// Category Archive for: Music Reviews

Best Of 2016: Jarod G. of Odonis Odonis

Published on December 23rd, 2016 in: Best Of Lists, Music, Music Reviews |

best-of-2016-jarod-g

Every music journalist struggles to find a voice. Years of struggle writing endless music reviews and a writer still may not find it. However, when I read quality music reviews written by a seasoned professional, that voice can project right off the screen and as clear as if they were sitting in front of me, I can hear that voice.

Couple that achievement with actual writing skill and the act of reading a truly well crafted, eloquent review becomes a kind of… salvation.

I have scoured the internet for the clearest, most unique voices of them all and come up with my TOP TEN Most Eloquent Lines from Music Blog Album Reviews 2016.

Enjoy.

We reviewed Odonis Odonis’s Post Plague on June 20 as well as their record release show on June 28.

Music Review: Don Rich and the Buckaroos, Guitar Pickin’ Man

Published on December 16th, 2016 in: Americana, Country Music, Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Retrovirus, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

don-rich-buckaroos-guitar-pickin-man-review-header-graphic

In the pantheon of great guitarists, there are ones that come easily to mind: Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry, Jeff Beck, B.B. King. I’d add the Buckaroos’ Don Rich to that list. His style is immediately recognizable, and without his sonic experimentation, Buck Owens’s catalog would lack a certain verve. While Owens was always happy to dip a toe in the rock side, Don Rich’s playing upped the ante. His fuzzed-out guitar work on “Who’s Gonna Mow Your Grass?” is as fresh and timely as anything recorded in 1969, and viscerally satisfying. This is pretty remarkable for someone who was hired to play fiddle.
(more…)

Music Review: The Ventures, The Ventures’ Christmas Album

Published on December 9th, 2016 in: Current Faves, Holidays, Music, Music Reviews, Reissues, Retrovirus, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

the-ventures-christmas-album-review-header-graphic

Do you lament the lack of surf/Christmas music on your playlist? Are your instrumental Christmas albums just a little too staid? Did you know the Ventures put out a Christmas album in 1965? Did you know that it was called The Ventures’ Christmas Album and that Real Gone Records is reissuing it on CD? Did you also know that it is enormously, utterly fun?
(more…)

Music Review: Ray Conniff And The Ray Conniff Singers, The Complete Columbia Christmas Recordings

Published on December 9th, 2016 in: Current Faves, Holidays, Music, Music Reviews, Reissues, Retrovirus, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

ray-conniff-complete-columbia-christmas-review-header-graphic

Real Gone Music is here to save Christmas from oversinging, too-shiny production, and weird warbles with their reissues of classic Christmas albums. One of these? Ray Conniff and the Ray Conniff Singers’ The Complete Columbia Christmas Recordings. Collecting best-selling choral albums We Wish You A Merry Christmas (1962) and Here We Come A-Caroling (1965), The Complete Columbia Recordings has all of the classic Christmas songs you could possibly need, done with inspired choral arrangements and a tremendous amount of charm. It’s a retro trip back to the days of silver Christmas trees and really big record player cabinets, and it’s utterly enjoyable.
(more…)

Music Review: John Cale, Fragments Of A Rainy Season

Published on December 9th, 2016 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reissues, Retrovirus, Reviews |

By Emily Carney

john-cale-fragments-rainy-season-review-header-graphic

The biography supplied with this reissue of John Cale’s 1992 stripped-down live album, recorded at various venues, states: “Fragments gives us Cale at his most melodic and moving, a mellowed and certainly a soberer man in a Yamamoto jacket and a lopsided haircut running through a selection of his prettiest songs.” While there’s no doubt that Cale was soberer at that time (having cleaned up his act following the birth of his daughter in 1985), this reviewer will disagree slightly with the bio, only in that not all of the songs on this offering are prettier. It’s also possible that Cale has never truly sonically mellowed out.
(more…)

Music Review: Buck Owens And The Buckaroos, The Complete Capitol Singles: 1957-1966

Published on December 9th, 2016 in: Country Music, Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reissues, Retrovirus |

By Melissa Bratcher

buck-owens-capitol-singles-review-header-graphic

Once again, Omnivore Recordings gives us the Christmas gift we need: a new Buck Owens and the Buckaroos compilation. The Complete Capitol Singles 1957-1966 covers a particularly creatively fecund phase in Buck Owens’s career: the early days at Capitol, his partnership with the brilliant Don Rich, and a string of hits that defined the influential Bakersfield Sound. The Complete Capitol Singles 1957-1966 is gorgeously remastered and sounds stunningly good. Crisp, even, with that trebly production that Buck favored (so it would sound good on AM radio) sounding better than ever.
(more…)

Music Review: Future Children, Interpret Composition #7, 1960 For Synthesizer, Sampler and Tape

Published on December 2nd, 2016 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By John Lane

future-children-review-header-graphic

In the interest of immediate full disclosure, I have long been a fan (and in recent times, a friend) of Kevin Coral, the mastermind behind the band The Witch Hazel Sound. The 2001 release of the group’s This World, Then the Fireworks awoke me, and others, from what you might call a creative and inspirational torpor. If you felt like you came from Anywheres-ville, USA, as I felt like I did, then it was a beautiful discovery to note that sheer magic could be conjured in Akron, Ohio.
(more…)

Music Review: Lady Lamb, Tender Warriors Club

Published on December 2nd, 2016 in: Current Faves, Feminism, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

lady-lamb-tender-warriors-review-header-graphic

With her latest EP, Tender Warriors Club, the reliably wonderful Lady Lamb (a.k.a. Aly Spaltro), is consciously trying to keep an open heart. Her Tender Warriors Club website reads:

STRIVE TO
find the courage to be sensitive
be emotionally vulnerable
connect
create
grow
be comfortable with & embrace solitude
never compromise their integrity
explore
be true
be kind
practice self-acceptance & self-love
give an honest effort
forgive
be present
be patient
be transparent.

As far as manifestos go, that’s a damn fine one. And one that is utterly prescient. And Tender Warriors Club is a welcome addition to Lady Lamb’s catalogue of delicate but fierce music. She wears her emotions on the outside, and causes us to do the same. I can’t count the times that I’ve been moved to tears by her without even realizing I’m crying. Damn.
(more…)

Music Review: The Blind Boys Of Alabama, Atom Bomb

Published on November 18th, 2016 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reissues, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

blind-boys-atom-bomb-review-header-graphic

The Blind Boys Of Alabama won a Dove Award for 2005’s  Atom Bomb, but the album isn’t your typical gospel music. The songs are intended to capture the “deep and haunting feel of the Old Testament,” as executive producer Chris Goldsmith says, and they do, but as always, the Blind Boys put their own distinct spin on songs. On Atom Bomb, they are joined by a fantastic band who turn the traditional (and sometimes untraditional) tracks into swampy, bluesy explorations and canvases in which to showcase the Blind Boys luxuriant harmonies, as well as rapper The Gift Of Gab (from Blackalcious), who adds a whole other dimension.
(more…)

Music Review: The Blind Boys Of Alabama, Go Tell It On The Mountain

Published on November 18th, 2016 in: Current Faves, Holidays, Music, Music Reviews, Reissues, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

blind-boys-go-tell-mountain-review-header-graphic

It took until 2003 for The Blind Boys Of Alabama to release a Christmas album, but the wait was worth it. Now, Omnivore is reissuing Go Tell It On The Mountain with bonus material (as they do and do so well) in time for your holiday playlist, and it is a welcome addition.
(more…)