It’s been awhile since I’ve posted what albums I have been
listening to, so here’s the speed review…
#nowplaying Roine Stolt “The Flower King” … The album that
started legendary neo-progressive band, The Flower Kings. There is a lot of
magic to this album, and some of the songs are still the Roine and band’s best.
Easy to see how this helped fuel the prog-rock resurgence. But, I will say that
there are later band albums that I prefer end to end and that have held up
better over time.
#nowplaying Bullet For My Valentine “Fever” and “Temper
Temper” … Two amazing albums with slightly different approaches to their sound,
but still 100% BFMV. Love how this band combines classic thrash-metal riffs
with modern glam-core vocals. Contemporaries are hard-pressed to match these
hooks and melodies.
#nowplaying Egypt Central s/t and “White Rabbit” … Two great
modern hard-rock albums with slightly different styles. Shame this band broke
#nowplaying Nasty Habit “Nasty Habit” … Modern hair-band
trying to pull off the same cliché riffs and vocals in the today. Not horrible
by any means, but not memorable.
#nowplaying Ninetails “Blue Bottle Flu” single, “Rawdon
Fever” EP, and “Slept And Did Not Sleep” EP …
#nowplaying Christopher Franke “Babylon 5: Sleeping In The
Light” … Easily my favorite soundtrack album. I loved the television series and
I’m an Tangerine Dream fan, so it’s only natural that I’d like Christopher
Franke orchestrating a series of B5 soundtracks. And the B5 theme (slightly
altered for each of the 5 seasons) really captured the drama of the show.
Ironically, this episodic soundtrack doesn’t contain the theme like all the
others do. “Sleeping In The Light” was the series finale where Captain Sheridan
joins the First Ones in the light. The episode didn’t have battle-scenes or
high drama, but was a perfect ending to the B5 saga and the love story with
Delenn, and this soundtrack captures all that emotion. This is one of my “get
in the zone at work” albums.
#nowplaying Circus Brimstone “Live – BrimStoned In…” … The
Flower Kings live without vocals. How could you go wrong? These classic TFK
songs minus the vocals are just as engaging.
#nowplaying James LaBrie “Static Impulse” … One of my
favorite albums. Such an incredible return to glory for the Dream Theater
#nowplaying Joe Satriani “The Extremist” … “Summer Song” is
easily Satriani’s best song ever and the entire album is engaging, but “The
Extremist” is not my favorite Satriani album.
#nowplaying Widek “Aurora Borealis,” “Multiverse,” and “2010
Songs” … Instrumental djent done right. Couple vocals tracks thrown in for good
measure, but the guitar riffage from this band grabs me every listen.
#nowplaying Bonnie Raitt “Souls Alike” … I have thoroughly
enjoyed every one of her albums since “Nick Of Time,” except this one. The
first track is engaging enough, but the album just has no energy, no groove.
It’s like Bonnie was too tired to record an album. Real shame.
#nowplaying Stone Sour “House Of Gold & Bones, Part 2” …
I have always liked Stone Sour. In fact, hearing Corey Taylor in Stone Sour
made me go back and listen to Slipknot again. Still like Stone Sour better, but
anyway… Corey’s vocals are amazing on this two part release. Energized songs.
Thought provoking lyrics. Strong recordings.
#nowplaying Bad English s/t … So the album has lost a little
of its luster since its 1980s heyday, but still some incredible sing-along
#nowplaying Badlands s/t … I was so excited when Adrenaline
Mob recently covering “High Wire.” This debut Badlands album was (and still is)
amazing. The second album took them away from heavy melodies to a more bluesy
sound, which was still solid; but after that, Badlands was never the same. RIP
#nowplaying Josh Groban “Closer” … Easily his best album,
preceded by too traditional of a classic opera album and then followed by
albums filled with opera masquerading as pop music. “Closer” is a masterpiece
of melody and emotion.
#nowplaying Anglagard “Viljans Oga” … Considered the band
that kick-started the modern prog-rock phenomena . And regardless of how
sporadically they release studio albums, Anglagard are pure genius.
#nowplaying Adelita’s Way s/t … Went back to this debut
album after liking the more recent “” album. More pop, less edge, but still
#nowplaying Steven Patrick “Red Reign” … I was a huge fan of
Holy Soldier, regardless of which vocalist. If you liked Holy Soldier’s “Last
Train” album, you’ll love Steven Patrick’s solo album. Soaring vocals over AOR
hard-rock music; not too different in style from the first two solo albums from
Michael Sweet (Stryper).
#nowplaying Anomaly s/t … Heavy but melodic prog-rock in the
vein of Tiles and other progressive bands in the late 1990s and early 2000s
that didn’t know whether they were prog-rock or prog-metal. Amazing songs and
introspective lyrics. Incredible Led Zeppelin cover track.
#nowplaying Dokken “Back For The Attack” … Such an epic
album, considered by many to be their last relevant release. 60 minutes of
music was a lot for a hair band album back in the day, often even by today’s
standards. And George Lynch was at his peak with impossibly catchy grooves laced
with ridiculous solos and virtuoso.
#nowplaying Depeche Mode “Violator” … In the 1990s, I
thought this album was the start of a new sound for the band; mach 3, if you
will. But listening to it 23 years after its release, I realize that it’s just
the perfecting of what the band started on “Black Celebration.” “Clean” is one
of my favorite songs of all-time for its simplicity and emotion.
#nowplaying Taproot “Long Road Home” … This is a band that I
rarely remember to listen to, even though I have most of their albums and even
though I thoroughly enjoy all of Taproot’s albums from end-to-end. Their first
two albums were in-your-face and raw, but so well executed; heavy, but melodic,
with the successful single “Poem” being the epitome of excellent songwriting.
Every album after that has been enjoyable, but at the risk of trading in that
intensity for more radio-friendly melody. If this was the first Taproot album I
heard, I would consider this a great hard-rock album. But I want them to return
to their more progressive emo-core roots.
#nowplaying Steve Vai “The Ultra Zone” … For the first five
tracks, this is a Steve Vai album, not unlike his first two solo albums that
took him out of David Lee Roth’s shadow and into the limelight. Expect
incredible guitar harmonies, weird guitar noises, and narrative voices on top
of brilliantly simply melodies. But the rest of this album is a prog-rock gem
with Steve dropping some excellent vocals. Who knew?