Album Reviews
by Tom Beninate
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Artist: LED Soundsystem
Album:
American Dream
Year Released: 2017
Rating:

The drums parts and bass lines are catchy. The verses and choruses are okay. However, each song is built from a two to four measure snippet that goes nowhere. With more effort and guidance (i.e. producing) this album could be better.
Key Songs: "Oh Baby", "Call The Police".
Artist: Jay-Z
Album:
4:44
Year Released: 2017
Rating:

You get a good update about Jay-Z's life on this record. Some of the rhythms and beds are better than others but they are all classic Jay-Z.
Key Songs: "4:44", "Moonlight".
Artist: The National
Album:
Sleep Well Beast
Year Released: 2017
Rating:

These guys take the traditional structure of a rock band and modernize it. The songs are fresh and atypical. A number of tunes start off promising but soon reach a point of mediocrity. These songs have the potential to be much better.
Key Songs: "The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness", "Turtleneck".
Artist: Kendrick Lamar
Album:
Damn
Year Released: 2017
Rating:

Lamar approaches each track from a fresh perspective. You get some cool bass parts especially from Thundercat.
Key Songs: "Blood", "Pride", "Love".
Artist: Ke$ha
Album:
Rainbow
Year Released: 2017
Rating:

Ke$ha airs her personal laundry on this one. The genre mix is all over the place. Those points do not necessarily made a bad album. But essentially, there is not enough originality here. The country cuts tend to be better. On those, Dolly Parton saves the day.
Key Songs: "Hunt You Down", "Old Flames".
Artist: Priests
Album:
Nothing Feels Natural
Year Released: 2017
Rating:

This band reaches back to the 1970s pop punk movement. Their interpretation is modern. There is some creativity, excitement and energy. Still, a big breakout song is a requirement.
Key Songs: "Nothing Feels Natural".
Artist: Paramore
Album:
After Laughter
Year Released: 2017
Rating:

Most of the upbeat songs here are a variation of "Ain't It Fun" or "Still Into You" (from their Paramore album. Williams and York put forth a descent effort but could not get past those two hits. The key songs (listed below) are fair but lack that cool Paramore grove.
Key Songs: "Forgiveness", "Tell Me How".
<prev ... next> ... review index ... page 29
Artist: Taylor Swift
Album:
Reputation
Year Released: 2017
Rating:

Essentially you get two flavors of songwriting on this record: Swift/Martin/Shellback and Swift/Antonoff. So, how can you go wrong? It is simple when you and your team write unimpressive, mediocre songs. The capability of the talent on this album is much better than this.
Key Songs: "Don't Blame Me".
Artist: Car Seat Headrest
Album:
Teens Of Denial
Year Released: 2016
Rating:

The chord progressions of this garage band wobbles between the 1960s and 1980s. They throw in a bit of 1990s grunge for good measure. It is too bad that the market for this original stuff is small. These guys have potential.
Key Songs: "Destroyed By Hippie Powers", "The Ballad Of The Costa Concordia".
Artist: Jeff Beck
Album:
Loud Hailer
Year Released: 2016
Rating:

Beck takes us way back to the days of improvisation, I-IV-V chord progressions and sheer guitar mastering. Make no doubt about it, this record is not about lyrics, vocals or songwriting. It is about one of the great guitarists inspiring us to be better musicians and artists.
Key Songs: *every track is impressive*