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Sunday, 8 June 2003

Mini album review round up [lurks]

Maybe we'll get a bit more success with an album round-up than the movie roundup with folks being just plain wrong about the Matrix Reloaded ;) Same format, recentish or even recently discovered albums. I've probably got something of a monster list, here goes.
  • Radiohead - Hail to the Thief: We'd obviously heard it months ago thanks to the leaks. Nevertheless, I think it's a good return to form for Radiohead. It has imminently likable tracks from the outset (unlike Kid A) and the usual collection of growers. There There is probably my favorite song at the moment. Excellent, this would be in my top ten albums of 2003.
  • Stereophonics - You Gotta Go There To Come Back: I think the combination of being a tight group musically as well as pleasant gruff Rod Stewart-alike vocals makes these guys instantly likeable. There's also some really nice hooks and themes and it's a masterful recording to boot. Another in my top ten.
  • Evanescence - Origin: This actually from 2000 but I discovered this due to some airplay which the current 'Fallen' album is getting. It's basically a rock band with a stunning and powerful female vocalist. It's quite cheesy, big anthem 80s-like rock themes. It's the ultimate yank action film sound track basically. Yet for all that, I've got a serious soft spot for the rare female headed rock band so I find myself really likely this album despite myself.
  • Evanescence - Fallen: I think a track from this is on the Daredevil soundtrack, no surprise because their entire output sounds like a hollywood sound track. This is a bit more poppy, a bit more cheesy in places so normally I'd hate it but the female vocalist puts in even better performances than Origin so I like it anyway. Bah.
  • Skin - Fleshwounds: Skunk Anansie splitting up was a fucking tragedy in my view. I consider all their albums absolutely brilliant so when I finally got hold of Skin's solo album I was hoping for more of the same. Unfortunately it isn't, it's not exactly mellow and it has some superb vocals but there isn't the rock and there isn't quite the passion of Skunk. Once I got past that though, there are some really good songs here and she has improved in technique. It still feels like the lame, tame brother of Skunk though. :(
  • Electric Six - Fire: Not much expectation for this album really, both of the hits from it were novelty songs 'Danger Danger' and the infamous 'Gay bar' song. They were undoubtedly catchy and everything is kind of noisy and unrestrained in a way you don't hear much from middle of the road acts like this. It's a keeper.
  • ZZ Top - Mescalero: Texan blues rock with out of place electro pop beats and of course more facial hair than a mosque in western Afghanistan. It can't really lose can it? Well yes, yes it can. It's all be done before, it's doing nothing new other than a bit more audio layering and post production. The boys are undoubtedly talented but they seem happy to go after their perceived audience rather than go new places. It's crap, quite frankly.
  • Metallica - St Anger: I quite liked Metallic when they went through their soft metal anthem faze. It was musical and melodic enough to appeal to me in general. This album is a proper rock album and yes, rock, not metal. Although it does have that ridiculous overtemp percussion on occasion just to try prove it's a metal album. They still can't hide the fact that they can sing and they can play guitar and that is what we call Rock and Roll and that is why this album isn't a write-off and is worth a listen. Just ignore the lyrics trying desperately to appeal to angry juveniles.
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