Reviews's Blog (140)

David Crosby – Croz Review By Nick DeRiso

As the opening "What's Broken" elevates into a cirrus-cloud of lonesome reverie, Crosby reclaims every lost promise of his solo career -- dormant now for two decades and, aside from 1971's If I Could Only Remember My Name, largely forgettable. Certainly, it's been nothing befitting a two-time hall of famer…

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Added by Reviews on March 9, 2014 at 7:45pm — No Comments

The Beach Boys – Made in California Review By Nick DeRiso

Brian Wilson remains the acknowledged mastermind behind the Beach Boys legacy, but history -- and this sprawling new rarity-packed set -- reminds us that he was absent from the day-to-day operations for long periods, appearing only occasionally from the SMiLE period through very…

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Added by Reviews on December 23, 2013 at 9:59am — No Comments

Gov’t Mule – Shout! Review By Nick DeRiso

This would have been the most variedly accessible, hit-worthy album of Gov't Mule's career -- even if they hadn't invited along a raft of famous folks to join them for a second-disc sing-along.

 

Initially, the idea of an And Friends project from Gov't Mule, quite frankly, sounded…

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Added by Reviews on December 6, 2013 at 6:13pm — No Comments

Elton John – Diving Board Review By Nick DeRiso

Second acts are difficult; third acts, even more so. But what of a fourth? That's Elton John, who's already been a country-inflected singer-songwriter, Captain Fantastic and a mainstream pop star.

 

Perhaps the pathway to such thing is through deep self-examination, a return to…

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Added by Reviews on November 21, 2013 at 11:03am — No Comments

Paul McCartney - New Review By Nick DeRiso

New might be the ultimate misnomer, so often does Paul McCartney reference his iconic musical past. Yet his long-awaited return to popcraft is not without its fresh intrigues.

 

The album, for instance, starts with the stomping pop-rock anthem "Save Us," an interesting twist…

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Added by Reviews on November 21, 2013 at 10:55am — No Comments

Jethro Tull – Around The World Live Review By Nick DeRiso

 When digging through this massive collection of concerts from across the storied career of Jethro Tull, "Aqualung" provides a series of revelations -- working as a kind of road map for the way the band evolved.

 

Around the World Live, a four-DVD set from Eagle Rock which chronicles…

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Added by Reviews on October 14, 2013 at 8:30am — No Comments

Elvis Presley – Elvis at Stax Review By Nick DeRiso

So much for the long-held notion that Elvis Presley had simply thrown away his own gifts by the 1970s. In fact, these soul-soaked sessions at Memphis' legendary Stax Studios show an artist still deeply committed -- for now, at least.

 

How…

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Added by Reviews on October 10, 2013 at 11:55am — No Comments

Rolling Stones – Crossfire Hurricane Review By Nick DeRiso

"We became a kind of institution," Mick Jagger says here, talking about the Rolling Stones' 1981 tour -- then one of the biggest of its kind. There would be more, many more. And the Stones would go from institution to commodity.

 

Of course, we know now just how creatively bereft…

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Added by Reviews on August 29, 2013 at 6:00pm — No Comments

BLACK SABBATH – 13 Review By Nick DeRiso

13 long-awaited and so very hard-fought, begins with a morbid and massive riff, so clean and so spooky -- so free of gimmickry -- that it's utterly transportive: This is what made Black Sabbath such as scary-ass experience in the first place.

 

"The End of the Beginning" eventually…

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Added by Reviews on August 19, 2013 at 5:47pm — No Comments

Deep Purple – Now What?! Review By Nick DeRiso

With Now What?!, Deep Purple doesn't simply return, it sets out to remind you of everything that once made this band a contender for Led Zeppelin's throne in the early 1970s as the biggest heavy-rocking band of them all. The new album finds Ian Gillan and Co. once again masterfully blending…

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Added by Reviews on July 2, 2013 at 2:58pm — No Comments

Electric Light Orchestra - Zoom (2001; 2013 reissue) Review By Nick DeRiso

This is a project the Electric Light Orchestra should have put out at the turn of the 1980s, a lean, tune-focused affair which dials back the "I Am The Walrus"-era Beatles obsessions -- even while retaining all of Jeff Lynne's trademark hooky songcraft.

 

Of course, two decades later -- following…

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Added by Reviews on June 26, 2013 at 5:59pm — No Comments

Stephen Stills - Carry On Review By Nick DeRiso

Though his bandmate Neil Young is more often fetishized for his contributions to Buffalo Springfield and CSNY, this set makes clear Stephen Stills' creative depth -- as a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and as a singer.

 

Featuring 82 tracks from across a 50-year span, with 21 from…

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Added by Reviews on June 3, 2013 at 6:57pm — No Comments

Iggy Pop And The Stooges - Ready To Die Review By Nick DeRiso

Still sizzling with unbound fury, Iggy Pop and the Stooges rejoin their white-knuckle search for meaning, though what they find isn't any prettier 40 years later. Hell, at times, it's just as terrifying.

 

Surviving will do that. There's a concurrent perspective, sure, but…

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Added by Reviews on May 20, 2013 at 6:06pm — No Comments

Richard Thompson – Electric Review By Nick DeRiso

Richard Thompson amps up the dying-light rage that has always made for his best albums, while smartly avoiding the studio trickery that sometimes muted his gift during the Mitchell Froom years.

 

The results on Electric, produced by Buddy Miller, make good on the promise of…

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Added by Reviews on May 4, 2013 at 3:29pm — No Comments

Glenn Hughes – Live At Wolverhampton: Official Bootleg Review By Nick DeRiso

No, Black Country Communion wasn't Glenn Hughes' first uber-talented amalgam. For that, you'll have to go back to the early 1970s, and Trapeze -- a band whose music leaps to life in this newly released double live set.

 

On one level, Live in Wolverhampton: Official Bootleg --…

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Added by Reviews on April 17, 2013 at 5:45pm — No Comments

Eric Burdon – ‘Til Your River Runs Dry Review By Nick DeRiso

Eric Burdon, of War and the Animals fame, makes his intentions on 'Til Your River Runs Dry clear early on -- with the raucous, witheringly honest "Old Habits Die Hard." Born in troubled times, he goes on to make his share of it, too.

 

Later, Burdon imagines a presidential…

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Added by Reviews on April 5, 2013 at 5:13pm — No Comments

Duane Allman – Skydog Review By Nick DeRiso

For those who don't know much about Duane Allman beyond the Allman Brothers' At Fillmore East and Derek and the Dominoes' Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, this ambitious seven-disc, 129-song set is a revelation.

 

Hurtling along with the same restless, furiously creative…

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Added by Reviews on March 26, 2013 at 6:20pm — 2 Comments

Jimi Hendrix – People, Hell And Angels Review By Nick DeRiso

Jimi Hendrix's legacy has been so brazenly, endlessly plundered, it's fair to approach any so-called "new" material from the late guitarist with a deep distrust. Circumspection this time soon transforms into pure joy.

 

Exploring a series of roving, post-1968 sessions after the…

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Added by Reviews on March 4, 2013 at 4:08pm — 1 Comment

Camper Van Beethoven – La Costa Perdida Review By Nick DeRiso

There is a majestic weirdness to Camper Van Beethoven, recaptured in all of its freak-flag glory on La Costa Perdida, their first studio effort in some eight years.

 

The album, issued via 429 Records, traverses across a dizzying soundscape, pausing just long enough to delight and…

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Added by Reviews on February 27, 2013 at 5:32pm — No Comments

Brian Eno – Lux Review By Nick DeRiso

This is the sound of a leaf, tumbling end over end just above the outstretched grass. The sound you hear in between heartbeats. The sound that clouds make as they move across the sky.

 

You’ll hear all of that, and more, if you listen closely enough to Lux, Brian Eno’s first solo recording…

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Added by Reviews on February 14, 2013 at 6:23pm — No Comments

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Utopia * Redux '92 - Live in Japan (Esoteric Recordings)

This is Utopia's live album recorded in Japan six years after the band - Rundgren, bassist Kasim Sulton, keyboardist Roger Powell and drummer John Wilcox - broke up. This is the follow-up to Rundgren's 2nd Wind album, which was a disappointment commercially but was a typically wondrous selection of songs.Rundgren decided to…See More
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'Rock Orators: Rock Deity & the Iconoclasts'.

'Rock Orators: Rock Deity & the Iconoclasts'.By Stephanie Lynne Thorburn. 'The Rock Orators', image from 'Iconography of Soul' collection. By Stephanie Lynne Thorburn'The Rock Orators'.Summer blog.  Stephanie Lynne.This is Part I in my 'Rock Orators' feature, comprising excepts from my new text on Rock's archetypal front men & women:  namely the great, 'The Rock 'n' Roll Orators'!  Enjoy- a labour of love publication from the…See More
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