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dos

Green Day Builds On “¡Uno!” With “¡Dos!”

Reprise Records (2012)

With the release of ¡Dos!, the second album of Green Day’s three-part trilogy, there’s an inherent temptation/compulsion for writers and critics to tie it in with the band’s recent difficulties (namely, Billie Jo Armstrong’s onstage meltdown and current stint in rehab, followed up with the band postponing their tour). But now that I’ve made the obligatory mention of said difficulties, I’d like to talk about ¡Dos! apart from those issues, […]


kinganimal

Soundgarden “King Animal”: Album Review

Mercury (2012)

“I’ve been away too long,” belts out the raspy voice of Chris Cornell amid the opening track of King Animal, Soundgarden’s first studio release in over a decade and a half, and the album fans have been hoping for years would be made. While certainly not a masterwork for the band (give ‘em a break, they haven’t been around for while), it certainly does them justice and is at the […]


paradise

Lana Del Rey–“Paradise” Lost

Interscope (2012)

The title of Lana Del Rey’s new EP Paradise presents a bit of irony, because its dark, haunting and troubling themes really speak of anything but. Let me start by saying Lana Del Rey as a persona seems like a real dichotomy to me—a blending of two seemingly incompatible vibes. On the one hand, she comes off as this elegant retro-style torch singer, her low, sultry voice lilting over lush […]


lotus

Christina Aguilera “Lotus”: The Three Sides of Xtina

RCA Records (2012)

To say that the stakes are high for Christina Aguilera with the release of her new album Lotus would be an understatement. Coming off of a string of public mishaps, including the wide panning in 2010 of her album Bionic and her film Burlesque—not to mention a divorce and ongoing discussions/jabs about her weight—Aguilera’s role on The Voice has been perhaps the one bright spot in her career for the […]


kick

INXS To End 35-Year Run

It’s still “unofficial,” but when the band announces it onstage, it’s probably a done deal. Over the weekend, INXS drummer Jon Farriss reportedly dropped a bombshell during the band’s performance at Perth Arena by telling the crowd that this would be their last performance together. “I’m getting teary,” said Farriss just before INXS launched into their signature song “Need You Tonight.” After the announcement sparked a flurry of Internet buzz, […]


takemehome

One Direction “Take Me Home”: Album Review

Syco Records (2012)

Let’s start with a bit of honesty: I am most definitely NOT in One Direction’s target demographic. Not only am I not a teenage female, but I am still reeling from the boy-band market over-saturation of the ‘90s, and I’m not at all excited about its apparent resurgence. Suffice it to say that with their sophomore album Take Me Home, One Direction had a long way to go to impress […]


tuesdaynight

Rock Rewind: Sheryl Crow “All I Wanna Do”

While Sheryl Crow is considered a roots-rock icon in most circles today, back in early 1990s she was a virtual unknown, teaching music in Fenton, Missouri, and singing in television jingles (including TV spots for McDonald’s and Toyota). She was slated to release a self-titled debut album in 1992, but the label scrapped the project. Then came the Tuesday Music Club, a loose-knit collective of songwriter-musicians that Crow hooked up […]


slash

Slash, Myles Kennedy On Tour In South America: Watch

Since releasing Apocalyptic Love earlier this year, Slash hasn’t been letting the grass grow under his feet. He, along with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, has spent the better part of the year touring in support of the album. The record itself has done well, peaking at Number 4 on the Billboard 200, and at Number 1 on the Hard Rock charts. If you haven’t been able to catch the […]


abbeyroadsessions

Kylie Minogue “The Abbey Road Sessions”: Album Review

EMI Records Ltd. (2012)

Let’s face it: when any dance/pop star decides to release mellowed, orchestral versions of her hits—even in a studio as amazing as Abbey Road—it’s not without some risk. Suffice it to say when Aussie pop songstress Kylie Minogue went in to do The Abbey Road Sessions (released last week in the U.K. and this week here in the States) as the pinnacle of her year-long celebration of a 25-year career, it […]


anotherdimension

Aerosmith “Music From Another Dimension!”: Album Review

Columbia Records (2012)

So I was really looking forward to this album, Music From Another Dimension!, the first grouping of original tunes from Aerosmith in over a decade. I was looking forward to it partly because I love comeback stories. An iconic rock band imploding under the weight of infighting, drug abuse and an overall loss of direction, finding its way again and coming back better than ever?? That’s the stuff of movie […]


untitled

Neil Young & Crazy Horse “Psychedelic Pill”: Album Review

Reprise Records (2012)

So Neil Young & Crazy Horse don’t release a new recording in nine years; then in 2012, they release two. Psychedelic Pill follows hard on the heels of this summer’s Americana LP, almost as if Young has suddenly been awakened from a decade-long creative hibernation. When an artist releases two albums so close together, it often indicates that one is a companion to the other—as in the case of Andrew […]


newhorizons

Flyleaf Eyes “New Horizons” with Bittersweet Album Release

A&M/Octone Records (2012)

No one could have wanted it to happen like this. How ironic to have the release of perhaps your greatest album to date overshadowed by the news that the defining voice of your band is leaving. It appears that alt-rockers Flyleaf’s third album, aptly titled New Horizons, actually marks the end of an era for the band even as it announces a new one. Just days before the album’s release, […]


hello my name is

With “Hello, My Name Is…”, Bridgit Mendler Faces Some Challenges

Hollywood Records (2012)

Disney has a long-established reputation of turning its young, up-and-coming television personalities into singing stars; Annette Funicello, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus and Hilary Duff are just a few of its alumni. But the newest comer to the list, Bridget Mendler, despite having an obvious amount of vocal talent, faces some unique challenges with her debut release Hello, My Name Is… Indeed, one would think that someone […]


Michael Jackson Thriller

Pop Rewind: Michael Jackson “Thriller”

Given the time of year, it simply makes sense to bring out Michael Jackson’s video for “Thriller” as this weekend’s pop rewind. Despite the controversy that swirled around the “King of Pop” over the years, Jackson remains an icon, not because of the hype surrounding him, but because of his talent. He is one of those artists whose work changed the musical landscape, influencing and altering the way people after […]


stgIII

Shiny Toy Guns “III”: Album Review

Five Seven Music (2012)

Since electro/dance/rock outfit Shiny Toy Guns first gained worldwide renown with their debut We Are Pilots in 2005, the road has been rocky, to say the least: burnout, imploding relationships, and a rather confusing venture away from their signature sound for their sophomore album. Even the release of their new album III has been plagued by so many false release dates that it is easy to lose count. Now, finally, […]


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