Album Reviews
by Tom Beninate
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Artist: David Bowie
Album:
The Next Day
Year Released: 2013
Rating:

It is ironic to hear the once progressive Bowie release material that is reminiscent of past days. The songs are good if they are judged by today's standards. But they are simply not in the same league as his great stuff.
Key Songs: *None*
Artist: Jake Bugg
Album:
Jake Bugg
Year Released: 2012
Rating:

Bugg's acoustic rhythm guitar-based tunes might fit better in the 1960s and 1970s than they do today. Nonetheless, this is a good effort. However, some clever hooks could have made this record much more interesting.
Key Songs: "Lightning Bolt".
Artist: National
Album:
Trouble Will Find Me
Year Released: 2013
Rating:

This band came up with a couple of good musical ideas but then essentially used them for almost every tune on the record. After a few tracks, the mood slips into a dull and sleepy form. The vocals tend to be subdued and a bit on the slurry side.
Key Songs: "Fireproof".
Artist: Taylor Swift
Album:
1989
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

The key songs are very good. The rest are average, often containing similar snippets or production values used in the key tracks. This could have been a really big album had it contained a couple more key tunes. As usual, Swift convincingly conveys the jist and charm of every tune.
Key Songs: "Blank Space", "Style", "Shake It Off", "Clean".
Artist: Robin Thicke
Album:
Paula
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

Thicke does a fine job vocalizing with these self-written mainly rhythm and blues tunes. Some tracks are fresh and some take you back to traditional R&B. Each song was written from scratch so it's easy to listen to the entire CD.
Key Songs: "Too Little Too Late", "Forever Love".
Artist: Script
Album:
No Sound Without Silence
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

The Script followed the highly worn out pop script of songwriting and thus created one uninteresting album. You cannot pick out anything remarkable here. This band sounds like thousands of other general purpose bands that have no artistic direction.
Key Songs: *None*
Artist: Paul Simon
Album:
So Beautiful Or So What
Year Released: 2011
Rating:

You get some interesting world beats, rhythms, and special or reverse effects on this mainly dull record. Essentially, this is some of the worst material hit songwriter Simon has released in his career. It's hard to believe the man who wrote songs like "Bridge Over Troubled Water" would stoop to this level.
Key Songs: "Amulet"
<prev ... next> ... review index ... page 17
Artist: One Direction
Album:
Four
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

This band's fourth album has a slightly better mix of songs than their previous efforts. But these tunes are still below par. The recording and mixing is excellent as in their past CDs. Interestingly, this band sells a lot of records and is one of the top money-making groups out their.
Key Songs: "Where Do Broken Hearts Go"
Artist: Ashley Monroe
Album:
Like a Rose
Year Released: 2013
Rating:

This is a good traditional country record. The songs are good and the lyrics are clever. Some tunes could crossover to pop music if they were produced with that intention. Monroe's vocals are right for this set of tracks. It's nice to hear someone enjoying themself as they perform.
Key Songs: "Two Weeks Late", "Weed Instead Of Roses".
Artist: Sturgill Simpson
Album:
Metamodern Sounds In Country Music
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

It's back thirty years or so to country music basics and as the title suggest the tracks were arranged with a bit of metamodern influence. These throughback songs are simple and interesting enough to get you through the entire record.
Key Songs: "It Ain't All Flowers"