CD REVIEW: The Bamboos "4"

Funk has never been better than it is when it comes from the Bamboos. Their special blend of their Australian flavor, traditional 70's style funk, and acid jazz makes them one of the most unique instrumental bands releasing music these days. Elements of hip hop and world music styles also find their way into the bands fourth album, aptly titled "4." Kylie Auldist makes a very huge presence on this album, appearing as the vocalist on seven tracks. She had previously only appeared as a guest, but now she is a full time member of the band. Rap vocals appear on this album on only one track, less prominent than in previous releases. Lyrics Born lends his vocal styling to the album's standout track "Turn It Up," which is just as funky as anything he has released on his own. "On The Sly" is an incredible song mixing funk and soul seamlessly, breaking down genre barriers on what is sure to be the album's cornerstone song. The Bamboos are basically the most exciting instrumental funk band in the world right now, and their latest album just proves exactly why that statement is true.


CD REVIEW: John Butler Trio "April Uprising"

First they took their homeland of Australia by storm, creating some of the most inventive, forward thinking, and charged up rock music created in recent years. Now, they are poised to bring their most cohesive record yet to the shores of the USA, unleashing a new array of rock songs which will amaze both die hard and new fans alike. Granted this is their fourth album to be released stateside, but it is their first that feels more like a complete thought than just a collection of incredible songs. The first single, "One Way Road," is taking the airwaves by storm with it's political firestorm and a simple message about how going the wrong way is just a plain old bad idea. "Close To You," the second single in Australia is certain to become a huge hit in on US airwaves, both on alternative rock and AAA radio. The album has it all: rock, punk, reggae, country, and good old fashioned folk music. Other albums standouts include "Ragged Mile," "I'd Do Anything," and "Don't Wanna See Your Face." It culminates with an incredibly heartfelt song about his son called "A Star Is Born." John Butler Trio is both an incredible force in the music industry and as social activists. Their music has meaning much more than many other bands and songs on the radio these days, and they should be commended for not being afraid to unleash it on the world.

New Release Tuesday

New music out today that is worth checking out:
  • The Bamboos - 4
  • Barenaked Ladies - All In Good Time
  • Mae - (a)fternoon
  • Jon McLaughlin - The Early Recordings
  • Mishka - Talk About
  • Angus & Julia Stone - Down The Way
  • Turin Brakes - Outbursts


CD REVIEW: Snow Patrol "Up To Now"

It's hard to believe that Snow Patrol have been around long enough to have a "Best Of" collection, but it is always forgotten that these Brits had released three albums before making a splash stateside. This collection of songs, spanning two discs, includes all their greatest songs from all their albums, including the independent records released before "Final Straw." Highlights of this two disc set include the hit singles "Chasing Cars," "Crack The Shutters," "Run," "Take Back The City," and "Hands Open." Also included are new songs such as the single "Just Say Yes" and a new version of "An Olive Grove Facing The Sea." The band's collaboration with Martha Wainwright, "Set Fire To The Third Bar," also makes an appearance as well as their incredible cover of Beyonce's "Crazy In Love." Each disc culminates with a live version of two of the bands most popular singles: "Run" and "Chasing Cars." This album is truly for the die hard fan of Snow Patrol, however, anyone just in it for the hit songs will be pleasantly surprised to hear how good the lesser known Snow Patrol music is as well.


CD REVIEW: The Bravery "Stir The Blood"

The boys from across the pond are back with their latest effort, and it's just as good as the rest. Their debut album put them on the map and their second scored some major points with rock fans, however, this album hasn't had the mass media promotion of the past. That doesn't mean it's not as good, it jsut means that, sadly, not as many will get to know it. "I Have Seen The Future" and the first single "Slow Poison" are as good as ever, showcasing the rock-meets-electronic sound that The Bravery have been known for. The Bravery are one of today's premiere alternative rock bands, and the fact that they are able to continue to turn out great rock records means that they are sure to continue on this path for some time.


CD REVIEW: The Ruse "Love Sex Confusion"

After releasing three excellent albums independently, The Ruse is back doing it all over again, and still without any major backing. It's amazing that these guys still remain unsigned and don't have countless hit songs playing all over rock and top 40 radio, even if they've been played all over MTV's reality programming. Regardless of that, the fact still remains that these guys can put together some great rock tunes that aren't over the top and fell just as mainstream as everything being played on air these days. Any fan of bands such as Lifehouse, Snow Patrol, or Our Lady Peace can get into songs on this album. It all starts off with a rock jam called "I Can't Stop" which is one of their best songs to date. "Apache" is probably the hardest edged song on the album, while "Glitter Not Gold" could compete at the top of the rock charts with the big guns. They turn on their slower side in a few songs as well, showing off their range as musicians. Their catalogue up until now should have been enough to turn a few heads and open a few ears, but this time the band has pulled out the stops and it should garner some huge success and recognition, more than they have seen up until now.


CD REVIEW: Mason Reed "You Can't Come Back From Heaven"

You can really feel the grit and emotion in Mason Reed's vocals and lyrics on his latest EP. His songs are very powerful and delivered very organically with a sound that is unparalleled. His voice is reminiscent of independent musicians the White Buffalo and Graham Isaacson, with his music somehow channelling the likes of Johnny Cash, with the lyrical compliment of Bob Dylan. Only five songs long, Reed is able to tell short stories in each of the compositions, leaving the listener longing for more at the end of the short EP. "Not Perfect" is the hands down standout on the disc. The story told in "Poor Old Man" hits at the very core of your soul, and through his voice, you can feel all the pain, frustration, confusion, anger and every other emotion that is pulsing through Reed as he sings. As familiar as he is unique, Mason Reed is one to watch, as he delivers a thoroughly stunning EP.


CD REVIEW: Ted Lennon "The Calm"

Mellow acoustic folk rock is one of the simplest forms of music that can be created. But, to do it right and do it well, it takes a special type of musician with the ability to craft incredible lyrics that mold well with this basic instrumental style. Ted Lennon has been doing that for quite some time now, and like his friend Jack Johnson, has managed to perfect his craft. On his latest, he adds to his repertoire of songs with some excellent compositions, with "I'm Not The One" possibly being the best on the album. "Crazy Sweet" and "She's Gonna Make It" are also perfect compositions showcasing Lennon's seamless marriage of music and lyrics. He's even included his rendition of Bob Dylan's "Don't ThinkTwice It's All Right," which features duet vocals by Brett Dennen, a mellow folk rock master himself. Lennon's style and sound is familiar and ripped right out of the 60's folk scene, updated for the ears of today's listeners. "The Calm" is a great album, and the title is a perfect description for both the music and the mood of the songs.


CD REVIEW: Galactic "Ya-Ka-May"

There aren't many bands who have more fun making music than Galactic. Their last album was a road trip into the world of hip hop which won over fans and critics alike. This latest album combines their New Orleans funk and jazz sounds with some classic style and a new approach at delivering the signature music of a scorned city. They are seeing significant radio success with their single "Heart Of Steel" featuring vocals by the soulful Irma Thomas. The song has even managed to help them get some television exposure, appearing on a few late night talk shows. Hip hop finds its place on this album as well, but not as abundant as on their previous album. One of the most fun sounding songs is "Boe Money" which finds Galactic teaming up with the Rebirth Brass Band. The band brings in an array of eclectic guest musicians including Allen Toussaint and Trombone Shorty. All in all, Galactic have developed a familiar and ever changing funk sound that is unmatched in music today. On their newest album, they show us how to musically pay homage to the Crescent City while still making inventive music that is new and exciting.


CD REVIEW: Iration "Time Bomb"

Reggae bands are a dime a dozen, so it takes being great to really make a name for yourselves in the world of domestic reggae. Iration have created an album that will solidify them as a force in the genre of alternative rock reggae music and now find themselves reaching for the same level as bands like Sublime, Slightly Stoopid, and O.A.R. The album's title track, if it gets a chance on radio, will skyrocket these guys to stardom because it's mellow reggae vibe and clever lyrics will have fans of any style of music bouncing, dancing, and singing along. Fans of everyone from Jack Johnson to Matisyahu to Vampire Weekend will all find some song on this album that they can get into. The band's energy, combined with their intense inherent love for the music, make each and every song on this album a standout. Iration are ready to join the likes of Rey Fresco and Dirty Heads as part of a new breed of alternative reggae rockers taking the airwaves by storm.

New Release Tuesday

New music out today that is worth checking out:
  • The Bird And The Bee - Interpreting The Masters, Vol. 1: A Tribute To Daryl Hall And John Oates
  • The Ruse - Love Sex Companion
  • She & Him -Volume Two
  • Matt Wertz - While We're Becoming


CD REVIEW: Foo Fighters "Greatest Hits"

Greatest hits albums are a tricky thing. You have to have great songs to be able to put together a greatest hits album, which Foo Fighters have. Now, this album certainly would not be considered a "best of" because there are many Foo Fighters greats that don't make the cut because they never ended up on the radio. This album is a collection of the best songs that they sent to radio and ended up blowing up. They've included two new songs, one of which is currently blowing up at radio right now. "Wheels" is a culmination of the entire career of the Foo Fighters thusfar. The song sound like it could have been included on any their albums because it's sound is so familiar. The band also decided to include an acoustic version of the song "Everlong" which showcases the sheer excellence of the songwriting aspect of the band. Many times rock bands don't become known for their excellent lyrics, and Foo Fighters have some great ones, many of which can be heart in this collection. Fortunately, this is just a stop along the way on what was just supposed to be a Dave Grohl side project, and we surely can expect at least another decade full of new greatest hits to come.


CD REVIEW: Weezer "Raditude"

Since the early 90's these gods of power pop have been tearing it up and reinventing themselves, without straying far from their signature sound. On their latest, which comes quickly on the heels of their critically acclaimed third self titled album, they hit the nail on the head yet again. Their debut single features their longest song title yet, "(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To." And, the song is typical Weezer: it rocks, it has a catchy hook, and by the end of the song you know all the words and are singing right along. The album also features a first for the band. They have reached across genre lines and collaborate with Lil Wayne on the track "Can't Stop Partying" which was co-written by Rivers Cuomo and hip hop producer Jermaine Dupri. "The Girl Got Hot" is another Weezer classic that could have been on any of their other albums and fit right in. Now, the band will probably never repeat the success or the musical caliber of their debut album (the first self titled one known as "the blue album"), but they sure do have a lot of fun trying to! This album is a great addition to the Weezer arsenal and many of its tracks will be stuck inside the heads of music fans for years to come.


CD REVIEW: Silversun Pickups "Swoon"

This band could have been huge in the 1990's. But, since they're here now, they might as well be huge now. Well, this new album is going to take the success of their previous album and amp it up a bit. Silversun Pickups, who are the current generation's incarnation of Smashing Pumpkins, are making inventive alternative rock that is both familiar and original. There are currently no bands making popular music that sound at all like Silversun Pickups. This means that their songs are going to stand out from all the rest when they are played on the radio. And this album is full of radio hits. The first single "Panic Switch" took off, showing the band's harder edge which they previously failed to flaunt with singles from their album "Carnavas." Other incredibly cool songs include "Substitution," "There's No Secrets This Year," "The Royal We," and "Growing Old Is Getting Old." It's probably true that the band will have to stretch their talents to match the sound and success of "Lazy Eye," but they have managed to create an album that is superior as a whole to all their previous albums.


CD REVIEW: Flobots "Survival Story"

Activism and social consciousness have been a part of music for an incredibly long time. In the 60's and 70's you couldn't make a hit record without including your own form of protest in some way. These days those themes are back in our brains and Flobots are delivering some of the best songs that deal with these issues. Making peace is a passion of Flobots, and in their first single off their second album they are looking for that in a big way. "White Flag Warriors" is a call to stop the violence and the fighting and just wage peace. What makes their message so great, however, is the delivery. Rap-rock was a thing of the 90's and it went away, and in no way are Flobots trying to recreate this genre. They are more like The Roots in that they are a live hip hop band, they are just more on the alternative side of things. Their use of unconventional instrumentation (one band member plays viola) and an emphasis on hard hitting guitars makes their sound both familiar and original. Songs like "If I" and "Cracks In The Surface" are surefire hits and portray the bands signature style wonderfully. The bottom line is that Flobots are one of the most interesting bands making music these days, and they follow up their stellar debut album with one that is just as good and inventive.


CD REVIEW: Marie Moreshead "Birdwatchers"

Talented young singer/songwriters are hard to find at the level that Marie Moreshead is currently residing: the unknown. Marie, who just recently released her second EP, had not had nearly the amount of exposure that her music needs to have. This EP is full of excellent lyrical tunes, despite the fact that there are only five. She has a rootsy, coffeehouse vibe, with her guitar strumming and her voice being the highlight of her music. Her song "As The Romans Do" got a little spotlight, becoming part of the regular rotation of a local radio station in her native Portland, ME. Fellow Portland native Pete Kilpatrick also lent his vocals to a duet-like tune on the disc called "Hello There" which is one of the best independent songs to be released in a while. Kilpatrick's support, who also finds himself in the independent music world, should help Moreshead take the next step in making a name for herself. Here music is down-to-earth and her songs connect to the listeners on very basic levels. She is certain to make waves, and this EP is the springboard to help her cause.


CD REVIEW: Train "Save Me, San Francisco"

Sometimes all a band has to do is keep doing the same thing. Train is as solid as ever, even if their lineup has seen some changes over the years. One thing is for sure, the distinct bluesy rock vocals of lead singer Pat Monahan are as good as they ever have been. On their latest the formula is simple, combine great lyrics with great rock and roll music and you've got yourself a hit record. The first single "Hey, Soul Sister," could have been found on any of their previous albums, making their music almost seem timeless. The fact of the matter is that they have always written great songs and have made no excuses for sticking to what works. The band also pays homage to their influences on this album, featuring a song that interpolates a bit of the Doobie Brothers. No one could have ever guessed that these guys would still be making great music this many years after "Meet Virginia" hit the airwaves.


MUSIC VIDEO: Xavier Rudd "Time To Smile"

Here's Xavier Rudd's new video for the song "Time To Smile" off of his upcoming album "Koonyum Sun" out this April.

CD REVIEW: The Disco Biscuits "Planet Anthem"

This is an unusual turn for one of the inventors of the modern jam band movement. The Disco Biscuits have become a full force alternative electronic band. Still, their live elements are what define them. This, their newest studio album, the first since 2002, is a defining moment in the band's career. It is with this album that the Disco Biscuits have finally become accessible to the mass music consuming community. Some of their best, most listener friendly songs appear on this album. "On Time," the album's first single, is a techno rock song that you could hear everywhere from alternative rock radio to your local dance club. Fans of Phish will enjoy this album just as much as fans of Radiohead and Coldplay. Live electronic music seems to be gaining popularity lately with STS9 leading the way, and the Disco Biscuits have decided not to follow. Instead, with this album and songs like "You and I" and "Konkrete" the band has bent many genres into their own unique one, thus leading themselves down their own path. With a truly unique and inventive album, the Disco Biscuits have made themselves one of the this year's newest bands to watch.

New Release Tuesday

New music out today that is worth checking out:
  • Chase Coy - Where The Road Parts
  • The Disco Biscuits - Planet Anthem
  • Flobots - Survival Story
  • Follow The Train - Mercury
  • The White Stripes - Under Great White Northern Lights


CD REVIEW: Switchfoot "Hello Hurricane"

Rock and roll comes in many shapes and sizes. Switchfoot's brand has been around for a while and never manages to disappoint. On Their newest album they stick to what they do well and what they are known for. Making positive rock music that is accessible, lyrically special, and musically awesome is the formula that Switchfoot has used time and time again and it somehow was able to create a whole new batch of songs that are going to add to their timeless catalogue. The album's first single, "Mess Of Me," is a modern and alternative rock gem. It's rare that bands are able to make albums and release singles that stand up for many years, but as is proof with their previous hits, many music fans will be singing along to "Mess Of Me" for many years to come. "Needle And Haystack Life" and "Your Love Is A Song" are also demonstrations of this same magic. Switchfoot are a great band that makes great music and it seems there is not an end in sight for their continued success.


CD REVIEW: Colin Giles "Colin Giles EP"

Colin Giles is a great up-and-coming independent musician that loves to perform reggae music like it was meant to be performed: raw and dirty. He is also one of the smartest independent musicians around, giving his newest EP away completely free, with no strings attached. That is a great marketing tool. What makes it even sweeter is that the music on the EP is actually worth paying for. The 4 songs on this release run the entire range of Giles' abilities, even showcasing one of his classic songs from his debut album. That song, "Go Get It," could easily find its way onto radio, showing off its unique sound, Giles' incredibly cool delivery, and some classic indie instrumentation. His music is raw, but his sound is crisp and solid, with guest appearances on the disc including the great Beastie Boys keyboardist, Money Mark. Even though the EP is only 4 tracks long, it gives us a taste of what Colin Giles is all about as a musician. It's got his funky side, it's got his slow and heartfelt side, and it's got his love for reggae all rolled into one tiny tight little package. Giving away this music for free will virtually guarantee that he will rake it in when the right people get a listen. (Download this EP for free at http://www.colingiles.com)


CD REVIEW: Timmy Curran "Verses"

For surfers who are also musicians it may be tough to make it in the music industry. Sure a few have done it and succeeded, like Jack Johnson and Donavon Frankenreiter, but does that mean that any surfer with a guitar can do it? Well, if you are Timmy Curran the answer is yes! His first two releases definitely contained a few of his absolute best songs. This album, however, is the first of his releases to be incredible as a whole collection of songs. Each song flows from one to the other much like the waves that Curran rides, smooth and refreshing. His music isn't at all similar to the aforementioned musicians; it is in fact more of an indie rock vibe, something more like a mellow version of Rogue Wave. One main component of the awesome sound on the disc is the production which was taken on by Todd Hannigan, who we know from the scoring of many surf films. "Castle" and "Swim" join the ranks as two more classic Timmy Curran tracks and the new version of "If I Only Had A Way" included on this album shows off how a great song can still get better. Timmy Curran may be a surfer/musician but do not pigeonhole him into the stereotype. His music and his surfing go hand in hand but neither define the other, an on this album, Timmy Curran the musician shines across all twelve tracks.


CD REVIEW: Ben Harper & Relentless7 "Live From The Montreal International Jazz Festival"

Ben Harper is hands down one of the best live musicians in recent years. His energy and his performance standards are at the top of their game at all times, and his catalogue is so deep that his shows are always interesting and hardly repetitive. His recent endeavour with his new band Relentless7 is one of the most fascinating collaborations by a solo musician and a backing band. The entire disc is filled with R7 originals which Harper co-wrote with the other members of the band and they even throw in a few covers for good measure. Jimi Hendrix's "Red House" and "Under Pressure," originally performed by Queen and David Bowie, are the two incredible cover songs that both seem and sound original and pay deep respect of the original performances. Ben and the band are at their best during the heavier rockers like "Shimmer & Shine," "Keep It Together (So I Can Fall Apart)," and "Number With No Name." Their funkier side comes out on "Lay There And Hate Me" and the guys show off on a Ben Harper original from his earlier years, "Another Lonely Day." To sum up the sound of the band's live performance, it's like taking the best of rock of the 70's, 80's, and 90's and mixing it up with Ben Harper's original, organic, and unique soulfulness and just letting it run wild. On their studio release it was evident that these boys had some major rock chops, but it's on this debut live release that they prove it.


CD REVIEW: Jon And Roy "Another Noon"

Folk duos are very popular. There have been many very famous duos that have released some very famous music. For Jon and Roy, it's not about that. It's about making simple, easy to listen to music. You are supposed to be transported to another place by music. These guys manage to transport you right to the beach, even if that beach happens to be on the cold Canadian coast and not the warm California coast. "Little Bit Of Love" is as simple as folk music gets, and the delivery of this simplicity is done in an incredibly creative and accessible way. The title track of this album is also quite good. For fans of Jack Johnson, Jon And Roy is the epitome of surfer music. The Canadians have mastered the formula of how to make a chilled out folk song and have put together an entire album in this style that is far from boring or redundant. Great things are on the horizon for this duo, and they may just yet find their way alongside Hall & Oates and Simon & Garfunkel as great duos in folk music history.


CD REVIEW: Josh Rouse "El Turista"

Josh Rouse keeps reinventing himself and tweaking his sound with each new album that he releases. This new album is partially a return to his "Subtitulo" sound from a few years ago and features some groovy mellow and sunny folk rock music. A small handful of songs on the album are actually sung completely in Spanish. Considering Rouse has been living in Spain as of recent, this is no surprise. Many of the songs have a very Mediterranean feel and some even contain elements of bossanova. The album's lead single "I Will Live On Islands" comes directly from the islands and combines Earthy island style world music with Rouses quirky delivery and lyrics. Some of the songs will become instant Josh Rouse classics. He continues to amaze with each and every turn of his musical journey. Rouse is an incredibly inventive musician and his latest proves that oceans, border lines, and genres provide no boundaries for his music.


CD REVIEW: JBM "Not Even In July"

Mellow indie folk has become a very "in" thing these days, so the airwaves can get pretty clogged with artists all doing the same type thing their own special way. What's great about JBM's new album is that it really isn't the same thing at all. His voice is very reminiscent of Jose Gonzalez and Alexi Murdoch and his vibe is right in the same vein as both, but his music hits more close to home. His music is a way for him to connect with the listen and draw them into his quaint world. Songs like "July On The Sound" and "Friends For Fireworks" are a little slice of life for JBM, even if both clock in at over five minutes. Even the six plus minute gem "From Me To You And You To Me" is a heartfelt composition that is certainly a highlight of the album. Fans of Damien Rice and Ray LaMontagne will be able to sink their teeth into this one, and JBM's indie folk, although wonderfully lengthy at times, is some of the best mellow rock this year.

New Release Tuesday

New music out today that is worth checking out:
  • Broken Bells - Broken Bells
  • Timmy Curran - Verses
  • Ben Harper & Relentless7 - Live From The Montreal Insternational Jazz Festival
  • Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
  • Josh Rouse - El Turista


CD REVIEW: Gorillaz "Plastic Beach"

Side projects are never really supposed to end up being bigger than a musician's main project. Don't tell that to Dave Grohl; his Foo Fighters became way bigger than Nirvana was (but had Cobain not died, who knows). Regardless, it seems that yet again the side project has become a bigger entity and Damon Albarn's Gorillaz have managed to make another stunning album. Albarn, who's day job is Blur (huge in the UK, not as big in the US), assembled a team to create Gorillaz's third release that included guest appearances by some heavy hitters: Mos Def, Snoop Dogg, and Lou Reed. One possibly considered a one hit wonder, they became known for their hits "Feel Good Inc." and "Clint Eastwood," Gorillaz are out to show that they have staying power. Their new single "Stylo" is going to make that happen. Coupled by a music video featuring Bruce Willis, "Stylo" (with guest vocals by Mos Def and Bobby Womack) is the centerpiece of this album which is less electronic and more rock 'n' roll, with a sprinkle of soul and hip hop throughout. This album is reminiscent of the animated group's groundbreaking debut, and truly not a novelty or a gimmick as the band may once have been considered. Gorillaz are for real, even if the entire band is nothing but a bunch of cartoon characters.


CD REVIEW: Lifehouse "Smoke & Mirrors"

You can always count on Lifehouse to make good music, and this album does not disappoint. Ever since they broke onto the scene with "Hanging By A Moment" they have striven to write a song like that and release an album like their debut. "Smoke & Mirrors" is a return to form for Lifehouse. In a sea of sameness, it seems that the way to succeed is to just keep doing the same thing. Lifehouse have grown with the music industry and the alternative and modern rock genres making themselves accessible to their die hard fans and gain new ones as well. "All In" leads off this album and is one of their best songs not released as a single (not saying that it won't make it's way onto radio, it just hasn't yet). The lead single, "Halfway Gone," off of this album bring the band full circle and reminds us why Lifehouse made it big in the first place. Rest assured Lifehouse will continue to make music, and as long as they stick to their usual game plan, the results will always be pleasing.


CD REVIEW: Groove Armada "Black Light"

It's been quite a long time since and electronic artist has put together this type of album. In the mid-90's when electronic music went mainstream, spearheaded by The Chemical Brothers, it brought the music off of the dancefloor and onto the radio and television. It was then that the full album format became a crucial element in the delivery of electronic music. While this album is not their best (Goodbye Nightclub (Hello Country) is definitely awesome), Groove Armada's latest is a return to the creation of a cohesive electronic album. There are definitely a few standout tracks on the album. "Shameless" is one of the better songs, featuring vocals by Bryan Ferry. Two other outstanding tracks are "Paper Romance" and "History." Nick Littlemore (of Empire Of The Sun) takes on a huge chunk of the vocal performance throughout the album. A valiant effort on their latest in a long line of excellent compositions, "Black Light" shows us that Groove Armada are one of the classic electronic artists and still have what it takes to make great music.


CD REVIEW: Citizen Cope "The Rainwater LP"

Citizen Cope has always been a unique and unparalleled artists. His first three albums all received countless critical praises, and rightfully so, as he was creating music that was cutting edge each time. On his latest, self released album he is reinventing his delivery yet again. Cope has always been known for his blend of modern elements of hip hop and rock and the classic elements of folk music and he doesn't disappoint on this album. The debut single for the album is a subtle folk rocker that incorporates elements of reggae called "Healing Hands." Other songs that show off his rootsy folk vibe are "Keep Askin'" and "Lifeline" which both appear two times each on the album (both have a stripped down, unplugged version as well as the original recording). The coolest part of the album is that Cope has decided to add a bit of a hiss, pop, and click in the background of the whole thing, to simulate the sound of vinyl. It adds a dimension to the recording that makes it sound 40 years old, while the music still sounds brand new and edgy. Citizen Cope will remain at the top of his game if he continues to make powerful and interesting music, just as he has yet again on his fourth album.


CD REVIEW: Jay Malinowski "Bright Lights & Bruises"

It is always difficult for the lead singer of a band to release a solo record and try to make a record that sound completely different than anything made with their band. Many artists just end up bringing in new musicians and creating a sound alike album. The only thing that is similar with Jay Malinowski's solo debut and the music he released with his band, Bedouin Soundclash, is the sound of his voice. In fact, Bedouin Soundclash is primarily a reggae band and this album contains absolutely no reggae at all. The first single is "Santa Monica," and acoustic folk tune that showcases Jay's distinct and familiar vocals and his amazing songwriting. The entire album showcases the strengths of Jay Malinowski as a singer/songwriter, something that is always overlooked as part of Bedouin Soundclash. The album is mellow and heartfelt and each song comes from a place deep inside himself. Bedouin Soundclash is an excellent band and will continue to make excellent music, however, because Jay Malinowski has now proven that he is an excellent solo musician as well, he can bring that back to his band and elevate their game as well. Jay Malinowski has managed to create a separate and different entity in his solo album and should be commended for the amazing tunes. Not many lead singers can do what Malinowksi has done with this release.


CD REVIEW: ALO "Man Of The World"

When ALO first began making music they had a lot of fun and they developed a distinct jam band sound and feel that is very distinct. Not that fun went out the window, but their last few albums were less like their earlier days. They were, however, excellent albums that contained many memorable and incredible songs, some of which brought the band into the public eye. This album, which was co-produced by friend and label mate Jack Johnson, is a return to basic form for ALO. They still keep their same California vibe and add a jam band element (much like Phish, pioneers of this sound) that makes the album and each song a classic. The title track is already tearing up Triple A radio charts, appearing in the top 10 most played on many stations. All four members of the band share lead vocal duties with Zach Gill and Dave Brogan doing the bulk of the singing. Dan Lebowitz and Steve Adams both sing lead on a track each, and even Jack Johnson takes over lead vocal duties on "Gardener's Grave"a tune which he wrote the lyrics for. "Suspended" and "I Love Music" are typical and excellent jam band anthems, both over 6 minutes long. "I Love Music" shows off the truly fun qualities of the band as the song emulates 70's style funk and disco. Songs like "Big Appetite" and "Time And Heat" are sure to become instant fan favorites. Reggae, folk rock, and soul all find their place amongst the songs on this album, which is signature ALO combining the best of their classic sound and their newest influences. All that said, "Man Of The World" is the best album released during the first two months of 2010, and is sure to remain one of the best by year's end.


CD REVIEW: Benjy Davis Project "Lost Souls Like Us"

When a band puts in the time and energy on the road, and grinds it out in the studio, and shamelessly promotes itself by any means necessary, they deserve success. Benjy Davis Project has finally reached the plateau in which this success is finally going to come to fruition. This album is the culmination of a lot of hard work and time spent making it happen, both in the studio and on the road. On this album they have managed to include their best song to date in the first single "Stay With Me," a southern soulful rocker that is ready to rise to the top of the charts. "Get High" and "Check Your Pocket" are sure to become fan favorites and find their way into most of BDP's setlists for years to come. Throughout the album, Benjy Davis Project shows off all their different faces from county to soul to blues to straight up rock and roll. Each song has its own strengths and as a whole, the album is incredibly solid. It is so good it is surely going to find itself on the top of many best of lists by the end of the year.

New Release Tuesday

New music out today that is worth checking out:
  • Big Light - Animals In Bloom
  • Citizen Cope - The Rainwater LP
  • Benjy Davis Project - Lost Souls Like Us
  • Groove Armada - Black Light
  • Lifehouse - Smoke & Mirrors
  • Rogue Wave - Permalight
  • Tyrone Wells - Metal & Wood


BURN THIS / March 2010

  1. Benjy Davis Project "Stay With Me"
  2. Mike Dunn & The Kings Of New England "Sunshine State"
  3. The Elms "This Is How The World Will End"
  4. Pete Kilpatrick Band "Rock And Roll Never Changes"
  5. Jones Street Station "Slow Lights"
  6. Dawes "When My Time Comes"
  7. Joe Pug "Speak Plainly, Diana"
  8. The Avett Brothers "Slight Figure Of Speech"
  9. Needtobreathe "The Outsiders"
  10. Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers "Born In The Spring"
  11. Trent Dabbs "Your Side Now"
  12. Tyler James "Soapbox Shakedown"
  13. Andrew Belle "Don't Blame Yourself"
  14. Matt Stansberry "Pull Yourself Together"
  15. Parachute "Under Control"
  16. The Undeserving "Something To Hope For"
  17. Army Of Me "Lost At Sea"
  18. matt pond PA "Starting"
  19. Rogue Wave "Good Morning"
  20. Broken Bells "The High Road"

NEW TUNES: Best Of Bonnaroo - Free Music For Climate Change

The Best Of Bonnaroo compilation is being offered at the website http://www.musicforaction.org/ completely free! There's only one catch: they are asking you to e-mail your senator, President Obama, or write to your local newspaper in regards to making climate change a priority. Not too bad a request for a free compilation of live tunes by bands like Dave Matthews Band, Phish, moe., Jack Johnson, Guster, Death Cab For Cutie, My Morning Jacket, The Disco Biscuits, O.A.R., and more. Head over there now to get you free tunes!

CD REVIEW: Big Light "Animals In Bloom"

Big Light have always amazed with their mix of mellow indie rock and jam band performance style, and they do not let down on their latest release. The album is full of this style of music, and each song is so different from the next, yet the album flows smoothly from beginning to end. Songs like "Triceratops" and "Monster" showcase the bands feel good attitude with their gritty intensity for musicality and live performance. This live band's sound is captured well in the studio, displaying how well the members work as a cohesive unit. This west coast band has managed to stumble upon a sound that is incredibly under appreciated in the music industry these days, yet it is fun and refreshing. As the music that they play will most likely not end up on MTV or top 40 radio, this album is sure to find them continuing to amaze crowds on the road all over the country.