Album Spotlights (2/21/11)

30 Sep

Alexander Ebert releases a solo album this week entitled Alexander. His original musical project, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, has achieved recent fame with the album Up From Below. You may know them from the songs “Home” or “Forty Day Dream” that were featured on both Billboard and NPR music charts for multiple months. This new album pursues more of a bluesy folk sound, than the indie folk that Edward Sharpe portrayed. Some favorites are “Truth”, “Old Friend”, and “Wake My Body”.

RATING: 5 out of 5


Irish punk-rock legends Drop Kick Murphys release their seventh studio album, Going Out in Style; despite the title, the band confirms they are neither breaking up nor thinking about it. Claiming to take much of his inspiration from Bruce Springsteen, this Celtic punk group from Massachusetts has been granted a great new vocalist, Jeff DeRosa. Now that their line-up is firm with little conflict thus-far, you can expect great things from these veterans. Some favorites from the new album are “Going out in Style”, “Broken Hymns”, and “Peg O’ My Heart,” featuring Springsteen himself.

RATING: 4 out of 5


Lucinda Wiliiams, country veteran, is still around to make good country. Most of her songs feature five or six different guitars playing at the same time; from banjos and mandolins to bass, electric and acoustic guitars. This is what makes her music so interesting and original from other modern country. Her voice compares somewhat to the style of Janice Joplin and the multiple guitars really give her a great orchestral aura. Blessed, the title of the album is one she is stated to have picked in dedication to her mother’s death. Some favorites from this blues-laced good listen are “Soldier’s Song” and “Seeing Black”.

RATING: 4.5 out of 5


Finnish melodic metal veterans Before the Dawn have suffered frequent changes in their line-up over the last few years. They changed drummers an amazing eight times and lead guitarists four times. Thomas Saukkonen and Lars Eikind started the band in the late ‘90s. Since then, they’ve released seven studio albums with this newest release being, Deathstar Rising.  The genre is easily deemed “epic” with the pitch of the growls being contrasted by the piercing clean vocals. The band is probably most famous for “Deadsong”, but the new album features many great additions to their repertoire. Some favorites are “Deathstar”, “Winter Within”, and “Wreith.”

RATING: 5 out of 5


R.E.M.’s much awaited album, Collapse into Now, is also being released. From the very first track, “Discoverer,” you know the band is trying to tap back into their ‘90s sound, which is what they told NPR reporters they were planning to do. However, not only did Michael Stipe’s voice become more rounded but Peter Buck’s guitar still scintillates with that 70s era reverb grind. Some favorites from this album, if picks are forced, as the whole album sounds great, are; “That Summer is You”, “Walk it Back”, and “Uberlin.” My last choice, “Uberlin,” really brings me back to high school and the great music of the nineties.

RATING: 5 out of 5

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Posted by on September 30, 2013 in Behrend Beacon Articles


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