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Music Reviews

Boy George and Culture Club: Life

Boy George and Culture Club: Life

A synth bleating bass and snapping percussion from the fantastic “God & Love” gets us up and moving for the 11-song wonderfulness that is Boy George and Culture Club’s new album Life. Although the songs come at you at different tempos, mostly what we get here is fantastic percussion, lots of horn interplay and George’s voice, lower, but stronger than ever.

Adam Rose: Levitate the Base

Adam Rose: Levitate the Base

In the grand tradition of Pink Floyd and King Crimson, as well as bands like Russian Circles and Joe Satriani’s work, we get solid instrumental songwriting, producing and playing from Adam Rose on Levitate the Base.

Mike Carnahan: CarnyMusic

Mike Carnahan: CarnyMusic

Obviously a strong songwriter and player, of Mike Carnahan steps out a bit on CarnyMusic.

Sean Paul: Mad Love

Sean Paul: Mad Love

Sean Paul Mad Love (Universal-Island Records Ltd) I’m not one to give titles to artists but if I could give a title […]

Nick Mason & Rick Fenn: Profiles [Remastered]

Nick Mason & Rick Fenn: Profiles [Remastered]

There’s two parts to the title track, the first “”Profiles Part 1/Profiles Part 2″ ending the first side of the original album, a good rockin’ instrumental, truly showcasing Fenn’s guitar and keyboard playing. At over ten minutes we get a confectionary-sounding high keys middle leading that slows the rocking down, taking us all the way out with layering key leads.

Dead Friends 46: Hardcore

Pull up your big girl panties, open your ears and chomp down on Dead Friends 46’s new album Hardcore. This Cali hardcore 5-piece is taking no prisoners in the blistering 11 they offer up here. From Sean McGuire’s high-end bass trilling on opener “The Firm,” where vocalist/shouter Don Mazza claims his outfit “has come to fight,” to the slashing power chord attack-of-one’s-enemies assault of “Rise Up,” (great noisy lead playing here from Shaun Andri here), one is in for a penny, in for a pounding with Dead Friends 46.

Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio: It’s Time

Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio: It’s Time

With a slightly off-bear snare snap from Massimo Buonanno and Rose Ann’s electric piano and vocal up front, the dozen tunes here start with the jumpy “Forever Day By Day.” Even more grooving, and snare-rim-shuffling is the sexy and spikey “10 Miles to Empty.” And we are into the first of the ballads here with a swirly piano sound and Rose Ann pleading for a sweet, soft and seemingly well-needed, “Dinner For One.” As It’s Time opens up its pedals we hear loud and clear how expressive this trio can manage a melody and beat, and how emotional Rose Anna’s vocals can get the listener.

Norine Braun: Through Train Windows

Norine Braun: Through Train Windows

“Climbing Table Mountain” is a blues country stomper, the best tune of the first five here for me (and that’s saying a lot since the tunes before it are all great); Steve Hilliam’s tenor sax just sails across it. We are back to acoustic leading the way with some low colors by Adam Popowitz’s guitar on, “Heading Up North,” the lyric surely evoking lonely long lonely places.

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.

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