Tag Archives: Music Reviews

Nine Inch Nails: Add Violence

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Nine Inch Nails: Add ViolenceNine Inch Nails
Add Violence
(The Null Corporation)

Nine Inch Nails: Add Violence

At this point in the game, Nine Inch Nails doesn’t really have to do anything outrageous. They pretty much drove the definition of a genre, and inspired a generation of angry kids to don fishnets and buy Casio keyboards. Trent Reznor and company have been moving in some shape or form for 25+ years from the likes of Pretty Hate Machine to the Academy Awards with the soundtrack to The Social Network.

Reznor has bleeped, and blopped his way to superstardom on a razor’s edge with a sound that was molten ...

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Lana Del Rey: Lust for Life

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Lana Del Rey: Lust for LifeLana Del Rey
Lust for Life
(Interscope Records)

Lana Del Rey: Lust for Life

Lana Del Rey’s highly anticipated Lust for Life starts off strong with two back-to-back singles. First is the gently swaying and summery “Love.” It’s lush and pretty.

Here, Lana Del Rey admires the beauty of being in love, youth, and how they can both make the mundane seem all right. The first chorus proclaims all of this clearly. “You get ready, you get all dressed up/ To go nowhere in particular/ Back to work or the coffee shop/ Doesn’t matter ’cause it’s enough/ To be young and in love.”

“Lust for Life” ...

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Quiet Riot: Road Rage

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Quiet Riot: Road RageQuiet Riot
Road Rage
(Frontiers Music SRL)

Quiet Riot: Road Rage

Quiet Riot’s new album, Road Rage is a commercial rock gem. Drummer Frankie Banali, guitarist Alex Grossi, bassist Chuck Wright and new singer, American Idol-alum James Durbin present 11 songs that showcase Banali’s hard hitting, expert songwriting and lots of styles, but all sound like Quiet Riot in the end.

“Can’t Get Enough” opens, a Banali-led snare snapper with Grossi providing just the right amount of power chords. Then we are into “Getaway” with its shouting “no no’s” and a middle section that slows down to some blues like layering, where the ...

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SZA: Ctrl

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

SZA: CtrlSZA
Ctrl
(Top Dog Entertainment/ RCA Records)

SZA: Ctrl

I hate to start off this review bragging, but I have a confession. I’m convinced, I have to be the second coming of Quincy Jones or Sean Combs. Why am I tooting my own horn? Well, right before SZA debuted CTRL I was listening to, and doing my research on her. I instantly loved her approach to music. After finding out it was a talent she sorta discovered accidentally it made sense. I was happy to see a Young Black Woman with an alternative edge making her way. Born in St. Louis, but ...

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Daley: The Spectrum

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Daley: The SpectrumDaley
The Spectrum
(BMG/ The End Records)

Daley: The Spectrum

The Spectrum begins with the appropriately named “Introlude.” Simple synths and layered vocals crescendo to establish the atmosphere and lead into the album’s first full-length track.

“Until the Pain is Gone” (featuring Jill Scott) is a classic sounding slow jam with a hint of modern sound. It shows off the powerful and evocative vocals that Daley is known and celebrated for.

“Selfish” is even softer with sweet vocals and tapping bass and percussion that align perfectly with decisive sounding piano chords. But the lyrics are what really make this track stand out. The ...

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Blondie/Garbage @ The Mann

Source: Philthy Mag

Last Wednesday, August 2nd, Blondie and Garbage brought their Rage and Rapture Tour, which Shirley Manson fittingly referred to as, “the best summer camp ever,” to the Mann Center, in Fairmount Park.  And although neither band are exactly in their prime (Debbie Harry turned 72 last month and Butch Vig – Garbage’s drummer and producer of Nirvana’s Nevermind, Sonic Youth’s Dirty, The Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream, and pretty much every other “90s” record my students at Temple University are familiar with – celebrated his 62nd onstage that very night), for all of those who spent their angsty ...

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Talib Kweli and Styles P: The Seven

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Talib Kweli and Styles P: The SevenTalib Kweli and Styles P
The Seven
(Javotti Media/ 3D)

Talib Kweli and Styles P: The Seven

I’ve had a personal experience with Talib Kweli, so I’m probably subconsciously biased. He’s also a fellow Brooklyn native. That makes me super biased then. He’s very vocal on social platforms on political topics, but many aren’t truly versed on his talent. Styles P to me is one of the most underrated “rappers” to do it (i.e. rap incredibly). I use quotations because I’d rather say MC.

I enjoy both artists immensely in their own right, and the mere fact that they decided to create a project together is amazing to ...

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Washed Out: Mister Mellow

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Washed Out: Mister MellowWashed Out
Mister Mellow
(Stones Throw Records)

Singer/ songwriter/ producer Ernest Greene (better known as Washed Out) really lives up to his chillwave and dream pop labels on Mister Mellow. It starts off a little ominous, but then “Burn Out Blues” quickly bursts through revealing that familiar, bright signature sound.

Echoing vocals and infectious layers of percussion flow through the speakers and seamlessly into the next track, the slower paced “Time Off.”

“Floating By” follows with danceable percussion and bossa nova style keys. This stand out track leads into the slightly jazzy, “I’ve Been Dreaming My Entire Life.”

“Hard ...

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Randy Newman: Dark Matter

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Randy Newman: Dark MatterRandy Newman
Dark Matter
(Nonesuch Records)

Randy Newman: Dark Matter

Randy Newman presents his first studio album of all-new material since 2008 with Dark Matter.

“The Great Debate,” at almost nine minutes, features fits and starts stylings (including a gospel choir) as Newman debates our existence. As usual, the seventy-three-year-old takes on heavy matters and politics with his songs. In the silly “umpapa” horns and backing female vocals of “Putin Girls,” though he loses the satire for complete lyrical broadsides.

“Lost Without You” begins with a rush of strings, then turns to a poignant Newman with mainly just his talking-vocals on top of his ...

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Alice Cooper: Paranormal

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Alice Cooper: ParanormalAlice Cooper
Paranormal
(earMUSIC)

Alice Cooper: Paranormal

Alice Cooper’s latest (and 27th) studio album, Paranormal sees the original shock rocker back with a cast of guest musicians and collaborators including big time rock-super producer/ long-time Cooper collaborator, Bob Ezrin, U2’s Larry Mullen, Jr. playing drums on the first ten tracks and many more surprises.

The title track features Roger Glover (bassist from Deep Purple) manning the low end on a tune with big dramatic opening power riffs, that roll into low chunking verses that Cooper talks-sings over. “Dead Flies” features more big power chords plus snare snappin’. “Fallen In Love” has ZZ Top’s ...

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Freddie Nelson: Shake The Cage

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Freddie Nelson: Shake The CageFreddie Nelson
Shake the Cage

Freddie Nelson: Shake The Cage

Freddie Nelson’s fits and starts of metallic picking and feedback on “Turn You On,” begin his brilliant album, Shake The Cage. Here we get a collection of full rich pop rock confection showcasing Nelson’s high clear voice, guitar playing, and expert songwriting. And this is just from the first tune out of 11!

There’s a 50s mixed with Queen sensibility on the big sway of “Light.” Again the backing vocals creating quite a rich tapestry as much as Nelson’s strong controlled electric guitar leading. “Let You Go” is a love-gone-wrong heavy lament, again with ...

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Haim: Something to Tell You

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Haim: Something to Tell YouHaim
Something to Tell You
(Columbia Records)

Haim: Something to Tell You

The Haim sisters are just tremendous. They have found something in their sound that has been missing from rock music for a long time. They are masters at writing pop songs and move seamlessly from guitar laden California beach tunes, to R&B tinged love songs, to unrequited ear worms that burrow deep in the cerebral cortex. You can’t help but bop your head along and give in to nostalgic. Their new record, Something to Tell You is something of an anomaly in modern times. It is a record that is solid from start ...

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Chrystyna Marie: Life

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Chrystyna Marie: LifeChrystyna Marie
Life

Chrystyna Marie: Life

Jason Sniderman’s wailing guitar and Michelle Josef’s heavy snare push the strut of Chrystyna Marie’s lead-off tune here, the super sexy, “I Want That Boom Boom.” A certainly country electric picked flavor informs “Devil With The Angel Eyes” which follows, setting us up for some truly incendiary work here from the blues rock singer/songwriter on this eight-song album, Life.

Things get even more sly and sexy on “The Witching Hour,” again showcasing Josef’s subtle abilities, and a low growl from Bazil Donovan’s bass, plus subtle touches from a David Gavin Baxter banjo. This proves to be ...

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Jacqui L : PLANET PARALLEL 5

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Jacqui L : PLANET PARALLEL 5Jacqui L
PLANET PARALLEL 5
(Jacqui L)

Jacqui L : PLANET PARALLEL 5

There’s lots going on with conceptual rock artist, Jacqui L. Her new album PLANET PARALLEL 5 sees the singer/ songwriter/ keyboardist presenting her view of the world through her self-invented scorpion/alien character of Jacqui L from the planet PP5.

“Happy Birthday” opens. It’s not much more than an almost little girl mélange of voices, but we are quickly into the jumpy beat and lower, more palatable vocals on “Frankenstein.” This moves along nicely with its Middle-Eastern guitar riff from Marty Hailey and cool percussion stomps from Joe Accaria.

Dave Symes provides a sly ...

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Alarma: World Ignition

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Alarma: World IgnitionAlarma
World Ignition

Alarma: World Ignition

Alarma’s World Ignition is certainly going to get your engine running. The core members of band; Pedro Martinez, Alessandro Morosin, Greg Panos, and Eduardo Sandoval, truly deliver here in an 8-song collection of fast little ditties that you really can’t help but tap your feet to or sing along with.

There’s truly great odd pop here, from the staccato Mexicano-sounding opener “Fire,” where Eduardo Sandoval’s drums and percussion snap rightly under Pedro Martinez’s nasal lead vocals, to “In Your Mind,” a poppy electric mover with a plunking beat.

“Turn The Knob” sees the full use of a ...

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Pumarosa: The Witch

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Pumarosa: The WitchPumarosa
The Witch
(Harvest Records)

Pumarosa: The Witch

Pumarosa has been around for a little while now, having released a self-titled EP in 2016 and their “Priestess” single in 2015, which was remixed by indie-electro solo artist, Shura. It also features vocalist, Isabel Munoz-Newsome’s work as the album art, and her sister Fernanda as a dancer in the video. This album is their first full-length release and I was so busy listening to it, that it was hard to take the time to stop and write about it.

It starts with “Dragonfly,” a steady post-punk slow jam with Munoz-Newsome’s airy vocals setting the ...

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Little Steven: Soulfire

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Little Steven: SoulfireLittle Steven
Soulfire
(Universal Music)

Little Steven: Soulfire

If you want find a blueprint to what real rock n roll is, Little Steven can point you in the right direction. As a member of the E Street Band and having played with Bruce Springsteen for 40+ years, the guy has his PhD in rock music and showcases his vast love of it on his new record, Soulfire.

Each song on the album is a microcosm of a style of music that he has picked up over the years, stretching from Motown, to doo-wop, funk, and even nuggets-style, punky, 60s anthems. Little Steven is ...

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At the Drive-In: in.ter a.li.a

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

At the Drive-In: in.ter a.li.aAt the Drive-In
in.ter a.li.a
(Rise Records)

At the Drive-In: in.ter a.li.a

One of the most exciting things that happened to me this year was finally getting to see At the Drive-In live. I missed them in their original incarnation and their first couple reunion rounds sold out impossibly fast, but in March I finally got to see a band I thought I would never get the chance to. My excitement only grew when I heard their new single, “Governed By Contagions.” It was their first bit of new material in 16 years, and it was awesome.

I’m somewhat sorry to report that “Governed By ...

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Rancid: Trouble Maker

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Rancid: Trouble Maker

Rancid
Trouble Maker
(Epitaph Records)

Rancid: Trouble Maker

In my eighth grade school picture, it’s 1996 (how time flies!), and much to my mother’s chagrin, I’m wearing a Rancid t-shirt for their album Let’s Go, which I had discovered through MTV and fallen in love with. Matt Freeman’s rapid-fire, jangling bass lines and Tim Armstrong’s authoritative bark saw me through my teenage angst and continued to be a stronghold for me well into adulthood. In the 20 years following Let’s Go, they blossomed and branched out into ska and reggae, started a record label, and even worked on some side projects (Lars ...

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Ride: Weather Diaries

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Ride: Weather DiariesRide
Weather Diaries
(Wichita Recordings)

Ride: Weather Diaries

Ride is arguably one of the most lauded British bands to come from the “shoegaze” movement. Their debut album, 1990’s Nowhere, was heaped with praise by critics and fans alike for its wall of noise, and the band’s name is often uttered in the same breath as My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth.

However, Ride were also just really good at writing songs, not saying the other bands weren’t, but Ride slowly moved their focus from that wall of noise and art rock, to songs that use the noise as another instrument within the pop ...

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Styx: The Mission

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Styx: The MissionStyx
The Mission
(Universal Music Enterprises)

Styx: The Mission

It’s been almost 15 years since Styx released an all new studio album. Their 16th, The Mission, is an actual concept album.

Original Styx members guitarist/vocalist James “JY” Young, and bassist Chuck Panozzo are taking flight here, as are long-time vocalist/guitarist Tommy Shaw, keyboardist/vocalist Lawrence Gowan, killer drummer Todd Sucherman, and bassist Ricky Phillips.

The story of The Mission involves the first manned mission to Mars, and begins with “Overture,” a heavy riffing tune with Sucherman lifting-off with some amazing drums rolls. “Gone Gone Gone,” follows, another heavy hitter, featuring this ...

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Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie: Lindsey Buckingham/ Christine McVie

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie: Lindsey Buckingham/ Christine McVieLindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie
Lindsey Buckingham/ Christine McVie
(East West Records)

Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie: Lindsey Buckingham/ Christine McVie

The first ever collaboration between Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie (beyond the many hits and wonderful music they have delivered in the Fleetwood Mac cannon) is creatively called Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie.

“Sleeping Around the Corner” opens with Buckingham on lead vocals and a high poppy beat (this tune, in another incarnation, appears as a bonus track on his 2011 solo album, Seeds We Sow). “Feel About You” follows with its heavy metallic percussion (there’s lots of drum programming sounds throughout) and McVie leading the vocals.

The ...

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Royal Blood: How Did We Get So Dark?

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Royal Blood: How Did We Get So Dark?Royal Blood
How Did We Get So Dark?
(Warner Bros.)

Royal Blood: How Did We Get So Dark?

British rockers Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher of the band Royal Blood are back with their second album, How Did We Get So Dark? a somewhat ironic title, seeing as their first self-titled album was pretty dark to begin with. Their new effort is just as strong, with plenty of interesting guitar work and tempo changes that remind me of everything that’s good about Jack White’s band The Raconteurs. Plenty of jilted lover anthems are scattered throughout the album, not the least of which being “Lights Out” (“You’re not so ...

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Matteo Scher: Something Good

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Matteo Scher: Something GoodMatteo Scher
Something Good

Matteo Scher: Something Good

The sold deep bounce of  “New York and Me” begins Matteo Scher’s excellent EP, Something Good. Surely with his piano playing and mid-range voice, Scher could be mining Billy Joel territory, as much Ben Folds Five at times with some Elton John thrown in. But it’s clear Scher leads with his own “voice,” on what he manages with these five tracks.

Drummer, Andres Marin brushes us along into the arpeggio-led “Forget,” a pretty song of regret, informed by some soft harmonies, and again Scher’s players knowing just where to place themselves in his simple production.

...

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Cheap Trick: We’re All Alright!

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Cheap Trick: We’re All Alright!Cheap Trick
We’re All Alright!
(Big Machine)

Cheap Trick: We’re All Alright!

“You Got It Going On,” with its roiling riff, over driven push, and a sing-able chorus open Cheap Tricks’ 18th studio album, We’re All Alright! This leads right into an equally over-the-top “Long Time Coming,” again with a chorus so infectious you’ll need a shot of antibiotics after hearing it.

“Nowhere” is pure Cheap Trick punk (that’s the fun thing about this band, for all these many decades of their existence, C.T. manages all kinds of rock and roll styles) while “Radio Lover” sees singer Robin Zander doing his best Elvis on ...

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