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Music - Classic Rock - 2003: The year I went from conservative to liberal for good!

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    Love & Life [Bonus DVD]
    by Geffen Records
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (26 August, 2003)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $18.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    • Enhanced
    • Limited Edition
    Reviews (212)

    4-0 out of 5 stars I think I will "love" this album for "life"
    I own all of Mary J. Blige's CDs.I have listened to all of them before, but none of them were ever in heavy rotation in my CD player, until now."Love & Life" is the first Mary J. Blige album I listened to a lot. I really like this album.It's very r&b, but it has a mixture of slow, mid-tempo, and faster songs on it, something I always liked in r&b albums.One thing I noticed about Mary when listening to her music is that she sings her songs with all she has.If one remembers "something about Mary", it will be that she gives her songs all she has.P. Diddy produced the bulk of this album, and it was a job well done.I do like this album, but as I was reading reviews written before mine, I came to know how many of these songs were sampled.Mary is known for sampling music, but based on other reviews written, the bulk of this album was sampled.
    The album begins with a string of up tempo songs.This is usually a nice way to begin an album.The opening interlude is particularly memorable with Jay-Z and his slick wordplay."Don't Go" is definitely an album highlight.Although the song is up tempo, I like how Mary sings the chorus slow; very creative!"Willing and Waiting" samples Atlantic Starr's "When Love Calls".I really like this song.It's the first mid-tempo song after a host of faster songs.Mary's vocals are really nice and the production is on point as well."Let Me Be the One" features rap star 50 Cent.Mary and 50 did a great job on this song, and they blended well together.In this song, Mary is telling her man to let her be the one to give him everything, and 50 responds with a slick rap.Mary ended her album beautifully with "Special Part of Me" and "Ultimate Relationship".I love these songs.One can just hear the sincerity in her voice.It is evident that she is singing these songs to someone in particular.
    Anyone who likes Mary or is a fan of r&b should enjoy this album.It possess pure quality and depth.Keep it coming MARY!

    Mikeisha's Top 5

    1.Special Part of Me
    2.Ultimate Relationship (AM)
    3.It's A Wrap
    4.Don't Go
    5.Feel Like Making Love

    5-0 out of 5 stars she still has it
    mary j is a r&b legend that will never die. this cd was in heavy rotation all throughout 2004. good tracks on this album includes
    don't go
    when we
    love at first sight
    let me be the one
    feel like making love
    it's a wrap
    special part of me
    you can tell she puts a lot of herself into these albums. all i have to say is keep it up mjb!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better than I though
    At first I'd though it was one of the worst albums that I've bought but after listen to it a couple times more I started to love it, first I just like songs as "Love at 1st sight" and "Not today" But after I discovered "Ultimate relationship", "Didn't mean", "Special part of me"... Also I tough the interludes were horrible, but they're really beautiful, specially "Free"

    DON'T GO 5/5
    WHEN WE +5/5
    NOT TODAY +5/5
    FINALLY MADE IT Interlude
    OOH 4/5
    LET ME BE THE 1 +5/5
    LOVE @ 1st SIGHT +5/5
    FREE Interlude
    FRIENDS 3.5/5
    PRESS ON 4/5
    IT'S A WRAP +5/5
    ALL MY LOVE 5/5
    DIDN'T MEAN +5/5
    ... Read more

    Asin: B0000AQS93
    Sales Rank: 53280
    Subjects:  1. Contemporary R&B    2. Hip-Hop    3. Pop    4. R&B    5. Urban   


    Speakerboxxx/ The Love Below
    by La Face
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (23 September, 2003)
    list price: $21.98 -- our price: $17.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    At a time when experimentation is taboo in most overground rap, that’s all Outkast seem intent on executing. Firstly, this double CD has no cohesive link, other than the fact that it sounds like a pair of solo albums stitched together to demo exactly how Andre’s yin works to augment Big Boi’s yang. Andre 3000’s Love Below disc rates as the more eclectic of the two, given that he’s turned in his emcee credentials to become a full-on funk-soul-jazz vocalist who mostly sings about items of love ("Happy Valentine's Day"), carnal lust ("Spread"), and female adoration ("Prototype"). Minus the big band schmaltz of "Love Hater" and cheesy cover jobs ("My Favorite Things"), Andre’s disc is sick (meaning great). As is to be expected, the Big Boi disc is less arty, more gangsta and worldly, and features the less-progressive guest raps of ATL crunk purveyors Lil’ Jon and The Eastside Boyz ("Last Call") and Jay-Z who rhymes the hook on "Flip Flop Rock". Unlike Big Boi, Andre keeps his collabos to a minimum, once crooning alongside Norah Jones on the cool yet sappy "Take Off Your Cool", and once with Kelis. Boi fulfills his Dungeon Family duty with flying colors by flipping some dirty southern up-tempo raps over electro beats on "GhettoMusick". By the time Cee-Lo sermonizes on "Reset", Speakerboxx and Love Below rate mostly as majestic and inspiring, with the remaining 23 per cent being just plain incredible --Dalton Higgins ... Read more


    • Explicit Lyrics
    Reviews (786)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nice and experimental
    I like this album and heres my 2 discs review
    Speakerboxx (Big Boi)
    This is the more Hip Hop disc and the better. Big Boi raps about something diffrent to the likes of Eminem and 50 Cent. Dont get me wrong, I like Eminem and 50 Cent but Big Boi dont rap about 50 hating Ja rule. Anyway the beats stand out and Ghettomusick is the best song. U will get guest apperences on tons of the songs. These include Jay Z, Ludacris, Lil John and the eastside boys, Sleepy Brown and some unknown group called Konkrete and many more. I like this and this is why Big Boi and Andre 3000 should go their seprate ways. U can call this non gangsta but it is good. If u want a change from what rap normally raps about listen to this. Good job Big Boi and your disc gets 9/10 because there is too many records with people helping out but not as many as Dr Dre 2001! 9/10

    The Love Below (Andre 3000)
    Here are my track ratings
    1. Intro- I thought this was mixed up with a choir disc when I heard this. 2/10
    2. Love hater- Way too jazzy for me and I thought what is this? 3/10
    3. God- Little skit not much. 4/10
    4. Happy valentines day- 1 of the few I like and 1 of the few Hip Hop like ones. 8.5/10
    5. Spread- OK beat but lyrics dont appeal. 6/10
    6. Where are my panties?- What is this skit? A joke? 1/10
    7. Prototype- What the hell is this junk? Terrible beat and lyrics plus a worse video. 0/10
    8.She lives in my lap- RnB like track which is OK. 5/10
    9. He Ya- Well overplayed but OK. Once I heard this 8 times on 1 channel in 2 hours. 7.5/10
    10. Roses- Well appeals and not too over played unlike Hey Ya. Big Boi appears too. 9/10
    11. good day good sir- skit again 3/10
    12. Behold a lady- ? 1/10
    13. Pink and blue- Never listened to. NR
    14. Love in war- When I read the lyrics I didn't bother to listen to it. 1/10
    15. Shes alive- See above. 1/10
    16. Draculas wedding (Feat Kelis)- Good 1 of the few stand outs but a little short. 8/10
    17. Take off your cool (Feat Norah Jones)- What is Norah Jones doing here? Lame beats and everything. 1/10
    18. My favourite things- Cover song of a nusery rhyme. Need I say anything? 1/10
    19. Vibrate- Is This country music or what? 0/10
    20. A day in the life of Benjamin Andre- Finally a Hip Hop track but too late final song on the album. Great rhymes and beats give this song a 10/10
    I hate this album except for A day in the life of Benjamin Andre, Hey Ya, Roses, Happy valentines day and Draculas Wedding. This has tons of music styles which r listed below
    Country e.g vibrate
    RnB e.g She lives in my lap
    Rock a ballad/country e.g prototype
    Soul e.g. Hey Ya
    Hip Hop e.g A day in the life of Benjamin Andre
    This is not my kind of album The Love Below so I give it 4.5/10
    Summary on the 2:
    If u like Hip Hop u will only like Spearkerboxx because that is the Hip Hop side but credit goes out to Andre 3000 for trying out so many kinds of music so my verdict is its time for the 2 to go their seprate ways and as for who will keep the outkast name, they should forget about it if they want to stay friends. But then if that happens, I'll not buy any Andre 3000 albums but Big Boi I would so my star ratings are
    Speakerboxx 5 stars
    The Love Below 2.5 stars
    It gets 7.5 stars out of 10 stars so its good but not a classic. Best 5 songs on both discs
    Flip flap rock (Feat Jay Z and Killer Mike)
    Last Call (feat lil John and the eastside boys, Slimm Calhoun and Mello)
    The way you move
    The love below
    Hey Ya
    Draculas wedding (Feat Kelis)
    Happy Valentine's Day
    A Life in the Day of Benjamin Andre
    So buy it for just Hip Hop(Spekerboxx) on 1 disc and a variety of music on the other (The love below) and I liked their idea of releasing a double album because it shows off the 2 guys styles well because like Big Boi is stuck in Hip Hop while Andre 3000 likes to try out diffrent music styles so even though I dont like Andres disk, I give it credit for being a variety of music which is clever.

    2-0 out of 5 stars fell the fu*k off!
    first off, most people that LOVE this album probably wasn't listening to outkast albums like Atliens and Aquemini but probably came in on the whole Stakonia uproar. this album is a joke. outkast has lost their minds. for one thing, andre is the better lyricist of the two but he decides to sing on his disc and big boi is left by himself to rap which is not that good of an idea. you want some GOOD outkast then listen to their first three albums and leave this commercial pop trash alone.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Innovative?
    To be honest, I haven't heard this music more than a few times, so I'm not going to review it, but I quite enjoyed it actually. Clearly, it's a very creative mix of a wide variety of musical influences, especially on Andre's LOVE BELOW. I just want to say "Hey Ya!" isn't the revelatory genius morphing of hip-hop people make it out to be. It just sounds like old New Wave. Fun and poppy. If you like this, you should go check out some old XTC records. Peace! ... Read more

    Asin: B0000AGWFX
    Subjects:  1. Alternative Rap    2. Contemporary R&B    3. Dirty South    4. Hip-Hop    5. Pop    6. Rap & Hip-Hop    7. Southern Rap   


    by V2. / Bmg
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (01 April, 2003)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    Jokingly referred to as the White Stripes' British album, Elephant is scattered with cultural references that give away the fact it was recorded far from home. Just listen to the lyrics on "Seven Nation Army" ("From the Queen of England to the hounds of Hell") or the album outro, in which someone chips in, "Jolly good, cup of tea?" But while there are new twists here, from Meg White discovering her voice to a tongue-in-cheek threesome with Holly Golightly, Elephant is no great departure for Jack and Meg White. They still push their creativity (and the boundaries of their eight-track) to new heights. Check out the startling, Queen-inspired "There's No Home for You Here," while the deep bass line on "Seven Nation Army" makes it a classic indie dance track. But while some songs fly off into new realms, there's plenty of their trademark straight-up bluesy rock, notably the overtly sexual "Ball and Biscuit." And there's Jack's plaintive, resolutely modest and yet theatrical voice. --Caroline Butler ... Read more

    Reviews (659)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Elephant poopie
    I like the White Stripes, I liked De Stijl and White Blood Cells but this... album... was... horrible.One good song (Seven Nation Army) for 15 bucks.I kept waiting and waiting for something decent after the first track.Didn't get it.I might give them another shot because I like the band, but this was a really weak effort.I'm not going to get into the musical debate, (Are they talented, are they not?) and so forth.I personally like their raw sound, I like the band, I "get it."But Elephant just sucked, plain and simple.Hey Jack and Meg, I want my 15 bucks back!

    5-0 out of 5 stars I'm not totally obsessed...
    Unlike the previous three albums from the rock/blues duo the White Stripes, this CD seems to have a slightly softer and darker quality to it.Not that that's a bad thing.This is definitely another unique White Stripes classic.Recorded and mixed without the modern help of computers, as the inside booklet says, it sounds more like 1970's rock and almost reminiscent of Led Zeppelin.The album is full of catchy melodies (like on "The Air Near My Fingers") and foot stomping beats (like on the Grammy-winning "Seven Nation Army"), not to mention Meg's first solo singing song "In the Cold, Cold Night.""Ball and Biscuit" is 7 minutes of perfection and "Hypnotize" is a fast paced, amplified guitar jam (I apologize for my use of the word 'jam'-I hate when people use it to describe a song, but I couldn't think of another word to use) that is sort of like the "Fell in Love With a Girl" of Elephant. Everything else in between that I haven't listed is great and pure White Stripes.If you're as obsessed as I am with them (... but I wouldn't say to an unhealthy level...) [awkward silence] then go and buy this album now.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Album
    This is the most original new band to come out and in my opinion the best. The reason Jack White is a genius is not that he is one of the greatest guitarists ever but in a similar way to Kurt Cobain. Not the best voice, not the best guitar, but there's something that sets them totally apart from everyone else. There's not denying it when you see them and hear them. They justify there hype by having success after success. And this album is proof. ... Read more

    Asin: B00008J4P5
    Subjects:  1. Blues-Rock    2. Garage Rock Revival    3. Indie Rock    4. Pop    5. Rock   


    Hail To The Thief
    by Capitol
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (10 June, 2003)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $13.99
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    Editorial Review

    Filling the gulf between OK Computer's epicprogressive rock and KidA's skittering electronic theatrics, Hail to the Thief borrows equally from each.Its title implies that this will be a collection filled with songs of anger and dissent, but Radiohead no longer howl at the moon like they did on 1995's The Bends. Instead, theyuse eloquent metaphors and complicated arrangements to express the uncertainty, fear and anger arising from the 2000 U.S. presidential election and a post-9/11 world. There’s no doubt about where Thom Yorke and company stand; the prog-rock break on "2 + 2 = 5" and Yorke's terror at the thought of being "put in a dock" make that immediately clear. But there's a prevailing sense of powerlessness here. The tinkling piano behind the cold sonic surface of "Backdrifts" and the brief, swooping melody in the middle of "Sail to the Moon" are islands in a sea of confusion. Like the band's best work, Thief requires more than a few listens to fully appreciate, but those who stick around will be richly rewarded. --Matthew Cooke ... Read more

    Reviews (949)

    4-0 out of 5 stars An Artistic Oddity
    I find this to be an interesting album. It is like Thom Yorke took 'Ok Computer', 'Kid A' and 'Amnesiac' and blended them together to form 'Hail To The Thief'. I can agree with the other reviewers that this album does lack some flow. But, Radiohead has never been able to fit into some sort of formula.

    This album takes longer to "get into", so to speak. I had to listen to it a few times to truly appreciate it. I remember feeling the same way with 'Kid A', and I like that album a lot now.I really like the title of this album and how it corelates with the 2000 election. I find Radiohead's tongue and cheek response funny.

    I think this album does fit into any Radiohead fan's collection. Its a good album, but maybe not as brilliant as Kid A, The Bends, or Ok Computer. It is still good stuff. If you are new to Radiohead, this may not be the best album to start off with. Try 'The Bends' or 'Ok Computer.'

    1-0 out of 5 stars Pure rubbish!
    Keep on whining little one...waah! yhyy! This music is just whining...listen to great rock like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath!

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's too bad Radiohead had to be the band to release this..
    Why the title? Because had any other band released this album, it would have been lauded as complete genious, a breakthrough in popular music. But instead, Radiohead released it, and as such it draws comparison to the titans OK Computer, Kid A, and even to an extent, The Bends and Amnesiac. Is Hail to the Thief as good as these albums? In some ways, yes. In other ways, no. I will go in to as much detail as I can comfortably muster...

    First, a major complaint is the album's cohesiveness. Or more like its lack thereof. It is true that the album stalls and restarts in spots. For instance, while "2+2=5" is like a punch to the face from one fist and "Sit Down. Stand Up" a follow up from the other hand, leaving you dazed and half-conscious during the beautiful, astral scenery of "Sail to the Moon", "Backdrifts" sort of stutters. "Backdrifts" itself is a pretty good song, and fits just fine after "Sail to the Moon." However, it doesn't seem to provide an adequete enough bridge between the first portion of the record and "Go to Sleep." In fact, the problem here may not be "Backdrifts," but "Go to Sleep." It just doesn't fit on the album that well. I love the song but it divides the record up.

    "Where I End and You Begin" and "We Suck Young Blood" pick up the album again after "Go to Sleep" drops it, indulging in creepy lyricism and emotionally-over-the-top music. "The Gloaming" is conceptually a high point of the album but musically a weak point. Still, it serves the album just fine where it is, and even manages to segway into "There There" effectively. There's a sort of "gloaming" in the album, everything before this track being the dusk and everything after it the night. This fits with the oftentimes political preoccupation of the album fairly nicely.

    "I Will" is a beautiful song, but the start of a scattered, unorganized part of the album. My biggest problems with the consistancy of this album mostly take place in this part. "Punchup at a Wedding" is a groovey, but under-written, song that fits poorly among the other songs. Perhaps if they had given it more time to age, it would have turned out a little better. Not a bad song by any means, but a low point in the album. "Myxomatosis" is a fantastic, adrenaline-driven thrill ride on the wave of surging distorted bass synth and Phil's mind-boggling swung drum beat. As good as this song is, it still doesn't feel as though it contributes to the flow of the album as much as it should.

    "Scatterbrain" brings the album back on track, with a crooning melody and guitars that hint back to the beginning of the record. It then flows seemlessly into "Wolf at the Door" which is one of my personal favorites on the album and a brilliant, unique album closer.

    The other common complaint is the "straightforward," more live-production style. Radiohead fans have grown accustomed to studio-trickery and songs that are almost identical to their live versions (both in instrumentation and just general sound) was an alien idea to many. While I miss the spaced out, rich production of OK Computer, I have come to appreciate Hail to the Thief as a different album and a different bag of tricks altogether.

    While initially I was disappointed in some ways, I have grown to love this album. It contains many of my favorite individual Radiohead songs (2+2=5, Sail to the Moon, Where I End and You Begin, We Suck Young Blood, There There, Wolf at the Door.) It may not work as a full album quite as well as Kid A or OK Computer, but once you stop expecting Radiohead to keep topping themselves, you may realize that Hail to the Thief is a fantastic album. It's a "low point" in Radiohead's discography because it's not genre-redefining, but in the greater scheme of popular music, it is flat out amazing. Its diversity, while breaking up the flow of the album, is also part of what makes the album so charming.

    Overall, as a Radiohead album it gets four stars. But held up against the rest of the music world, it gets a five, easily. ... Read more

    Asin: B000092ZYX
    Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Rock   


    A Rush of Blood to the Head
    by Capitol
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (27 August, 2002)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $13.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    Coldplay required a lifetime to make their wonderfully assured debut,Parachutes. But it tookless than two years for the moody British quartet to deliver a masterful follow-up. As a band, Coldplay have advanced to a stage where they outshine nearly every oneof their rivals in terms of imagination and emotional pull. A Rush of Bloodto the Head is a soulful, exhilarating journey, moving from the catharticrock of "Politik" to the hushed tones of "Green Eyes" without once breaking itsmesmerizing spell. Singer Chris Martin takes his voice on soaring flights,reaching places only JeffBuckley previously dared to go. And the music is nearly flawless, apersuasive cross between PinkFloyd and the Verve.Even if they haven't come up with another "Yellow," you would be hard-pressed tocare. This is exquisite stuff. --Aidin Vaziri ... Read more

    Reviews (941)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect
    This CD is one of my all time favorite's! I wouldn't say it breaks new ground, but it certainly digs a little deeper into its genre. Chris Martin is an fantastic frontman for Coldplay and his vocals are amazing! The entire CD is filled with excellent songs, but here are a few highlights:

    "Polotik". Mysecond favorite song on the CD.
    It starts out loud with banging drums, but halfway through, it switches to a soft, two minute instumental with heartmoving piano playing by Martin.

    "The Scientist". My favorite of the CD.
    A haunting ballad of love, loss and forgiveness.
    The piano is extraordinary!

    Overall, the CD is never boring and I can listen to it all the way through without skipping any tracks.

    At times its quiet and refelctive, or loud and incredible.

    Chris Martin, Will Champion, John Buckland and Guy Berryman are truely geniuses of our time.

    I cannot wait to get their new CD and I am definetly going to atten their concert in September.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Forget the Hype: They're Greater Than That
    Hype makes it almost impossible to judge bands because the publicity seeps into one's judgment and becomes the story rather than the actual music. So I took a break from Coldplay for a year and went back to them and I must say their music transcends all the hype. Amsterdam, God Put a Smile on My Face, and my favorite, The Scientist, head the album's charge though you won't find one bad track. Why is Coldplay so successful? Of course, the voice. Of course, the universal themes. Of course, the melodies. But I can't explain why people of all ages love them. It's rare that such a cool band has such mainstream appeal. Many already know that the wonderful band Keane is being, rightly, compared to Coldplay. But for two lesser known bands that have similar melodic"emotional rock" qualities, check out the Swedish bands Ronderlin and Radio Dept.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal... I look forward to X & Y
    I'll make this short and sweet.This is what not only what rock and roll is about, but also music.In a recent interview I read about Coldplay in Blender Magazine, they acknowledged the fact that they weren't "flashy" in a sense where playing their instruments was concerned because "they couldn't" be.While they may have limitations (very few people don't), they used their attributes as musicians to the very best of their abilities, hence making better albums than some bands with more experienced musicians.I have no doubt that A RUSH OF BLOOD TO THE HEAD will forever be a part of Rock and Roll History as one of its best albums.After more than 2 years, it is still a much hailed/ talked about album.No offense to Simple Plan (who'm I'm a fan of), but are we going to be talking about it 2 years after its initial release (...Still Not Getting Any).No, simply on the basis that Coldplay's material is more focused and filled with more depth compared to say a punk band like Simple Plan.

    With that said, everyone will most likely say that "Clocks" is their very favorite track. My favorite happens to be the haunting opening track "Politik".It is just so well written with an opening crescendo of hard rocking guitars that then grow in dimunition to Chris Martin's solo piano line while he sings in his somber voice.It will give you chills, especially when Martin ascends into his falsetto.

    I won't give an individual critique of the rest of the tracks.But I will summarize with this that this is an enjoyable listening and a stellar album.I am a person who listens to more urban stuff probably than say rock and roll, but as an open-eared listener, who could deny the incredible musicianship and sound that Coldplay posess on this rock masterpiece? Well so much for short and sweet!

    Track Picks:"Politik", "In My Place", "God Put A Smile On Your Face", "The Scientist", "Clocks" ... Read more

    Asin: B000069AUI
    Subjects:  1. Alternative Pop/Rock    2. Britpop    3. Dream Pop    4. Indie Rock    5. Pop    6. Post-Grunge    7. Rock   


    American IV: The Man Comes Around (Bonus DVD)
    by Lost Highway
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (04 March, 2003)
    list price: $13.98 -- our price: $13.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    On first thought, the idea of The Man in Black recording such covers as "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "Danny Boy," and "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" might seem odd, even for an artist who’s been able to put his personal stamp on just about everything. But American IV: The Man Comes Around, which also draws on Cash’s original songs as well as those by Nine Inch Nails ("Hurt"), Sting ("I Hung My Head"), and Depeche Mode ("Personal Jesus"), may be one of the most autobiographical albums of the 70-year old singer-songwriter’s career. Nearly every tune seems chosen to afford the ailing giant of popular music a chance to reflect on his life--and look ahead to what’s around the corner. From the opening track, Cash’s own "The Man Comes Around," filled with frightening images of Armageddon, the album, produced by Rick Rubin, advances a quiet power and pathos, built around spare arrangements and unflinching honesty in performance and subject. In 15 songs, Cash moves through dark, haunted meditations on death and destruction, poignant farewells, testaments to everlasting love, and hopeful salutes to redemption. He sounds as if he means every word, his baritone-bass, frequently frayed and ravaged, taking on a weary beauty. By the time he gets to the Beatles’ "In My Life," you’ll very nearly cry. Go ahead. He sounds as if he’s about to, too. Unforgettable. (This special 2003 version includes a bonus DVD with the music video for "Hurt.") --Alanna Nash ... Read more

    Reviews (57)

    5-0 out of 5 stars We'll Meet Again
    I think I should start off by telling you that System of a Down is my favorite band.Nirvana and Gorillaz are up there too.So, why am I giving a Johnny Cash CD 5 stars?Well, the first JC song I ever heard was Folsom Prison Blues Live, and it changed the way I looked at country music (making me hate everything except Johnny Cash).So, after I bought a greatest songs 3 CD set and realised that Rick Rubin produced 4 Johnny Cash albums (and I had already heard Hurt, which is such a good song) also produced System of a Down's albums, I thought it might be worth it to check out one of his 4 American Recordings albums.So, interestingly enough this one was the cheapest of all 4 at Best Buy and came with a DVD of the Hurt music video, which is one of the most moving things I've ever seen.If you don't like country, don't turn away from this CD.I haven't heard the other 3 American ones, but this was very good.The Man Comes Around is the song during the opening credits of Dawn of the Dead (2004) and it's one of the best songs.Hurt, and the new version of Give My Love to Rose are very very good songs also.This CD has a very somber tone, but some things about it are a little more up-beat like the last song, We'll Meet Again, which isn't really a sad song, but as you're listening to the somewhat happy tone of it and realizing it is the last song on Johnny Cash's last album, it's very moving.I urge you to either listen to this somehow or just buy it, I don't think you'll be dissapointed in waht you discover.Now I'm on a quest to get the other 3 American recordings CD's.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wait a minute...
    "Hey, Johnny Cash! Wait a minute... Oh my God, it's NIN!"

    Those were my thoughts when I first heard "Hurt" and saw the video one night on MTV2. I have only recently gotten around to buying this album but it's definitely worth it. Every song on this album works well, both as stand-alone songs and with each other. "Hurt" is the most talked-about, and it came as a surprise to me, both as a music lover and a Nine Inch Nails fan. However, I think that "We'll Meet Again" has taken a new meaning in light of Cash's death in 2003, as though he's saying that we will see him on the other side someday.

    4-0 out of 5 stars First Time Ever I
    The "First Time Ever I" heard Johnny Cash was on the radio in the mid 1960's singing the funny yet catching country song "A Man Named Sue" which everyone sang along.

    The "First Time Ever I" heard Johnny Cash sang a movie track, I was shocked by the non-metered poetry. My father said "Johnny Cash is known to tell a story rather than sing in rhyme." Years later through Classical music I learned that one was allowed to do such a thing.

    The "First Time Ever I" ever bought a Johnny Cash CD was "Johnny Cash's Greatest Hits Volume I" because I collect music to match with my slide shows & don't play this type of CDs for normal listening pleasure.

    The "First Time Ever I" heard Johnny Cash sang "Hurt" was at work a few years ago. All day long my business environment is a battle ground between Rap & Mex-Tex. All of a sudden a deep worn out voice sang about spiritual depravity & hope that I was blown away. "Who is singing?" I asked a fellow worker who also doesn't listen to Rap or Mex-Tex. "That's Johnny Cash singing a song by Nine Inch Nails" came the reply. That sure makes a strange combo.

    The "First Time Ever I" saw Johnny Cash sing "Hurt" as a music video was in between two PBS shows on TV. Normally PBS always shows this station break about southern California during the top of the hour because they have so few commercials. Why this one day PBS played a music video during that time I have no idea, but I was hooked...I had to get Johnny Cash's lastCD "American IV: The Man Comes Around" with the DVD short "Hurt". The references to a "You can't take it with you" type of philosophy with the death of his wife & Jesus on the cross was most moving.

    The "First Time Ever I" heard Johnny Cash sing "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" was on this CD & was pleasantly surprised on how well it could be sang from a male perspective. When the song came out in the 1970's by Roberta Flack, the radio stations over played it & I was into progressive rock. The song didn't move me as it does now. Years later the song was one of the few I liked from my wife's CD "Celine Dion - All the Way...A Decade of Song".

    Therefore "Hurt" & "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" made me see Johnny Cash as an understated musical genius because he can be so successful at experimentation. The rest of the CD "American IV: The Man Comes Around" has its ups & downs, but this review is written from a person that normally doesn't listen to Country music. The highlights are "The Man Comes Around" which is Country but though Johnny Cash's skill & spiritual background reveals the last days with a tang. Paul Simon's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is done with a deep heart felt passion that makes for a welcome addition. John Lennon / Paul McCartney's "In My Life" is very upfront & clear which showcases Johnny Cash's timber. Ross Parker / Hugh Charles's jazzy "We'll Meet Again" makes for a great ending that one wonders if Johnny Cash could have made it as a Jazz singer.

    There are some songs that may hold a surprise like Martin Gore's "Personal Jesus" that Johnny Cashtwists around to the positive & Sting's "I Hung My Head" which sounds very Country. The balance of the CD has some Country classics that are done with great skill while others repeat the same words or rhythm.

    If you are not a Country music fan but have respect for an American icon that takes chances, this CD will not let you down. Because I liked this CD DVD combination so well, I am going to check out a few other of Johnny Cash`s "American" series.

    Johnny if your listening, I hope "We'll Meet Again". ... Read more

    Asin: B00008IAMD
    Subjects:  1. Country    2. Interview    3. Pop    4. Singer/Songwriter    5. Traditional Country   


    The Wind
    by Artemis Records
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (26 August, 2003)
    list price: $19.98 -- our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    The Wind is like an X-ray with a dark shadow that shouldn’t be there and can’t be ignored. Recorded after Zevon was diagnosed in 2002 with inoperable lung cancer, it sounds like the work of a guy who's still fighting, but also starting to wrap things up. Although Zevon is best known for his poison-dart wit, he’s always been a bit of a softie, too. It’s no surprise, then, that The Wind leans heavily on irony-free ballads such as "She’s Too Good for Me," "El Amor de mi Vida," and "Please Stay." But there’s also a dose of defiant blues ("Rub Me Raw") and plenty of dirty slide guitar, courtesy of Ry Cooder and David Lindley. (Other guests include Bruce Springsteen, Don Henley, Tom Petty, Jackson Browne, and Dwight Yoakam).

    If the lyrics generally lack the literary precision of Zevon’s best work, the songs take on greater weight given the circumstance under which they were recorded. Heard in 1983, a party-hearty anthem like "The Rest of the Night" would’ve sounded like yet another dumb argument for hedonism, and "Numb as a Statue" might have come off as the self-lacerating joke of an alcoholic unable to deal with his emotions directly. However, on The Wind, these songs are genuinely touching, the work of a guy deadened by meds but unwilling to surrender to The Big Sleep just yet. A cover of Dylan’s "Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door" is the album’s most direct comment on Zevon’s fragile health, but the most touching song is the album-closing acoustic ballad "Keep Me in Your Heart," recorded by Zevon at home after the star-studded studio work was complete. Clearly, Zevon survived one hell of a farewell party last night, but now it's morning again and there’s no telling what the rest of the day might bring. --Keith Moerer ... Read more

    Reviews (247)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Zevon's asbestos figment of fans' imagination

    This segues into where I admonish you 230 reviewers. I chide you as the most disreputable pawns of media propaganda who submissively bought this, now irrelevant, obsolete "musician's" CD, at the solicitation of news outlets who fooled you into believing Zevon was noteworthy, which is a distant cry from what he really was!!!! I accuse that you 230-strong are insincere double-dealers who never heard of Suicide until he stigmatically leaked the publicity stunt of conceding his mortality was inevitable, which raises additional suspicions. How dare Zevon disseminate unwanted news of his impending death, when, because of his unremarkable rank, no one would've cared, much less noticed!!!! This implicates you 230-strong as the most surrendering, imaginarily trendy sheep who subserved the media's plot-for-their-own-personal-gain, to hype Zevon after he killed himself, to a misused, patsy exercise.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Zevon having asbestos is like Hitttler likingJews:IMPOSSIBLE

    Zevon must practice liberalism/socialism. Self-destroyer-presumably not functionally retarded-disowned the meanest of basic common sense regarding his LIFELONG SMOKING HABIT. He's the indiscriminately prototypical poster-boy for moronically scorned liberals/socialists who non-conformingly jeopardize themselves because of liberal/socialist thinking cancers, which dictate they'll never be responsible for their actions and/or can shift the blame. Zevon's ominously close to being lowered onto the stereotype of chronic smokers who kill themselves, then, in irrational vindictiveness, whose families sue tobacco companies immoderately. Zevon's kids should just huffily-in abnormal dissatisfaction-sue, confirming this hippie liberal's culpability!!!!You 230-strong are discomfortingly suffering from the LOWEST manifestation of hero worship-in your cases, sacrilegious idolatry of a frailly hampered, small-name studio musician, which progresses the outrage even more.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A fitting farewell
    I'll keep this brief.Good last stab at an album from a renowned under the radar artist. As a comment to the plethora of one star reviews.....well, there is no such thing as bad publicity, even from conspiracy theorists. Take it with a grain of salt and enjoy the music, which is what matters in the end anyway. ... Read more

    Asin: B0000AGWIK
    Subjects:  1. Adult Alternative Pop/Rock    2. Album Rock    3. Folk-Rock    4. Pop    5. Rock    6. Singer/Songwriter    7. United States of America   


    Stumble Into Grace
    by Nonesuch
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (23 September, 2003)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $14.99
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    Editorial Review

    Twenty-eight years after her major label debut, Emmylou Harris remains as vital, electric, and bold an artist as the young woman who moved to Nashville in the early ‘70s. But where she once carried on Gram Parsons’ vision of wedding hardcore country to contemporary rhythms, for the past decade Harris has explored an acoustic sonic landscape rooted in folk, yet set apart by driving percussion, world-music elements, and gauzy and ethereal vocals. Stumble Into Grace follows the Grammy-winning Red Dirt Girl with an even bleaker and beautiful collection of songs, almost all of which she wrote or co-wrote. Two songs concern themselves with social commentary, the slant-eyed "Time In Babylon" (co-written with Jill Cuniff ofLuscious Jackson), poking a stick in the eye of designer fashions and TV culture, and the affecting "Lost Unto This World" framing scenes of female genocide throughout the ages. Yet much of the program has an Emily Dickinson quality about it, as if told from the point of view of a woman looking back on her past life, realizing it is almost over, and finding herself nearly crazed from lost opportunity, lost loves, and loneliness. Even her elegy to June Carter Cash, "Strong Hand," where Linda Ronstadt guests, centers on the "miracle of how one soul finds another." A poetic spirituality lifts up even the most hopeless lyric, as do the otherworldly background vocals (Julie Miller, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, andJane Siberry) and producer Malcolm Burn’s haunting instrumental touches (a Cuban churanga and a deftly-placed accordion, which offers a sympathetic wheeze). At 57, Harris may be square in the middle stages of chronological life, but as a performer, she is still in the forefront of genre-transcending artistry. --Alanna Nash ... Read more

    Reviews (79)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The new direction all comes together here. Beautiful!
    What a beautiful CD and the picture of her on the CD - Wow! This is where her new sound starting with Wrecking Ball and continuing with Red Dirt Girl really come together. And I am so happy that it was Emmylou herself that wrote or co-wrote most of the songs. I love the way she has re-invented herself (her pal Nanci Griffith needs to take note).

    One reviewer said Emmylou had a two note range. I think she has had some voice problems in the past and certainly her voice has changed but her voice has always had a unique imperfect quality to it. I saw her in concert last spring and let me tell you, she can still carry it off live! Knowing her voice troubles and not being thrilled with her TV performances over the years, I was not expecting the high quality live performance that she delivered. It was great! And the occasional voice cracking and the whispers are real and raw. It's truth.

    Also, her old standards didn't even really seem to fit into the concert. They were just kind of plunked down in the middle of the concert (fans do still want to hear them). Her performance of "Together Again" was top notch. She rocked "Born to Run". Believe me she can still sing. But I love this new direction Emmylou has gone and loved that she focused on alot of new stuff, especially this CD when I saw her. She is keeping her music so fresh and interesting that I don't find myself pining away for her old stuff.

    I know I haven't talked about the actual CD much. I can't really even describe it. It's just plain beautiful. It's an "experience". To get my full experience I pass "Time in Babylon" and "Jupiter's Rising". While the songs are ok, in the midst of this CD they are clunkers that I prefer to pass by so I can keep within the same frame of mind and musical experience as the other songs.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning!
    Emmylou Harris is staying true to herself. She doesn't take on anyone else's style or do anything artsy-fartsy. This album is just plain Emmylou.

    Little Bird is the best track. I love the instrumentation.

    Overall, the songs are uplifting and angelic, just like the beautiful cover art. People have been complaining about her vocal range and her songwriting. I personally don't see it. For a woman in her fifties, she has a beautiful highly textured voice. So what if she can't hit the high notes anymore! As for her songwriting abilities, I think it is refreshing to hear simple songs that aren't trashy and sexual like much of the music put out today.

    Beautiful album by a beautiful woman! Promise me that you will stumble into grace and buy this album

    1-0 out of 5 stars Two note range at best!
    Look, I was the biggest Emmylou fan in the world. I saw her in coffee houses before GP I lover that voice voice with its cadence, range, emotion. It just "wowed" me. Those Reprise albums for the most part were gems, but somewhere down the line the voice started to sound strained. Emmylou's stretches vocally became annoying and I stopped buying her albums. She was kind of painful to hear.

    Then she met Daniel Lanois, and started making those non-country alternative albums, which were great ideas and some good songs. But Emmylou, just cannot sing anymore. Let;s face it, The lady has a two note range and chooses songs where she does not have to stretch and screech.Are they vocal polyps, ruptured vocal chord, strain? And now she writes songs that compliment her lack of a voice. It is not that these songs are not well constructed, but they are just pretty empty songs and her albums are limp and not fullfilling. Damn, I miss those good old days when her voice was fresh, angelic, and truly an instument. ... Read more

    Asin: B0000AKNEN
    Subjects:  1. Adult Alternative Pop/Rock    2. Alternative Country    3. Country    4. Pop    5. Singer/Songwriter   


    by J-Records
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (10 June, 2003)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $14.99
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    Editorial Review

    Annie Lennox's first album of original songs in 11 years on is a stylish tour de force that showcases the former Eurythmics chanteuse in all her chilly, shimmering splendor. Her formidable voice is still a supple and intriguing instrument, lithely shape-shifting between emotions, personas, and musical forms. Lennox moves effortlessly from the sparse and pristine lament of "A Thousand Beautiful Things" to the deceptively simple "Pavement Cracks," a solemn ballad that is transformed by electro dance beats that recall some of the best of the Eurythmics. But Lennox's quixotic voice is best utilized as an old-school soul instrument; she makes a metaphoric journey to Motown on "Hurting Time," a reflective ballad could have been lifted off a Miracles album. "Honesty," shows the Scottish diva at her well-mannered best, occupying the same sophisticated space formerly held by Carly Simon. --Jaan Uhelszki ... Read more

    Reviews (283)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not everyones gets it.
    I was quite taken with this cd. It must be hard to compete with your own past and I think some of the negative reviews are from those who loved Ms. Lennox's prior cd's. This one is harder to float along with I would have to agree with that. BUT. The middle songs on this cd "Loneliness" and "Saddest song" blend together in a brilliance that surpasses any weakness one might argue it has. Annie is a fantastic artist and she has much to offer - don't be afraid to jump in these deep waters "bare" .

    3-0 out of 5 stars Sometimes It's Good To Not Be Totally Bare-Cover up!
    I've always been a big fan of Lennox's voice and persona.Her first solo CD, DIVA, is one of my favorite albums, and her follow-up MEDUSA has grown on me over the years.

    This time though, while I admire the artistry and groove on the voice, something about this project leaves me detached and uninterested.

    With the exception of "A Thousand Beautiful Things", "Wonderful" and "Pavement Cracks", I don't think this is a very strong album.

    Then again, maybe Lennox is trying to reach me and I'm just not ready to listen to what she has to say?I have to admit that since I've bought this album (over a year ago), I do return to it often and try to get into it, but so far, as a whole, I have not been able to.I'm intrigued by it for sure, but I don't enjoy it.

    However, the dance remixes of "A Thousand Beautiful Things", "Wonderful" and "Pavement Cracks" are truly joyful and they are what brought me back to the original tracks in the first place and now I find I like the originals more, but do I need to have dance remixes of all the songs in order to like the whole album? Something must be wrong with this if that's the case.

    Who knows if time and/or maturity will help me understand what Lennox is trying to deliver with this set, but whatever happens, I do know that admiration alone is not enough to make an album successful.

    There has to be some joy somewhere.

    1-0 out of 5 stars WHAT A BORE I COULD NOT BARE LISTEN.

    Asin: B000089RVU
    Subjects:  1. Adult Alternative Pop/Rock    2. Adult Contemporary    3. Pop    4. Pop/Rock    5. Rock   


    Everything Must Go
    by Warner Brothers
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (10 June, 2003)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $14.99
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    Editorial Review

    After trading their infamous two-decade hiatus for an armful of Grammies, Steely Dan breezed through the recording of Two Against Nature's follow-up in a year--near record time in the oft-tortuous Becker/Fagan sessionography. Loosening their notoriously anal retentive studio bent has yielded upbeat immediacy, an almost un-Dan-like brightness to jazzy funk and blues that snap and crackle--even if pop is obviously the farthest thing from their fevered brows. But anyone who confuses the sunny disposition of "Blues Beach" and others here with anything but an ever slyer incarnation of their trademark irony and icy veneer just isn't paying attention. Bookended by "The Last Mall" (a cool, chunky update of "Black Friday"'s apocalypse) and a bluesy, laconic title track that serves up metaphors for bankruptcies both commercial and moral, Walt and Don argue that our once fair society may well be past redemption. Better to simply close out the excess with a good blue-light special. "Godwhacker" serves jazz-head notice on no less than the almighty, whilst Becker makes his belated Steely Dan vocal bow on the slinky "Slang of Ages," daring to be termed "Newmanesque" for rhyming "netherworld" with "Duke of Earl"--if not his lugubrious, lounge-lizard delivery. Abetted by guitarists Hugh McCracken and Jon Herrington, the sax of Walt Weiskopf (and others), and synched to the playful grooves of drummer Keith Carlock, Becker and Fagan bring a deliciously detached elegance to "Green Book" and "Pixeleen"'s sharp musings on digital vidiocy, forging an album that's a cunning, symbolic reminder that the sun will shine brightest just before it explodes. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more


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    Reviews (240)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great addition to today's music
    Steely Dan is quite possibly one of the most creative, innovating, and talented groups of the 70's (though they used different musicians throughout their career). They fused jazz, rock,and blues, into a cool far from cliche sound.

    The great thing about Steely Dan's music is it doesn't get boring. Everything Must Go is no exception. The music is very entertaining, and is not repetetive or old. After almost 30 years after their high point in career, they are still creating wonderful music that doesn't fail to please.

    Don't get me wrong, there's no way this album is as good as classics such as Aja. However, coming from a band of this caliber that's 30 years old, this is a damn solid album. Plus, I do not think that they're still trying to achieve the genius of Aja in this album or Two Against Nature, they probably are aiming more on a mindset of creating the same old great music at a smooth pace.

    Becker's bass and guitar solos are good as always, and Fagen's jazzy voice, while different from years past, is still very good. The songs are similar but different than the previous Steely Dan albums, which make this album unique like all the other ones. It's great that amidst all the rapping and junk you see in the media today, we get a classic album that sounds great to the ear and doesn't get boring.

    Buy this album, regardless of your age or musical standards. It's one of those rarities of today's music that's actually well done and intelligent.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Weak Outing by Steely Dan!
    I have never seen such a weak CD built up so highly by reviewers. If this thing is so good, then why is it selling at $2.68 each for a used one on here? I think died-in-the-wool Steely Dan fans would like it if one track on here was nothing but Fagan or Becker flushing a toilet. The further Fagan and Becker stray from their jazz/blues influences and towards this rinky dink, funky,poppy, sweetisie daisies sounding crap, the worse and more monotonous they get. Don't get me wronng....I'm a fan also. I think Steely Dan has written and performed some of the greatest pop tunes of my generation, but think "Kakakiriad" was the start of a steep slide downwards. Their two last releases(including this one) sound like they could have come directly off that CD. So m,any of them have the same exact beats and Becker does that same exact "chicken pickin" thing on his guitar that he started on Kamakiriad. How could someone who put out a solo CD as good as Walter Becker's be anywhere close to satisfied with this kind of material? Beats me!

    4-0 out of 5 stars almost a grammy
    A definite must-look. With the exception of Becker's ridiculous pervert-cum-stoner track "Slang of Ages," Everything Must Go delivers in style.My ratings:
    Last Mall= A-
    Things I miss the Most= B
    Blues Beach= B+
    Godwhacker= A-
    Green Book=A++ (the Becker "trading one's" guitar solo is alone worth the price and a very slick arrangement to boot)
    Pixeleen= A
    Lunch With Gina= B (weird, very Fagan-esque)
    Everything Must Go= A+ (fantastic bridge, both lyrically and harmonically)
    Great disc, SD. ... Read more

    Asin: B0000936MD
    Subjects:  1. Jazz-Rock    2. Pop    3. Pop/Rock    4. Rock    5. Soft Rock   


    About Time
    by Wincraft Music
    Audio CD (17 June, 2003)
    list price: $16.98 -- our price: $14.99
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    Editorial Review

    Marking his 40th anniversary in the music business, veteran Steve Winwood returns from the six-year hiatus he undertook after 1997's disappointing Junction Seven with this debut release for his own Wincraft Music label. If it foregoes the slick chart fodder that elevated Winwood's career expectations to somewhere just south of the stratosphere for much of the '80s, it also returns him to the warm, more band-oriented musical setting he thrived in from his days as the Spencer Davis Group's teen wunderkind and subsequent rewarding stints in Blind Faith and Traffic. More concerned with human connections, texture, and potent rhythmic contexts than pop hooks, Winwood evokes much of the latter band's jazz and funk sensibilities to good effect, often working with a diverse group of songwriting collaborators to wrap his distinctive blue-eyed soul in the sort of rich Latin and Caribbean influences familiar to fans of Santana. Veteran jazz guitarist and current Winwood bandmate/songwriting collaborator Jose Neto lights an evocative gypsy fire beneath "Cigano," "Domingo Morning," and the slow-burning "Silvia," whileprevious Winwood sideman Anthony Crawford shares songwriting credits on the Marvin Gaye grooves of "Final Hour" and the ebullient "Walking On." Brit popster William Topley stirs his Stax-meets-Jamaican seasoning into Winwood's B-3-powered stew on "Phoenix Rising" while Winwood's wife Eugenia shares writing duties on "Now That You're Alive, "Bully," and the beautiful, wistful "Horizon." --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

    Asin: B00009MGUA
    Subjects:  1. Album Rock    2. Blue-Eyed Soul    3. Jazz-Rock    4. Pop    5. Pop/Rock    6. Rock   


    Trouble No More
    Audio CD (03 June, 2003)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $18.98
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    Editorial Review

    Before John Mellencamp recorded his classic Scarecrow, he learned hundreds of classic rock covers from the '60s. Here the Indiana troubadour ventures back to the very roots of American popular music, learning traditional songs associated with the likes of Robert Johnson, Son House, Howlin' Wolf, and Woody Guthrie. The result is Mellencamp's rawest album to date, updating the acoustic sounds of those early idioms for modern times while keeping them firmly rooted in tradition. In that sense, it's not unlike his hero Bob Dylan's two country-blues cover albums from the mid-'90s--though the ever-mischievous Mellencamp has a little fun with his definitions here, paying tribute to his Hoosier background by covering Bloomington native Hoagy Carmichael's "Brooklyn Oriole" and Lucinda Williams's 1980 ode to "Lafayette," while pulling a beautiful stark version of Skeeter Davis's wonderful 1963 country-pop ballad "End of the World" out of left field. The former James Brown impersonator has never sang better. The album closes with "To Washington," credited to Mellencamp, but actually a "borrowed blues" that's been used to address political figures as far back as Calvin Coolidge when recorded by Charlie Poole, the Carter Family, and Guthrie. This time, the song addresses one George W. Bush and surely won't gain Mellencamp any new fans among those who'd support a Dixie Chicks boycott. --Bill Holdship ... Read more


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    Asin: B000094OU1
    Subjects:  1. Album Rock    2. Americana    3. Blues-Rock    4. Pop    5. Pop/Rock    6. Rock   


    Hittin' the Note
    by Sanctuary Records
    Audio CD (18 March, 2003)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $14.99
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    Editorial Review

    Very rarely is a legendary band able to come up with new, credible material. Jam band progenitors the Allman Brothers have done better than that, tapping into some of the spark that made them one of the most influential American bands of their time. The lineup has changed due to tragedy, discontent, and plain orneriness, but the band is still able to conjure up dark tales of thwarted romance, dashed ambitions, and enduring friendship and tether them to freefalling slide riffs, jazzy interludes, and soulful blues that have been staples of the band since 1969. Granted, some of the guitar solos aren't an heroic as they were when Dickey Betts in the fold, but the ballad "Desdamona" is as inspired as "Melissa," and Gregg Allman's singing has never been better. --Jaan Uhelszki ... Read more

    Asin: B000089RVP
    Subjects:  1. Album Rock    2. American Trad Rock    3. Blues-Rock    4. Hard Rock    5. Pop    6. Rock    7. Rock & Roll    8. Roots Rock    9. Southern Rock    10. United States of America   


    by Sanctuary Records
    Audio CD (07 October, 2003)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $18.98
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    Editorial Review

    "Have you ever had a rock that just keeps on rolling/ Ever seen a train coming down the track" Ian Gillan deadpans on the first song off Bananas. This tune gives you every single 1970s hard rock cliché at once, as it careens from cheesy guitar solo to cheesy organ solo to cheesy dual organ and guitar solo, with a gratuitous use of the cowbell effect right through the whole track. The song is a bit like seeing your grandmother in hot pants. Things do get better from there on out, though not tremendously so. Deep Purple’s first studio album in five years has new songs that for the most part sound like their old songs, which is not really such a bad thing. "Haunted," however, presents a new template for the band, a Macy Gray-style ballad. Really. The album brims with trademark DP choogling; original members Ian Paice and Roger Glover remain one of the most solid, thunderous rhythm sections in rock. If you can’t get enough of this band’s mountainous sound, with its thunderous organs, screaming guitars, and vocals that veer from ominous to operatic, this one’s for you.--Mike McGonigal ... Read more


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    Asin: B0000CNY73
    Subjects:  1. British Metal    2. Hard Rock    3. Pop    4. Rock   


    Dance of Death
    Audio CD (09 September, 2003)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $14.99
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    Asin: B0000BYM3K
    Sales Rank: 4076
    Subjects:  1. British Metal    2. Hard Rock    3. Heavy Metal    4. New Wave of British Heavy Metal    5. Pop    6. Progressive Metal    7. Rock   


    We've Come for You All
    by Sanctuary Records
    Audio CD (06 May, 2003)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $18.98
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    Editorial Review

    You'll find no rap metal or nu metal on We've Come for You All--just Anthrax's inimitable thrash-metal melded with contemporary melodies, dynamics, and booming, arena-worthy production. Two way-cool guests--Roger Daltrey and Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell--are under-utilized on their respective songs, but with machine-gun, heart-pounding double-bass drums and vocalist John Bush's convincing snarl, it hardly matters. Bush, who has been in Anthrax since the early '90s, has been part of much of the group's best and most mature (if not most commercially successful) material. The dynamic "Superhero" is a winner, as is the radio-ready, not-too-heavy "Safe Home." "Nobody Knows Anything" and "Strap It On" are the best of the heaviest entries. Effective acoustic moments, Scott Ian's guitar work, smart lyrics, and a 7-minute-plus title track that never drags prove that Anthrax may not be metal du jour, but they're consistently superior. --Katherine Turman ... Read more


    • Enhanced

    Asin: B000092Q46
    Subjects:  1. Heavy Metal    2. Pop    3. Rock    4. Thrash   


    St. Anger (with Bonus DVD)
    by Elektra
    Audio CD (05 June, 2003)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $13.99
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    Editorial Review

    Never underestimate the regenerative powers of Metallica. Following the stripped-down Load and Re-Load, they've returned to the raw, vitriolic savagery of their earlier canon, using 1984's Ride the Lightning as a template for St. Anger. The title track provides the psychic lynchpin of the album by combining the bombast and defiance of the band's earliest high-water marks with more deliberate lyrics and emotional nakedness. Equally cathartic is "Some Kind of Monster," a lumbering beast of a song that declares, "This is the voice of silence no more." Despite that claim, there's an economy to these lyrics; James Hetfield's raw-toothed growl only occasionally punctuates the menacing soundscapes. In fact, "Dirty Windows," the standout track here, is a shimmering five-minute instrumental that's free of the baroque trappings that sometimes clutter the Metallica landscape. --Jaan Uhelszki ... Read more


    • Enhanced
    • Explicit Lyrics

    Asin: B00008OWZG
    Subjects:  1. Hard Rock    2. Heavy Metal    3. Pop    4. Rock    5. Speed Metal    6. Thrash    7. United States of America   


    The Golden Age of Grotesque [Limited Edition w/ Bonus DVD]
    by Interscope Records
    Audio CD (13 May, 2003)
    list price: $18.98
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    Editorial Review

    The Golden Age of Grotesque was inspired by the seamy of Weimar Berlin, circa 1930. The album is constructed along the lines of Alice Cooper's 1975 gem, Welcome to My Nightmare, dipping in to the same cabaret of Cooper's "Some Folks." Unlike Cooper, however, this is no comic nightmare. "This isn't a show / This is my f*cking life / I'm not ashamed / You're entertained," Manson snarls in "Vodevil," making it abundantly clear that the singer was born in the wrong time and place and is more at home among the absinthe-drinking revelers in pre-Nazi Germany. The album possesses a dark, accessible beauty rather than the twisted industrial dissonance that pervades much of his earlier stuff. "mOBSCENE" is a thumping rocker that features a deranged cheerleading squad. "Ka-Boom Ka-Boom" is a rousing stomper that Manson penned in response to an exec's complaint that the new songs didn't rock. Its simple yet seditious chorus decries, "I like a big car, 'cause I'm a big star / I'll make a big rock & roll hit." Since 1998's Mechanical Animals, Manson's albums have become progressively more tuneful, and Grotesque continues the trend. --Jaan Uhelszki ... Read more


    • Explicit Lyrics
    • Limited Edition

    Asin: B000092ZVV
    Subjects:  1. Alternative Metal    2. Industrial Metal    3. Pop    4. Rock   

    The Eyes of Alice Cooper
    by Eagle Records (Red)
    Audio CD (30 September, 2003)
    list price: $17.98 -- our price: $17.98
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    Asin: B0000C7PQW
    Sales Rank: 42989
    Subjects:  1. Hard Rock    2. Heavy Metal    3. Pop    4. Rock   


    Audio CD (09 September, 2003)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $18.98
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    Editorial Review

    Midway through their fourth decade, the "Little Ol' Band from Texas" has lost none of their preternatural affinity for the blues. But, as this album ably demonstrates, that love continues to be informed by a restless sonic creativity that keeps it remarkably fresh. Proving he remains a fan of pop music in all its myriad incarnations, the grease’n’grit production of band mainstay Billy Gibbons gives it all a surprisingly contemporary edge, be it the grunge-meets-techno rattle of "Me So Stupid," the emblematic Top boogie "Buck Nekkid," or zydeco-tinged lugubriousness of "Alley-Gator." But Gibbons and company's alternately lo-fi and electro sensibilities also takes intriguing detours down country roads on"Goin' So Good" and "What Would You Do," while the en espanol "Que Lastima" see them stray rewardingly across the Rio Grande for inspiration. The bluesy, hip-hop experimentalism of "Crunchy" and "Dusted" offer up more angular treats, morphing effortlessly into the patented, greasy boogie of "Liquor," then a country-blues cover/hidden track/coda of the chestnut "As Time Goes By," the warmest surprise of an album already blessed with more than its share.--Jerry McCulley ... Read more

    Asin: B00008W2RO
    Subjects:  1. Album Rock    2. Blues-Rock    3. Boogie Rock    4. Hard Rock    5. Pop    6. Rock    7. Southern Rock   


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    Music - Classic Rock - 2003: The year I went from conservative to liberal for good!   (images)

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