Album Reviews
by Tom Beninate
Artist: Flying Lotus
Album:
You're Dead
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

Steven Ellison (Flying Lotus) is the mastermind behind this interesting concept album that fuses elements of jazz, rap & other genres. Thundercat is responsible for some excellent bass parts. Listen to this from the beginning to the end as to not miss out on some of the really good tracks.
Key Songs: "Never Catch Me", "Coronus, The Terminator", "Moment Of Hesitation", "The Protest".
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Artist: AC/DC
Album:
Rock Or Bust
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

If you are looking for a fun album then check out this one from these legendary rockers. Never mind the songwriting, as there are no great songs here (despite some good hooks). Note the classic arranging formula of this well-oiled turbo-charged combo.
Key Songs: "Play Ball", "Rock Or Bust".
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Artist: George Ezra
Album:
Wanted On Voyage
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

This easy-listening (mainly) foot-stomping and often hand clapping album would play well at coffee houses or small gatherings. Ezra carries each tune well despite the simple and sometimes dull songwriting. His performances, especially on the key songs, are quite good.
Key Songs: "Did You Hear The Rain", "Budapest", "Spectacular Rival".
Artist: Paloma Faith
Album:
A Perfect Contradiction
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

Paloma Faith seems to fit better back in the 1960s singing for Motown rather than today for Sony. Yet, despite the rough edges, this is a fun record. Still, hiring a great producer would have been a wise investment.
Key Songs: "Impossible Heart", "Can't Reply On You".
Artist: Charlie XCX
Album:
Sucker
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

Charlotte Aitchison (Charlie XCX) wrote these thirteen tracks with co-writing assistance on each of them. You would think all of these songwriters could come up with something better than highly borrowed riffs and beats. The lyrics are simple and one-minded. Nevertheless, the album seems to be popular.
Key Songs: "Boom Clap", "Doing It".
Artist: Sam Hunt
Album:
Montevallo
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

Urban-country may sound like an oxymoron yet it certainly describes Hunt's music. This album begins with the good song, "Take Your Time" then steadily declines with similar variations of that tune. Vocally, Hunt nails the parts. Too bad the songs were not of a better caliber.
Key Songs: "Take Your Time.
Artist: Maroon 5
Album:
V
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

We get it. In the past this band actually wrote a few good songs. But now they simply rehash their mediocre stuff into formulated particleboard. Judging from the CD credits, these guys apparently rate wardrobe, grooming, and hair much higher than songwriting.
Key Songs: "Maps", "Animals", "Sugar".
Artist: Haim
Album:
Days Are Gone
Year Released: 2013
Rating:

This band gets a lot of publicity especially from Rolling Stone magazine. There is some potential with the Haim sisters. But this record needs a serious injection of originality and a much better class of songwriting.
Key Songs: "My Song 5", "Let Me Go".
Artist: Chris Brown
Album:
X
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

Building from his previous record, Brown continues to put forth some good songwriting concepts. There are twenty-one tracks spanning 74 minutes. Still, the album spins faster than many records that are half its length.
Key Songs: "Loyal", "New Flame", "See You Around".
Artist: Lady Antebellum
Album:
Golden
Year Released: 2013
Rating:

With this album you get twelve dull, similar-sounding tunes that were mostly recorded at the same tempo. Charles, Dave, and Hillary make a fine trio. The mix is very good. But these guys (and gal) desperately need at least one good song in order to make purchasing this CD worthwhile.
Key Songs: *None*
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