Plumb is a Christian Alternative Rock artist that I did not know until a couple of years ago. I made it a point to listen to her older records and now this one confirmed my first impressions: she is truly talented and her music is really enjoyable. If you never listened to Plumb, you’re missing out! As I noted in the review of her 2013 album, she does not sound like most Christian artists–and that is mostly a good thing.
Dire Straits’ frontman Mark Knopfler continues his stellar career with another truly enjoyable and well executed solo album. His guitar style is perfect for his voice (or is it the other way around?) and his records are always a relaxing journey that I truly enjoy. This one did not disappoint me… in fact, I enjoyed it more because now one can hear his aging voice alongside his exceptional playing ability.
This album nearly put me to sleep. Don’t get me wrong… it was good, but it was so peaceful and so melodic that it was really hard not to close my eyes! If you’re into Gregorian Chant, you’ll probably like this album… This is not a Gregorian Chant album, though… it’s just an all-female a cappella chorus singing traditional songs in what sounds like a church building (monastery?) with very nice acoustics.
I was really surprised by The Airborne Toxic Event. First, I was not familiar with this band–never heard of it. Second, they clearly have deeper talent than many Indie Rock bands out there these days. I loved their sound and found their lyrics very engaging (with a few exceptions). They are clearly influenced by Arcade Fire but showcase elements of contemporary Indie Rock as well (e.g. Imagine Dragons). They have another album released in 2015 and we’ll be reviewing it here as well.
The Agonist is an Extreme/Melodic Death Metal band from Canada that sounds eerily similar to Metalcore at times, especially in the beginning of the album. As the songs progressed the record got better and the sound was closer to what one would expect from Melodic variations of Metal. That said, I don’t think I liked this band very much.
Legendary Folk artist Bob Dylan continues his breathtaking career with an album that sounds very different from the kind of music he had been producing lately. This time the tempo is much slower, the guitar is electric (with no distortion), and he is accompanied by what sounds like a small ensemble. We may call this sound Jazz Country, a mixture of Country chords with a very jazzy feel… perfect for a relaxing afternoon. But maybe this was too slow and easy going… I was very bored after 4 or 5 songs. Not my favorite Dylan album.
Experimental/Indie rocker Noah Lennox’s (Animal Collective) solo project Panda Bear (what a great name!) is an interesting attempt at sounding different and familiar at the same time. This is the first of his albums that I have listened to, and I am hesitant to try the others. One may have been enough. While pleasant at first, his sound gets old after a while. Maybe I’ll listen to the next one just to be sure.
Croatian Instrumental Rock duo 2CELLOS has returned with another entertaining album featuring well-known songs performed with (as the name says it) two cellos. Some songs are better than others as performed by the duo, and after a while the sound gets old. I think there is a future for them but they need to refine their style a bit more.