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Thursday, 01 November 2007 |  Written by K L Poore  | 
Neil Young - Chrome Dreams II format:    16-bit CD / 24-bit stereo DVD performance:    7 sound:    10 released:    2007 label:    Reprise reviewer:    K L Poore Only Neil Young would release a sequel to an unreleased album that has become the legendary, and some would say mythic, rock equivalent of Love’s Labour’s Lost. The original, Chrome Dreams, ended up being dissected and spread across a few releases, and included among its cuts “Like a Hurricane,” “Pocahontas,” and “Look Out for My Love.” Chrome Dreams II sounds the opposite, as if cuts were gathered from unreleased albums and compiled onto it, or something akin to that. Now one of the many things I love about Neil is that instead of pandering, or soliciting, his audience he tends to run away from it, knowing it will follow. It isn’t the most successful commercial strategy, but when it comes to making art it’s a perfect method for ...
Thursday, 01 November 2007 |  Written by Charles Andrews  | 
John Fogerty - Revival format:    16-bit CD performance:    9.5 sound:    9 released:    2007 label:    Fantasy reviewer:    Charles Andrews Where to begin … With the music on John Fogerty’s Revival? Or the politics? Or John’s personal journey to get to this point with the best album he’s done since Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Cosmo’s Factory, 27 years ago? They are, this trilogy, convoluted, compelling, triumphant yet tragically-tinged stories. Each is part of the whole, and adds to your appreciation of the other parts. But, the personal journey can be captured in a book, the politics on posters – it’s the music on this disc that counts the most, and matters to most people. And the music is great. It’s off the hook. It’s back to pure Creedence, which is saying something, and a minor miracle, but sometimes even more sweet and lovely, and sometimes rockin’ even harder. – rockin’ harder?! Is that possible? Harder than ...
Thursday, 01 November 2007 |  Written by John Sutton-Smith  | 
The Gladiators - Studio One Singles format:    16-bit CD performance:    9 sound:    8 released:    2007 label:    Heartbeat reviewer:    John Sutton-Smith Among all the great reggae harmony groups during that classic period in the late ‘60s and ‘70s, from the Mighty Diamonds to the Congos to the Wailing Souls, surely the Gladiators offered one of the brightest and most beautiful vocal collaborations of them all. Although their later work on Virgin is better known, the original trio started out in 1965, led by the soulful, distinctive voice of lead singer Albert Griffiths; but it was when Griffiths recruited Clinton Fearon and Gallimore Sutherland in 1969 that they went on to make some of their very best records at Studio One, under the visionary guidance of legendary producer and studio owner Clement “Sir Coxsone” Dodd. This album, part of Heartbeat’s wondrous Studio One series, offers an expansive, if not complete, selection of the Gladiators’ ...
Thursday, 01 November 2007 |  Written by K L Poore  | 
Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace format:    16-bit CD performance:    8 sound:    8 released:    2007 label:    RCA reviewer:    K L Poore As I type this first line, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace is my least favorite Foo Fighters release. Even though I own every CD they’ve put out and have shelled out cash money to see them perform in a big cement thud factory like the Long Beach Arena, I’ve got to clearly state this isn’t based upon any intellectual evaluation, track by track analyzation or CD by CD comparison. I just haven’t played it as much as I have their past releases. I come back to it regularly, and that’s a good sign, but I haven’t been captivated as yet. Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace starts off in fighting Foo fashion with “The Pretender,” a sublime piece of music that lures you in with a Downy bear soft verse before breaking into ...
Thursday, 01 November 2007 |  Written by Matt Fink  | 
Devendra Banhart - Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon format:    16-bit CD performance:    5 sound:    7 released:    2007 label:    Young God reviewer:    Matt Fink Though the everyman shtick works well for country singers and Bruce Springsteen, it seems generally true that we want our pop stars to be more eccentric, more glamorous, more talented, more screwed up – in short, more interesting – than we are. From Frank Sinatra to Elvis, Michael Jackson to Kurt Cobain, the personae of the people behind the music is often every bit as important as the music itself. And in an era where every substantial artist can be traced through tabloids, blogs and poor quality YouTube videos, an artist simply can’t survive without putting forth a personality that makes him or her more interesting than the person standing ahead of you in line at the market. After all, art is escapism to a certain degree, and if an artist ...
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