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Showing posts with label CDReview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CDReview. Show all posts

Sunday, 14 June 2009

The Promise - Bif Naked

The Promise
Bif Naked
Her Royal Majesty's Records

Release date May 5th 2009

Bif Naked's new album is an incredible mix of all that makes Bif a Queen of the Canadian Music scene. In the last few years she has overcome breast cancer and been married. Both of these have helped to influence and shape her music in a new way. There is an incredible mix of pop, rock, metal and techno. Few artists can pull off such a range let alone in a single album but Bif manages it well.

From the first track Crash and Burn we have the powerful refrain "if I am alive for the first time, I must have died inside so I could let go of things that weren't mine, I'm crashing and burning, you're crashing and burning we're crashing and burning". Then there is the oddly addictive song Honeybee, that sounds like a classic 50's or 60's rock song with intensely modern lyrics: "There's been a murder, in my kitchen, I hit him hard, I hit him fast, I watched him die, but for the life of me, I'm still missing an excuse, an explanation, a good reason why." Odd lyrics considering her recent nuptials, yet maybe not odd but openly honest as merging households can be difficult. The most popular track thus far is F**k You Two, in which the voice moans the loss of a lover to the opposite sex. The lyrics declare: "I'm losing my world, Cause you're leaving and I'm dying without you, So now I am nothing to you, So f**k you too".

This album is light and energetic in its feel and music yet deeply intense and pervasive in the powerful lyrics. Over all it is an excellent album and a great addition to the Bif Naked Canon. The only album I think is better as a whole is 2005's Superbeautifulmonster. Yet The Promise does have a depth and quality that will endear it to fans old and new alike.

Track Listing
1) Crash And Burn - 3:33
2) Sick - 3:40
3) Bluejay - 3:54
4) F**K You 2 - 3:15
5) Honeybee - 2:53
6) You'll Never Know - 2:53
7) My Innocence - 3:28
8) Red Flag - 3:26
9) Ciao, Bella - 4:05
10) King Of Karma - 3:14
11) Amazon Motel - 3:43
12) River Of Fire - 3:45
13) Welcome To The End - 3:57
14) Save Your Breath - 3:04

(First Published in Imprint 2009-06-12.)

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Saving Abel - Saving Abel CD Canadian Tour Edition

Saving Abel
Saving Abel – Canadian Tour Edition

AISN B001SGEUQA (Tour Edition)

AISN B0013FSVD4 (original release)

I picked up this album on a whim. The cover of the Canadian Tour Edition caught my attention, and the fact that they were touring with and opening for Nickelback made it an intriguing endeavor. When I go to review and album, I tend to listen to nothing but it for a week or so and immerse myself in the sound, lyrics and mood of the album, both as individual pieces of music and as a collective cohesive whole. As such this is the only CD that has been in my car for a week now, and the mp3’s I have listed to off and on all day at work.

At first I thought it was an ok album. Good sound, interesting lyrics and overall ok. I was not disappointed but at first I was not amazed either. That changed about the second day. The more I listed to the album, and assessed it as a whole the more impressed I became with the artists who created this work. The band formed in 2004 in Corinth Mississippi. It is composed of and eclectic electric sound of the lineup of guitarist Scott Bartlett, bassist Eric Taylor, and drummer Blake Dixon, lead singer Jared Weeks and Jason .

The sound is not as heavy or dark as Nickelback, and for a band with their first big album they have a sound that is uniquely their own. The lyrics are poignant and moving, from the ballad’s Drowning and Sailed Away to the rock anthems of In God’s Eyes and Beautiful You. The sound goes from soft to hard to very hard rock, yet remains a unified whole. I am greatly impressed with this first studio release from Saving Able. It is a great album for driving, partying or just hanging out and studying, or for hanging on the back porch with some friends, some brews on the long summer evenings. It has an explicit lyrics warning on the album, but compared Nickelback’s Dark Horse this album is very tame in it’s lyrics. More hint and innuendo rather than blunt explicit content.

The difference between the Canadian tour edition and the standard edition is an extra slip case cover with different cover art, and a second ep CD with 3 songs, acoustic versions of 18 Days, Addicted and exclusive content release of Only Human. The greatest strength of this album is every artist is featured on different pieces and different parts of some songs. The band is a collective and each member is a strength, where the sum of the parts if greater than the whole. Overall a terribly impressive first album!

(First published in Imprint 2009-04-03.)

Friday, 20 March 2009

Dark Horse - Nickelback CD

Dark Horse
Roadrunner Records


The latest studio album from Nickelback has a great dark gritty edge. It is harder then some of their more recent offerings. It also has some really raunchy undertones, in both the music and the lyrics. There are some gritty songs such as Something In Your Mouth, Shakin' Hands and S.E.X. that include such lyrics as "Got to meet the hottie with the million dollar body" and "They say it's over budget, but you'd pay her just to touch it, come on!" from Something In Your Mouth. Also from Shaking Hands:
"Well, she ain't no Cinderella when she's getting undressed
'Cause she rocks it like the naughty wicked witch of the west
Far too pretty to be giving it cheap
That's why she's making six figures workin' three days a week".
This is an amazing album, good to work to great to drive to. The album is so good it is all I have listened to for over a week straight. There is fantastic percussion, strong guitar riffs and, as always, tremendous vocals from Chad Kroeger. The album is riveting. You find yourself enjoying the tune you're listening to and anticipating the one to come. The only drawback is, because of how raunchy the album is, I cannot listen to it with the kids in the car, and an example is from S.E.X.:
"Yes sex is always the answer
It's never a question
Cause the answer's yes
Oh the answer's yes
Not just a suggestion
If you ask the question
Then it's always yes".
But for personal enjoyment it is my favorite rock or metal album to be released in the last few years. Pick it up for simple pleasure to the ears and lyrics that raise a lot of interesting questions about our society.

(First Published in Imprint 2009-03-20.)

Friday, 30 May 2008

Wholly by: Wyrd Sisters CD

Wyrd Sisters
Festival Distribution

The long-awaited and much-anticipated fourth CD and fifth album from the Wyrd Sisters is finally widely available. The Wyrd Sisters are known for their deep harmonies, passionate lyrics, and penetrating music. Historically their songs have been about violence against women, politics, clear cutting, the Montreal Massacre... and other
political issues. This album is a turning point into the internal; they state that as their audience has changed so has the music. There is a 'spiritual quester' feel to this album - a searching and a struggling. This CD captures the events in the lives of the band members and the sentiment of the audience as it ages, matures, and moves towards inward change as the means for external change.

Every one of the 12 songs on the CD is immensely enjoyable. From the opening track Mary (Wholly) which states:
"Mary, I think you've got something to say
but what kind of language will you wrap your tongue around

when 2000 years have worn you away?
in your belly
in your breast
where you work
where you rest
when you come, when you leave
we believe..."
a song about Mary the mother of Jesus and if she has meaning today, to the incredibly humorous final track Faucet about a woman's love with her tub fixtures which starts with:
"my sexual preference is my bath tub faucet
you might say that I'm in a water closet

my tank is too small and my water bill is high
but my faucet and I get happily by
faucet and I
bye bye bye
I'm a hydrasexual..."
Yet my favourite must be The One That Never Was with guest vocalist John Schritt, who with lead vocalist Kim Baryluk, produces an incredible piece sung in counter point.

The album is a great addition to the Wyrd Sisters Canon and will be fun for a fan of folk, blues, or a jazzy kind of music. This is a great Canadian trio which has given of themelves, their life and struggles in their music, and the lyrics and power of the vocals will speak to almost any listener. So give it a listen or take a journey through the Wyrd Sisters repertoire, begin the voyage with Leave a Little Light, then journey Into the Dreaming, next listen to the Raw Voice, after that try some Sin and Other Salvations and finish with Wholly.

(First Published in Imprint 2008-05-30.)

Friday, 14 September 2007

Holly Cole by Holly Cole

'Holly Cole'
Holly Cole
Alert Records


Holly Cole in her 9th Studio album, this self titled CD Holly Cole is absolutely stunning.

This is her first studio recording since 2004 and it is more than worth the wait. The album on first listen is both haunting and familiar. Cole has tapped the best sounds of her previous, she parades us through the ranges of her voice and style, she draws us in and tosses us out.

This album classified as Jazz is a mix of all that is good in vocal jazz; rowdy honky-tonk, to smoky smoldering songs that burn your heart.

One of the most stunning tracks is Cole's own 'Larger Than Life' a song that reveals that Cole is not only a student of the Jazz Masters but destined to become one herself.

'The House is Haunted by the Echo' is deep, dark and melodious reminiscent of her version of 'Trust in Me' from earlier albums. Cole's greatest power is that she is a story teller, and with her voice, she makes the jazz classics or standby's her own.

Cole is amazing on this album, and if you ever get the chance to see her life do not pass it up. My only regret about this album is that there is no scat, however with that said there is not one of the 11 tracks I would want to drop from the album to hear some of Cole's scat!

(First published in Imprint in 'Imprint's Playlist 9.14' 2007-09-14.)
Note: This Cd has also been released under the title 'Charade' in some markets.

Friday, 3 November 2006

Threat Signal - Under Reprisal CD

Threat Signal
Under Reprisal
redink Music

Sometimes you just have to pick up an album or a book and take a second look at it, this is such an album, the cover art grabbed my eyes and I had to see if the lyrics and music would be such a feast to the senses. This debut album exceeds all expectations.

Joh Howard produces an amazing range of vocals for a Metal album, the most incredible is his counter points on As I Destruct , here he sings counterpoint to each line, and you would swear you were listening to two vocalists.

The powerful guitar work of Kyle McKnight and Rich Howard draw you in and keep you entrapped as Jon Howards vocals coil around you like a Boa constricting you tighter and tighter. The music is intense, powerful and a stunning example of extreme metal.

It’s hard to believe but they even have an anti-violence song called One Last Breath, where they are critical of violence in society and how it will affect us all.

All the song’s are written by Kyle McKnigt, Jon Howard and occasionally with Rich Howard. The lyrics are to some extent what you would anticipate for a metal album.

The sound is reminiscent of Disturbed or even early Venom, yet even though it sounds familiar it does have it’s own unique undertones and over all it does set itself aside as a new sound in a genre that is typically overly anticipatable. The acoustical ending to Counterbalance reminds one of Creed or Nickleback on their softer pieces.

All in all I would have to say that this album is something new and intriguing in a genre that has become stale. This album will not disappoint any metal head in your circle of friends. So give it a try.

(First Published in Imprint 200-11-03 as “Sonic Snippets – Music Reviews”.)