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Tag Archive 'Album Rock'

“Retrospectively, it’s a surprise that Nicks sat on these songs for years, but that only indicates just how purple a patch she had during Fleetwood Mac’s glory days. It’s a good thing she dug through her back pages and finished these songs, as she’s wound up with one of her strongest albums.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog [...]

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Neil Young: A Letter Home

“‘What the hell?!?’ is an appropriate first response to Neil Young’s A Letter Home. Not for its content: Echoing Bob Dylan’s Self Portrait, Young covers 11 songs that mean a lot to him with tender, unfeigned affection. Less straightforward is how they’re presented. Young cut the mostly solo acoustic performances at Jack White’s lo-fi Voice-O-Graph [...]

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“From the get-go, Winter seemed to want his listeners to know Step Back would be full of surprises….Much of the variety of the program is due to the musical approaches of the guests. It’s very evident all hands on deck are out to have an upbeat good time….Whatever the future might hold, the two releases from 2014, [...]

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Judas Priest: Redeemer of Souls

“Judas Priest have been looking for redemption since their 2008 concept album, Nostradamus, fell flat with fans. Their follow-up goes back to guitar-bludgeoning basics on songs that explore vengeance, virility and Valhalla – classic metal themes that might feel tired if it wasn’t for the fact that Priest are one of the bands that helped [...]

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“Hypnotic Eye is Petty’s 13th studio album with the Heartbreakers… emboldened or sweetened… by Mike Campbell’s inexhaustible supply of riffs and Petty’s devotion to the chorus….As a band, the Heartbreakers sound great….No myths to sell, just the idea of a working rock band reclaiming what’s left of a center-right boomer rock coalition. Hynoptic Eye gets my vote.” –Spin [...]

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Bruce Springsteen: High Hopes

“Much of this record oscillates between the moody and militant, particularly in the politically charged numbers, which are often colored by percussive guitar squalls….Strictly speaking, these 12 songs don’t cohere into a mood or narrative but after two decades of deliberate, purposeful albums, it’s rather thrilling to hear Springsteen revel in a mess of contradictions.” [...]

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“This time around, Hendrix is his chief influence, as evidenced by the roaring title track, and he does expand that with his traditional Lennon, Curtis Mayfield, and Prince obsessions. Song for song, it’s his most consistent album….” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Not so much an expansion of 1972′s classic double-live album Rock of Ages, but an exhaustive tribute to its source material… Live at the Academy of Music 1971 digs deep into the Band’s year-end four-night stint at New York City’s Academy of Music…. Although this box is not perfect — it’s hard not to wish [...]

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The Who: Tommy

“Townshend’s ability to construct a lengthy conceptual narrative brought new possibilities to rock music. Despite the complexity of the project, he and the Who never lost sight of solid pop melodies, harmonies, and forceful instrumentation, imbuing the material with a suitably powerful grace.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“These tracks feel much more like an album of alternate versions than a typical live recording. The intimacy and raw beauty of Live at the Cellar Door makes it not just a must for super fans, but a valuable companion piece to any of Young’s early studio output.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Paul McCartney: New

“New lives up to its title, finding McCartney eager, even anxious, to engage with modern music while simultaneously laying claim to the candied, intricate psychedelia of latter-day Beatles….New is one of the best of McCartney’s latter-day records: it is aware of his legacy but not beholden to it even as it builds upon it.” –All [...]

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Elton John: The Diving Board

“Elton has been on a decade-long quest to tap into that old magic, beginning his voyage into the past with 2001′s Songs from the West Coast and getting progressively elliptical with each subsequent release. The Diving Board does indeed evoke ghosts of Elton past….There is much that is admirable about The Diving Board — the [...]

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“[I]ts real strength is how it paints a richer portrait of the band. It’s for the listener who wants a bigger picture of the Doors without investing in the actual albums or a box set and, in that sense, this Very Best of the Doors (along with the version with the DVD) does its job [...]

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Todd Rundgren: State

“Todd Rundgren long ago seized his status as a maverick, and his unpredictability can be as maddening as it is invigorating….State never feels forced, either in its execution or concept. Rundgren is pushing the edges of his comfort zone just enough to keep himself stimulated while offering enough melody to satisfy those fans whose concentration [...]

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Aerosmith: Gold

“[T]his remains a pretty good, but not perfect, overview of latter-day Aerosmith, containing hits, album tracks, concert favorites, rarities, non-LP B-sides, and cuts only available on compilations.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Rod Stewart: Time

“At this point, after years of synthesized soft rock and glad-handed standards, this is a reflection of who Rod Stewart is in 2013: he is still a crowd-pleaser, still a bit of a sap, ready to romanticize days gone by but wanting to sound modern….[I]t’s nice to hear Stewart engaged again, both as a writer [...]

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Black Sabbath: 13

“13 comes closest to recapturing the desperate feel, plodding grooves, and unparalleled metal magic of those first classic Sabbath records than anything the members of the band have done since, in any permutation or combination…. The influence of early Sabbath has become so omnipresent that it’s come back to influence its very creators four decades [...]

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Jimi Hendrix: People, Hell and Angels

“The surprising thing about this set is not the sound quality (which is exceptional) or that these all sound like finished tracks, but the fact that even avid Hendrix bootleg collectors are unlikely to have heard most of this material… People, Hell and Angels certainly isn’t the place to start your Hendrix collection, but collectors [...]

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Bon Jovi: What About Now

“As Jon Bon Jovi ponders the state of the union in 2013 (he raises the question ‘What About Now,’ then proceeds to answer it throughout the album), he repeats images — faith intermingles with the military, although rarely in a way that suggests his politics lean to the right; rather, they’re just underscoring the troubles [...]

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Mark Knopfler: Privateering

“Knopfler is that rare gunslinger who can make even the wildest shot look like it was completely intentional, and his steady voice, mercurial lyrics, and instantly recognizable guitar tone, that latter of which falls somewhere between the rich, lucid beauty of David Gilmour and the Pan-like spell-casting of Richard Thompson, provide just the right amount [...]

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