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Reviews Written by
J. Willis (London, England.)
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Apple Bonkers
Apple Bonkers
Price: 13.91

4.0 out of 5 stars Bombs Away, Baby...., 26 Aug 2014
This review is from: Apple Bonkers (Audio CD)
I really had no idea what to expect from Brian Jonestown Massacre's tambourine man Joel Gion's solo album. My only reference vocally was from BJM's 'Strung Out In Heaven' when he provided the "bombs away, baby!" part to 'Got My Eye On You'. That said, 'Apple Bonkers' is actually a very good album, and sounds exactly how i hoped it would. It's a record that wears its influences proudly on its sleeve. So you have the sound of Sixties psychedelia and BJM(obviously) to the fore, and also the bands who followed on from the BJM such as The Dandy's, The Warlocks and B.R.M.C. The standard of songwriting is surprisingly good, and some of those such as 'Smile' and 'Dart' are worthy of gracing any classic BJM album. 'Change My Mind', which features vocals by Miranda Lee Richards is probably my favourite. It's great to hear ex-BJM lead guitarist Jeffrey Davies on 'Two Daisies'. My concern before hearing 'Apple Bonkers' was that it was going to be an embarrasment and that it'd be quickly tucked away on the shelf to gather dust, but that's definitely not going to happen, i love it! If you like the BJM, then you will appreciate this album.


Most Messed Up
Most Messed Up

5.0 out of 5 stars Very, Very Good To Me...., 23 Aug 2014
This review is from: Most Messed Up (Audio CD)
Oh yes, the Old 97's are back with a swagger, with an album packed full of songs about sex, drugs(drink) & rock'n'roll. So much like many of their albums then? Maybe so, but the real reason to be excited is that 'Most Messed Up' taps into the spirit of earlier 97's albums 'Wreck Your Life' and the classic 'Too Far To Care'. It's all in the song titles really, 'Let's Get Drunk & Get It On', 'Wasted' and 'Wheels Off'. You get the idea. And whilst the Old 97's are certainly wiser for the time, they still know how to whip up a storm. This is a band at the top of their game, and there aren't many around who can touch them when they are. I also noticed that after years of decidedly average reviews from Uncut magazine for Old 97's albums, even they are finally giving this great band the recognition they deserve, and about time too.


Get Hurt
Get Hurt
Price: 9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Between A Rock And A Hard Place...., 23 Aug 2014
This review is from: Get Hurt (Audio CD)
At some point, a band has to evolve, and the best challenge their fans to come along for the ride. When i had read that Brian Fallon had mentioned Pearl Jam's 'No Code' as an influence on the making of the new album, i figured 'Get Hurt' would be the start of that ride. Instead, the desire to change and yet at the same time not alienate their original fan base leaves The Gaslight Anthem caught between a rock and a hard place. It's by no means a bad album, it's just that everything about 'Get Hurt' sounds familiar, and though the album hints at progression, it never really offers anything new. I'm not about to give up on The Gaslight Anthem just yet, as when it's good, there aren't many better bands around.


Definitely Maybe [3CD Deluxe Edition]
Definitely Maybe [3CD Deluxe Edition]
Price: 14.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic...., 30 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I don't think there are many who would disagree with 'Definitely Maybe' being called a classic album, but with regards to the new version, i would have to agree with Liam when he asked "how can you remaster something that's already been mastered?" To my ears it doesn't sound any better. I'm not sure what i was expecting, as it's a loud album and wasn't very subtle in the first place. As for the other two cd's, you get the b-sides, which most of us will already have, and then a disc of demo's and live tracks. Anyone expecting a treasure trove of unheard Oasis gems will be disappointed, as there is only one song that i hadn't heard before, and that's 'Strange Thing', which is actually not very good. It would seem that although Noel was writing classics in his sleep, everything he had he released at the time. So whilst i love 'Definitely Maybe' and always will, i can't help feel that the 2014 edition is somewhat scraping the barrel.


Revelation
Revelation
Price: 9.94

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Revelation...., 30 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Revelation (Audio CD)
Everybody seemed to agree that 'Aufheben' was BJM back on form, and 'Revelation' picks up where that album left off. For me, the first seven songs are as strong as anything Anton has done in quite some time, and with 'What You Isn't' we have a BJM classic. Whilst i think that the second half of the album takes its foot off the gas, somewhat, from 'Nightbird' onwards it finishes very strongly. There is also more emphasis on Anton's vocals, which for me is a good thing. I would describe the album as sounding like a mix of 'BraveryRepetitionAndNoise' and 'Aufheben', both fine records. Right now BJM are in a rich vein of form, long may it continue.


Phosphorescent Harvest
Phosphorescent Harvest
Offered by MEGA Media FBA
Price: 8.29

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm A Believer...., 11 May 2014
This review is from: Phosphorescent Harvest (Audio CD)
If 'Big Moon Ritual' and 'Magic Door' were born out of life on the road, then 'Phosphorescent Harvest' in comparison is the finely crafted studio album. It's taken a few listens to get into, but one thing that is quickly apparent, is that it's not as psychedelic or as far out as i'd assumed it would be. In fact, for most parts it's a straight up Americana/roots album. It's left up to Adam Macdougall and his box of tricks to sprinkle a bit of something different on the album. Case in point would be album opener 'Shore Power'. Whilst the band lock into a tight Creedence groove, Macdougall's contribution goes from Garth Hudson style keys to what i can only describe as the sound effects from some 1980's arcade game, and this is how it goes across the album. The fact it works so well can only be down to the confidence of CRB, and the belief they have in the direction they are heading, and i for one, wouldn't disagree with them.


Supernova
Supernova
Price: 9.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Change Of Direction...., 9 May 2014
This review is from: Supernova (Audio CD)
I took a bit of stick around the time of 'God Willin...' for daring to suggest that maybe Ray Lamontagne was becoming somewhat predictable. It seems that he come to that conclusion himself. The choice of Dan Auerbach as producer is inspired, for if Ethan Johns(still a genius) mainly dealt in earthy tones and textures when it came to Ray's earlier albums, then Auerbach's palette in comparison is kaleidoscopic! In fairness, at its core, 'Supernova' is still Ray and his acoustic guitar. The psychedelic influence across the album makes for something different, as on opening song 'Lavender', which would be right at home on Love's 'Forever Changes'. All in all, it's a good album, and credit where it's due to Ray Lamontagne for the (slight) change of direction.


Stills Alone
Stills Alone
Offered by thelastresortofmusic
Price: 19.75

3.0 out of 5 stars As The Title Suggests...., 26 Jan 2014
This review is from: Stills Alone (Audio CD)
After the low point that was CSN's 'Live It Up'(1990), you get the impression from 'Stills Alone'(1991), that Stephen Stills knew exactly the kind of album he needed to make to get his career back on track. Basically it's as the title suggests, Stills and his acoustic guitar, and coming from the man who over the years brought us the likes of '4+20', 'Word Game' and 'Black Queen', the idea alone should be enough to get the pulse racing. So it's a real shame that the songs just aren't strong enough. Made up of a couple of choice covers, re-workings of some older songs and a few lightweight new tracks, there is nothing actually wrong with the songs, it's just all a bit underwhelming and it leaves you with the feeling of what might have been.


Stills
Stills
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 28.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential Stills...., 16 Jan 2014
This review is from: Stills (Audio CD)
Sometime just after 1972's classic 'Manassas', Stephen Stills lost it. So seems to be the theory. Well 1975's 'Stills' goes some way to disproving that idea. This is probably his last great solo album, and remains very much an underrated gem. A strong set of songs, classy band of musicians(C&N, Ringo Starr, Dallas Taylor) helping out, and a focused and confident Stephen Stills in fine voice, what more could you ask for. My own favourites are 'Turn Back The Pages', 'In The Way', 'First Things First' and 'Myth Of Sisyphus'. Quite how the last track didn't make it onto the box set is beyond me. In my opinion, the weakest song on the album is the cover of Neil Young's 'New Mama', which i think i prefer acoustic. It's safe to say that you can add 'Stills' to the list that includes 1 & 2, and 'Manassas', of essential albums by Stephen Stills.


After The Storm
After The Storm
Offered by sellerfellauk
Price: 24.32

3.0 out of 5 stars Back To Basics...., 14 Jan 2014
This review is from: After The Storm (Audio CD)
If 'Live It Up'(1990) represented the lowest point in the career of CSN, then 'After The Storm'(1994) is the album where they realised that if they were to be relevant to anyone, that they would have to reject any modern sounds/trends and get back to the place that made them in the beginning. So, playing to their strengths of three part harmonies, clean and simple production and straightforward songs, that's exactly what 'After The Storm' almost delivers. In terms of production, Glyn Johns is a perfect choice. As for the harmonies, well they're spot on, as you'd expect. So that leaves the songs, which is where it doesn't quite cut it. Graham Nash brings a relatively strong set of songs, most of which are mid-paced ballads, which hardly set the pulses racing. David Crosby has his usual bag of acoustic/jazz or funky/political rock songs, yet again decent but not spectacular. Which sets the platform for Stephen Stills to deliver his strongest batch of songs since 1977's 'CSN', which sadly just isn't the case, oh well. All in all, you feel that though a corner has been turned, and 'After The Storm' is very much CSN back on track, they're still many miles away from hitting the kind of creative peak of their prime.


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