If calling their fifteenth studio album The Latest doesn't exactly suggest enthusiasm on the part of Cheap Trick, keep in mind that the band has never shown much enthusiasm for album titles anyway, titling two albums after their band and one after their hometown of Rockford, IL. The Latest follows 2006's Rockford by three years and does indeed offer the latest spin on the band's classic power pop, flowing naturally from that quite excellent back-to-basics set, offering another collection of 13 guitar-heavy pop tunes. After the brief, ominous opener "Sleep Forever," a misleading slice of spacy, hazy, mood rock fades away, Cheap Trick tear into the overlooked Slade gem "When the Lights Are Out," suggesting that The Latest will be a high-octane rock-fest, but apart from a handful of other moments – including the raging "Sick Man of Europe" and the "Slow Down" revamp "California Girl" – a lot of the record consists of thick Beatlesque psychedelia, an appealing shift in tactics that makes this something a little bit different than yet another Cheap Trick record.
With every recording Omar Sosa releases, his horizons continue to broaden within the context of world ethnic fusion, but with Across the Divide, he's bettered himself yet again. This collection of jazz-influenced, Latin-tinged music crosses the disparate genres of country folk and tribal sounds, recognizing the migration of the banjo from Africa to the Eastern seaboard of America, and percussion from the griot village to the rural Mid-Atlantic. In collaboration with vocalist and story teller Tim Eriksen, Sosa merges rhythm and ancestry via inspiration from Langston Hughes, John Coltrane, King Sunny Ade, Pete Seger, and contemporary bluesman Otis Taylor as popular reference points.
One thing buried amidst all Bon Jovi's detours of the new millennium – there wasn't just 2007's contemporary country Lost Highway, there was the acoustic reworking of hits This Left Feels Right in 2003 – is that the group has been sober-minded throughout the decade, reacting to 9/11 on 2002's Bounce, exploring the morass of W's America on 2005's Have a Nice Day, and now creating a soundtrack for the Great Recession on 2009's The Circle…
The Mandelring Quartet plays with unflinching resolve, sympathetic expression, incisive attacks, and penetrating tone, which are all necessary in Shostakovich's sardonic and frequently bitter language.
A few disarming moments on “Octahedron” unfold slowly, with pockets of space and calm. Don’t be lured into trusting them. This album, the fifth studio release by the Mars Volta, employs stillness as a setup for all manner of disruption: sharply pealing riffs, phantasmagorical metaphors, convoluted song structures. In many ways it’s a typical effort from the guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and the vocalist Cedric Bixler Zavala, who make up the Mars Volta’s cunning and ever-agitated core. But that’s not to discredit the more measured side of “Octahedron,” a harbor for some of this psychedelic prog-rock band’s most alluring melodies and among its most coherent recordings…
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Collection includes: Work And Non Work (1997); The Noise Made By People (2000); Haha Sound (2003); Tender Buttons (2005); The Future Crayon (2006); Investigate Witch Cults Of The Radio Age (2009).