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J. Willis (London, England.)

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Too Far to Care
Too Far to Care
Offered by trec002
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars My Introduction To Old 97's..., 6 Feb. 2013
This review is from: Too Far to Care (Audio CD)
It was only after reading David Menconi's recent book on Whiskeytown that i decided to check out Old 97's, a band that i knew little about. They had somehow managed to get into a fued with Ryan Adams back in the day. Anyway, i wasn't sure where to start so i headed for an early album. All very pot luck, but it turns out that 'Too Far To Care' is actually a decent little album. Ok, it's far from perfect, but it has bagfuls of energy and some cracking tunes. I guess you could call it cow-punk or something else clever, but who cares, it's country music and it rocks. The standout tracks for me are opener 'Timebomb', which blasts out of the blocks and really sets the tone for the album, 'Salome', which is a rare quieter moment, and album closer 'Four Leaf Clover', which features Exene Cervenkova(X), for a right old rowdy finish. Not sure which album i'm going to try next, but that i will be buying something else is not in doubt.

Ok, so a year and a half after reviewing this album, and i now have the every Old 97's album. I still listen to this album and i love it. It is the Old 97's finest album, and so i'm upgrading my rating to 5 stars.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 24, 2013 8:48 AM GMT

Juliana Hatfield
Juliana Hatfield
Offered by M & L UK
Price: £22.17

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Juliana Does It Her Way...., 5 Feb. 2013
This review is from: Juliana Hatfield (Audio CD)
When i first saw the track listing for Juliana Hatfield's Covers album, i did allow myself to wonder if it would be a 'Juliana's Pony: Total System Failure' style punk trashing of a few sacred cows, it quickly became apparent that it was nothing of the kind! Instead it's quite a respectful set of covers, with her versions pitched somewhere between the acoustic sound of 'Peace & Love' and the pop leanings of 'How To Walk Away' with the odd rock song thrown in. As a good covers album should have, there is a decent mix of well known songs, such as 'Rock And Roll'(Led Zep), 'Learning To Fly'(Foo Fighters) and 'Bad Moon Rising'(CCR), and those lesser known tunes like 'Closet'(Pete Yorn) and 'Cells'(Teenage Fanclub). I can be a bit of cynic regarding these kind of albums, taking them as a sign that the artist has run out of ideas, but i don't believe that of Juliana Hatfield, and all in all, this is a decent record that continues Juliana's recent fine run of albums.

Hazy Malaze
Hazy Malaze
Price: £10.87

4.0 out of 5 stars Funk Soul Brothers....., 12 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hazy Malaze (Audio CD)
Hazy Malaze are Neal Casal(guitars & vox), Dan Fadel(drums) and Jeff Hill(bass), who also happen to be Neal Casal's rythym section of choice for his solo stuff. The album is a world away from what Neal Casal fans may have come to expect, but that said, it's a damn fine record. It's funky, it's soulful, it rocks and it's a lot of fun. Okay, the lyrics are a bit rudimentary, but who cares when it's obvious that the band are having such a good time. I'm sure the point of Hazy Malaze for Neal Casal was to cut loose and do something not so serious, job done! What you also get is Neal Casal proving that he may well be one of the finest guitarists of his generation. 'Hazy Malaze' was released back in 2003, and it's still an album i reach for from time to time, standing up well to the test of time.

No Wish to Reminisce
No Wish to Reminisce
Price: £10.27

5.0 out of 5 stars I Wish To Reminsce...., 11 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: No Wish to Reminisce (Audio CD)
I've lived with this album for quite a few years now and it's one that i find myself coming back to time and again. Up to this album Neal Casal had followed the alt-country/classic rock path, but with 'No Wish To Reminisce' i think that he tried to change things up, if ever so slightly. Maybe credit is due to producer Michael Deming(Beachwood Sparks, Lilys and The Pernice Brothers) for the attempt at making a mainstream sounding album. It has a sheen and a fuller sound which suits the material perfectly. It also helps that this album has, in my opinion at least, some of Neal Casal's greatest songs. 'You Don't See Me Crying', 'Sundowntown' and 'Grand Island' are amazing, and how they didn't break Neal Casal into the mainstream is beyond belief. Special mention has to go to 'Freeway To The Canyon', which still gives me goosebumps when i hear it, even after all these years. 'No Wish To Reminisce' is in my top three Neal Casal albums, and somedays may even be my favourite.

Bend Beyond
Bend Beyond
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £12.17

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Amazing...., 10 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Bend Beyond (Audio CD)
I'm new to the music of Woods. This is only my second album, after 'Sun and Shade'(2011), but what i do know is that this is my kind of stuff. Homespun, psychedelic and packed full of great songs. Thankfully it's not that kind of overlong, jam on a chord for ten minutes, look how cool we are, psychedelia. The Twelve songs that make up 'Bend Beyond' clock in at just past the half hour mark, barely a note is wasted throughout, and when it's over, it's over all too soon, which is actually quite good as you get to play it over again! As for who they remind me of, well when it gets ragged and loose, there's a bit of Crazy Horse about them. I can hear some Beachwood Sparks on the folky stuff, and lastly the vibe of Love is somewhere in there. I'm not going to single out individual songs as i really don't think there's a weak moment on 'Bend Beyond', it's simply a great album. Without quite knowing what their earlier stuff is like, i'd say that this is probably the perfect place to start your Woods collection.

Mirage Rock
Mirage Rock
Price: £5.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Contains Traces Of L.A...., 8 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Mirage Rock (Audio CD)
Maybe my expectations for the new Band Of Horses album were lower after what i thought was the patchy 'Infinite Arms', so i must admit that i was pleasantly surprised by what i heard. Gone is the influence of Fleet Foxes, likewise, the Jim James, heavy on the reverb vocals, instead what we have are traces of Laurel Canyon and The Eagles circa 1972. Yes, Band of Horses have gone and made their L.A album, and it's actually quite good. It's mostly straight-up country rock, produced by Glyn Johns, with what i think is their strongest set of songs yet. 'Knock Knock' is a great opener and other highlights are 'How To Live', 'Everything's Gonna Be Undone', 'Electric Music' and 'A Little Biblical'. All in all, i'd say that 'Mirage Rock' is my favourite BOH album so far.

Ryan Adams: Losering, a Story of Whiskeytown (American Music (University of Texas))
Ryan Adams: Losering, a Story of Whiskeytown (American Music (University of Texas))
by David Menconi
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yesterday's News...., 6 Jan. 2013
Sometimes Whiskeytown can feel like a mere footnote in the history of Ryan Adams. David Menconi has attempted to put that right with 'Losering, A Story Of Whiskeytown'. Of course, any book about Whiskeytown is going to have Ryan Adams front and centre but Caitlin Cary and Phil Wandscher are given credit where it's due, especially for their part in the making of the first two albums and for keeping the band together as long as they did. Being a North Carolina journalist, and someone who saw Whiskeytown from the very beginning, Menconi has an insight into the ways of Ryan Adams. The general theme being that a focused Adams is an equal of anyone, capable of moments of genius. The flip-side being that, in equal measures, he can also be self-destructive, egotistical and ultimately a brat! I enjoyed this book, helped by the fact that i happen to agree with Menconi, in that 'Strangers Almanac' is a classic album deserving of a wider audience, and that Whiskeytown are a band who do matter. Dig out their albums and dare to disagree!

Traveling Alone
Traveling Alone
Price: £12.83

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Class Act..., 16 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Traveling Alone (Audio CD)
The title of Tift Merritt's fifth album is probably quite apt, considering that she is now on her third record label. Why she hasn't sold tons of albums is a bit of a mystery to me. Though the music that Tift Merritt has produced on her previous albums hasn't ever strayed from what would be labelled alt-country, 'Traveling Alone' feels much like her roots album. Lots of stripped back and dusty Americana, which sounds amazing. Title track 'Traveling Alone' may well be one of my favourite Tift Merritt songs, while 'Spring' and 'Feeling Of Beauty' are much in the same vain. The country-soul of 'Small Talk Relations' is another highlight. Throw in a couple of upbeat country-rock tunes 'Still Not Home' and 'To Myself', and what you have is a very strong album. With a collection of well crafted songs and Tift, as usual, in great voice, backed by a quality band, 'Traveling Alone' could well be her finest moment.

The Magic Door
The Magic Door
Price: £12.22

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Cosmic American Music...., 11 Sept. 2012
This review is from: The Magic Door (Audio CD)
Comprised of songs recorded at the same sessions as 'Big Moon Ritual', i did wonder whether 'Magic Door' would be made up of songs not considered good enough for their initial release, but that's definitely not the case. If anything it only goes to show the strength and depth of material at their disposal and represents a rowdier side of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood. If you bought 'Big Moon Ritual' then i assure you that you won't be disappointed. Fans of The Black Crowes will also recognise a couple of songs from earlier albums. 'Appaloosa' appeared on 'Before The Frost...' and an acoustic version of 'Someday Past The Sunset' on the 'Brothers of a Feather' album, though now it sounds like The Doors, albeit southern fried, on one of the highlights of 'Magic Door'. The band cut loose on the opener 'Let's Go Let's Go Let's Go' and 'Little Lizzie Mae', showing that they can do The Allman Bros as well as they do The Grateful Dead. The fourteen minute 'Vibration & Light Suite' is the Brotherhood at their most cosmic. I would say that of the two albums, i prefer 'Big Moon Ritual' but 'Magic Door' is not far behind, and is a very good album in its own right.

Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £8.46

5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic...., 26 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Soup (Audio CD)
Maybe i was to young too understand it, more likely i just wanted 'No Rain part 2', whatever the reason though, at the time of its release, i, like many others, was initially disappointed with 'Soup'. Over the years though, it's an album that i kept coming back to and now i would say it's one of my favourite albums. Lazily lumped in with the grunge scene at the time of their debut album, 'Soup' showed that Blind Melon were something else altogether. It's a tight and concise collection of rock songs, with barely a note wasted. The electric guitars of Rogers Stevens and Christopher Thorn, are simply amazing, whilst the rhythm section of Glen Graham(drums) and Brad Smith(bass) aren't too shabby either. There's not much left to say about the genius of Shannon Hoon. 'Soup' is lyrically introspective and darker than their debut. '2x4' deals with addiction and 'New Life' with Shannon's impending fatherhood. Other great songs are 'Mouthful of Cavities' and 'Galaxie'. That there was no obvious single like 'No Rain' really doesn't matter now, as 'Soup' is an album in the truest sense. History should be kind to it, not because Shannon Hoon died shortly after its release, but simply because 'Soup' is a classic album.

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