Tag Archives: Music Reviews

Liam Gallagher: As You Were

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Liam Gallagher: As You WereLiam Gallagher
As You Were
(Warner Brothers)

Liam Gallagher: As You Were

I believe wholeheartedly that we will have another Oasis album and tour sometime within the next decade. I say this only because we saw Guns N’ Roses get back together and I always thought a Slash and Axl reunion would be more of a longshot than the Gallagher brothers making amends. At some point the money will be too much to pass up, and they will give in, and go down like the Hindenburg. Until then we get Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds, and Liam Gallagher’s solo stuff via his debut ...

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Fever Ray: Plunge

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Fever Ray: PlungeFever Ray
Plunge
(MUTE)

Fever Ray: Plunge

Fever Ray’s Plunge allows listeners to dive deep into Karin Dreijer’s sonic curiosities. The album starts of with “Wanna Sip.” Here Dreijer’s lyrics and struggle are loud and clear, “I wanna love you, but you’re not making it easy/ I wanna love you, but it’s not easy.” At the chorus the track spirals downward with electronic space sounding effects, and a strong, simple, singular beat.

Things abruptly quiet and slow down for a bit on the following track, “Mustn’t Hurry,” but it soon evolves into something a little more hard hitting. The steady pace and dramatic ...

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Annie Lennox: Songs Of Mass Destruction

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Annie Lennox: Songs Of Mass DestructionAnnie Lennox
Songs of Mass Destruction
(RCA Records)

Annie Lennox: Songs Of Mass Destruction

Annie Lennox’s new album,  Songs Of Mass Destruction opens with the slow simple lament of “Dark Road,” the lady’s ability to break your heart with her singularly expressive pipes is evident from the get go on this release.

Next we get the jumpy, sexy “Love Is Blind.” It’s important to note that the spectacular backing and harmony vocals you hear through these 11 tunes are pretty much all Lennox, and on this tune she pushes herself along perfectly on the kinetic vocal melange bouncing off the piano. “Ghosts in My Machine” gives ...

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Westward: The Empire of Deception

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Westward: The Empire of DeceptionWestward
The Empire of Deception
(Westward)

Westward: The Empire of Deception

Are you ready for “Cowboy Space Rock?” Well, ready or not it’s coming at you on this fantastic new release from Westward with Andrew C. Marshall on lead vocals/lead guitar, Matt Morrison on drums, and Karl Grimm on bass and backing vocals.

Sweeping strings and spoken intro flow into equally slow vocals, introducing us to the “Empire of Deceptionopening title track. Things don’t stay slow though. The band starts rockin’ on this one right quick! Space rock bleeps and power chords groove into “Enchantment” next, the first tune where we hear Marshall’s ...

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Steve Walsh: Black Butterfly

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Steve Walsh: Black ButterflySteve Walsh
Black Butterfly
(Escape Music Ltd)

Steve Walsh: Black Butterfly

Vocalist/ keyboardist/songwriter, Steve Walsh retired from the classic prog American band, Kansas a few years ago. But here, on Black Butterfly, Walsh has unleashes a dozen tunes (most co-written with Tommy Denander who provides all the guitar and co-produces).

“Born In Fire,” and “The Piper” start us off. Steve Overland’s backing vocals lend solid weight to Walsh’s distinctive, if not slightly weaker pipes, while Jerome Mazza duets with Walsh on the first song (he even takes over on a few lead vocals here). Mazza is a stone-cold Walsh sound alike.

“Hell or ...

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Fifth Harmony: Fifth Harmony

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Fifth Harmony: Fifth HarmonyFifth Harmony
Fifth Harmony
(Epic Records)

Fifth Harmony: Fifth Harmony

Sometimes you think you know, but you have no idea. When it comes to Fifth Harmony, I had no idea. Now, I love a great pop record, and I’d heard all the singles, but not enough to be a certified listener. This super group consists of five girls signed by Simon Cowell and LA Reid to the opportunity of a lifetime, and they have consistently built on that brand ever since.

They’ve received a host of awards and sold 7 million digital and 1.6 billion on demand streams, which proves I’m the small percentage ...

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Majid Jordan: The Space Between

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Majid Jordan: The Space BetweenMajid Jordan
The Space Between
(OVO Sound)

Majid Jordan: The Space Between

A funky, slightly moody “Intro” sets the tone for Majid Jordan’s The Space Between, and promptly takes us into “Gave Your Love Away.” This track has some serious 90s R&B vibes with its gentle fade in intro, soft, clear vocals, and clean bass.

The outro fades effortlessly into the danceable “OG Heartthrob,” which amps up the 90s vibes a bit.

Lyrics like “I can’t take making love to anyone but you…I can’t take waking up to anyone but you” and “Open up and let me in/ Have my heart it’s yours” show ...

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Lecrae: All Things Work Together

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Lecrae: All Things Work TogetherLecrae
All Things Work Together
(Reach Records/ Columbia)

Lecrae: All Things Work Together

I love a transparent man, and Lecrae is definitely that as well as a force to be reckoned with.  I’ve had my eye on him for quite some time, but for a while I slept on this exceptional artist/rapper. When the explosion of contemporary Gospel started it seemed like just a trend, but Lecrae has sustained himself for over ten years since his first release in 2004.  He released several other projects but in 2012, Gravity which won him a Grammy for Best Gospel Album and earned him top spots on several iTunes ...

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William Patrick Corgan: Ogilala

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

William Patrick Corgan: OgilalaWilliam Patrick Corgan
Ogilala
(BMG)

William Patrick Corgan: Ogilala

Billy Corgan is a very interesting person. The lead visionary of 90s alt-rock monsters, Smashing Pumpkins, Corgan has hit some roadblocks in the past 20 years. Following the firebrand that was the double disc opus Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, his band left him, he reinvented himself as a solo artist with the electronic opera The Future Embrace, tried his hand with Zwan (another band that sounded like Smashing Pumpkins), and bought himself a professional wrestling organization. Corgan also tried to resurrect the Pumpkins with a couple half-hearted attempts at full blown rock n’ ...

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The Black Dahlia Murder: Nightbringers

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

The Black Dahlia Murder: NightbringersThe Black Dahlia Murder
Nightbringers
(Metal Blade)

The Black Dahlia Murder: Nightbringers

The Black Dahlia Murder has always stood out amongst the newer generation of death metal bands for their ability to actually write songs and slow down once in a while. Most death metal bands today set their speed at a million miles an hour from start to finish, and although the brutality of it all can be appreciated, it can also get boring real quick. Sometimes slowing down, even if only for a brief moment, can really create a powerful and lasting dynamic that can melt faces from miles away.

TBDM’s new release, ...

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Marilyn Manson: Heaven Upside Down

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Marilyn Manson: Heaven Upside DownMarilyn Manson
Heaven Upside Down
(Loma Vista)

Marilyn Manson: Heaven Upside Down

One of the things that first attracted me to Marilyn Manson (the band) was how unified they seemed to be in their kookiness and ability to frighten or piss people off. The music was actually a bonus. It was just great to have a band in my generation that truly rocked the boat of every day “normal” life (not that we didn’t have plenty of other artists pushing and destroying boundaries).

However, as the shock aspect of Marilyn Manson wore off over time, we were just left with the music and a rotating ...

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Robert Plant: Carry Fire

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Robert Plant: Carry FireRobert Plant
Carry Fire
(Nonesuch)

Robert Plant: Carry Fire

You might get a hint of good old Led Zep on Robert Plant’s 11th studio album, Carry Fire. Yes, he is employing the Sensational Space Shifters band here (Plant has worked with them for the past few years). Their folk, Celtic, Indian, and West African soundscapes rise to the forefront on this album, but from the opener, “May Queen,” (the title an obvious nod to one of Zep’s more famous songs) one is reminded of the Robert Plant of yore even with his softer vocal delivery.

Plant takes on lots of weighty issues ...

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Leon Russell: On a Distant Shore

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Leon Russell: On a Distant ShoreLeon Russell
On a Distant Shore
(Palmetto)

Leon Russell: On a Distant Shore

One man boasting a 50-year career in writing, playing, arranging, and singing that would be impressive if you spread that output across three musicians, Leon Russell was a true American musical icon. After his death last year (at the age of 74) we have Russell’s posthumous album, On a Distant Shore. It features Russell originals and some re-workings of his classics. The scratchy-voiced piano player dips back into his love for the Great American Songbook with lush strings, horns, and full swampy band reads across these perfect dozen tunes.

The album ranges ...

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The Peanut Gallery: Tales From The Basement

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

The Peanut Gallery: Tales From The BasementThe Peanut Gallery
Tales From The Basement

The Peanut Gallery: Tales From The Basement

New Jersey hip-hop duo The Peanut Gallery has dropped a new album, Tales From The Basement. It is quite a unique read on what one usually finds in this genre, complete with some great grooves, and quite a few hard-hitting, expletive-rich raps.

“Deep Thoughts” hits us early on with its trilling arpeggio keys, and slipping synth strings. Here we get the full declaration of what Orlando and his partner, Flee Jones are about (these two men being the brains behind The Gallery).

“Molly Crazy (ft Party of 5IVE)” features “Halloween”-movie trilling, scary ...

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John Carpenter: Anthology (Movie Themes 1974-1998)

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

John Carpenter: Anthology (Movie Themes 1974-1998)John Carpenter
Anthology (Movie Themes 1974-1998)
(Sacred Bones Records)

John Carpenter: Anthology (Movie Themes 1974-1998)

You might just be a fan of John Carpenter’s movies (Halloween, Escape From New York, Starman, and Big Trouble In Little China to name a few). But do you know that the director writes and performs the music for his films as well? This anthology delivers 13 pieces of music from 13 different Carpenter films, both composed and played by Carpenter himself.

It opens with the heavy guitar-riff-led “In The Mouth of Madness” (one of the few here led by electric guitar). Then we roll through the early work ...

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Patrick Grant: A Sequence of Waves (twelve stories and a dream)

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Patrick Grant: A Sequence of Waves (twelve stories and a dream)Patrick Grant
A Sequence of Waves (Twelve Stories and a Dream)
(Peppergreen Media)

Patrick Grant: A Sequence of Waves (twelve stories and a dream)

Musician/composer Patrick Grant certainly presents a rich tapestry with his new album, A Sequence of Waves (Twelve Stories and a Dream).

A slicing viola, mallet percussion, and Dan Cooper’s 7-sting electric bass move us through the arpeggio layer of opener, “Lucid Intervals,” then we slip into jumpy metallic sweeps, and the driving patterns of Grant’s lead guitar on “Driving Patterns.” The big stomps behind the kinetic movements, and wailing guitar moments, remind me of early U.K.

There’s a triplet of tunes midway here that seem to set ...

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The Night Herons: Relevant Noise

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

The Night Herons: Relevant NoiseThe Night Herons
Relevant Noise

The Night Herons: Relevant Noise

The Night Herons—Dana Berry, Mike Assenzio, and  Larry Huene—present their new 15-song album,  Relevant Noise. Opening with the flangy, semi-punk sardonic read of “Compromise,” (the lyrics on this one and throughout are great) intoFighters & Lovers,” with its  power chord groove (the bass cooks on this one) again reveals the neat vocal sounds of Dana Berry.

“Wildfires,” slows things down a bit with great bass lines and some spot-on harmonies and tom-tom work. The low moan bass sounds, atmospheric guitar, and breathy female backing vocals of “Let Me In,” provides another respite ...

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Tangerine Dream: Quantum Gate

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Tangerine Dream: Quantum GateTangerine Dream
Quantum Gate
(KScope Import)

Tangerine Dream: Quantum Gate

The release of Tangerine Dream’s new studio album Quantum Gate coincides with the band’s 50th anniversary. Though the TD’s de-facto leader Edgar Froese died in 2015, he requested that his wife (also the band’s manager) Bianca Froese-Acquaye follow with what he was planning, a new phase of this classic electronica band and brand, their “Quantum Years” music. The remaining members of the band—Thorsten Quaeschning, Ulrich Schnauss, and Hoshiko Yamane—have remained true to Froese’s vision and their band’s usual sound on this nine song opus.

Opening with a metallic tickle under synth sweeps, “Sensing Elements,” ...

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Kid Rock: Sweet Southern Sugar

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Kid Rock: Sweet Southern Sugar

Kid Rock
Sweet Southern Sugar
(BMG Rights Management)

Kid Rock: Sweet Southern Sugar

Sweet Southern Sugar is Kid Rock’s first album made in Nashville, and his first with new label BMG/Broken Bow Records, but it’s that Kid Rock mélange of styles we are used to.

“Greatest Show on Earth,” opens, we get some moans and synths then the snapping drums and main riff gets up and running, very much like what we have heard from Kid before. There’s ballsy bio boasting, singable anthem choruses, and a party sounding band behind him. “Tennessee Mountain Top,” is a heavy, growly bass, mid-tempo rocker, with Rock expounding on ...

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Sisters of Mercy – Some Girls Wander By Mistake

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Sisters of Mercy – Some Girls Wander By MistakeSisters of Mercy
Some Girls Wander By Mistake
(Warner Music UK)

Sisters of Mercy – Some Girls Wander By Mistake

The 4 LP re-issue of Sisters of Mercy’s Some Girls Wander By Mistake focuses on the early years of the band’s career.

It includes an array of singles, a few remixes, and an extended version of “Temple of Love.” Every track embodies a truly ’80s sound, and that’s a large part of the band’s charm.

You can throw on these records and drown in goth nostalgia. “Phantom” moves with echoing percussion, sparse guitars, and other cavernous sounds that Sisters of Mercy fans are undoubtedly familiar with. The guitar heavy ...

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The War on Drugs: A Deeper Understanding

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

The War on Drugs: A Deeper UnderstandingThe War on Drugs
A Deeper Understanding
(Atlantic Records)

The War on Drugs: A Deeper Understanding

It has been getting increasingly hard to find anything resembling just good rock n roll. The heirs to the ones that have left us either haven’t found their footing or haven’t earned the trust of that particular audience.

The War on Drugs come damn near close with their newest release, A Deeper Understanding, an album full of late night driving songs that can be played on repeat without ever noticing they’ve been repeated. The album is full of 80s rock influence, and slow, simple, acoustic driven numbers that tread a line ...

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Coral the Merknight vs SEARANTULA: It Weaves a Web of Metal

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Coral the Merknight vs SEARANTULA: It Weaves a Web of MetalCoral the Merknight vs SEARANTULA
It Weaves a Web of Metal
(Sea Spider Studios)

Coral the Merknight vs SEARANTULA: It Weaves a Web of Metal

The heavy metal guitar and drum plodding of “Disclaimer,” opens It Weaves a Web of Metal. Here, we get a warning about what is to follow, that the listener’s health (mental and otherwise) is at serious risk if one listens further to these 13 fantastically silly metal parody tunes.

Just a title like “Videogames Greater Than Girlfriends” should clue you into what fun you’re going to find here, but Travis Orbin (of Darkest Hour) and Adōn Fanion (of Ghost Ship Octavius) can really play, and ...

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Princess Nokia: 1992 Deluxe

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Princess Nokia: 1992 DeluxePrincess Nokia
1992 Deluxe
(Rough Trade)

Princess Nokia: 1992 Deluxe

Destiny Frasqueri aka Wavy Spice aka Princess Nokia identifies as a bruja, tomboy, New York Boricua shorty, a feminist, and queer woman who isn’t burdened, but rather empowered by her complexity. I’m totally infatuated with her artistry, music, and overall movement. She has a flair and freedom that comes across in her attitude and delivery in every song.

She released her first song in 2010, so her “instant fame” isn’t as instant as people may believe. She began rapping at first, but when she released “Yaya,” (an homage to her Taino ancestry) she showed ...

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Gogol Bordello: Seekers and Finders

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Gogol Bordello: Seekers and FindersGogol Bordello
Seekers and Finders
(Cooking Vinyl)

Gogol Bordello: Seekers and Finders

Gogol Bordello, the gypsy-punk masters of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, are back for the first time in four long years with Seekers and Finders. Well, they never actually went away, but as their popularity has grown, so has their touring schedule. Even from their earliest days, their live shows have been considered legendary, and more like wild parties than mere concerts. The party feels a bit like it’s been scaled back though on Seekers and Finders.

Frontman, Eugene Hütz, is as charismatic as always, but the dynamic has changed in some way. This ...

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L.A. Witch: L.A. Witch

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

L.A. Witch: L.A. WitchL.A. Witch
L.A. Witch
(Suicide Squeeze Records)

L.A. Witch: L.A. Witch

Close your eyes and imagine the kind of music a witch would make. Now imagine what it would sound like if that witch was from L.A. Got it? That’s exactly what the band L.A. Witch sounds like. If you’re jamming to that sound in your head, might as well just get the album.

They might be a trio but their sound is enormous. On their self-titled debut, L.A. Witch make good use of an old psych-rock trick, copious reverb, to sound as vast and wide as the California desert. There’s some sonic similarities ...

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