Friday, April 27, 2018


Released March 14, 2012
Released May 2, 1983
Released October 6, 1978
Released 1989
Released July 14, 2017
Released September 1970
Released September 26, 2014
Released April 6, 2018
NEW 2018 MUSIC: It is as if someone, somewhere captured the sound of Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear The Reaper" merged it with the six string dreams of  Johnny Marr and somehow taught it to write, sing and perform all new songs. 

The Amazing, from Stockholm, Sweden, return for their sixth album, continuing the moody, rainy day, swirling dark clouds musical aesthetic of their predecessors. As with their previous albums, the melodies and murkiness envelops masterfully but for me, what made this album stand out even further was not how the tracks contained begin  but rather, how they end. 

Running nearly 70 minutes in length, creating a scope and variety akin to a double album, The Amazing's "In Transit" celebrates all that has arrived before while possibly, maybe signaling just what may be lurking around their musical corners...and truthfully, I am hoping this to be the case. As previously stated, it feels as if the songs really find new ground to cover within their ending sections and even codas. 

"Voices Sound" concludes with a cascading vortex of mesmerizing guitar patterns and vocal harmonies. The ending minutes of "Never Be" finds the band exploring jazzier textures and percussive poly-rhythms. "Leave Us A Light" would have confidently floated into the ether if not for its accelerated, vaguely African textures while "Je Travaille Dans la Banque" concludes the album with a glorious sheen of cosmic prog rock. But dear listeners, brace yourselves for the mammoth, almost 10 minute "Benson se Convirtio Completamente Furiosa," which begins as a dreamscape yet concludes with almost three minutes of explosive, almost Zappa-esque by way of Black Sabbath guitar and instrumental fireworks and fury.

That is what made this album truly exciting...these dips into what else The Amazing is able to do. Here's hoping we receive even ore new directions next time around.
Released February 2, 2018
NEW 2018 MUSIC: Singers/songwriters/multi-instrumentalists and brothers Peter and David Brewlis, collectively known as Field Music, also make their return with their sixth album this year,    yet another genre defying yet absolutely sparkling ode to the grand eur of pop music--if only most pop musicians were nearly as imaginative as this band.

Combining elements that are indeed reminiscent of The Beatles ("Open Here"), 10cc ("Checking On A Message," "Cameraman"), Talking Heads ("Time In Joy," "No King No Princess") and Brian Wilson/Todd Rundgren (the stunning, closing mostly instrumental "Find A Way To Keep Me"), Field Music circumvents any sense of being labled as copycats as they have clearly taken their influences and twisted them all around and inside out, creating a palate that feels of its own universe as it simultaneously pays tribute to the ones that have arrived before.

Oddly enough, "Open Here" almost feels like the most logical successor to Prince and the Revolution's "Parade" (released March 31, 1986), as Field Music ingeniously blends funk and soul rhythms with lush orchestrations in ways that are again not obvious but strong enough where you can feel a certain logical and sonic link--especially as Prince did announce himself as a fan of the band's work before his passing two years ago.  Just listen to the sounds of "Front Of  House," "Share A Pillow," and "Goodbye To The Country" adn I think you'll know what I mean.

Beyond that...I'll just put it here..."Count It Up," a count your blessings anthem, is already one of the most infectious songs I have heard this year and I think when you hear it, you will feel the same. 
Released April 6, 2018
NEW 2018 MUSIC: Ahhhhh.......the grand return of Sloan!!!!

At this particular stage of the Toronto band's nearly 30 year career, it my surprise you to know that I am currently finding myself thinking about Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Certainly it is an odd comparison as the two bands do not sound remotely like each other, so to speak. For me, the comparison rests in the sheer dependability of both bands as their level of artistic quality control is, and has remained, so consistently high throughout the entirety of their respective durations, that it would be more than easy to take the bands for granted--especially as they have each make it all look to be so easy.

In the case of Sloan specifically, it is no small feat to hold a band together without any lineup changes for almost 30 years. And as this band features the collective of four singers, songwriters and multi-instrumentalists, it amazes me further that the inevitable ugly head of ego would not have reared itself sooner, thus fracturing the unit. Even so, I really hope and wish that people do take the time to really appreciate the gift we have in this superior band as they have not only continued to deliver exquisitely composed, produced, arranged and performed power pop, they are unquestionably MASTERS of their craft.

With the ingeniously simple entitled "12," Sloan has returned with their 12th album which consists of 12 songs and for the first time since their fifth album "Between The Bridges" (released September 12, 1999), the band has split the songwriting duties equally, with three songs from each member.

In a tight, taut 40 minutes or so, Sloan's "12" beautifully delivers the Beatle-esque/Beau Brummels styled melodic goldmines of Chris Murphy ("Spin Our Wheels," "Don't Stop (If It Feels Good, Do It)," "Wish Upon A Satellite"), the harder edged garage stompers and personal tales of anxiety and messages of affirmation from Patrick Pentland ("All Of The Voices," "The Day Will Be Mine," "Have Faith"), the astoundingly glorious AM Gold ear candy from Jay Ferguson ("Right To Roam," ""The Lion's Share," and album top flight winner "Essential Services") and finally, the introverted, mesmerizing psychedelia of Andrew Scott ("Gone For Good," "Year Zero," and "44 Teenagers").

While Sloan's "12" does not represent any sense of re-inventing the wheel, it does, without question or hyperbole, showcase the band, individually and collectively, as a unit continuing to work and play at the TOP of their game. Their vocals, both lead and the choirboy harmonies, are pristine and even ageless. All of the musicianship throughout is energetic, enthusiastic and as skilled as it is also luxurious. Again, they just make it sound so easy--and yet, it should be noted how these individuals have clearly taken it to the woodshed over and again, thus ensuring the rock and roll excellence on display.
Released October 3, 2006

Released November 7, 1975

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