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All reviews - Music (49)

Educated Horses review

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 12 August 2007 07:30 (A review of Educated Horses)

A perfectly reasonable album by anyone's standards, the only knock on Educated Horses might be that since Rob Zombie ain't just anyone, some of us hoped for a profound musical rebirth. But this works too, so we're prone to forgive. This latest release from the rocker-cum-director-cum-comic-booker has some excellent moments, like the vicious, pounding Let It All Bleed Out, the slow and heavy 17 Year Locust, and the moody, lyric-free 100 Ways (which is almost trance inducing). Though as sinister as any previous Zombie effort, it's only because I respect him that I expected more.


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Public Warning review

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 8 August 2007 03:16 (A review of Public Warning)

This is not the album that everyone thought it would be and public reaction has reflected that. While perhaps admirable that she has stuck to her grime guns, this is, for the most part, just the previously released EP with a couple new tracks. When Hour spoke to Lady Sov a month ago, even she didn't seem wildly enthusiastic about it (or anything frankly), and was focusing on the next album. Collaborations with Neptunes and Timbaland (plus the one with Eminem that I just made up) had best be in the works, because if not, her temporary North American citizenship will be revoked. At least booze will always be there for her.


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Live At Stubbs review

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 8 August 2007 03:09 (A review of Live At Stubbs)

If someone with a background in both jazz and reggae decided to have a musical career, what would that actually sound like? I envision that you imagine that it would sound like nothing else ever released and ultimately, that's a weird mix and you cannot think of any artists that would have backgrounds in both of their genres. Well, think again, because a little group named Matisyahu have built their career on this.

Yes, Matisyahu mixes both jazz and reggae in his music and creates something pretty special and original. I've heard all of their old stuff which they would play at the Montreal Jazz Festival, but I must say that I am a little disapointed with their latest album. It is becoming way too mainstream and we're not getting the experimentation that Matisyahu used to offer. I truly hope that they go back to sounding the way they used to.


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Collected - The Best Of Massive Attack : Greatest Hits review

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 8 August 2007 03:04 (A review of Collected - The Best Of Massive Attack : Greatest Hits)

One listen to Collected and you quickly realize just how influential this band was to what is known as trip-hop. Collected is one of those must-have albums for anybody wanting to expand their musical horizons in a specific genre.

All the defining moments of Massive Attack's musical journey are here. Track three "Angel" remains one of my all-time favourite tracks with its dark eerie intro, numb build-up and rousing finale that can rival any great song out there. Song "Unfinished Sympathy" has already received many accolades as being one of the best songs in recent history such as a Top 10 finish in Q Magazine's Best British Song, NME, and the BRITs 25 Song Award categories. Alongside Portishead, you easily hear how Massive Attack has influenced this genre and music in general.

This compilation just flows throughout and represents well what this band has been doing for over 15 years. Although the quintessential Massive Attack album remains Mezzanine for its complete body of work, this compilation is a reference you will use for any dinner as background music or those moments where you want to reflect on things. A definite must!


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The Golden Age of Grotesque review

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 8 August 2007 03:01 (A review of The Golden Age of Grotesque)

Look at me be the pasty-skinned spawn of Ziggy Stardust and Gene "The Demon" Simmons!

Look at me as I scare the Bible Belt of America senseless with my one white eye, face make-up and S&M gear from hell!

Look at my ooky and oh-so-freaky antics on stage and video!

Look at me, damn it!

Yes, we're looking at you (kinda hard not to you albino drama queen!), that's never been the problem...no, our problem has always been the same: what about your music?

Yes, Marilyn Manson has no doubt mastered the art shocking the lemmings with his appearance and goth schtick but when it comes down to his music he's anything but shocking. Seriously, take away the outside crap and reduce him to just being a recording artist and all you've really got is a guy who knows how to harvest a good creepy vibe into very basic songs. Now this works great to a certain point but eventually savvy listeners start picking up on the minimal internal evolution of the sound.

Marilyn Manson has evolved to some extent but he still very much relies on his goth schtick as a crutch and it shows in his music. Seriously, when was the last time that he was relevent?

Yeah, it's what I thought too.

He's managed to marry goth and glam nicely but now it's time to move forward artistically before his career completely becomes a footnote.


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Hybrid Theory review

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 8 August 2007 02:53 (A review of Hybrid Theory)

One and only album.


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Results May Vary review

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 8 August 2007 02:49 (A review of Results May Vary)

The general feeling is that Limp Bizkit - with one foot in the grave thanks to the tiring-fast antics of frontmonkey Fred Durst - were going to have to do something pretty damn remarkable on this latest if they were to avoid the sweep of Death's scythe. Wedgied between rap-rock (in an advanced state of decomposition) and Slipknot-style nu metal (early-onset rigor mortis), the five-piece aren't just fighting for life, but where to live it. Doubly so given the departure of guitarist and creative brain trust - if such a thing can be said - Wes Borland, whose absence is sorely noted here. Results May Vary has an uncharacteristically unadorned, stripped-down sound that is convincing neither in its introspection nor lackadaisical spates of "rage." Even if you hate them, and I don't, they're usually good for one memorable tune. But not this time.


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Build Nation review

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 30 July 2007 02:08 (A review of Build Nation)

Bad Brains returning with singer H.R. in tow of course has the makings of greatness, but H.R.’s former fury is replaced by half-hearted murmurs. Producer Adam Yaunch of the Beastie Boys can’t save the lacklustre vocal performance, but on the five reggae songs here, Bad Brains get the production they always deserved, and H.R. finally comes out of his shell. The rest of the band is inspired throughout, and their innovation is still front and centre, but with H.R.’s lack of heart on the hardcore, this hardly hits the heights of former glories of I Against I, let alone that first ROIR tape.


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The Con review

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 29 July 2007 12:04 (A review of The Con)

The Calgary-born Quin twins, now split between Vancouver and Montreal (we got Sara), were impressive enough back when their palette was limited to roots music and Neil Young. But this is their fifth album, and the 26-year-olds have moved on to a melting pot of pop, rock and electronic sounds that’s happily hard to pin down. Produced by Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla, there are ballads, ’80s anthems and a smidgeon of bubblegum rock, the latter leaving an unpleasant, Avril-ish after-taste. But the bulk of the record is powerful enough to draw a mainstream crowd, with enough of an edge to please indie-pop connoisseurs.


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Hell Hath No Fury review

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 29 July 2007 11:57 (A review of Hell Hath No Fury)

The second Clipse album has been in label purgatory, but four years after Lord Willin’ made the Virginia Beach duo and the Neptunes household names, Pusha T and Malice return with a seriously fun record. The rhymes are easy-flowing and the Neptunes’ sound rejuvenated after an off year. “Trill” is a wall of cacophonous synths that requires multiple listens to fully digest its dissonant brilliance, and “Wamp Wamp” channels the Spanish Harlem vibe of N.O.R.E. The Neptunes take advantage of having such talented MCs by bringing some off-the-wall beats, like the harp action in “Ride Around Shining” or the eerie sci-fi beat of “Mr. Me Too.”


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