Alternative Metal band Chevelle released a dull record that lacks much of the energy the band displayed in previous works. The songs are more downtempo and the vocals are more “civilized”–and for a Metal band this usually translates into an unexciting album. Unfortunately, that is true in this case.
The Piano Guys are back with classical renditions of popular songs. But this time their harmonies are fuller and the music is a little bit more complex. After listening to this album at lunch today, I played a few seconds of some tracks for my family and they really liked it. From the opening tune by Taylor Swift to a Charlie Brown medley and a modified version of the theme song for The Lord of the Rings, the range of styles in this record is guaranteed entertainment.
A few weeks ago I listened to Within Temptation’s Hydra. Interesting that another metal band chose the same title for its new album as well: Otep, a Nu Metal band that I only recently became familiar with, also features a female vocalist. But this lead singer does not sound anything like Within Temptation’s Symphonic Metal vocals. Otep Shamaya has the ability to sound just like a male metal singer and then switches to a woman’s tone while interlacing story-telling and whispering sounds. Otep has quite a unique sound but at the same time is right at home in the Nu Metal scene. This is not their best record by far… my favorite is still The Ascension.
The fourth disc in Garth Brooks’ new box set is a treat featuring several Blues Rock and Soul classics. Not bad but not great either. After listening to all four discs in this collection, I can see why it was released as a boxed set: the performances are not strong enough to stand on their own as individual albums, but they are good enough that fans should have access to them. A boxed set allowed the label to package everything nicely weaving together a theme through disparate genres that may not necessarily be appealing to Country fans. Overall, I would give this boxed set a 3.5 stars rating.
Who would have known that Garth Brooks would be phenomenal singing a Queen song? His rendition of “Somebody to Love” is excellent, as are his versions of rock classics, “All Right Now,” “Bad Company,” and “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.” This is a great album that showcases his voice and musical talent all in one. I guess what I liked about this record is the fact that most songs don’t sound like Country at all… and that is a good thing.
Garth Brooks’ second disc in his new box set is better than the first: this time he covers a few Country classics (although, for some reason, the first song in the album is “Great Ball of Fire”). With the exception of the first song, Brooks sounds a lot better here and has some memorable moments, such as in “Good Ole Boys Like Me.” I’m hoping the third and fourth discs in this series will be much better than the first two.
Garth Brooks–one of the best-selling music artists of all time despite not having any new material in years and only having a relatively small number of official discography albums–has released a five-disc box set containing four CDs of new music… well, not all music is new, but it is newly performed by him. The first disc is Melting Pot, a collection of Americana that sounds mostly very weird as country songs. What is even stranger is Brooks’ frequent attempt at sounding like the original artist, such as in “Maggie May,” where he tries to sound hoarse like Rod Stewart. I’ll be listening to the other albums and posting my impressions here, but this first one did not impress me at all.