Alternative

10 Darkest Musical Personalities

October 25th, 2014 8:00pm EDT
10 Darkest Musical Personalities
No matter how warm and fuzzy a song like Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” makes everyone feel on the inside, not all musicians have the same optimism and ‘good vibes’ of the multifaceted musician. Some find their best inspiration in dark things – blackness, the grotesque, and sometimes the hellish (cue the sound effects now!). The definition of ‘dark’ is broad, and all 10 of the ‘darkest’ musicians that grace this list possess their own style. What they all have in common is, they are known for their intensely dark musical personalities.

1) Marilyn Manson

Boy, oh boy! Phew, could anyo...
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Slipknot and Little Big Town Among Albums To Check Out: This Week In Music

October 21st, 2014 10:30am EDT
Slipknot and Little Big Town Among Albums To Check Out: This Wee
October 2014 continues to roll out big release after big release. Sales continue to leave more to be desired in general, but there’s always a gem or two. Arguably the week’s most notable albums come by way of Slipknot, Little Big Town, and T.I., not to mention Logic’s highly anticipated debut. Also in the mix is the ‘old school,’ which includes Neil Diamond and Aretha Franklin. This list focuses on nine albums to check out, but also lists others being released as well.

1) Slipknot, .5: The Gray Chapter (Roadrunner)

Masked metal band Slipknot return with their first new studio album ...
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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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11 Songs That Break Barriers

October 19th, 2014 4:00pm EDT
11 Songs That Break Barriers
Sometimes, you have to take a stand. Taking a stand isn’t always a popular move, nor is it always personally lucrative. Musically, ‘taking a stand’ often means that musicians promote an unpopular or not oft tread platform, theme, or cause. That means ultimately, these bold musicians look to break barriers and pave the way for acceptance, tolerance, and otherwise. Here are 13 songs that break barriers of some sort.

1) Hozier, “Take Me To Church” (Hozier, 2014)

“Take Me To Church” is nothing short of brilliant and progressive. Hozier makes sex sound sanctified, brings light to ...
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Jason Aldean Tops The Billboard 200: This Week in Music

October 16th, 2014 12:33pm EDT
Jason Aldean
For country musician Jason Aldean, it is certainly a “beautiful day.” Why – well Aldean topped the Billboard 200 selling a robust 278,000 copies of his latest album, Old Boots, New Dirt. With so many new releases bowing yet so few managing to sell remarkably, Aldean can definitely consider himself one of the biggest successes of the year after week one. Aldean isn’t “Burning It Down,” he’s lighting it up…something like that!

But of course, there’s a down side to everything. After building up Aldean as Billboard Chart royalty, it must be noted that even his large sales are downscaled f...
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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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10 Incredibly Heartfelt Songs of 2014

October 12th, 2014 2:00pm EDT
10 Incredibly Heartfelt Songs of 2014
In an age dominated by big records, there’s nothing like a truly captivating, heartfelt song. That’s not to say that a record can’t be a song or visa versa, but these days, the two aren’t necessarily interchangeable. For all of the big records dropped in 2014, there are also some incredibly notable heartfelt songs that definitely deserve recognition (see the bloated, incomplete list of honorable mentions). But to keep the list from being forever long, here are 10 of the most heartfelt songs of 2014.

1) Sam Smith, “Stay With Me” (In The Lonely Hour)

Isn’t this one a total no-brainer...
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Blake Shelton Wins Race To The Top of The Billboard 200

October 9th, 2014 11:13am EDT
Blake Shelton
When the Billboard issue their chart prognostications last week, it was suggested that Blake Shelton had a solid shot at his second career #1 album. That said, that forecast would become cloudy thanks to one Barbra Streisand, who was projected to be competitive in the race for the top spot once again. Fellow country artists Lady Antebellum were considered to be likely third place. Things didn’t complete go as expected.

Blake Shelton indeed topped the Billboard 200, selling a more robust than expected 101,000 copies of Bringing Back The Sunshine. While prognostications had allotted 90...
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Irish Singer/Songwriter Hozier Allures on Self-Titled Debut

October 8th, 2014 1:30pm EDT
Hozier
The art of the singer/songwriter is not dead. Being a singer/songwriter isn’t necessarily the most commercially lucrative musical style currently, but in the age where ‘records’ dominate and the ‘song’ doesn’t, having singer/songwriters on the scene is big. Hozier is a terrific singer/songwriter with ample potential. This Irish musician is the real deal. The evidence, ‘exhibit A’ is his stellar debut album, Hozier.

“Take Me To Church” brilliantly initiates Hozier – there’s little else to say about the breakout single. One of the more brilliantly, deceptively penned songs of modern ...
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Jason Aldean Leads New Albums To Check Out: This Week In Music

October 7th, 2014 11:16am EDT
Jason Aldean
As 2014 progresses in the fourth quarter, the amount of new albums released increases dramatically. The month of October is chocked full of new albums, many with the potential to be big hits. That said, ‘big hits’ in the new normal of album sales means tempered sales expectations. That said the sure bet this week seems to be obvious – Jason Aldean's highly anticipated Old Boots New Dirt. Besides Aldean, there are many other alluring aspects to check out this week.

1) Jason Aldean, Old Boots New Dirt (Broken Bow)

There’s good reason NOT to bet against popular country singer Jason Ald...
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