Good Tunes: Sexy vocals surf rolling guitars and even drums in a seductive pattern that is just foreign enough to keep you waiting for the next change to happen.
Bad Notes: I don't understand Spanish, so I can only hear the passion in Saul Hernandez's voice and not the words he laments with.
Other Riffs: With Don Was producing, it isn't surprising that every note and nuance is presented utterly realized.
Good Tunes: Intimate, holy, and moving, Ms. Masen welcomes people to the way she sees the world around her.
Bad Notes: We only get to see the surface of her world. I sense more depths not yet laid bare.
Other Riffs: I still get a kick out of music discs with multimedia buried in them. This one is beautifully laid out, giving even more insight into Sarah Masen.
Good Tunes: Electric grooves seduce you, warn you, and dance with you without subtlety or regret.
Bad Notes: I didn't get any liner notes or press kit with these guys.
Other Riffs: Remember, this disc doesn't pull any punches lyrically or instrumentally. When it's time to be mellow, they know how to relax. When it's time to rock, watch your head.
He Has: Country, funk, most every other style of music, a twisted sense of humor, and just a bit of Elvis. Christmas spirit?
He Needs: A jacket with long sleeves and a padded room.
NOTE: Due to space constraints, the following reviews were not included in "Eat at Joe's" in the print edition of the RENEGADE. They are only available here in the online edition.
Good Tunes: That rich, deep voice is back with more philosophical lyrics backed by solid compositions that use all the best parts of pop, classical, folk, blues, and Gospel.
Bad Notes: Driven by lyrics, this disc isn't any great adventure from previous albums.
Other Riffs: Now I know a job for people with philosophy degrees other than teaching.
Good Tunes: Hauntingly beautiful, each cut tells its own story through the caress of strings, the squeeze of an accordion, and soulful cries that linger in the air.
Bad Notes: I don't speak Portugese so I have to rely on the accuracy of the liner notes for a translation.
Other Riffs: Wim Wenders' movie LISBON STORY was built around this soundtrack which was a gift from Madredeus to Wim Wenders.
Good Tunes: A wash of pleasant sounds flow from Mr. Brickman's piano with an ease that knows exactly what comfort is.
Bad Notes: If this disk were played back to back with other Windham Hill recordings, I'm not sure that I could make a distinction between them.
Other Riffs: One notable exception to the instrumental tracks on this disk is the syrupy ballad, "Valentine."
Good Tunes: Changing tempos and divergent melodies play around Louise Wener's inspired lyrics with a definitive British quirkiness.
Bad Notes: Sometimes the lyrics aren't so inspired and the melodies aren't so quirky and the music ends up just being...
Other Riffs: This recording is a definite improvement after their first US release. I'd wait for the next one personally.
Good Tunes: Tokyo surf punk, need I say more?
Bad Notes: I said it all already.
Other Riffs: The liner notes are all on separate sheets so you don't choke on the staples.
Good Tunes: Threatening guitars, drum machines, a hint of organs, and the grand master of angst steamroller out of your speakers with the word of a bleak world.
Bad Notes: All I can think of when I listen to this disc is people dressed in black drinking coffee talking about vampires and the fact that no one understands them. Listen up, people -- this man knows all your difficulties and suffers with you.
Other Riffs: It's a bit heavy, but you can dance to it.
Questions? Comments? Want to contact Joe Szilvagyi for any reason? You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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