All the Colors- Ian Moore
just leaves everything else in the dust. There's a long story behind
this cd, but to make it short, it has been a long time in coming.
Most of these songs were written 4 or 5 years ago, but due to label
difficulties, they didn't see the light of day until 2000. In terms
of my musical tastes and preferences, this cd is as close to perfection
as anything I've ever heard. The main reason for this is that Ian
takes a chance on every single song, and succeeds across the board.
The important thing, though, is that he takes the chance.
Each song is a new adventure, a new genre, a new experience...There's
extra background players all over this cd, from the tango group Tosca,
to the wonderful Austin producer Mark Addison, to Guy Forsyth (the
singing saw on Angelyne). It's
all covered here- love, loss, joy, mystery, death.... The amazing
thing is that over 13 songs, there isn't a weak song on here.....I
think that almost every song could be the anchor of any other cd....It's
almost impossible to pick a favorite, but I'd probably go with Coming
Around and Retablo de Teresa...Although Magdalena is hard to top.
Any one of them are hard to top. It's just bursting with attitude,
originality, and most importantly, talent. I am in awe.
August and Everything After- Counting Crows
most beautiful recording ever made. I
didn't know much about them when I got this cd, but it didn't take
long to realize that this was something special. Like my #1 cd, it
doesn't have a weak song on it. Each song is brilliantly written and
harmonized. It's the kind of cd that you can put on during a rainy
day, or even a bad day, and it will make you feel like someone can
relate. It's not done through feel-good type songs,though, quite the
opposite in fact...Some of the songs are incredibly honest and gut-wrenching,
while other's are just flat out gorgeous.
I've listened to it hundreds of times, and it has never gotten stale...The
lyrics of the songs are so intricate and somewhat vague that it's
hard to literally explain everything Duritz is talking about....But
at the same time, you just kind of understand through the music...I'd
put "Anna Begins" up against any song in the world in terms
of lyrical genius...Has there ever been a better climax to a song
than "Sullivan Street"? And "Round Here" is timeless.....
This album is just about perfect.
Pride and Glory- Pride and Glory
The band is Pride and Glory, but this is Zakk Wylde's show all the way. Song after song of great vocals, brilliant guitar playing, and just talent all over the place. Zakk just holds NOTHING back and this cd is not for the faint of heart. I like the fact, though, that in addition to his balls to the wall attitude on some songs, he's just as effective when he's mellow. This album was termed Southern Rock at first, but I don't see it that way at all (I'm not a big fan of Southern Rock).. At a time when most music coming out was bad alternative music (and unfortunatley that's what was popular), the cd went largetly unnoticed, and that's a shame. There's just so much attitude and feeling coming out of every song that it's just a blast to listen to. Favorites would have to be the eerie ballad "Fadin Away", the ass kicking "Toe n the Line", the somber "Sweet Jesus" and let's not forget the hilarious ending song of "Hate Your Guts"...Zakk Wylde kicks ass in every way, shape, and form and it's most evident on this masterpiece. Rock on brother.
Losin' Your Mind
Use Your Illusion II- Guns N Roses
Guns N Roses in my opinion could have been the best rock band in history if Axl Rose could have gotten along with anyone else in the band. But they disappeared from existence and left us with 5 main recordings.Most people would automatically say Appetite for Destruction is their best, but I disagree.I love Appetite, but I think Guns really came into their own with the Illusions. Illusion II is probably the best example of this and contains some truly great work. Civil War kicks it off with Slash wah wah'ing to glory...The high point for me is probably Estranged (which also had an amazing video), the end to the their epic 3 song trilogy which also included Don't Cry and November Rain. I prefer the Don't Cry version on this cd, rather than the one that was actually released. In addition, I'm not sure if they've ever rocked harder than on "You Could Be Mine".Really not a weak song on this cd (maybe "My World") and it's a good example of an extremely cohesive, melodic hard rock band. Even though they didn't make it, I think that their talent level and wealth of great material set them apart from other bands from their era that are still around...They are at the top of their craft here and it sure is fun to listen.
The Bends- Radiohead
The Bends and OK Computer are SO close...I'm giving the edge to The Bends, but not by much....Bullet Proof is probably my favorite Radiohead song, and of course Fake Plastic Trees shows Thom Yorke at his best....VERY strong cd start to finish.....I don't think that this cd sold as well as the others, but musically I think this recording is when Radiohead came into their own.Pablo Honey, their first cd, is a solid debut record, but it wasn't anything absolutely new...The Bends is pretty revolutionary in my opinion, as is OK Computer....Here, they prove that they aren't just another 90's alt-rock clone, but instead something completey original and smart. Songs like Nice Dream and Street Spirit are down right haunting and take the listener to another place...a better place.