12. Pig
13. Spider, The
14. King

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. The Angel And The One
2. Dreamin'
3. King

FINAL RATING:
4.5 out of 5 stars

Hollywood Undead - Swan Songs



Monday. First day of the week. Longest possible moment until the last day of the work week. But as always B Siders, it's also the best day of the week for blogging. I get to write at least 10 reviews this week, which always makes my week tolerable. Anyway, on to Hollywood Undead which is yet another request from follower Christina. Just a side note, you are all doing a GREAT job with suggestions. I'm extremely happy with the amount of new stuff and even some old stuff that I've gotten to run through again because of you fans. Much appreciated. So on to HU, these guys are - hmm...odd? When I first looked them up, they were listed as a hard rock/metal band. I then read that they all wore masks and went by pseudonyms and not their real names. So immediately, I was thinking they were going to be similar to Slipknot or that like. Boy was I wrong. If I was comparing them to a masked band, I'd probably lean more toward the Insane Clown Posse - which is really not a good thing. They're more of a rock/rap hybrid type band - which doesn't quite live up to other genre expectations. They have a sound very similar to Linkin Park, but no tracks nearly as solid as they do. The problem is, what you might expect is some really crazy, nasty lyrics - but those never show up. It's more tame like Asher Roth or even the very WEAKEST of Eminem lyrics. Instead of having shock value and making headlines, they're just uninteresting and tired. I feel like they have a big time identity crisis since they're image doesn't match their lyrics that don't match the beats. It's just confusing. These fellas were made famous via Myspace - even signing a deal with Myspace records. Well - I suggest they relegate themselves back to obscurity and the answer to an odd trivia question. I don't see the music the thing ever making them famous.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Undead
2. Sell Your Soul
3. Everywhere I Go
4. No Other Place
5. No.5
6. Young
7. Black Dahlia
8. This Love, This Hate
9. Bottle And A Gun
10. California
11. City
12. Diary, The
13. Pimpin'
14. Paradise Lost

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Everywhere I Go
2. Undead
3. No. 5

FINAL RATING:
1.25 out of 5 stars

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bad Company - Self Titled



Hooray for 'Two Self Titled Friday'!! Should that be a new B Side installment? Hmm, probably not. Not only would that be incredibly hard on our amazing writer (ahem) but it's also kind of lame. So we'll go with it being a fun (and VERY coincidental) one time affair. Seriously, everyone in the world has heard of Bad Company right? I mean, if you haven't - I question how much music you really listen to. These guys have been just about everywhere for 4 decades. Crazily enough, this British band has sold more records in the US than in the UK. That pretty much never happens guys. Home countries 99.9% of the time always support and artist more than somewhere else. I can't even conjecture why that happened for Bad Co. They have a TON of hits in America, and you don't have to look any further than this - their first record. I'll retort that back in the '70s when everything was in vinyl, you could only fit 8 songs or so per LP. So naturally this album is short, but very, very amazing. Released in 1974 - it has sold over 5 million copies in the US alone. It's no Boston, but really good nonetheless. Even if you're reading this and thinking, "This B Side fella, what an a-hole. How dare he question my musical prowess because I haven't heard of Bad Company??" Well I'd say, relax there wonderful reader, and my point is - you most certainly have heard of these guys. Listen to the sample tracks posted, you'll have heard at least one song from this record. And probably at least 5 Bad Co songs from all their works. Great music, it's Friday, it's nice outside - this just keeps getting better! Blast some Bad Co not only on your Friday, but pump it all the way through the weekend!!

TRACK LISTING:
1. Can't Get Enough
2. Rock Steady
3. Ready for Love
4. Don't Let Me Down
5. Bad Company
6. Way I Choose, The
7. Movin' On
8. Seagull

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Bad Company
2. Can't Get Enough
3. Ready For Love

FINAL RATING:
4.25 out of 5 stars

Blessid Union Of Souls - Self Titled



YAY!! Finally - not sure about you guys, but when we have a 'short' week due to holiday or whatever, it feels even longer than a regular week. Perplexing, yet true. I feel like I've been working 17 days straight on like 4 hours of sleep. But that's neither here nor there. What is here, is my 'odd' review for Blessid Union. Now - some of you may have heard of these guys because of one pretty monstrous single that dropped back in 1998. But even for those that have heard 'Light', I'd guess you didn't rush out and by the album back then. Or heard that song a decade later and went to pick this up. So I'm here to let you know - I really dig these guys. These fellas are from Ohio and formed around 1990. This was their second studio release, and the only reason I didn't start with that album is simple...I've never heard it. Their first album 'Home' gets really rave reviews and I need to get to that very soon. If it's half as good as this one, I know I'll love it. I got tuned into them in 2005 or so, and had no idea they sang the big popular track on here. I mean, vocally now that I know, it makes total sense - but still a nice surprise. I encourage anyone who enjoys 'mood' type music to check these guys out. They're really solid. They've got half a dozen records out there, and as always, I promise to get to them all in due time. Happy Friday!

TRACK LISTING:
1. I Wanna Be There
2. Jelly
3. Light In Your Eyes
4. Scenes From A Coffee House
5. Hold Her Closer
6. My Friend
7. Where We Were Before
8. It's Your Day (Bronson's Song)
9. Humble Star
10. When She Comes
11. Peace And Love

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Peace And Love
2. Hold Her Closer
3. Light In Your Eyes

FINAL RATING:
4 out of 5 stars

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Beck - Odelay



Time for another alternative style review, and who is more alternative than Beck? This guy has never made two albums that even closely resemble each other. Seems like every time he touches the mic in a studio - he has a totally new ambition for how he wants the music to sound. Beck has a DOZEN albums out since his debut in 1993. I honestly had no idea he had that much music out there. I mean, I've heard probably half of those records, and I thought that was a lot. Mainstream got familiar with him via '94s 'Mellow Gold' which of course was made famous by 'Loser'. He actually released another record in 1994 that didn't fare quite as well on the charts. So Odelay ended up being his next record, and the first single 'Where It's At' ended up being HUGE. I remember back in 96 when this came out, and MTV still played videos - this was on all the time. Many stations played it and it seemed like you could never get sick of it. It just had a certain feel to it that was totally unique to anything else out there at that time. Very cool. Anyway, this probably isn't my favorite Beck album ever, but it's really good. And it's his best selling by a pretty good number of records sold. It's very different top to bottom, big shocker. I think it's well worth listening to. If you haven't ever listened start to finish, try it out. I think you'll like it. If not, don't be afraid to try another Beck work because hey - who knows what style you'll get. Happy Thursday and enjoy!

TRACK LISTING:
1. Devils Haircut
2. Hotwax
3. Lord Only Knows
4. New Pollution, The
5. Derelict
6. Novacane
7. Jack-Ass
8. Where It's At
9. Minus
10. Sissyneck
11. Readymade
12. High 5 (Rock the Catskills)
13. Ramshackle

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Where It's At
2. Devil's Haircut
3. New Pollution

FINAL RATING:
4 out of 5 stars

James Blunt - Back To Bedlam



Thursday has me doing another mood review for you guys. It's a little old school - going all the way back to 2005 and James Blunt. I'm sure you remember being in your car and turning 'You're Beautiful' all the way up as loud as your stereo goes. Yet another track that was on 17 different stations at the same time for a while. Jimmy has an interesting back story. He served in the British Military for six years until 2002. He saw some action in Kosovo and then mostly did funeral procession type stuff until his time was over. He was also a world class skier at some point during his life. This was his first album with only two made so far in a short career. He's got another one due to drop this year at some point, no date listed. This has sold a lot of copies worldwide, which naturally the majority were in the UK at 10x platinum. Only 2x platinum in the US which means pretty much every other measured country likes Mr. Blunt more than we do. But 2x is nothing to shake a stick at, you'll still make some pretty good money. In fact, he claims he's closer with his family after becoming a platinum selling artist, as his father takes care of all his finances and his mother helps him with his properties around Europe. A good wholesome family affair. Musically, I have not heard anything off record number 2, but this one is fine. I don't think it lives up to the hype from the singles, but then again, it's rare an album does. It's worth a listen if you're in that 'mood', but otherwise, it's a skipper-over.

TRACK LISTING:
1. High
2. You're Beautiful
3. Wisemen
4. Goodbye My Lover
5. Tears and Rain
6. Out of My Mind
7. So Long Jimmy
8. Billy
9. Cry
10. No Bravery

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. High
2. Goodbye My Lover
3. You're Beautiful

FINAL RATING:
3 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Motion City Soundtrack - I Am The Movie



Hey-oh!! Two for two on the B Side today via the Suggestion Box. Shaquanda suggested this one a couple weeks back. Since I'm on my 'punk' style review for the week, I figured why the heck not? Now, I've heard her talk up this band for the last decade plus, so I have extremely high standards for them. I've never heard one MCS track in my life (at least so I think). They've been around since 1997 but 'Movie' was their debut album to drop in 2003. They've gone through more members than Metallica has gone through guitar frontmen, which if you don't know, is a lot. They actually do have a pretty unique style to them. I think a long time ago I went off on Panic! for not being anything new and hating on bands that all sound the same. Right from the gate, they didn't have a total new thing going, but once you listen through it, they do have something that has a different feel. I can't even really put my finger on it. It's almost like an emo band meets Ben Folds? Like a storytelling kind of group that aren't so focused on super long track titles and making music for adoring little girls. The hiatus from formation to release of this is kind of interesting. They self promoted and dropped this record twice, before getting picked up by a major label. Once they did, they finally sold some albums and moved on in their careers. They've now been with two other labels, but still putting out tuneage. I think this has a cool feel to it. One of my soon to be top 3 tracks has as a Goo Goo Dolls type feel to it with some synth added. One funny thing I wanted to share, while looking on Wikipedia to find out some info I ran across this: The Daily Cardinal said that the "album is true to the band’s fast-paced punk roots while remaining firmly anchored in catchy bubblegum pop melodies," demonstrating the band's "maturing style" while "the pop-punchers play it safe and stick to what they know best." That was in response to their 3rd studio recording, but the funny part is that they reference the Daily Cardinal - which is a University of Wisconsin student paper. I know you can put anything on Wiki - but still. If a local paper can get mentioned, why not the B Side? Something to aim for!

TRACK LISTING:
1. Cambridge
2. Shiver
3. Future Freaks Me Out, The
4. Indoor Living
5. My Favorite Accident
6. Perfect Teeth
7. Boombox Generation
8. Don't Call It a Comeback
9. Modern Chemistry
10. Capital H
11. Red Dress
12. Mary Without Sound
13. Autographs & Apologies
14. A-OK

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Capital H
2. My Favorite Accident
3. Shiver

FINAL RATING:
3.25 out of 5 stars

Trick Pony - Self Titled



Yeeeeee haaaaaawwwww! B Side Country day is back - with another recommendation from the infamous JenInTosa. Jen is our resident country music expert - since I'm fairly clueless. Trick Pony is yet another band that I'd never in my life heard of before it hit the old Suggestion Box. Turns out they've been a band since 1996 with this being their debut album that dropped in 2001. I guess it's not super crazy, since in 2001 I was finishing high school and certainly not listening to country. This album has a bit of a different style to it. It has a very rock element intertwined with the country vocal and lyric. Sure, most tracks are still a very formal country, with the slow beat, very rangy female vocal and even acoustic guitar. Strangely though, there are a couple that buck that trend. One track even seems to have a steel drum and a slight reggae feel to it. Couple tracks are super upbeat and could easily pass as a Melissa Etheridge poppy track. I hear the lead singer left the band to start a solo career in 2006 and they haven't worked together again since. They do have a 'best of' due out sometime this year. I'll say this, with the expansion of all the different styles, there is probably something for everyone. The biggest single off the track, has a honky tonk type style that could also span genres. I don't feel as though this album is super amazing or anything, but it certainly is not bad. I think every band should cover Johnny Cash, so that's going to put this up a quarter of a point for me. Check it out...country fans I think will really enjoy it - pop fans will enjoy it and the passive listener might find a couple tracks they enjoy.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Pour Me
2. Party of One
3. Big River
4. Every Other Memory
5. More Like Me
6. Just What I Do
7. Stay in the Moment
8. On a Night Like This
9. One in a Row
10. Now Would Be the Time
11. Can't Say That on the Radio
12. Spent
13. Not Hidden Track

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks
1. Pour Me
2. Just What I do
3. Big River

FINAL RATING:
2.5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Kylie Minogue - Aphrodite



Hey New Music Tuesday is back - with a vengeance? It must be revenge against me for not enjoying pop music. Because lately folks, the New Music Tuesday reviews have been pretty weak. Let's be honest. It used to be that every Tuesday there was something fun and exciting to look forward to - but lately, it's been nonsense like this. Maybe I'm wrong, but does anyone know anything by Kylie except, "Na na na, na na na-na na"? I don't think so. I know I don't. Aside of that, I don't at all understand who is listening to this. It's pop music by a really old lady (42 years old). It's not like Bieber or Spears who the teen girls can listen to either A. Want to date B. Want to be like - so what's the appeal? The music is NOT good at all, and the idolization really can't be there. So, this lady was an Australian child actress and she put out her first record in 1988!!! NINETEEN EIGHTYEIGHT! Think about that. Her first record came out before the crowd she is attempting to appeal to were born! That's plain nuts! Her music always sells more copies in Australia than in the US - with the only platinum record coming with that one big hit back in '01. For perspective, that record went a respectable platinum here in the states, but a ludicrous 7x platinum down under. Looking around, the critical response for this has thus far been pretty positive. Who reviews this crap? Did someone who is also mid 40's review this and think, "Wow, she's amazing. I remember her first album when I was in college!" Who cares? I can't think of a more irrelevant artist on the planet right now off the top of my head. It's not that the music is worse than the awful reviews I've done so far, it's that it's nonsense. No one will listen to this record, so it's almost like it doesn't exist. I'm going to surprise you with the final rating. Enjoy B Siders and Happy Mon --er, Tuesday!

TRACK LISTING:
1. All the Lovers
2. Get Outta My Way
3. Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love)
4. Closer
5. Everything is Beautiful
6. Aphrodite
7. Illusion
8. Better Than Today
9. Too Much
10. Cupid Boy
11. Looking For an Angel
12. Can't Beat the Feeling

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. All The Lovers
2. Aphrodite
3. Can't Beat The Feeling

FINAL RATING:
0 out of 5 stars


Because see, it doesn't really exist!

Darude - Before The Storm



Well hello B Siders! I certainly hope everyone had a nice, long holiday weekend. I know mine was too short as usual, but then again - coming back to work is what always brings me back to the B Side! All in all worth it I'd say. Anyhow, Techno Tuesday storms back with Darude. Now, I'm not sure where you all were in 2000ish when it seems like you couldn't walk on any city block or go in any car and not hear Sandstorm. If you don't recall the trancing beat and the sick electronics, you might not have really been alive during that period of your life. Darude is one dude named Ville and he's a Finnish DJ. He's got three records out this being numero uno released in 2001. That kind of begs the question though, Sandstorm technically dropped in 1999 as a single, so why wait TWO YEARS before actually releasing the record? All that buzz would have helped the album sales, but the capitalization came very late. Let's check the sales of this album --- wait for it --- well, it's not exact, but from what I can tell it might not have even gone platinum. Pretty lame for such a monstrous single. I mean, it was so hot that he put 17 versions of that track on this record. As a side note: I hate that. Be more creative. If I go buy an album the last thing I want is 7 versions of ONE song out of 15. It shows laziness and lack of respect for your fans. Anyway, this isn't amazing. If you're a beatnut like me, you'll probably enjoy most of it - but I wouldn't rush out to pick it up. I am really interested in his more current stuff, so as always - I'll get to it soon!

TRACK LISTING:
1. Sandstorm
2. Burning
3. Feel The Beat
4. Out Of Control
5. Touch Me Feel Me
6. Calm Before The Storm
7. Let The Music Take Control
8. Drums Of New York
9. The Flow
10. Sandstorm (JS 16 Remix)
11. Sandstorm (Superchumbo Sandy Storm Remix)
12. Sandstorm (Darude vs Orgy Astro American Remix)
13. Feel The Beat (JS 16 Dark Mix)
14. Out Of Control (Vocal Mix)

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Sandstorm
2. Calm Before The Storm
3. Feel The Beat

FINAL RATING:
3 out of 5 stars