1.07.2015

#reviewoftheweek / Guster - Evermotion

Almost 5 years since the release of their previous album, Guster has returned with a new chapter in their story. The cool thing about it is that this album, like all the others, doesn't really sound like a repeat performance. Partnering with producer Richard Swift (The Shins) has allowed them to venture on some different tangents on this record, most notably the addition and utilization of the keyboard in all its forms (piano, synth, etc.). The first single has been on the airwaves for a few months and is a showcase of the band's ability to deliver a 3 minute pop song that doesn't sound like other stuff on the radio. They have already previewed half of the album online including the songs "Endlessly," "Never Coming Down," "Long Night," and "Gangway." These four are sure to become setlist staples on their upcoming tour with the ambient "Long Night" and the synth driven "Endlessly" possibly popping up as the band's lead song. "Never Coming Down" is a tropical summery sounding song showing off the band's simplicity and acoustic roots and "Gangway" is the track where the album's title is lifted from and also a truly well crafted lyrical number. The two tracks that bring the band full circle bridging their past with their present are possibly two of the best on the album, and are sure to become standouts and fan favorites instantly. They are "Doin' It By Myself" and "Kid Dreams" and they feature the band showing off their acoustic instruments, including a bit of hand drumming percussion thrown in for good measure. They've been busy in recent years revisiting past albums on anniversary tours but with the recording and release of "Evermotion," Guster has maintained that 20 years in existence is a result of their love for music, fans, and the journey. Their past has produced their present and staying power comes from reinventing themselves without alienating their roots.  "Evermotion" is a colorful representation of just that concept and a cohesive and superb album that could only come from this band at this time. As with all their previous releases, this album is going to wow and impress the die hard lifelong fans as well as turn on a whole new generation to one of the best bands around that are doing it their own way.

1.01.2015

BURN THIS / January 2015









  1. Ben Howard "Rivers In Your Mouth"
  2. Vance Joy "First Time"
  3. Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors "Here We Go"
  4. Shakey Graves "Dearly Departed"
  5. JD McPherson "Bossy"
  6. Benjamin Booker "Happy Homes"
  7. The Revivalists "When I'm Able"
  8. O.A.R. "Favorite Song"
  9. SOJA "Tear It Down"
  10. Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad "Whatever Cost"
  11. Rebelution "Fade Away"
  12. Blue King Brown "All Nations"
  13. The Beautiful Girls "Until My Kingdom Comes"
  14. Tristan Prettyman "Waves"
  15. Guster "Never Coming Down"
  16. Ray LaMontagne "Ojai"
  17. Piers Faccini & Vincent Segal "Cradle To The Grave"
  18. The Mattson 2 "Dif Juz"
  19. Tommy Guerrero "The Lone Pistolero"
  20. Adam Topol "Bumping At The Breakwater"

12.31.2014

THE BEST ALBUMS OF 2014

  1. Phish - Fuego
  2. G. Love & Special Sauce - Sugar
  3. John Butler Trio - Flesh & Blood
  4. Angus & Julia Stone - Angus & Julia Stone
  5. moe. - No Guts, No Glory
  6. SOJA - Amid The Noise And Haste
  7. Ray LaMontagne - Supernova
  8. Conor Oberst - Upside Down Mountain
  9. Broken Bells - After The Disco
  10. Beck - Morning Phase
  11. Vance Joy - Dream Your Life Away
  12. Maroon 5 - V
  13. Bahamas - Bahamas Is Afie
  14. Ben Howard - I Forgot Where We Were
  15. Counting Crows - Somewhere Under Wonderland
  16. Coldplay - Ghost Stories
  17. The Black Keys - Turn Blue
  18. Benjamin Booker - Benjamin Booker
  19. Ryan Adams - Ryan Adams
  20. O.A.R. - The Rockville LP
  21. Rebelution - Count Me In
  22. Trevor Hall - Chapter Of The Forest
  23. St. Paul & The Broken Bones - Half The City
  24. Jack White - Lazaretto
  25. Hozier - Hozier
  26. Tweedy - Sukierae
  27. The War On Drugs - Lost In The Dream
  28. Foo Fighters - Sonic Highways
  29. The Belle Brigade - Just Because
  30. Royal Blood - Royal Blood

12.17.2014

#reviewofthweek / Tristan Prettyman - Back To Home

After having been independent and then singing to a label, Tristan Prettyman has decided once again to go it alone and do it herself. As the title of the album suggests, she is returning to her roots, and this time she has a whole lot more in her bag of tricks. Her foundations in surfer folk music coupled with her experiences in the pop rock world combine perfectly on this short independent release that features a great collection of lyric driven tunes. "Who We Are" leads the way as the short album's first single, but it's song like "Waves" and "Perfect Storm" that remind us why Prettyman is a unique songstress and not some cookie cutter pop princess. The bottom line is that Tristan Prettyman has proven that you don't need major label backing. Just with some talent, some appeal, and some guts and you can do it however you want as good or even better than the best.

12.10.2014

#reviewoftheweek / Lowell Thompson - Stranger's Advice

Lowell Thompson isn't well know all over the place, but certainly he's a name that many Vermonters and New Englanders know. His latest release is a refreshing bit of folk rock and Americana, that lends itself well to the northeast. You can imagine yourself hearing this music or seeing Thompson perform as a busker in the streets of Boston, MA or Burlington, VT or in small clubs all over the northeast in the aforementioned locations as well as others like Northampton, MA, Albany, NY, and Portland, ME. Envision pine trees, snow covered mountain tops, red plaid flannel shirts and the like in the crowd. His blend of rootsy sensibilities and heritage rock is not something that you hear on pop radio, but can draw comparisons to everyone from Mumford & Sons to Phish to John Mayer. If given the right audience and recognition, Lowell Thompson, with this latest album, could be as recognizable as those artists and surely share the stage with them in years to come.

12.03.2014

#reviewoftheweek / Ben Ottewell - Rattlebag

As one of the voices of the British rock back Gomez, Ben Ottewell has experienced some incredible, underground success. But, with such a distinguishing voice, its hard for someone like Ottewell to break away and not sound like his band. On his second solo album, Ben has managed to make sure that the music, regardless of its sound, is his own. After having heard his folky solo music, it makes Gomez sound more like a jam band than an alternative rock group. The music on this album is driven by simplicity and hinges on the lyrics. Ben Ottewell has proven, with this new album, that he is one of his generation's best vocalists, and can stand as a band leader or as a solo musician equally and outstandingly.

12.01.2014

BURN THIS / December 2014









  1. Paolo Nutini "Let Me Down Easy"
  2. Madi Diaz "The Other Side"
  3. Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness "High Dive"
  4. Tristan Prettyman "Who We Are"
  5. Allen Stone "Million"
  6. The Staves "Blood I Bled"
  7. Ben Ottewell "Red Dress"
  8. Vance Joy "Georgia"
  9. James Bay "Hold Back The River"
  10. Monica Heldal "Boy From The North"
  11. Joshua Hyslop "Living & Dying"
  12. Beta Radio "East Of Tennessee"
  13. Lowell Thompson "Rose Petals"
  14. The Barr Brothers "Even The Darkness Has Arms"
  15. Sarah Jaffe "Leaving The Planet"
  16. Guster "Endlessly"
  17. Ben Howard "Conrad"
  18. Damien Rice "The Greatest Bastard"
  19. Rocco DeLuca "Colors Of The Cold"
  20. Nathaniel Rateliff "Closer"

11.26.2014

#reviewoftheweek / Tommy Guerrero - No Mans Land

Tommy Guerrero is a skater! But he's been making funky and jazzy music for years and years on the side, and is one of the most talented musicians around. This album is a slight departure, but not too far, from his previous releases which feature a more light hearted and breezy sound. You could call what he does as west coast jazz, mostly because you can sit back and close your eyes and imagine yourself surfing or skating or just chilling out in California. The album opens is a bit of a spooky way, drawing a strange comparison to ambient indie rock. The album doesn't feature and vocals, but it doesn't need them, as is proven by the album's best track "The Lone Pisolero" and the second to last track "The Viper." Guerrero also outdoes himself, proving his genius and mastery by playing almost every single instrument you hear on the album. People who are multitalented always amaze, but Tommy Guerrero does it in such a cool way, jealousy is never an option.

11.19.2014

#reviewoftheweek / Damien Rice - My Favourite Faded Fantasy

It's been a great while since folkie Damien Rice released new music, and what has been cultivating over that time is magnificent. Now, what helped him break out onto the scene is not what this album is about. This album showcases how he has grown and developed his sound over the years, while maintaining his core as a folk singer. Aided by the production of Rick Rubin (Angus & Julia Stone, Avett Brothers, Ed Sheeran), the singer/songwriter has been able to elevate the sound of his music and heighten the message of his lyrics. The title track and the first single "I Don't Want To Change You" are driven by the lyrics, while still being taken to the next level from a musical standpoint. One of the other major highlights of the album is "The Greatest Bastard." Damien Rice is an old soul, and this album refreshed everyone's memory that he is an important piece and part of the foundation of the current folk music world.

11.12.2014

#reviewoftheweek / Monica Heldal - Boy From The North

Hailing from Norway, you might expect an artist like Monica Heldal to be in the same vein as some other European folkies like Sondre Lerche and Teitur or even Kings Of Convenience, but you'd be wrong. Heldal harnesses the blues and mixes them firmly with her style of pop and rock. The combination makes for a very unique sound coming from that area of the world. In fact, the most close interpretation of this music came recently from Of Monsters And Men. Heldal embraces her rootsy elements and invokes a style that is equal parts 70's hippie folk and 90's British indie rock mixed with the good old blues. The title track is by far the standout and the song that will get Heldal's music into the ears of the masses, but it's tracks like "Conman Coming" and "Follow You Anywhere" that showcase her true talents as a musician and a songwriter. From start to finish the album is intriguing and interesting. It's a great listen for music fans looking to hear something fresh and new that's not the same old import coming across the pond.