#reviewoftheweek / Dawes - All Your Favorite Bands

This is a jam band album! Don't let that fool or scare you. It's just that the music on this album is vast and expansive when it needs to be. There are a ton of guitar solos, that despite their seemingly never ending length on the album, are sure to turn into 6+ minute endeavors when the songs are played live on stage. That all being said, it's still a Dawes record, and Taylor Goldsmith's imprint is everywhere on the album, and the music is just as familiar and inviting as all their previous releases. His storytelling lyrics are present in each of the 9 songs, and both subtlety and obviousness are prevalent. The title track is probably the albums quietest and most poignant, with songs like "Things Happen" and "Right On Time" playing the roles of the most radio-friendly. Some of those masterful guitar solos can be found on "Don't Send Me Away" and "I Can't Think About It Now." The closing track clocks in at over 9 minutes long, further showcasing the band's venture into the jam scene. They are still and indie rock band, but have embraced their instruments just as much as they have embraced Goldsmith's songwriting, making for a killer, yet small, collection of awesome new songs. This album has opened a whole new set of doors for Dawes, and up is pretty much the only way from here.


#reviewoftheweek / Ethan Tucker - Misunderstood

This album was one of those albums that took forever to get out to the world, but when you have such great talent, it needs to be right and it needs to be the right time. Ethan Tucker's newest release is the kind of album that you hope for when discovering a new artist. Sure, he's been on the scene for a little while, making guest appearance and opening for some pretty well known acts, but until you hear the album, you don't realize what class Tucker is really in. He's a singer/songwriter with a flair for funk and reggae, which is evident in his music. But it's the guitar playing that is the bread and butter on this release. Ethan uses his instrument as a sidekick, a backup singer, and a driving force through each song. It's a little more than just an accompanying piece, as is evidenced on tracks like "Crazy" and "Cool Kids." His rework of his original "All I Need" is the song that is sure to hook new fans. The album's standout is "Crazy Tonight" which features guest vocals by Michael Franti, repaying the favor Tucker provided to Franti in the past. Tucker young and ambitious and this album proves he's the real deal.


#reviewoftheweek / Kopecky - Drug For The Modern Age

Alternative rock seems to go in all different directions lately, and many artists are embracing innovation over history when telling their stories through music. In this case, Kopecky has brought us a new collection of music that is the type of stuff you'd probably have listened to at various times over the course of the last 30 years, without sounding copycat, repetitive, or even nostalgic. Their new take on sounds congruent with new wave, grunge, and pop has created an album that feels fresh and bright, without sounding forced. The first single, "Quarterback," is the song that hooks you and brings you to discover the album. It's the familiar alternative pop song that you can't help but sing along to, allowing you to rediscover Kopecky, even though you may have been familiar with their previous work. It's "Talk To Me" that broadens the spectrum and opens your ears and mind to the album on a larger scale, and the song that will be stuck in your head long after you've finished the entire 12 tracks. With their dual singer approach, Kopecky is doing things a bit different from their radio wave counterparts, and that's just fine. In fact, it's one of the things that make this album stand out as one of the year's best.


#reviewoftheweek / Joshua Radin - Onward And Sideways

Joshua Radin's latest is an excellent collection of left-of-center pop music that showcases his skills as a singer and a songwriter rather well. The surprise of the album is the new rendition of his previous hit "Beautiful Day" which, this time, featured guest vocals by Sheryl Crow. Radin is both underestimated and celebrated at the same time, and his music goes largely unnoticed as background filler in many instances. But, if you stop to take the time to listen to this album straight through, you will find yourself reinvigorated to rekindle your love for his entire array of previous releases. "We'll Keep Running Forever" is a great way to begin the album and also Radin's best display of his natural ability to take familiar and turn it on it's head. Driven by his lyrics and distinctive subtle voice, this album is as adventurous as it is safe and familiar. Joshua Radin keeps making music because there are still too many ways he can express his talents.


BURN THIS / June 2015

  1. Bob Schneider "The Stars Over Your House"
  2. Ethan Tucker "All I Need"
  3. Blues Traveler (featuring The Dirty Heads & Rome) "Castaway"
  4. Slightly Stoopid "Life Rolls On"
  5. The Movement "Rescue"
  6. Passafire "Wheels Of Steel"
  7. Current Swell "Desire"
  8. Rhett Miller "Most In The Summertime"
  9. Alabama Shakes "Dunes"
  10. My Morning Jacket "Compound Fracture"
  11. Sugar & The Hi Lows "High Roller"
  12. The Alternate Routes "Nobody Else"
  13. Pat McGee "When Did Everything Go Wrong"
  14. Derek James "Take You Out Dancing"
  15. Graham Colton "Little One"
  16. Taylor Berrett "Hypnotize Me"
  17. Ryan Montbleau Band "Never Gonna Be"
  18. Matt Costa "Ark Song"
  19. The Milk Carton Kids "Monterey"
  20. Leon Bridges "Lisa Sawyer"