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Music Reviews

Rod Stewart: Blood Red Roses

Rod Stewart: Blood Red Roses

Opening is the flicking acoustic guitar and big stomping, “Look In Her Eyes,” a song about men and women looking and working one another over. “Hole In My Heart” an even faster rocker, complete with horns, is about Rod losing his love to “Some Russian guy” while “Farewell,” the song that follows, and “Didn’t I,” are ballads about regret of different types. “Farewell,” about Rod’s running buddy Ewan Dawson and “Didn’t I,” a mid-tempo heart-wrenching tune about his daughter’s drug addiction.

Laura Paragano: Strange Curses

Laura Paragano: Strange Curses

Jerry Miller’s bass and some slide from Linden Evans gets us into the swaying easy tempo of “Out for a Surf,” Laura Paragano’s warble-of-a-first-tune from her 10-song, Strange Curses. This San Francisco-based singer-songwriter brings an easy songwriting grace to her surf/by the way of blues/by the way of indie sound. With the expert sublte players behind her it becomes apparent from the get go that Paragano makes the most of her personality voice and slightly off-center, yet strong songwriting.

Mah-Ze-Tar: Liquid Lotus

Mah-Ze-Tar: Liquid Lotus

We glisten right into the mystical jangle of a single-string instrumental in “Maand,” the first track of Mah-Ze-Tar’s self-titled debut release. In these 9 tracks, all based on a specific Indian Raga, we get a mix of traditional Indian sounds with newer technologies, as well as Maz singing in Hindi, Farsi, and English while bringing in vocal textures based on syllables of the ancient Indian Dhrupad tradition.

Nocturnal Animals: Writing On The Walls

Nocturnal Animals: Writing On The Walls

A loud distorted guitar opens the first tune rockin’ tune here, “Fake Love.” With Mason Jones’ taunting vocals and the rest of the boys-Dawson Tucker playing guitar and bass, Derrick Stephen on drums and percussion and Dominic Valenti playing guitar-we get sucked in quick and hard to Atlanta alt. rock group Nocturnal Animals’ Writing On The Walls.

Highbeams: Keep Meaning It

Highbeams: Keep Meaning It

“Either Way” gets going in a way very few here do, snapping along, truly Americana poppy and just this side of almost too noisy in the production…its wonderful cacophony. And “Window, f. Jenny and Sky,” the song that ends the album, is a back and forth acoustic dripping sorry-for-myself tune. Again the harmonies are just too perfect really and we go out nice and soft with Jenny and Sky lending their female vocal harmonies into the mix to end Keep Meaning It truly like the Highbeams mean to…perfectly.

A Star Is Born Soundtrack

A Star Is Born Soundtrack

Early on in the film when Cooper’s character, “Jackson Maine” first meet Lady Gaga’s “Ally,” she sings the classic “La Vie en rose,” in a drag club, that’s included here…showing off Gaga’s strong voice. “Maybe It’s Time,” written by four-time Grammy Award winner, singer-songwriter of The 400 Unit, and former member of Drive-By Truckers, Jason Isbell, is performed by Cooper in that same club setting, just him singing with an acoustic guitar.

Steve Perry: Traces

Steve Perry: Traces

Undeniably Steve Perry has one of most recognizable voices in popular music within the past five decades. The ex-Journey man, ‘returns’ to making music with his first album in nearly 25 years, Traces.

Cher: Dancing Queen

Cher: Dancing Queen

There is no denying that these ABBA tunes are great. Better pop tunes might not have ever been written actually. And having an icon of Cher’s status wailing round these, even with the over use of Auto-Tune, makes Dancing Queen a fun listen. The lady isn’t breaking any new ground with these versions, but it’s Cher-does ABBA, what more do you need?

Lenny Kravitz: Raise Vibration

Lenny Kravitz: Raise Vibration

On his 11th studio album, Raise Vibration we once again Lenny Kravitz smashing through with positive messages and defiant stance in heavy rock and roll funk tunes. Opening with the trash-beat, sing-able chorus of funky rocker “We Can Get it Together” into a decidedly 70’s funk groove of “Low,” mostly with Kravitz singing over a drum backing on the verses, we get into the groove early here.

Paul Weller: True Meanings

Paul Weller: True Meanings

Paul Weller True Meanings (Warner Bros.) Welcome back, Paul Weller. Since stripping down his electronica-infused songs and releasing the grating As is […]

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