CD Reviews

Review: Taylor Swift Delivers Fun, If Flawed Album On ‘1989’

October 28th, 2014 7:00pm EDT
Taylor Swift 1989
With a big pop album composed of ‘records,’ there are almost always unavoidable pitfalls. That said contemporary pop is all about having big-time singles that can dominate radio. For pop convert Taylor Swift, 1989 benefits from big records as well as suffers from the aforementioned pitfalls. 1989 is a pop album through and through, and while Swift shows she can hold her own, the effort lacks the character and distinctiveness of her country albums.

“Welcome To New York” definitely doesn’t sound like a typical Taylor Swift album opener – let alone a typical Taylor Swift record for tha...
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Logic Delivers Raps Biggest Triumph Of 2014 With Debut 'Under Pressure'

October 27th, 2014 2:15pm EDT
Logic Delivers Raps Biggest Triumph Of 2014 With Debut 'Under Pr
“Yes, I know the flow hotter than Lucifer / even though heaven sent him.” Yep, that’s how burgeoning Maryland rapper Sir Robert Hall – aka Logic – rolls. After releasing notable mixtapes (Young Sinatra: Welcome To Forever especially), Logic issues his first major label album, Under Pressure via Def Jam. Gifted with words telling his own personal, captivating, and rough life stories, Under Pressure ends up being among the year’s best rap albums. Its authenticity and genuineness can’t be knocked.

“Intro” opens Under Pressure ferociously, as Logic spits, “I just wanna make these music love...
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CD Review: A Failed Apology - 'This Past Year'

October 25th, 2014 8:25pm EDT
CD Review: A Failed Apology - 'This Past Year'
On their latest EP soiree This Past Year, pop-punk merchants A Failed Apology are, at times, more punk than pop (“This Past Year...,” “Say It, I Love You”) thanks to punchy guitars and driving rhythms, though there are instances when the pop outweighs the punk (“Keep Your Head Up,” “The Way I Think Of You”) due to severe bouts of call-and-response vocals and unavoidably catchy hooks (the Knuckle Punk and Real Friends shout out in “Keep Your Head Up” is just the icing on the cake). Just as the band did with “Goodbye” on their previous EP The Weekend, A Failed Apology turns down the lights an...
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T.I. Returns To Top-Notch Form On ‘Paperwork’

October 22nd, 2014 2:20pm EDT
T.I. - Paperwork
Could anyone possibly doubt ‘the King’ – aka T.I. – on his latest studio album, Paperwork? Total poppycock – the biggest load of BS ever, right? Well not totally. The Atlanta MC’s last couple of albums has fallen short of the glory of his best. Sure, 2012 album Trouble Man: Heavy Is The Head had more goods than the previous, questionable No Mercy (“Trap Back Jumpin’” was enough to seal the deal there), but the top-echelon status of KING (2006) and Paper Trail (2008) were still missing. Paperwork, hence, returns T.I. to top-notch form.

T.I. gets “things poppin’” from the jump, litera...
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5 Takeaways From U2's 'Songs Of Innocence'

October 20th, 2014 7:30pm EDT
5 Takeaways From U2's 'Songs Of Innocence'
Anytime a certain Dublin band named U2 releases a new album, well, it’s “kind of a big deal.” The release of Songs of Innocence, the band’s first new album in five years, is a big deal, but not necessarily in the same way as previous efforts from the collective. It could be argued Bono and company have even had some missteps along the way, which has hindered their latest LP. After listening and analyzing the release process of Songs of Innocence, here are five takeaways.

1) Imposing a free album on everyone is probably a BAD idea…

Most people like free things, particularly if there w...
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CD Review: A Breach Of Silence - 'The Darkest Road'

October 20th, 2014 7:15pm EDT
CD Review: A Breach Of Silence - 'The Darkest Road'
With crisp production and perfect structures, A Breach Of Silence’s The Darkest Road is as much Killswitch Engage as it is Avenged Sevenfold, combining a dazzling array of all things heavy from thrash to power to (old school) metalcore; an album rife with unrelenting monsters and beastly stomping thrashers that rarely, if ever, take their foot off the gas (“The Darkest Road,” “Hang Em High,” “In Reality We Trust”). Shredding opener “TPNE” aka “The Party Never Ends” proves Attila isn’t the only band in town with the party game locked down, while The Darkest Road spews forth pinpoint blast be...
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CD Review: Let It Happen - 'Cause + Effect'

October 20th, 2014 7:13pm EDT
CD Review: Let It Happen - 'Cause + Effect'
Let It Happen’s Cause + Effect will make you remember why you fell in love with the powerpop/pop-punk genre in the first place – The Starting Line, Something Corporate, Further Seems Forever – their lasting influence can be felt throughout Cause + Effect, an album that offers a gorgeous combination of saccharine hooks, endearing melodies and heart-on-sleeve songwriting (“Burst and Bloom,” “Spent”). Cause + Effect is mature for a debut – believe it or not this is the band’s debut – with introspective lyricism rife with memorable lines (“Sinner/Saint’ - ‘We’re all waging war/But I’m a raging ...
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CD Review: Artifex Pereo - "Time In Place" (Tooth & Nail)

October 20th, 2014 7:10pm EDT
CD Review: Artifex Pereo - "Time In Place" (Tooth & Nail)
Artifex Pereo’s, culled from a quote from Roman Emperor Nero, Time In Place is avant-garde, dynamic and truly unique. This album is a veritable aural melting pot, evidenced by album opener “No Stranger To Worry,” combining evolving, unpredictable time signatures, progressive vocals, a fondness of theatrics, and layered, fluid guitars. Chances are the end product is something totally different from everything else you’re currently listening to. “Hands of Penance,” which presents what the rest of the album doesn’t – discernable song structures, stands as a straight forward beacon, a buoy, amo...
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For Country Duo Florida Georgia Line, 'Anything Goes'

October 16th, 2014 4:30pm EDT
Florida Georgia Line
"Alabama on the boom box baby / 'bout to get a little boondock crazy!" Say what? Florida Georgia Line broke through in a big way with a single entitled “Cruise” - understatement! “Cruise” would propel FGL’s 2012 debut album, Here’s To The Good Times to double-platinum status. The dudes from Florida and Georgia respectively – Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard – seek to have a similar impact on their sophomore album, Anything Goes.

The album kicks off with the enthusiastic "Anything Goes." The title track sets the tone, with FGL encouraging the party. Even though the opener is a carefree...
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Weezer Remain Fresh On 'Everything Will Be Alright In The End'

October 13th, 2014 2:16pm EDT
Weezer Remain Fresh On 'Everything Will Be Alright In The End'
After a four-year hiatus (say it ain’t so!), alternative pop/rock band Weezer return with their ninth studio album, Everything Will Be Alright In The End. Calling Everything a ‘return to form’ in the purest sense is overreaching slightly, but the album does feel more Weezer-like than the band’s previous two albums. It’s not perfect, but there are some absolutely terrific moments from Rivers Cuomo and company.

“Ain’t Got Nobody” is predictable thematically, as the title suggests. It leaves little to the imagination – particularly initiating the album – but Cuomo and company is rock soli...
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