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Archive for July, 2003

Delerium – Chimera

July 27th, 2003


Returning of Delerium

Delerium, one of many side projects by Industrial Pioneers Rhys Fulber and Bill Leeb of Front Line Assembly, returns with Chimera a slightly disappointing new album. Chimera stumbles where Delerium’s old albums such as Semantic Spaces and the masterful Karma soared. Bill and Rhys had a winning formula on those albums with blending down tempo electronic dance with tribal percussion and chant and a slight touch of ambient noise. The result was a patient symphony of relaxing music. However, Chimera seems to expand on the one thing that gave them a million selling album worldwide. Read more…

By Raymond Flotat Posted in Reviews

Liz Phair – Liz Phair

July 27th, 2003


Phairly Good, For Pop

Normally, musicians don’t wait until their fourth album for a self-titled release, which implies that Liz Phair may be starting anew. And Liz Phair is definitely not the ball-busting, girls-can-do-it-too, “bitch-rock” that she became associated with after her debut Exile In Guyville. It is pop in the most contemporary sense, including the edgy radio-friendly guitar riffs, filtered electronic vocals, and predictable “Rock me all night” lyrics. With her boi-ish songs, Phair has created an album that could sit on the shelf along with many of the other soon-to-be dated recent pop releases. Read more…

By Thea Cooke Posted in Reviews

Jewel – 304

July 25th, 2003


Oh Three, Oh Sure!

0304 falls late on the adolescent Britany dance pop diva movement, and by all rights, Jewel’s spontaneous mid-career genre shift should be blown off as an attempt to leap on a giant pink bandwagon powered by NutraSweet and naval piercings. But whatever your opinion on her past music, Jewel is smart. Lyrically, her tongue is planted in her cheek and her Alaskan folk tinged take on urban music inexplicably works. The new voluptuous hair and vinyl hot pants aside, Jewel is as opinionated and honest as on previous albums. It’s just a matter of this record being written “4 U” instead of “for you”. Read more…

By Brian Small Posted in Reviews

Ghostface Killah – Shaolin’s Finest

July 24th, 2003


Ghostface’s Recipe Book

Greatest hits compilations are like your grandmother’s recipe book – full of timeless tasty dishes that you can savor over and over again. The only problem is that you never seem to match the sheer skill and art of your grandmother’s cooking. As a member of the quintessential kung-fu-meets-hip-hop outfit The Wu-Tang Clan, Ghostface Killah has demonstrated his flair for lightening fast, lyrical flow with his Wu brethren and on his solo efforts. Shaolin’s Finest is Ghost’s recipe book which is full of his own tasty dishes that showcases his intense flowetry. The only problem with this album is that it doesn’t include what really makes Ghost’s skills shine – his collaborations with the other Wu members. Read more…

By Hevan Chan Posted in Reviews

The Mars Volta – De-Loused in the Comatorium

July 23rd, 2003


Volta Has Guts, Spacey Hurts Story-Torium

The Mars Volta, brainchild of At The Drive In’s Cedric Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, is a proudly progressive sound of ambient rock spring-boarded off of ATDI’s exotic punk style. Unlike ATDI, Cedric and Omar have set out to create a sound unclassified by genre and without borders. The band debuts with De-Loused in the Comatorium – a concept album that tells the fictitious story of a man who tries to commit suicide by overdosing on morphine but, instead of dying, falls into a week long coma during which he dreams of elemental battles between things good and bad in his conscience. Read more…

By Mike Verzella Posted in Reviews

Dave Gahan – Paper Monsters

July 22nd, 2003


Back To Brighten Your Day!

Dark, moody and emotionally charged – all of these qualities typify Dave Gahan’s work, most notably with industrial forefathers Depeche Mode throughout the last two decades. Thus comes a daunting task of putting out Paper Monsters, the first solo album from the former front man. The most challenging aspect of producing a solo album is molding a distinctive sound for yourself while stepping out of the shadows from your previous work to create something unique. Paper Monsters manages to marginally exceed expectations, while still drawing back on past qualities that made Depeche Mode such a success. Read more…

By Taylor Whipple Posted in Reviews

Tricky – Vulnerable

July 20th, 2003


The Tricky Kid Grows Up

As part of the Bristol collective that designed what we call “trip-hop”, Tricky carved out a name for himself by layering dark, atmospheric soundscapes with raspy, haunting vocals. He felt almost like a hip-hop Vincent Price leading you on a journey through a trip-hop haunted house. Tricky’s newest creation, Vulnerable, is not quite like his previous efforts (most notably his groundbreaking debut Maxinquaye) but still keeps the same ambience of a demented and ingenious mind hard at work. Read more…

By Hevan Chan Posted in Reviews

Eels – Shootenanny

July 17th, 2003


Acoustic and Electric EELS

Mark Oliver Everett (you can call him “E”) is the driving force behind EELS. He writes, performs and produces almost all of the songs on EELS newest album Shootenanny! All of his songs are heavily soaked in that old blues / country / American folk roots sound (hmm, starting to bring Beck to mind?) but he isn’t opposed to dabbling with electronics and drum machines without betraying his primary influences. E’s lyrics hint at lost love, drugs, and promiscuity and of course there’s the fact that E and Beck’s voices are so similar that they could be vocal stunt doubles. Read more…

By Steve Mangione Posted in Reviews

AFI – Sing the Sorrow

July 15th, 2003


A Fire Inside Sweetly Sing the Sorrow

Rarely does a band release an album that, from the first track to the last, feels like a complete collection of songs in a story or concept; songs of equal strength and rhythm complimenting each other as would happen in a symphony. Rarer still, when finished it leaves you hanging on enthralled and wondering why it had to end. Read more…

By Mike Verzella Posted in Reviews

Metallica – St. Anger

July 15th, 2003


Metallican’t

Few bands will ever have the mainstream success and impact on heavy music that Metallica have had over the past twenty years. Despite various lineup and stylistic changes that have occurred throughout their time together, Metallica, whose most recent albums have arguably been a bit too formulaic, have still managed to keep a nominal amount of respect from millions of fans worldwide. But rather than expanding on the sound that made them so popular, Metallica choose to play ‘catch up’ with the modern rock bands adorning the current charts, making St. Anger without a doubt the most disappointing album of the year. Read more…

By Taylor Whipple Posted in Reviews