Album Reviews
by Tom Beninate
Artist: Logic
Album:
Under Pressure
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

There is a smooth soul component that underpins the tracks on this record. And you get good bass lines anchoring the tunes. The mix and productions are good as well. Logic tells about his youth surrounded by violence as he choose to live a different lifestyle.
Key Songs: "Under Pressure".
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Artist: Garth Brooks
Album:
Man Against Machine
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

Brooks still has what it takes to be the vocalist who is a cut above the typical bro-country singer. His country roots are apparent on the record although his sound can be as edgy enough for today's Nashville sound..
Key Songs: "People Loving People".
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Artist: Florida Georgia Line
Album:
Anything Goes
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

It is bad enough when a band takes the essence of one song and uses it to fill the entire album. These guys took that one song to fill two albums: this one and their previous one. They even used some of the previously used commercial plugs. If you think my rating is too high then you are probably correct.
Key Songs: *none*.
Artist: Barbara Streisand
Album:
Partners
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

Streisand's voice is not what it used to be but she can still carry her weight. The producers compensated by presenting her voice slightly less defined. The songs are time tested. The one blemish was to feature John Mayer who is clearly out of his league when compared to most of the other artists featured.
Key Songs: *Too many to list*
Artist: Foo Fighters
Album:
Sonic Highways
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

Grohl and company released another amped up listenable record. All of the tunes are good and full of energy. As usual the performances are tight. Unfortunately, there are no break out or hit tracks.
Key Songs: "I am A River".
Artist: Hozier
Album:
Hozier
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

A. Hozier-Byrne approached 1970s rock/rhythm and blues from left field and made modifications that freshened it up. The guitars are crunchy, the songwriting is simple and the production is minimal. The choruses are strong. Unfortunately, Hozier writes within a narrow formula and does not stray far from it.
Key Songs: *Too many to list*.
Artist: Calvin Harris
Album:
Motion
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

Harris' songwriting approach is simplistic as in simple choruses, verses and hooks. There is a lot of repetition among the various tracks though some hooks are quite good. But, isn't that what you typically get with a lot of EDM? Each of the guest artists influence the previously mentioned formula in a unique way.
Key Songs: "Faith", "Summer", "Outside".
Artist: Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
Album:
Cheek To Cheek
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

Tony Bennett is one of the few classic singers with a distinctively artsey voice. He sang these jazz influenced tunes before, so he is in his element here. Lady Gaga gets credit for attempting to accompany Bennett but she falls short. It is a bit like Barbara Streisand's duet with John Mayer.
Key Songs: *Too many to list*
Artist: Against Me!
Album:
Transgender Dysphoria Blues
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

If by now you haven't had enough of (circa) 1970s chord progressions and active rhythm guitars then this record is for you. At under thirty minutes the album spins by quickly. As the title suggest, the lyrics are fine-tuned, but does anyone really listen to most lyrics anymore?
Key Songs: "Two Coffins", "Black Me Out".
Artist: Mac DeMarco
Album:
Salad Days
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

You get eleven harmless easy listening tunes on Salad Days. The songwriting and lyrics are simple as well as the performances. This bedroom studio sound is generally cheery and minimalistic as are the almost non-exisitent arrangements.
Key Songs: "Passing Out Pieces", "Brother".
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