Album Reviews
by Tom Beninate
Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Album:
High Hopes
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

Why would a top songwriter release previously unreleased material? Afterall, those tunes were not good enough for previous records. This CD contains such songs, cover songs, and rearranged previous releases. Tom Morello adds some guitar edge and crunch to the Springsteen/E Street Band sound. I'd rather hear a new tune as good as "Born To Run".
Key Songs: "High Hopes", "Ghost Of Tom Joad".
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Artist: Eno - Hyde
Album:
High Life
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

This album contains six tracks. Each one is an interesting and artistic snippet of rhythm. Essentially, each snippet repeats for the duration of the tune. It is one thing if these snippets lasted for three or four minutes. It is excessive that they actually last for 7, 8, or 9 minutes. These capable guys can do better than this.
Key Songs: "Moulded Life".
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Artist: A Great Big World
Album:
Is There Anybody Out There?
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

Here is an album with postive, though borderline silly lyrics. Even though the music isn't bad, we have heard this cliche-type stuff many times before. The chord progressions and arrangements are highly borrowed. Overall, this record simply lacks originality and freshness.
Key Songs: "Say Something".
Artist: Gilbert Brantley
Album:
Just As I Am
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

Just As I Am clearly copies guitar riffs and sounds from the 1970s and 1980s. The uninspiring guitar solos are second-rate. There is nothing unique about this collection of songs and the lyrics tend to be adolescent. Anyway, the production and mix are good, so Brantley fans might like it.
Key Songs:
Artist: Chevelle
Album:
La Gargola
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

We know this is a good record because you get cool riffs. However, we've heard most of this stuff expressed in the various metal genres. Anyway, after a slow start, these guys get into it with "Take Out The Gunman" and then more or less maintain that action and pace. Still, with a bit of originality, this band could have broken some new metal ground.
Key Songs: "Take Out The Gunman", "Jawbreaker", "Twinge".
Artist: Jack White
Album:
Lazaretto
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

A lot of this record emulates the late 1960s and early 1970s when I, IV, V cord progressions were in vogue. The rest of the tracks are pure Jack White in originality and creativeness. There is no "Seven Nation Army" here but you do get get that raw garage band feel.
Key Songs: "Lazaretto", "I Think I Found The Culprit".
Artist: Aloe Blacc
Album:
Lift Your Spirit
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

An album of songs with postive lyrics is a bit unusual these days. So is an album with each song written from scratch in that all tunes are actually different from one another. On top of that, Aloe Blacc's wide-ranging and precise vocals are pleasant-sounding as they anchor the entire record.
Key Songs: "Wake Me Up".
Artist: Mirah Carey
Album:
Me, I am Mirah
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

You get vocal perfection and impecible harmonies on this (as well as other) Mirah Carey records. However, the big hits are conspicuously missing. Nonetheless, Carey's performance is the big feature and most of these tracks are not only smooth but easy to listen to.
Key Songs: "#Beautiful", "Make It Look Good", "Meteorite".
Artist: Beck
Album:
Morning Phase
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

There is nothing cutting-edge or unique with Morning Phase. In other words, There is no tracks on the level of "Loser". Generally, the mood is slow-paced, simple, and melancholy. So, don't play this record when you are amped-up and ready to go out on Friday night.
Key Songs: "Say Goodbye", "Blue Moon", "Know Waking Light".
Artist: Thousand Foot Krutch
Album:
Oxygen
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

TRK threw oxygen into their fire to amp up their pop-metal sound. The tunes are constricted with a reminiscent metal flavor and the lyrics tend to be wordy, but hot blood is flowing here and these guys want you to notice.
Key Songs: "Set Me On Fire", "Light Up".
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