The Playlist of Life --- Trollheart's resurrected Journal - Music Banter Music Banter

Go Back   Music Banter > The MB Reader > Members Journal
Register Blogging Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Welcome to Music Banter Forum! Make sure to register - it's free and very quick! You have to register before you can post and participate in our discussions with over 70,000 other registered members. After you create your free account, you will be able to customize many options, you will have the full access to over 1,100,000 posts.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-05-2011, 10:48 AM   #121 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,952
Default

Random Track of the Day
Friday, August 5 2011

Well, after some pretty weird selections over the last few days, at least we have a proper song today. Granted, it's country, not my favourite genre, but this guy is all right. When you're born as a guy with the name Tracy, what can you do but change it to Trace, as he did. Trace Adkins has become one of the most popular and successful country artists in the last ten years, and this is from his second greatest hits collection. Fans of “The Apprentice” (like me) may have seen him on the “celebrity” version of the US series, where he came second, and proved what a nice, down-to-earth guy he is. This track is apparently only available on this compilation, which is titled after it. “American man”, by Trace Adkins.

American man --- Trace Adkins --- from “American man : Greatest Hits Volume II” on Capitol Nashville



A real blue-collar ballad in the mould of Springsteen and Earle, it's a song in praise of the workingman, with lots of steel guitar and harmonica. It's a little bit of a crossover, as there are some obvious rock tropes in there too, and as a track it's quite enjoyable, if not exactly standout. Some nice guitar and especially slide guitar in the track, and Trace's voice is tough and authoritative, like the man himself. Tell him yourself if you don't like this song --- if you dare!
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 01:25 PM   #122 (permalink)
From beyooond the graaave
 
Queen Boo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: The state that proudly brought you Disco Duck
Posts: 1,513
Default

Your track of the day write ups are quirky as hell.
__________________
https://www.twitch.tv/drrobuttnik

Quote:
Originally Posted by boo boo
A whole bunch of stupid sh*t that I regret
Queen Boo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 04:19 PM   #123 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,952
Default

Thx man. Where would this world be without quirks? Though it's worrying to hear that they could all be extinct in another three years! Please, please support the "Adopt a quirk" plan! For just three Andorian Pobble-beads a month you too could adopt a cute little quirk and save it from the ravaging attentions of boredom and political correctness which is even now threatening their habitat.

Thank your for your time.
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2011, 12:56 PM   #124 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,952
Default

Freeman --- Labyrinth --- 2005 (Arise)


Sometimes you just take a chance, you know, and you don't even know why? I can't recall what made me pick up this album. I knew nothing of the band, had heard none of their material, but something recommended them, and I decided sure why not? Turns out they're Italian, though they certainly don't sound it, and damn good too. They've had seven albums to date, of which this is the fifth. Weirdly, the one prior to this was called “Labyrinth”! Doing a Genesis on it, eh?

The opening track is called L.Y.A.F.H, which you quickly find out stands for “light years away from here” --- why they didn't just call it that is beyond me. What, are they being charged per word or something? Anyway, it's a great opening, power progressive metal with big keyboards, chunky guitar and the clear, powerful voice of --- well, here's where it gets a little weird. Again.

Each band member (or most of them) seem to have two names. In their Wikipedia entry there's a name for each with another bracketed beside it. Perhaps it's to make names which are a little hard to pronounce/remember easier. So the vocalist is called Roberto Tiranti, but also goes under the name of Rob Tyrant (good choice of name for a metal singer), while the guitarists are Andrea Cantarelli, or Anders Rain, and Carlo Andrea Magnani, aka Olaf Thorsen. The keyboard player goes under Andrea de Paoli, or Andrew McPauls. Only the drummer and bassist have the one name, Alessando Bissa for the former and Segio Pagnacco for the latter: poor old rhythm section, short-changed again eh?

I can only assume that the double-names are to make it easier for marketing outside of Italy, as the bracketed, or second names are all fairly anglicised, and though some bear a resemblance to the original, I don't know where Olaf Thorsen comes from! But anyway, for the purposes of this review I'll use the shorter, or second name, for each member. For those who have them. Avoid confusion and less typing for me, so that I can pack a lot more in to my exciting life that would otherwise be wasted adding extra words to this journal entry!

It's a good opening, very powerful and very melodic, then things slow down a little for “Deserter”, which comes in on acoustic guitar but then gets going with a heavy riff and crunching vibe. Rob Tyrant's voice is VERY far up in the mix here, to the extent that sometimes the music drops back to a point where he's almost singing acapella. But when they're given their head, axemen Olaf and Anders can rock out with the best of them, with the keys a little subsumed in the mix, at least on this track. There's some of that annoying “death vocal” in the song too, but it's very much backing vocal, so not as annoying as I usually find this. I can handle this with bands like Leaves' Eyes, and it also happens with LostProphets, but as far as Opeth or Dimmu Borgir go, a little of that is all I can take and if the vocals are ALL screamed and growled that way, I hit STOP and then DELETE.

But there's no need to worry, as Tyrant is a very accomplished vocalist, and like many European metal acts, he does not come across as sounding Italian; if anything, you would think he was head of some US band, with that somewhat universal sound. “Dive in open waters” is pure thrash metal, with drummer-with-only-one-name Alessandro Bissa pounding the skins as if he just saw a horrible insect crawling on them and is trying to kill it, the twin guitars setting up a wall of sound that, this time, kind of overwhelms Tyrant's vocals a little. Perhaps a small toning down might have been in order, as the poor guy has to shout to be heard above the apocalyptic cacophony setup by the band. And again, I can barely hear the keyboards: you there, Andew McPauls? Oh yeah, there you are, doing a rather nice solo. Fair enough, but when the guitars take over it's like you fade into the background. Someone needed to sort out the production of this album. One minute the vocalist is on his own without backing almost, the next it's hard to hear him. And as for Signore McPauls....

The song ends really strangely, fading out very quickly like a badly-done single edit, and we're into the title track, great hook and very commercial-sounding but yet very heavy. These guys have almost got the balance right, if they could just ensure the keys are pushed a bit more up in the mix, as I'm sure old Andrew is doing some great work there, but most of the time it's hard to even hear him. “M3”, a song about the BMW M3 sportscar, is a suitably fast rocker, with the keys finally allowed to shine through and sounding really excellent, the twin guitar attack taking on a very Iron Maiden feel. A lovely little piano passage halfway in adds real character to the song, then there's a tremendous guitar solo from one of the two axemen.

The Maiden influence continues in “Face and pay”, with a certain Metallica edge in there too, and a great bluesy midsection where Andrew McPaul finally gets to really show what he can do, but it's the creepily excellent “Malcolm Grey” that steals the show. The longest track on the album, at six minutes, it starts off with what sounds like a car crash, weird howling sounds and footsteps, creaking doors and rain lashing down. It's introduced musically by Andrew on beautiful piano before the guitars get in on the act and we hear the tale of a killer who tells us ”My hands are red with blood/ But it's not mine!” followed by a nasty laugh.

The piano keeps an eerie counterpoint to the guitars as the song progresses, with some really great keyboard in there, proving that when allowed to, Andrew McPaul is as capable on the ivories as anyone. Rob Tyrant does a great job portraying the face of a killer who seems not to remember what he has done --- a split personality probably, as he asks, pleads really ”Can someone tell me/ If it's true or not? /I'm scared by the pleasure I've felt.”

“Meanings” is a good ending to the album, with again nice keyboard and of course the ubiquitous heavy guitar, though you kind of feel that after “Malcolm Grey” the quality dipped towards the mediocre for the rest of the album, and there's not a lot that marks any of the final three tracks out for me. That said, this is a very good album, and although I don't know whether Labyrinth are known much outside their native Italy, they certainly should be. These guys can hold their own with the best prog metal out there today.

TRACKLISTING

1. L.Y.A.F.H
2. Deserter
3. Dive in open waters
4. Freeman
5. M3
6. Face and pay
7. Malcolm Grey
8. Nothing new
9. Infidels
10. Meanings
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2011, 12:58 PM   #125 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,952
Default

Of wars in Osyrhia --- Fairyland --- 2002 (NTS)


A metal band with a name like Fairyland? Surely not! Would you, as a self-respecting metal head, admit to your mates you were going to see Fairyland? Well, if you judged them solely on their name then a) you'd be an idiot --- haven't you heard about books and covers? --- and b) you'd be missing out on some of the most exciting and melodic symphonic power metal to come your way in quite a long time.

Hailing from la belle France, Fairyland began life as Fantasia, under which name they released a demo album called “Realm of wonders”, but there was no label involved so “Of wars in Osyrhia” is officially their debut album. The brainchild of founder and keyboard player Philippe Giordana, it's a real diamond in the rough, one of those albums you hear and think “why the hell haven't I heard of these guys before?” Well, to be fair, after recording this album and its follow-up in 2006, Philippe split from the band and went off to form another version of Fairyland, who released an album in 2009 called “Score to a new beginning”, so they haven't exactly been all that prolific. But what they have released has more than made up for the dearth of albums.

It starts off with a short introductory track, entitled “And so came the storm”, which comes across as a film soundtrack, with sounds of thunder and rain against keyboard played in a medieval type melody, and choral voices in the mould of Orff's “Camina Burana”, but things soon get heavy with “Ride with the sun”, some great keyboards and thunderous drumming, the vocalist Elisa C. Martin, perviously of Dark Moor, starts singing, though she's a little hard to hear in the mix. The backing vocals, interestingly, are much better, and it's easy to see how this is Giordana's baby as his keyboards take centre stage in the songs.

It's essentially a concept album, as you may have guessed from the title, concerning a fairly standard storyline, that of the good hero fighting the evil force. But the concept is secondary, and the music is really good. Fairyland have been accused of being a clone of the band Rhapsody, but as I have never heard (of) them, I can't make that deliberation. Whether they are or not, this is music I most certainly enjoy. I'm still finding Elisa hard to hear though, at times she seems to have to sing louder than she should have to, to be heard above the eternal keyboard runs and the hammering drums. Like the Labyrinth album reviewed previously, perhaps this is just down to bad production, but it does steal a certain something from the album.

Great guitar work from Anthony Parker on “Doryan the enlightened”, but almost as if he wants to make sure everyone knows that this is his band, it's matched by an equally dextrous keyboard run by Giordana. Boys, boys! Settle down! I must say, I do find the constant presence of backing vocals both at times overpowering (not least for poor Elisa!) and unneccesary. The first slow track, “The storyteller”, is a very good example of this. When left to her own devices, and with just piano or keyboard backing, you can hear Elisa very well, and clearly, but as soon as the backing vocals (I would almost call them a choir) come in, usually on the back of heavy drums, she's lost again. And I just don't see any reason why they, the backing vocals/choir, needed to be in this track. It's carried on a middle ages type melody, and would have been a good vehicle for the singer, but she has to contend with the ever-present choir, and she's just not up to the task. Few would be, to be fair.

“On the path to fury” has a spoken intro, possibly the evil force against which the hero is struggling. It's hard to be sure, as the lyrics are not that easy to distinguish, given the problems I have already referred to with the vocals. It's another fast rocker, and yes, that choir is drowning poor Elisa out again! What a pity, as we really could do with hearing more of her. More great guitar solos from Parker in this track, and the drums, courtesy of (I really should have mentioned him before, shouldn't I?) Pierre-Emmanuel Desfray (now you know why!) thunder along like galloping horses heading to the battlefield. Again, though, Philippe has to have the last word, and anything you can do, Anthony, I can do better, as he fires up the keyboard for another stunning solo.

The first proper ballad comes in the shape of “Rebirth”, on harpsichordal keyboard and organ, and here finally we get to hear Elisa sing as she can sing. The choir only blast in for the chorus, on which she wisely takes a break from singing to allow them their head, then they return the favour for the verses. If only they would follow this arrangement for the whole album! Near the end there's even a harkback to Genesis' “Fountain of Salmacis” from “Nursery cryme”, then we're back into hard-rockin' epic territory for “The Fellowship”: the choir is used to good effect here, but to be honest, things seem to be thundering along on the same rails for the last few tracks.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not going back on what I said at the opening of this article. This IS a great album, but it's far from flawless. In fact, if I had to choose its major flaw I would say uneven distribution of work. If I were to break this album down in terms of a pie chart, it'd go like this:-

Keyboards 60%
Drumming 20%
Choral/backing vocals/choir 10%
Guitar7%
Lead vocal 3%

That just isn't good enough to ensure a great record. As I said earlier, this may be down to production, but the keys, though undeniably excellent, are overpowering, and the choir, though again impressive, doesn't seem to know when it should just shut up and let Elisa sing, resulting in her not being heard very clearly for a lot of the album. I haven't heard their other albums, but if they have sorted the percentage by then, I would hope and imagine “Fall of an empire”, the follow-up to this release, would be a lot better.

At least “The army of the White Mountains” is different, taking a step away from the fast thundering rock to produce an instrumental almost entirely carried on keyboard. Notwithstanding what I said above about the overpresence of keys, this is a great little (little? It's over six minutes long!) track, and though it could be looked upon as self-indulgence by Philippe Giordana, it works very well as a sort of theme, breaking up the epic power-metal passages. It's quite a tour de force by the man, and deserves to be listened to. Even seems to use some melodic ideas from Star Wars, Star Trek and some western movies I remember!

Then we're into the final, and title track, which is also by some way the longest, at just under eleven minutes. An epic in the grand tradition, it starts off with rolling drums and then strings to take it into some power guitar and keyboard with attendant ringing bells (of victory?), and the pace shifts up about three gears as the intro continues, vocals not coming in till about two minutes into the track, but again sadly quickly lost under the intervention of the choir. Nice string section then the power-metal continues with some great guitar work from Parker, real shredding stuff.

There's a nice slow section then halfway through, where Elisa gets to sing unhindered and she really does have a good voice, then it all picks up again for a combined keyboard and guitar attack which leads into another medieval piece on keys, with the choir getting into full voice, and for once, sounding like they should be there, and actually adding to the atmosphere of the album instead of taking away from it. In the end though, I do feel this track is perhaps two or three minutes too long, and feels a little formulaic, as if they believed there had to be a ten-minutes-plus epic on the album. Still, for what it is, it's well executed, and closes the album very well.

This album is one example of why it's better to buy the CD rather than download it, as a lyric booklet would have greatly enhanced my enjoyment of the album. It's not that I didn't love it, I did, but I found it hard to make out lyrics and therefore was unable to follow the story, which sounds on the surface like it really is well written and worth hearing. But even without the lyrics to hand it's still a really enjoyable album, and will be eaten up by anyone who enjoys power prog/symphonic metal and fantasy themes.

TRACKLISTING

1. And so came the storm
2. Ride with the sun
3. Doryan the enlightened
4. The storyteller
5. Fight for your king
6. On the path to fury
7. Rebirth
8. The Fellowship
9. A dark omen
10. The army of the White Mountains
11. Of wars in Osyrhia
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2011, 01:25 PM   #126 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,952
Default

Random Track of the Day
Saturday, August 6 2011



I tell ya, never mind Tumor's pushing a rock up a slope in Hell (see his journal for some incredible writing, but you had better not be squeamish! Or the Devil...), I'm getting mightily tired of rolling this gigantic three-thousand-sided die to try to determine what the Random Track of the Day is going to be. And the neighbours are starting to get suspicious as to what that noise is as I push it over. But hey, it's all in a good cause, and this is Saturday, so the Gods of Chance will be down the pub taking a well-earned day off, right? Gods don't work on the weekend, unlike we mortals.

Maybe not, but their influence is still present, and yes, after tricking me yesterday into thinking I'd get something simple, like maybe a track from Coldplay (shut up!) or a hit single from George Michael (I SAID, shut UP!), maybe even a track from the new Pendragon album, what do I get? I'll tell you what I get.

Classical music.

Oh don't get me wrong: I love classical, but as esoteric choices and arbitrary picks go, this is right up there with the best. But hey ho, it's all the luck of the draw, as they say, and you never know, you might actually learn something if you listen to one of the great composers of all time. Look, it has to be better than listening to Justin Bieber, doesn't it? Of course, getting run over by a stampeding herd of diarrarhetic bulls has to be better than listening to Justin Bieber! Never fear, the Evil One shall never darken my music collection, so you won't be subjected to his off-key caterwaulings here. Of course, I can't say the same for Tumor... heh heh.

So aaaaanyway... here he is, in all his splendour, all the way from the nineteenth century and ready to rock your world (well, not really), Felix Mendelssohn and his Violin Concerto in E minor. Maestro, if you please....

Violin concerto in E Minor, 2nd movement---Felix Mendelssohn --- from “100 Popular Classics” on Decca



Amazingly, someone had actually uploaded a video of this to YouTube! Fair play cha! I thought I was going to have to make one up. Guess classical buffs can be internet-savvy too, huh?

What's to say about the track? Beautiful, sweet, relaxing violin music (the title kind of gives it away, doesn't it?) with a full orchestra. Written in 1845 (and still sounding as good today), it is widely regarded as one of the best and most beautiful violin concertos of all time, and a work for students of the violin to master.

This is only the second movement, and lasts approximately eight minutes. The whole thing usually runs for about thirty. There you are: don't say you never get any culture in your life! You never know what you're going to get when you read my journal!
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2011, 11:48 AM   #127 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,952
Default

Lead me on --- Amy Grant --- 1988 (A&M)


I said it in the review on Narnia, and I'll say it again: Christian rock is not my thing. I don't like to be preached to, and I don't want to be converted. I've seen too much horror and injustice in this world to believe that there's some all-powerful entity controlling it all. If there is, he/she/it has got some serious sorting out to do! But the thing about “Lead me on” by Amy Grant is that, when I bought the album I didn't know that it was Christian rock, well pop really. To be fair to her, kind of like Narnia earlier this album is not replete with praise to God, prayers, and encouraging people to 'fess up their sins. And it comes across as a really good mainstream pop album, with just the odd touches of God and Christianity in there, if you know where to look. If you don't, or choose not to, they won't leap out at you, and for me, as a non-Christian, that's a good thing, as it doesn't spoil the album for me.

It's not going to rock your world, but it's nice easy-listening, and some tracks do actually pack a punch. It revs up with “1974” which, as you might imagine, is a fond look back to childhood and youth, with nice jangly electric and acoustic guitar, keyboards and Amy's gentle but powerful voice declaring ”We were young/ And none of us/ Knew quite what to say.” The first Christian influences are apparent in the lines ”Down upon our knees/ We had tasted holy wine.” Before I found out about her Christian leanings, I just took that to be a euphemism for the first love. Silly me. But it could have been. Really. It could. Really.

It's a nice opener, if a little gentle, but that's put straight as the title track shows us Amy and her band can certainly rock out, after a fashion. With a slow lead-in on guitar and keys, it gets going with some funky guitar and well yes, okay, it's obviously a song of praise as she sings ”Lead me on, lead me on/ To the place where the river/ Runs into your keeping.” Doesn't prevent it from being a great song, by any means. Like I said, I have nothing against Christian songs, as long as they're not overly preachy, smug or trite. The songs on this album tick none of those boxes. Sure, you can envision this song being played at some Evangelical meeting, but equally you could see her performing it on stage at the likes of Giants' Stadium or the Hammersmith Odeon, or in smaller, more intimate venues. Nice guitar solo from Graham, sorry, Gary Chapman.

Nice also to see that Amy writes or co-writes about ninety percent of the material on this album. As I've said before, I always feel it stands to the artiste if they are at least involved in some of the songwriting, otherwise you're just singing a bunch of songs someone else has written, and become, in effect, the instrument for someone else's vision, in some ways as much a tool as the guitar or keyboard in your band is. “Saved by love”, the first of four ballads on the album, is tender and personal, again the idea of being saved, but cleverly not necessarily by God, but by the love for her baby and her family, as Amy sings ”Laura loves her little family/ And she's the kind of woman/ Who loves them with her life.” It's a lovely little track, just namechecking God as the agency through which all this good stuff happens. Some really nice mandolin here, courtesy of Mark O'Connor, and some really effective Hammond from Benmont Tench.

“Faithless heart” is the other side of the scale, another ballad but a bitter one, as Amy tries to resist the pull of the Dark Side (I guess we'd have to be honest and say she's talking about Satan here, given her beliefs), who is trying to make her break her vows and start an affair, or perhaps only thinking about doing this. It's a stark song, carried mostly on picked guitar and soft percussion, with some nice keyboard backing. One of the better tracks then, “What about the love” is Amy at her angriest, screaming at the horrors and wrongs of the world, the capitalism and materialism that takes over our lives till we can barely hear ”Angels to the left and the right /Saying “What about the love?” One thing Amy does not shrink from is the dichotomies within the church, with the opening lines of this song being ”I went to see my sister/ Who was staying with a friend/ Who had turned into a preacher/ To save the world from sin/ He said 'First deny your body/ Then learn to submit/ Pray to be made worthy/ And tithe your ten percent.'”

It's a powerful song, where she speaks to her brother the stockbroker who tells her ”If you tell me where there's famine/ I can make you guarantees” and she wonders ”Is this all there is? / Power to the strong/” The moaning guitar in the song fits its tone perfectly, and at the end Amy with incredible self-bravery writes ”I looked into the mirror/ Proud as I could be/ And I saw my pointing finger/ Pointing back at me/ Saying who named you accusor?/ Who gave you the scales?/ I hung my head in sorrow/ I could almost feel the nails.” Powerful, honest, deep stuff.

That would have been my pick of the album, were it not for the next track, the superb understated grandeur and sorrow of the haunting “If these walls could speak”. Written by one Jimmy Webb, who has also penned such timeless classics as “By the time I get to Phoenix” and “MacArthur Park”, it's a piano-driven acoustic ballad which wonders what stories the walls of a house would tell if they had a voice. It's immensely moving, the moreso due to the simple melody, added only to by some truly gorgeous violin, again thanks to Mr. O'Connor, and its powerful, impassioned vocal, the simple voice of a woman regretting her choices, and knowing there is nothing she can do about it now. It ends on a beautiful, almost heartbreaking piano melody, and is without question the standout track on the album.

Unfortunately, as happens with many albums of any genre, there is a tipping point, and it's often just after the best track, and so it proves here. The rest of the album is not by any means mediocre, but in light of what has just gone before it's hard to imagine anything topping, or even equalling the supreme and simple beauty of “If these walls”, and indeed, nothing can. “All right” is jazz/funk with nice organ, and more than a hint of gospel, while “Wait for the healing” recalls somewhat the melody of the title track, but with a pretty damn fine violin solo at the end, verging on a hoe-down, I kid you not!

It's not until the closer, the ballad “Say once more” that there's anything to talk about really, but it's a great track to end the album. A simple, honest love song with nice, gentle guitar and restrained keyboards and the song fades out slowly, leaving behind the echoes of what has been a truly special album.

Without the Christian references --- and they're gentle, and understated without a doubt --- this is one great little pop album, showcasing a singer with a fine voice, great songwriting ability and a heart that's certainly in the right place. Amy knows what she believes, but doesn't force that belief on her listeners, so you can enjoy this album whether you agree with her faith or not. It's full of good pop songs, some truly exceptional ballads and would not look out of place on anyone's record shelf --- or, these days, on anyone's ipod, I guess!

TRACKLISTING

1. 1974
2. Lead me on
3. Shadows
4. Saved by love
5. Faithless heart
6. What about the love
7. If these walls could speak
8. All right
9. Sure enough
10. Wait for the healing
11. If you have to go away
12. Say once more
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2011, 12:11 PM   #128 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,952
Default

Random Track of the Day
Sunday, August 7 2011

Finally, a break! Okay, so in fairness this album was already reviewed by me some time ago, but this is one of the better tracks from it, and if I can allow an ambient instrumental or a classical concerto, I can certainly not disqualify this due to its already having been featured!

Taken from the album “Original sin”, released in 1989, this is Pandora's Box, which was basically a project put together by Jim Steinman, of Meat Loaf fame. Some of the tracks later surfaced on El Meat's albums, notably “Good girls go to Heaven (Bad girls go everywhere)", “It's all coming back to me now” and “It just won't quit.” Of course, the second track mentioned there was also covered by Canada's answer to a year-long headache, Celine Dion.

This track however was not covered by anyone, and is a Steinman original. Surprisingly, as detailed in my review of the album, the project was a flop and the album failed to gain any sort of chart success, with the result that it stands as the only Pandora's Box material.

The lyric to “Safe sex” is really quite clever, and there's some lovely piano in the song. It's a ballad, sung by Gina Taylor, who was one of the multi-vocalists on “Original sin”.

Safe sex--- Pandora's Box --- from “Original sin” on Virgin



And that about wraps it up for the first week of “Random Track of the Day”. One thing you can certainly not deny, as that's that it has been random. We've had a country ballad, a classical concerto, an ambient instrumental, and a song about suicide bombers. Hey, if that's not eclectic, then Homer Simpson is a genius!

Who knows what next week will bring? One thing is for sure: I have no clue, but whatever the die rolls for me, that's what I'll post. What --- you think I enjoy making YouTube videos for songs no-one has ever heard, ever will hear or wants to hear? Man, I'm just the conduit through which the Fates work their magic. Mine is not to reason why, mine is just to roll that die!

See ya some other time!
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2011, 10:09 AM   #129 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,952
Default

Couldn't stand the weather --- Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble --- 1984 (Epic)


Another guitar hero gone long before his time, Stevie Ray Vaughan was discovered by the same man who brought us that workingman's hero, one Bruce Springsteen, and cut six albums before his death in 1990, with a further fourteen released posthumously. Seems almost ghoulish, but that's the music business for you: dead stars often sell more records than live ones. This album, however, was his second, and made with his band, Double Trouble, six years before his untimely death in a helicopter crash. Vaughan typified the “Texas blues” style of playing, and was feted by his contemporaries, remaining the inspiration and aspiration for many young guitarists to this day.

The guitar jam “Scuttle buttin'” starts the album off, almost two minutes of fret-burnin' frenzy, which you really wish was longer, but then we're into the title track, with a bluesy start and then you would swear you're listening to the ghost of Jimi Hendrix, both in his guitar playing and his vocals, which is not too far off the mark, as he later tackles that old classic “Voodoo chile (slight return)”, and does a great job with it too. Like a certain Rory Gallagher, Stevie had a stripped down, no-frills band: it's just guitar, bass and drums, with the addition of a sax on just one track, and it's pure rock'n'roll from the word go.

The pure blues of “The things that I used to do” conjures up the aforementioned Gallagher, and I find myself wondering if they ever got to play together? Would have been one hell of a gig. Elements of the great BB King in there too, methinks. It's pure heaven to listen to: this man could make a guitar do anything he wanted to, and he knew it. His version of “Voodoo chile”, as mentioned, is awe-inspiring, all eight minutes of it. Hendrix lives again, indeed!

“Cold shot” is pure Texas Strut, if such a thing exists, and if it doesn't it should. Swagger and panache drenches this track, but it's the nine-minute “Tin Pan Alley” that really gets the attention, its slow, laid-back, lazy blues echoed later in fellow Bluesman (and sadly, also late of this world) Gary Moore's “As the years go passing by”. A song this good needs to be long, and luckily it is, but it never gets boring or seems overstretched: in fact, at the end you wish there was more. This, even more than his homage to Hendrix, is the centrepiece of the album, and without question its standout track. I could listen to this all day, every day.

The album ends on two short tracks then, “Honey bee”, a swinging blues/boogie number, and “Stang's swang”, jazzy improvisation with added sax, a track which least represents rock to me, and which I would have preferred not to have closed the album, but close it it does. Not my cup of tea Stevie, sorry.

Called too soon to play in the Great Gig in the Sky, Stevie Ray Vaughan was clearly emerging as one of the bright new talents of the blues world, and who knows what he might have achieved had he not taken that fateful helicopter ride that foggy August morning? But at least we have his music to remind us how good he was, and like I said at the beginning, even though he's left us his influence remains on the new rising stars of the rock and blues world, so that, in a way, like all true bluesman and rockers, he will never really be gone.

TRACKLISTING

1. Scuttle buttin'
2. Couldn't stand the weather
3. The things that I used to do
4. Voodoo chile (Slight return)
5. Cold shot
6. Tin Pan Alley
7. Honey bee
8. Stang's swang
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2011, 10:29 AM   #130 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,952
Default

Random Track of the Day
Monday, August 8 2011

Yeeehhaaaahhh! A new week, and a great choice for the first RtotD for this week, it's that man, the one, the only Mister Rory Gallagher!

Now, there's not a lot I can say about Rory that I haven't already (though I will be featuring him at some point in my “Taking Centre Stage” slot), but basically, if you don't like Rory's honest guitar blues rock, then you just aren't fit to call yourself a rocker!

Bullfrog blues (live)---Rory Gallagher --- from “Big guns: the very best of Rory Gallagher” on RCA



There are of course so many different versions of this song it's hard to know where the RtotD comes from, and though my media player takes it from the compilation “Big guns”, I feel that on that album the version used may be from the 1974 “Live in Europe” session, so I've looked for a version played around that time, which is what I've linked to above.

No matter what version it is though, it's Rory, it's seven minutes plus of rockin', rollickin', head-shakin' boogie blues. Need I say more?
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads



© 2003-2024 Advameg, Inc.