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How nice of R.E.M. to give us this career spanning collection immediately after they announce their break-up. It gives us a chance to assess their body of work as a whole, and trace the growth and development of their sound. As much as many fans may say otherwise, this collection argues that the band's sound has been far more consistent across the nearly thirty years than one might think. There is a definite flow to this album. It demonstrates that...

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Tuesday, 29 November 2011
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Quadrophenia is always described as The Who’s second rock opera, but I have always thought of it more as a rock novel. Why a novel? First, it just feels more like a novel than an opera. Its scope, its characters, its focus all feel novelistic. When I break it down, I can list definite reasons why it fits the one genre over the other, especially if I compare it to Tommy: Tommy is plot driven, Quadrophenia is mainly a series...

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Tuesday, 29 November 2011
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Yuck's self-titled debut proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that all artistic trends in pop music are cyclical in nature. The proof of that can be seen pretty clearly if one stands back and looks at the shapes guitar-driven rock has taken over the last twenty-five years; in the late Eighties and early Nineties, underground rock bands like Soundgarden, Pavement, Sonic Youth, The Lemonheads, Sebadoh and Screaming Trees all took ideas and inspiration from the likes of The Beatles,...

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279
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Saturday, 26 November 2011
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If you pride yourself in being a Nickelback fan, go ahead and pick up their latest album, Here and Now. You'll find that it's pretty much on par with anything they've offered in the past, and you should enjoy it. Feel free to stop reading now if this is the case. For those of you who don't list yourselves as fans (like the audience at a recent Detroit Lions game), you'll likely find Nickelback's inability to change or grow as a...

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314
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Friday, 25 November 2011
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Hey Junky, Alright, I gotta tell you – dis holiday gift-givin' season's startin' ta look great! Da music bizness is jus' pourin' onna extra reckids fer sale an' ya know what dat means: mo'stuff ta grab as I'm trippin' through da interwebs lookin' fer more SWAG ta unload on you! I figure it's fair, it jus' keeps fallin' offa digital trucks or somethin', I'd swear ta that onna stack o' bibles! This week I nabbed a little more o' da...

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Wednesday, 23 November 2011
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Why does a rat desert a ship? Marilyn Manson keyboardist, drummer and producer Chris Vrenna announced yesterday that, after seven years, he and the self-proclaimed God of Fuck would be parting ways. The announcement comes now, shortly after a release date for Born Villain – Manson's forthcoming eighth album and first for new label Cooking Vinyl – was confirmed for February, 2012. "I'm incredibly proud of the work I did with Manson and look forward to the release of Born...

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269
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Wednesday, 23 November 2011
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In the folk/country genre, there’s a big difference between some indie rockers from Rhode Island playing country and Travis Tritt playing country. Deer Tick consider themselves country, and are probably right by definition; but if you called them a folk band you’d probably be right too. Their new album, Divine Providence, was promised to be unlike any other Deer Tick record. The songwriting remains the same but there are more electric rave-ups and electric organ (played by Halifax’s own Rob...

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224
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Tuesday, 22 November 2011
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It's the twentieth anniversary of the release of Achtung Baby, which provides the excuse for this expanded reissue. The reissue also gives critics a chance to, again, assert that this album was a drastic break from U2's past. Well, I disagree. In my opinion, Achtung Baby is actually a return to U2's strengths. To me, the touchstones of the band's career are Boy and War; they're the tightly wound guitar rock staples. Further (and I know I'm mostly alone in...

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201
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Monday, 21 November 2011
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Solo albums from talented artists can be a dangerous business. Mick Jagger, Scott Weiland, Axl Rose (yes, I consider the recent GNR album in this category) all shine when they're paired up with their talented sidekicks but, when they step out alone to prove how great they are, we're often left wondering what we saw in them. Some readers might say that Ringo Starr would be a better example than Mick, but I'll stand by that statement; I would have...

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Sunday, 20 November 2011
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Marine Dreams' debut album stands as proof that some of the most remarkable albums come from unlikely sources. That's not meant to imply that the band or its patron (Attack In Black bassist) Ian Kehoe aren't deserving of praise for this effort (this album is fantastic, but more on that in a minute), just that with excellent solo records having already come from Attack In Black frontman Daniel Romano and guitarist Spencer Burton, it comes as a surprise to find...

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Thursday, 17 November 2011