Music Reviews

The Suburbs

Get it while it's $3.99 for DRM-free mp3's at Amazon:

U2's new album on Amazon mp3

U2's new album "No Line On the Horizon" has hit Amazon's mp3 download store. Priced at $3.99 (as of this writing), I don't think you can go wrong. Amazon's store is DRM-free 256kb VBR mp3's! -boosh

First Impressions of... 2006

So The Strokes recently (03 Jan, 2006) released a new album to a wave of absolutely no press at all. The surprising thing is... it's actually pretty good. I sound surprised because, if you will recall, The Strokes we're "Rock's (Newest) Greatest Hope" back when "Is This It" was released, and that title is usually a kiss of death. (Think The Stone Roses). Now, unlike the 'Roses, The Strokes came out with a second album within 4 years of their first (it was actually about 2 years later). "Room On Fire" was not a great leap forward artistically, in fact it was almost identical to "Is This It". But at least it got made and was a solid album (yeah, I'm talking to you, Ian Brown!). Anyway, the new album is a nice step forward for the band. The opening track "You Only Live Once" starts much like many other Strokes songs, but the lyrics seem stronger, and the band (notorious for being on the "loose" side) is very tight and together. It's a very strong start to the album. The second track "Juicebox" is the first single (I believe) and is actually _not_ one of my favorites. The opening guitar riff just seems kind of cliche. Props to the band though, as the track definitly does not sound like _anything_ from the band's first two albums. First Impressions then settles down to form a solid core for the album. 'Razorblade' and 'On the Other Side' are nice power-alterna-pop, that sounds familiar, but fresh. 'Vision of Division' is a bit cliche (as the title might suggest), but is still enjoyable to listen to, especially when Julian Casablancas breaks into his pateneted sing/speak/yelll at the end. But then we get to the quite boring statement song, oh so cleverly called 'Ask Me Anything'. The answer to any and all questions, however, is "I Have Nothing To Say". This track is a response to the critics that have said Casablancas' lyrics lack substance. Not really helping his case here (yes, I understand the irony, the song is just _boring_).

Ringleader of the Tormentors

The biggest problem in putting out your best album since you went solo from your old band is... What happens when you release your next album? It's more than likely not going to live up to your previous masterpiece, so what can you say? Well, I can say that this: 'Ringleader' is the best Morrissey album since his last album (2004's outstanding 'You are the Quarry'). But that is just to say it's a respectable follow-up to an opus. The difference is right there on the cover of the repective discs. 'Quarry' was emblazoned with Moz with a machine gun, while 'Ringleader has Moz with a violin. Inside the jewel-case, 'Quarry' was immediate and electric and engrossing. 'Ringleader' is mopey and even a bit dull. 'Quarry' had biting, scalding, relevent lyrics. 'Ringleader' has your typical gloom-rock Morrissey cliches. 'Ringleader' isn't bad, per say (and at $9.00 it's a good buy at Amazon), it's just that I got so excited about this "new" Morrissey on 'You Are The Quarry'. Great lyrics and word-play wrapped into current events and it actually sounded passionate. Ah well, at least his next album will probably also be called "the best since 'You Are The Quarry'", except it will mean just a little more. -boosh ps- Next up on the "Best album... since their last album" train? The Streets with "The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living". I don't know that the new a


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