Album Reviews
by Tom Beninate
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Artist: Jason Isbell
Album:
The Nashville Sound
Year Released: 2017
Rating:

Isbell strikes a neat balance between traditional country and modern country. He can crunch up the guitars or simply be relaxed.
Key Songs: "Cumberland Gap", "Something To Love".
Artist: Sampha
Album:
Process
Year Released: 2016
Rating:

This is an interesting album in that each rhythm track is created from an original perspective. Some tunes work better than others. The entire record is fresh and easy to listen to.
Key Songs: "Blood On Me", "Timmy's Prayer".
Artist: Lorde
Album:
Melodrama
Year Released: 2017
Rating:

Elia Yelich O'Connor's strength is in writing lyrics. With a music CD, people expect a certain emphasis on music. Yet that emphasis falls short here. Still, the good news is that this is an improvement over her previous (debut) release.
Key Songs: "Green Light", "Liability", "Supercut".
Artist: P!nk
Album:
Beautiful Trauma
Year Released: 2017
Rating:

P!nk is one of those few artists who understands what a real album is supposed to be. The tracks are minimally good and some are much better. She is one of the top edge/pop vocalists today. This mix is great. Keep them coming.
Key Songs: "Whatever You Want", "What About Us", "Secrets", "You Get My Love".
Artist: Bruno Mars
Album:
XXIVk Magic
Year Released: 2016
Rating:

MArs is a natural singer and a good songwriter. He aced the vocals on this record but slcked off a bit on the songwriting as compared to his last effort.
Key Songs: "Versace On The Floor", "Too Good To Say Goodbye".
Artist: Ed Sheeran
Album:
Divide
Year Released: 2017
Rating:

You get the usual suspects from Sheeran - acoustic guitars, quasi-rap and some cool beats. These tracks tend to be better than average though none reach the level of his previous release.
Key Songs: "Castle On The Hill".
Artist: U2
Album:
Songs Of Experience
Year Released: 2017
Rating:

After a few substandard releases, U2 finally put the effort in to write a desent album. There are no big hits here. They borrowed heavily from the past formulas but al least the record is worth listening to.
Key Songs: "Summer Of Love", "Red Flag Day", "The Blackout".
<prev ... next> ... review index ... page 30
Artist: Sam Smith
Album:
The Thrill Of It All
Year Released: 2017
Rating:

There is a certain sameness among these tracks and his previous album. Similar chord progressions are used on a number to songs. Smith's falsetto and high resiter can be grating but the key songs are good.
Key Songs: "Too Good At Goodbyes", "Midnight Train", "Him", "Pray".
Artist: Waxachatchee
Album:
Out In The Storm
Year Released: 2017
Rating:

This is a noticable improvement over the band's previous release. The songs would be stronger with a professional co-writter. A better producer could polish up some of the mediocrity here.
Key Songs: "Never Been Wrong", "No Question".
Artist: Thundercat
Album:
Drunk
Year Released: 2017
Rating:

Where does Stephen Bruner (aka Thundercat) fit among bass players? Certainly among James Jamerson, Stanley Clarke and Jaco Pastorius.This cat's songwriting is strong, smooth and interesting. His bass parts are outrageous and original. This is why he is featured on so many other artist's records.
Key Songs: *listen to the entire album*