The Elite 5
1. Talib Kweli: Right About Now The Official Sucka Free CD
I really like Talib's work up to "Quality". His most recent album "The BeautifuL Struggle" just didn't do it for me. If you would have told me Talib would put out an album and I would not buy it I would have been shocked. But that is in fact what happened. However, this release sounds a lot more like what i've come to expect from Talib. If sound quality is your thing then this might not be for you. This is a raw recording, essentially almost like a mixtape. Kweli describes the music as being where he is at right now. Rather than taking a year to mix it and perfect it, he is releasing it as is. This is how hip-hop was when it first exploded onto the scene. Perhaps by going back to his roots, Kweli will regain his form. I'm looking forward to finding out.
2. Queens Of The Stone Age: Over The Years And Through The Woods
Xmas season is always the time for live albums to come out. Now why this album gets a 7.6 and the Green Day album of essentially the same format scores a 3 on pitchfork is beyond me. However, I am about eagerly as excited to hear this as I was the Green Day live album from last week. In terms of expectations against results "Lullabies To Paralyze" was one of the most disappointing albums I heard in 2005. Still, i'm not near ready to write this band off. Known as having a tremendous highly energized live show I have no doubt this cd should deliver. Packed in with the solid tracklist is a new song "Fun Machine" and a previously unreleased track. You also get a bonus DVD. Criticize the band for releasing this if you will but the bottom line is you the fan get a great value for the price of this one album.
3. System Of A Down: Hypnotize
Second album of 2005 for S.O.A.D. Brandon tried the first one and didn't score it very well resulting in backlash on our comments. He is also going to be reviewing this album so I expect more of the same. It just made sense for Brandon to review the next album and who knows mabye it will surprise him and us. In a normal week of cd releases this wouldn't excite me all that much but this isn't a fruitful week and so I am including it. I had a chance to finally hear some System in 2005 and liked what I heard. They are a ver innovative, and powerful band. Are they talented enough to pull off two stellar albums in 2005? You can be the judge.
4. Pursuit Of Happiness: When We Ruled
A greatest hits pack from one of the most quintessentially Canadian pop/rock bands from the 80's and early 90's. The band even reunited to record two new songs a cover of Prince's "When Doves Cry", and a brand new song "Hey Mary Anne". In addition you have the hits and a few previously unreleased songs. This is a band that will come up in any debate over the music in Canada in the last twenty years and while they weren't perhaps musical rocker scientists they definitely influenced many of the current bands on our airwaves. Want a slice of nostalgia? This will do the trick just fine.
5. Death From Above 1979: Romance, Bloody, Romance
A remix and B side album from the ever gaining in popularity DFA 1979. It wasn't more than a year and a few months ago that I heard their video on muchloud and Brandon and I almost went to see this show for like 10 bucks. In that short time that has passed they have gained enough momentum to release a remix album. Tis the season to grab cash from your loyal fans and this is again another attempt at doing that. The reason I am interested in this is because I actually really think DFA 1979's music will lend itself well to some intriguing remixes. I know Brandon has their last studio album at his place so maybe i'll get him to review this as he would be most fitting to make the comparisons.
1. Scott Stapp: The Great Divide
It remains to be seen if the music world will embrance the ex-leader singer of Creed with arms wide open. Haha, i'm sorry I really am but I had to do it. This guy is a total douchebag. He was such a douchebag that his band basically divorced him and started a new band with a different lead singer. Then Stapp had nice things to say about his bandmates but they just had nothing but shit to say about him. It got so bad that he was sued by fans wo attended a show for how much it sucked. I'm serious it happened. Anyhow this is Stapp's return and Brandon's sabotage for the week. And let me tell you it FUCKING blows. It sounds like a cross between Creed/Nickelback and Christian rock. Please tell me that this doesn't become popular. I'm begging society to shun this piece of shit.
2. Ginuwine: Back II Basics
Ginwuine is still living off ridin' his pony and still some people must buy his albums because he keeps on releasing them. Here Ginuwine is offering up 15 songs that apparently go back to what made him big in the first place. But one problem exists. Ginuwine wasn't any good in the first place so what does this matter? This album is getting panned. I haven't heard one good word about it. Yet, something tells me some people will buy it and his feeble career will sputter along. Why can't someone funnier like Montell Jordan have his career continue rather than this guy?
3. Billy Joel: My Lives (box set)
In between drinking and driving Billy Joel has had a long and distinguished career. Yet it appears even he would agree that if you base his entire career off his top 40 hits that there is a good chance you would think he is lame. He has said as much in hyping the release of this box set of B sides, rarities, and songs that weren't hits. Rare is it you find an artist who basically admits that his hits are cheese and insists that listening to a rarities box set might give you a better impression of him and yet now I am intrigued. Weird how that works eh? I won't buy this but i'll give the guy a chance. I must admit though i still love "Uptown Girl".
Not My Bag, But Maybe Yours
1. Kardinal Offishall: Fire And Glory
Is Kardinal finally ready to make a splash in the mainstream music industry perhaps even outside of the comfy confines of Canada? Maybe, just maybe. His lead single is getting huge airplay and if there was ever a time to make a move in hip-hop in our country K-OS has paved the way for it to happen. Terri had me download the new song for this the other day which is a great sig for Kardinal that he is making significant progress. Club rap isn't how I role and I doubt it ever will be but if it is something you like then you may want to investigate.
2. Alexisonfire / Moneen: Switcheroo Series
This is neat. Two artists putting out an album consisting of alternating tracks of the one and then the other. Be interesting to see what other bands decide to part in this series. Now the only problem I can see is what if you don't like both bands? Take for instance Moneen who I think suck. But these are likely to be cheap and for those who find they like both bands or love one band so much that they will deal with the other this could be a sweet release. I wonder if it will work out?
3. Sugababes: Taller In More Ways Than One
So Ronan told me this girl band was huge in Europe and I thought thank god they aren't over here. Surprise! Now they are, and I am not impressed about it. So what we have here is untalented bubblegum pop bullshit that reminds me of S Club 7, Spice Girls and so on and so forth. The kinda shit I wish we could eliminate from the industry entirely. Like i said nowhere near how I role but I wanted to slander them somewhere so this is where they fell.